Nowadays, it isn’t usual to find someone who have never heard about Google Adwords – or Google Ads -, but do all of them know what this platform is all about and what it can be used for? At the Flybizz Agency, we get multiple questions from our clients about this service of ours: what does it do, how can they start using it and what are the advantages of making this investment.
As so, we decided to write an article that could clarify all these beginner doubts in the world of Google Ads. But, before we get there, it is important that we start by understanding the differences between having organic traffic and paid traffic on our website, as well as in which of these two groups does Google Ads fit into.
Organic vs. paid traffic
Imagine you own a coffee shop in the centre of your hometown. Even though your business is doing great and have lots of clients, you wish that more people – from other cities and from a different age range – have heard about your coffee shop and your brand. So you decide to create an institutional website, where you can show off your values, your team, share contacts and the coffee shop’s address. You also decide to create an Instagram profile, so you can show all the types of drinks your shop sells, along with pictures of your trendy and cozy space.
From the moment you publish your website and share it with your followers on Instagram, people start visiting it, which means this social network is driving traffic to your website. This kind of traffic is what we call organic traffic, that is, when people visit your website in a spontaneous way, and not because they were influenced by paid ads or promoted posts. In a very simple way: organic traffic is free. Not only it’s free, but it’s also the best type of traffic that any company might want, because it means you’re producing relevant content, that attracts potential clients.
Now imagine that, instead of just sharing your website in the description of your Instagram profile, you decide to create an ad (paid), which promotes the space of your coffee shop. This ad has a button that reads “Find out more”, which redirects people to your website. This kind of traffic is what we call paid traffic, because even though it also comes from Instagram, it drifts from a promoted post – that is, a paid promotion. It’s exactly in this last group that we can fit Google Ads into, as well as any other ad options that we have on hand: Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Promoted Tweets, etc.
What is Google Ads
But, afterall, what is Google Ads? It’s a Google’s advertisment platform, that offers you the possibility to advertise your web links, like the link of your website. In a simple way, through Google Ads, you show your business to people who are potentially interested in your products/services, in the exact moment those people are searching for those products/services. Google analyzes all the searched keywords and shows a list of results that better fit those keywords.
The most common format are text ads – that group of links that appear right on the first results of your search, which Google identifies as “Ads”. We call them search network ads and, in this network, you can find results from Google’s search engine, but also from its partner’s search engines. But there is also the possibilty of creating display network ads, that can appear as text, banners or videos, and which can also show up on other websites (Google’s partners), like Youtube or Gmail.
The big difference between these two Google Ads formats is that, when you advertise your company/brand on the search network, your ads will be presented to the people who are really interested in what your company offers, which results in a higher probability of your ads getting more clicks. This happens because, when Google shows your ad to those people, that means they’ve searched for keywords related to your business. On the other hand, display network ads are presented to a higher number of people – including people who are not searching for your products/services -, and on different moments of the costumer buying cycle, instead of being presented only on the moment of the search.
Both formats have their advantages and disadvantages. The search network is “safer”, in the sense that we know we’re spending money with people who are already interested in our products/services. On the contrary, even though it covers more people, the display network offers different types of ads (text, graphic, interactive and video) and allows you to choose fully the websites where you want your ads to be presented and who is your target audience. And if you don’t have the right skills to develop the graphic part of the job, don’t worry because Google Ads itself has available a banner generator, which creates banners from the content of your website.
Let’s get back to the coffee shop exemple. Imagine that: 1) your coffee shop is in the small list of coffee shops of your hometown that sells carrot muffins; 2) a potential client searches on Google for “the best carrot muffins”. On the first organic results, you can see a blog that writes about baking and, specifically, about carrot muffins. This blog is a great opportunity for you to advertise your coffee shop, through na interactive display ad that shows your muffins and your location. The odds of getting new conversions through that ad are huge, because you can reach potential clients on the ideal moment of the costumer buying cycle.
When it comes to the search network, there are two simple ways to distinguish paid results from organic results. On the first place, paid results are always identified with a green “tag” that reads “Ad”; besides, they ALWAYS show up on the first places of the results page. Google Ads can never be presented subsequently to the organic results.
The display network offers a million of other opportunities. One of the most used is Google Shopping, ideal to e-commerce businesses. With Google Shopping, you can create campaigns to promote all of your products, increasing the traffic to your website. These ads stay available not only on the display network, but also on the search network, and we can differenciate those from simple text ads because they have image, title, description and other relevant information about the product. We can also create mobile app campaigns and remarketing campaigns – when after we’ve visited a company’s website, their ads start “chasing” us around the web.
How does Google Ads work
Now that we’ve seen what is Google Ads and what can we use it for, it is important to reveal how its system works. Probably, the first question that comes to your mind is “how do I place my ad on the first spot of search results?”. We all know that, most users, when searching for something on Google, click on the first results that are presented to them. So, it is crucial that your brand is placed on the top of those results.
When it comes to organic results, this is a long and time-consuming process. You’ll need a good dose of patience, a strong bet on SEO (search engine optimization) and, above all of this, the production of relevant content. This last point is key not only to organic results, but also to paid ads – to sum up, so that your whole marketing strategy is well-succed. In the case of paid ads, getting to the 1st place of search results might be a more direct and immediate process, with this being the main difference between betting on organic traffic and paid traffic. This process happens like this:
1. By searching for a group of keywords on the search engine, Google Adwords gathers all the ads that meet those words.
2. When collected a group of ads, the system will exclude all the ones that aren’t qualified to be presented on that search – like rejected ads or ads targeted to a different geographical zone.
3. A new group of ads is created and, from these one, Google Ads will only show the ones who have a rank (Ad Rank) high enough to be presented. This rank is basically a grade from 1 to 10 that is assigned to each ad, and which is determined by a combination between the money invested by the advertiser and the ad’s Quality Score.
Even if the advertiser invests a lot of money on that ad, its Quality Score will always have a bigger influence. This makes sure that your competitors won’t have a better performance for that keyword just because they have more money to invest, which would be unffair. As we’ve seen, producing quality content is crucial, because only in this way Google Ads will consider your ad as being relevant to people.
The big doubt that most people have is not knowing whether they should place their efforts on organic traffic or paid traffic. The question is: there is no unique formula. The ideal is to always come up with a strategy that balances both sides, however, this can also change according to your businesse's industry, your audience, etc. Start by analyzing your target’s buying cycle and at which moment they are right now, so you can impact them with the right strategy, at the right time.
At the beginning of every digital marketing campaign, it might be important to reach for Google Ads, since it has a more immediate return, however, as you analyze your campaigns and start realizing which keywords bring you better results, you may start using that information to reinforce your SEO and content marketing strategy, in order to reduce your investment on ads. And if you feel like you need a little encouragement to start, the Flybizz Agency offers a 120€ voucher to all new hired campaigns. Fly with us!