Before I start the topic – Master Google Adwords : Adwords Best Practices for Search Ads- here is a disclaimer:
This article has been written to study the Search Ads Practices in India and to explain the Campaign Settings, Ad Structures and Enhancements, Reporting Facilities and Keywords Selections for Small Business Owners and New Professionals in this field.
This article aims to simplify the technicalities of running text ads on Google Search. If you follow the suggestions given here, you will master Search Ads on Google Adwords.
What is Google Adwords?
To master google Adwords, you should first understand ‘what is google adowrds’. Let us check out 3 different definitions of Google Adwords below:
- Google AdWords is an online advertising service, developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy to web users. Google AdWords’ system is based partly on cookies and partly on keywords determined by advertisers. Google uses these characteristics to place advertising copy on pages where they think it might be relevant. Advertisers pay when users divert their browsing to click on the advertising copy. – Wikipedia
- AdWords (Google AdWords) is an advertising service by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords program enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads. The ad service is largely focused on keywords. – Webopedia
- What is AdWords? Google AdWords is Google’s advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google’s search results. – WordStream
On the basis of these definitions of Google Adwords, you know that–
Adwords is an online advertising services.
It is owned by Google.
Adwords ads can be shown on Google and its associate networks.
It is based on keywords and cookies.
Advertisers bid on keywords.
Advertisers Pay Google when people click on his ad.
Google Adwords is not limited to search ads only. There are many types of ads you can run through Adwords system. New types of ads are being developed and included in the system day by day.
Here is an image sourced from leadsquared displaying all the available types of advertisements you can run for all your advertising needs. You should visit the article (click the link on the site name) for more details on Google Adwords and the types of ads available.
Adwords is a brilliantly efficient online advertising system but we “the advertisers” are making it a failure.
I planned to write an article on the level of use of Ad extensions in India. So I performed many searches for different keywords. What I saw egged me on to write an article on the basics of Adwords search campaigns.
This is a long article which intent to explain the basics of Search Ads in Google Adwords (Text Ads) with discussions on Search Ads anomalies with help of real search results.
The article is for the people who already have some knowledge of Google Adwords and running ads for their businesses or helping businesses as a consultant.
The article is divided in many sections which are listed below but I request you to give a proper attention to on all the sections.
- Anomalies of Google Search Ad Practices in Indian context with examples (Click Here)
- Master Google Adwords : Most important jargons of Google Adwords (Click Here)
- Master Google Adwords : Text Search Ads Structure and Enhancements (Click Here)
- Master Google Adwords : Campaign Settings and its importance (Click Here)
- Master Google Adwords : Select Keywords and Keywords Match Types (Click Here)
- Master Google Adwords : Introduction of Reports and their importance (Adding soon)
- Master Google Adwords : Adwords Policies and Violations (Adding soon)
- DIY Management of Adwords Search Campaign (Adding soon)
- Do’s & Don’ts for Business Starting Adwords (Adding soon)
- Do’s & Don’ts for Adwords Professionals (Adding soon)
Anomalies of Google Search Ad Practices in Indian context with examples
What is the purpose of this ad?
The person running this ad does not even know how to write an ad. He could not find the words to describe his service.
What is more disturbing is that it is an ad for an Adwords Service Provider.
Here is the 4th tiny one ad that has nothing to do with “Mediclaim Insurance Agents”.
A friend said that this might be a new guy in the business and is strategically showing ads even for distantly broad match keyword.
If the person has so much money and is able to make such a strategy, I would love to understand his strategy and the results he obtained.
The four ads in the image above are violating the rule that “contact number should not be used in the ad texts – title, display URL and description” but my concern is with the 1st ad.
What qualified this one to be on TOP among the four!
The ad copy is just ‘Bakwas’. The word Delhi has been used 4 times showing that the ad creator knows nothing about writing an ad.
But it is on top position.
Because it is paying Google to show its ad on TOP always. Does it get most number of clicks? I doubt.
Here I want to make a statement:
The people in “Packers and Movers” industry seems to have a lot of money and have heard that the TOP position of the ad is most effective to gain business. And we, the Adwords consultants, are cheating them in broad daylight.
The above three examples are more than sufficient to say that the ads running are not fully optimized in many cases. And the businesses are not aware of the fact that they are wasting their money paying Google for showing ads on higher positions without getting any real return on expenses.
There is a lack of information and knowledge among the advertisers and the campaign managers.
The Adwords service providers are not up to date with recent changes in Adwords policies and practices.
Consultants and professionals, intentionally or unintentionally, do not communicate to the advertisers and the businesses the added facilities in the Adwords platform.
The most bizarre notion is that the performance of a campaign is dependable of CPC. The higher is the CPC, the higher is the conversion. And we, the Adwords service providers, help to keep the idea intact because we work on the basis of a fixed percentage of ad spending. The more is the daily budget, the more is our fee.
Nobody gives a damn about quality of ads.
The basics are being ignored and the businesses with deep pockets are wasting their money by positioning the ads on top without actually measuring the return.
Case in hand : Should a consultant work in such a manner?
Here I want to tell you about a new advertiser in “Packer and Movers Industry”.
After seeing the ad, I mailed him with some suggestion to modify his campaign strategies. He called me next day to discuss the matter.
He has recently hired a professional and told him that he wanted his ads on top and that the budget is not an issue.
The Adwords professional started the campaign with a daily budget of Rs. 5000. In 3 days, the spending was about Rs. 17000 and daily clicks were 22, 29 and 27 with avg. CPC of about Rs. 250.
After talking to me, the advertiser provided me the account log in and requested me to check the account.
Here are the campaign settings:
Campaign Type – Search Network with Display Select, Standard
Networks – Google Search Network including Search Partners and Google display network
Devices – Desktop +150, Mobile +150%, Tablets +100
Location – India
Language – English
Bid Strategy – Automated: Target Search Page Location – Top of the first result page
Default bid – None
Budget – Rs. 5000 per day
Ad extensions – None
Ad-copy – 1 ad in one ad group only
Keywords – 26 broad match keywords (generally with location terms such as India, Delhi, Delhi NCR, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad)
With such settings, the CTR was 1.29 and the avg. position was 1.38. The ads were also being shown to the people in US, Canada, Philippines, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and many other countries.
The advertiser wanted to hand over the account to me but he could not. Because he has made one month payment to the Adwords guy approximately Rs. 1.65 Lac. Alas!
If you think that YOUR PPC AGENCY IS WASTING YOUR BUDGET, then you should download this ⇑ ebook by Search Engine Journal.
Master Google Adwords : Most important jargon of Google Adwords
- Search Engine is a computer program that searches documents, especially on the World Wide Web, for a specified word or words and provides a list of documents in which they are found. -Dictionary.com
- SERP (Search Engine Result Page) is the list of results from any search engine. The results may be free or paid.
- Adwords (Google AdWords) is an advertising service by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords program enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads. The ad service is largely focused on keywords. – Webopedia
- Text Advertisement is the ads consisting of texts and hyperlinks.
- A keyword is a word or a group of words that a person put in search bar to quickly find some information, knowledge or answers.
- Long tail keyword is a keyword consisting 2 or more words.
- Search Ads is an advertisement consisting text, rich media and links which is served in SERP with free results when someone makes a search.
- Impression is the number of times an ad appear on the World Wide Web.
- CPC or Cost Per Click is the cost of a click on your ad you have to pay to Google. It is calculated in respect of a keyword.
- Bid is the maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay for a click on the ad.
- CTR or Click through Rate is a metric which shows how many times your ad was clicked when shown 100 times.
- CTA or Call to Action is the word which tells a person to take a particular action after viewing your ad – call, get, download, visit, read etc.
- Landing page is a webpage where a person reaches after clicking the link of an ad.
- Daily budget is the maximum amount you want to pay to Google on daily basis for getting clicks on your ads.
- Conversion is the final desired action by a viewer of your ad such as buying your product, calling you, downloading your brochure, subscribing your newsletter or making an inquiry et cetera.
Master Google Adwords : Text Search Ads Structure and Enhancements
Test ads consists of 3 main parts – Headline, Display URL and Description.
In the new ad format, the headline has 2 sections of 30 characters separated by a dash (-), the display url has the domain with 2 sections of 15 characters separated by a slash (/) and a description of maximum 80 characters.
This is the fixed format of a text ad. Google also provides facility to enhance the ad structure by adding ad extensions.
This enables the advertisers to increase the usability, performance and conversions by adding more details in the ads. They can be added at campaign as well as ad-group level.
Generally all the ad-extensions are displayed below the main ads. They improve visibility and can increase CTR by up to 20%. Ad extensions also increase the quality score slightly.
Google has kept the power of displaying all, some or none with it. Google shows the extensions according to pre-programmed criteria which depend on screen size, search terms, ad position, type of devices etc. Maximum four ad-extensions can be shown at a time with an ad.
Let’s know them one by one:
Add contact number as an extension which is displayed with your ads on desktop, mobile or tablets.
The call extension is displayed as a number on a desktop and a tablet.
On a mobile device. it may be shown even as a call button and a viewer of your ad can click on the call extension to directly call the number.
It is a new mobile-only extension which add a call to action below the ad. A person can click on this to open the text message screen and send a already customized or self-typed message.
It provides one more point of contact in the ad and make it easier to the buyer to show his interest in your offering.
Put links of other important pages of your website along with the main landing page to display more than one valuable pages of your website.
Let’s say you are advertising your Pay per Click service, you can add About us, Past Clients, Success Stories and Contact us pages as sitelink extensions. It may be more convincing for the prospect to check your clients list or success stories before actually converting.
You can also add your Social Media Links as sitelinks.
This are clickable links with options to add descriptions also. You don’t have to pay extra or differently for clicks on these links. Cost of clicks are always equal to the cost of click on the main ad link.
Call out Extension
Add non-clickable groups of words with which you can provide more relevant information or reasons to take a action.
You can add special discount, launch date of a product, exciting offers for shop visitors, festival offers or specialization, certifications, affiliations et cetera.
Add location of a shop or office with help of Google Business Page.
This is more important if you want to increase footfall at your shop or office.
People, who are searching for your targeted keywords in proximity, will be shown a link of the map with your address and/or the business name, contact number or office time with the ads. This makes people to click on the address link and get more details.
On mobile, the map can generate a navigation view to take the viewer to your office or store.
Add more details of your products or services in the text ads with new structured snippets. Many categories for different businesses have been added.
A mobile shop can display different brands, a college can show different courses, a fashion brand can display different styles of dresses and so on.
Display price of your product or services in available format. You can add fees of different services or different level of services, you can add prices of different products or you can add prices of different brands of a prices. See the image below:
Price is generally shown as a view more option with one details. But the ads on top can show more than one types of prices in first view.
Some advertisers are creating excellent ads which stand out in a crowd of 8 ads on a page and gain maximum eyeballs. Hopefully they are getting maximum clicks in very low CPC. Here I am sharing a presentation with 16 such ads and 11 qualities of such ads…
Master Google Adwords : Campaign Settings and its importance
As a new advertiser or manager, you generally opt for default settings while creating a new campaign. The default settings are very good to get maximum number of impressions. But the advertisers do not have much control on cost and performance.
We, as someone who want to get maximum return on investment, always desire to have maximum control on the campaign structure, cost of click, quality of impression, clicks and optimum performance. So it is generally preferred to set every aspects of a campaign as per our needs.
Let’s study all the settings one by one while creating a search ad campaign:
Type of Campaigns
When we start a new campaign the default selection is Search Network with Display select but as we are studying Search Ads only, we will opt for Search Network Only.
In Search Network Only, we have 2 subtypes-
- All features
Search Network – Standard Type
If we go for Standard options, we have all basic necessary setting such as:
- Google Search and/or Search Partners
- Location settings – include Country, State, City, PIN code and the radius around a location or exclude locations where you do not want to show the ads.
- Select Language
- Bid Strategy
This is very important for any advertiser because here you optimize the campaign for RoI and Cost.
There are many settings which you can opt for but for a new advertiser, it is always advisable to go for manual CPC and budget where you choose the maximum amount you want to pay for a click and the maximum amount you are ready to pay in one day respectively.
Manual CPC bidding enables you to choose the cost of a click and study the position and quality score and then select other bid strategies.
Other bid strategies are pre-programmed and may/may not have CPC controlling options. It is also advisable to always choose a maximum bid whenever this option is available.
- Ad extensions:
I always love ad-extensions because it provides me with the arms to compel a viewer to click on the ads and also push the competitors’ ads down.
In standard type, we can only ad 5 types of ad-extensions.
Get details of Ad-extension in this section of this article.
Let’s now study advance options available in Search Network Only – All Features type.
Search Network Only- All features
This type of campaign gives the advertiser/ campaign manager more advance control on location targeting, ads scheduling et cetera. Let’s study these advance setting features now:
Advance features in the location settings:
We have 3 options for targeting audience with a preferred location-
- Target people in, searching for or who show interest in my targeted location
- Target people in my targeted location
- People searching for my targeted location
- Exclude People in, searching for or who show interest in my excluded locations
- Exclude People in my excluded location
By default and in standard setting, this is always the option (a) and it makes this setting very broad. Your ads are delivered to the people who are physically located in your location or who have visited the location recently or who include the location the search terms. This may increase the number of impression and clicks which are not relevant for your business.
See the below screenshots:
In ad preview tool, I searched “packers and movers in Faridabad” and set the location United States and Karachi respectively. Ads of Packers and Movers Companies of Faridabad and Delhi were delivered.
Do the advertisers want to display their ads to Pakistani aur American Audiences? Certainly not.
The only reason is they have selected or unintentionally selected the first setting or are using Search Only Ads – Standard type.
This setting may not exhaust your daily budget because people will not click the ads in normal case, but the results are generally irrelevant.
Generally you want to target the people in your location or the people who search for your location. So be careful with this advance setting.
Master Google Adwords : Select Keywords and Keywords Match Types
Keywords are the most important factor of an Adwords Campaign. A keyword is a word or a group of words which an advertiser guesses that his/her customers will search at any stage to find the service or product he/she is providing.
In context of google Adwords search ads, keywords are the search terms hopefully a prospective buyer will search. Therefore Keywords Research is the most and foremost important activity of an Adwords campaign.
As an advertiser, you must know and select the best keywords. Generally you select keywords in these fashion:
Product with brand – huggies diapers, Samsung tv
Product with price – mobile for Rs. 10000, affordable flats
Products with brand and price- Samsung mobile for 10k,
Product and its use – baby toilet seat, Instant Coffee by Nescafe
Service and location – Security Service in Delhi, Tuition in Gandhi Nagar
Et cetra, et cetra, et cetra
But there is one major part of keywords selection.
Google Adwords provide us a method of selecting type of keywords i.e. Match Type. If you ignore the importance of match types, you may waste a lot of money showing ads for unnecessary and irrelevant searches and getting clicks.
Let’s say you have selected a keyword – adwords consultant in india.
You also have to decide when your ads are shown.
Do you want your ads to show when somebody only search adwords consultant in India?
Or, do you want to show your ads even when someone searches ‘indian adwords consultant’?
Or, do you want Google to show your ads when someone searches any of these– adwords consultant, adwords india, consultant in india adwords, best consultant in india, India, best adwords consultant in india…
A good Adwords advertiser will decide about all these scenario and use Google Adwords Keywords Match Types extensively.
There are 5 keywords match types –
- broad match,
- modified broad match,
- phrase match,
- exact match and
- negative match keywords.
Let us understand these one-by-one below:
Broad Match Keywords in Google Adwords
Broad Match Keywords are the keywords without any restrictions. You put a keyword. Google will show your ads to a large number of searchers using combinations and permutations. Google will include variants of your keyword, including misspellings, synonyms, similar searches, and part of the phrase.
Let’s assume you select a keyword – ppc consultant in Delhi.
Here are three words – ppc, consultant and Delhi. Because it is a broad match keyword, your ads can be shown to people for any search consisting one or several words of this keyword and their variants, misspellings, synonyms with other words and in any arrangements.
For example, your ads will be shown to searches as – delhi ppcmarketing, ppc consultant, ppc marketing, ppc fundamentals, ppc in delhi, shopping in delhi, 10 consultants in delhi, ppc needs, consultancy services in delhi, ppc, consultants, history of delhi et cetra, et cetra…
You see, many of the searches has nothing to do with your advertising intent.
It is generally not advisable to use such broad keywords because you can get the most irrelevant impressions and clicks. This type of keywords should only be used by the very experienced advertisers who know what he/she is doing. For new advertisers and marketers, it is definitely impracticable.
Modified Broad Match in Google Adwords
Modified Broad Match is a match type that is generally ignored. It is similar to Broad Match but you ensure that the most important words are present in every search terms by putting a + sign before such words. You enter a modified broad match keyword as +ppc +consultant +delhi or +ppc +consultant delhi.
Your ads can still appear in users’ searches in any order but all +words will be there in the search term such as ppc consultant in delhi, best consultants in delhi for ppc, consultant work in ppc in delhi, ppc consultant jobs in delhi et cetra, et cetra…
This is very useful for a new business advertising for the first time and is not sure what the people search when in need of its services and products.
Phrase Match Keywords in Google Adwords
Phrase Match will get your ads to appear in more specific ways.
Phrase Match Keyword ensure that your ads are shown when the words are in a particular arrangement. There may be other words before or/ and after your keyword in the search term.
You write a phrase match keywords in quotation marks such as “ppc consultant in delhi”.
Your ads will appear for the search queries such as PPC consultant in delhi and who is the most successful ppc consultant in delhi but not for career in delhi ppc consultants or ppc consultant jobs in delhi.
If you know that changing order of words can change the meaning or context, you should use this keyword match type. For example, delhi to goa flight is different from goa to delhi flight. To show relevant ads to the customer, you must here use phrase match keywords.
Exact Match Keywords in Google Adwords
Exact Match takes your campaign to another level when you specifically know the terms you want your ads to appear. The search query must match up EXACTLY with the keywords you targeted in order to let the ads appear.
If we set our keyword ppc consultant in delhi as exact match, our ads will only appear when someone makes a search exactly for this term. If you want your ads to appear for ppc consultant at delhi or ppc consultant for delhi, you have to add these keywords in your list.
This is the best option to appear for your most profitable keywords if you know the keywords users are finding your site from search and convert.
Google Adwords Negative Keywords
Other than Exact Match keywords in Google Adwords, there is a possibility to auto-include variations and addition of words in search terms.
To restrict the search engine to show your ads for irrelevant searches, you have a match type in Google Adwords i.e. negative keywords. You tell google that your ads must not be shown when these term or terms are included in search queries.
For our keyword ppc consultant in delhi, we don’t want to show our ads for queries with words like job, jobs, salary, opening, placement, opportunity etc. We will add these as negative keywords. Then our ads will not show for search terms such as ppc consultant jobs in delhi (modified broad match) or salary for ppc consultant in delhi (phrase match) et cetera.
Testing different keyword match types is important. People search in different ways, and it is impossible for anyone to guess-select all of the different keyword variations.
Google Adwords is a brilliantly efficient system of online adverting. It provides us ability to run different types of ads through this system.
Advertising is an art but in case of online advertising we must have basic technical knowledge of the system. All settings and the reports are there for a certain purpose and we must use them to maximise the success of our advertising campaigns.
Here I want to refer a fantastic article with an huge infographic which can help you more if you are a new advertiser –
This article tries to explain all basic settings and reporting facilities of this system to make you a master of Google Adwords search ads.
This article is useful not only for an advertiser but also for owners of businesses who want to understand the advertising platform Google Adwords. Basic knowledge of Adwords system will ensure that you can define your advertising needs and plan your campaign accordingly.
Google Adwords is developing day by day for the ease of advertisers. So if any important development is missing, do comment in the box below and I will be more than happy to add them.