4 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Your Google Campaigns
From search to video, Google is one of the biggest platforms for digital advertising in the world. As one of digital marketing’s behemoths, it’s no surprise that Google also has a wide array of products to choose from to help you reach your audience. These tools are immensely helpful in getting you to your marketing goals, but the variety can also make it overwhelming when you’re looking for a place to start.
Take a breath; here are 4 techniques to help you get more out of your Google advertising campaigns.
1. Pick the Right Google Tool for Your Campaign.
Even the best tool in the world isn’t going to help you if you are using it in the wrong situation. Having the right tool for the job is great, but in order to find that match you have to know what you are trying to accomplish. Your first step should be to figure out what you want to do. Then, you can create goals that are definable and measurable.
Examples of campaign objectives might include:
- Get more eyes on my product.
- Increase the number of people who recognize my brand.
- Operate the campaign with a certain amount of return.
- Support in-store launches within a specific time frame.
Once you have a clear sense of what you want to accomplish, then it is time to figure out which tool works best and aligns best with both your audience and specific business goal. While there are many opportunities to push the envelope and think outside the box with each Google tool, here are the basics:
Google Ads: There are a lot of factors for making a successful search campaign, but a good starting point is to think of how your users are going to look for your product/solution. This is where keyword research is important. With Google’s keyword planner tool, you can input lists of keywords and determine if it is going to be efficient to run search campaigns based on the expected CPC and CPA.
YouTube: YouTube is a great vehicle for educating and hyping up audiences through the attention-grabbing, context-rich format of video. Outstanding creative is crucial to campaigns’ success on YouTube, and you can strengthen your targeting capabilities by integrating YouTube ads with your Google search campaigns.
Google offers the ability to create custom intent audiences which enable you to target users based off the actual queries they are searching for. That means when a user is searching for products/services in your category, and they visit YouTube, your brand can meet them with a captivating visual message. The 1-2 punch of being there when a user is researching your product has been shown to increase conversion rates, compared to running just ads to cold audiences that haven’t signaled their intentions.
Google Display Network: Display ads are the visual banners you see on advertising-supported sites everywhere, and according to Google, the Google Display Network reaches over 90% of global internet users expanding across 2 million sites.
Banners are typically used for brand awareness, so while it is possible to run these to a CPA goal, display ads should be utilized as a support tactic for other marketing initiatives. Display ads have high visibility, since they are seen by lots of people, but are not clicked as frequently as other ad formats.
2. Set Up Proper Tracking and Optimize for Conversions.
All of these amazing tools to boost your Google ad campaign lose a lot of value if you don’t take the time to set up the right tracking process. After all, if you don’t understand why you succeed, you will not be able to replicate the results.
Then, once the tracking system is in place, and you have the statistics and numbers available to you, you need to use those insights to optimize for conversions. Conveniently, your Google Ad account allows you define conversion actions that meet your campaign goals, and from that, you can create a tag to add to your website to track those conversions.
Analyzing your Google Ads conversion tracking can be simple, or involve more advanced options. However, to run a campaign with poor tracking undermines all of your efforts spent reaching users and can even lead you to waste your marketing dollars in the wrong places.
Tracking can be especially powerful to multi-platform campaigns. For example, if you are running ads on YouTube or Display and a user does not initially click on your ad, but does eventually come back to your website and make a purchase, good tracking allows you to understand where that user first came into contact with your brand. In this way, you can have a better understanding of a consumers journey to purchase, and develop your marketing strategies around those user experiences you want to target.
Having proper tracking setup is critical to understand what channels are driving your business goals, and has great impact on both the Google tools and marketing strategies that ultimately yield success.
3. Grow Reach with Similar Audiences.
If you already have your campaign goals well–defined, and tracking firing away, you might be saying: “I know what I want, and what my customers want, now how do I reach more people like my customers?”
A simple, but powerful method of reaching high-value target audiences is by going after audiences that are similar to your current customers. Google makes this initiative easy with the Similar Audiences tool. Similar Audiences allows you to expand the reach of your best-performing audiences using Google’s advanced machine learning to identify new users based on visitors to your site. These people – who share similar interests, behaviors and characteristics of your highest value visitors – are then shown your ads. You can set up similar audiences to mirror your email subscribers, past purchasers, website visitors and other first-party data.
You can leverage Similar Audiences pretty widely across the Google universe- it’s available for the Display Network, the Search Network, YouTube, Gmail, Customer Match and within various Google-associated apps. Similar Audiences are easy to manage, efficient, and have been shown to improve conversions by 41% when combined with Display Remarketing.
4. Use Retargeting More Effectively.
Showing ads to people who have previously visited your site is one of the most effective ways to drive conversion. According to Kenshoo, people who see retargeting ads are 70% more like to convert so developing this tactic is critical for closing customer journeys.
Google’s feature, Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RSLAs), lets you customize your ads to reach the people behind the searches instead of just their keywords. That is, you can keep your brand top of mind while people are still making a purchase decision.
RSLAs work well for non-branded keywords which may be too expensive to go after with a cold prospecting audience. Typically keywords that are targeted with RLSAs are cheaper to bid on when you target audiences that have been to your site already. Combining keyword lists with audience targeting drives more efficient campaigns.
RSLAs can also be used with ad customizers to fine-tune copy and tailor messages for the specific audience, such as cart abandoners or past purchasers. Ad customizers are a Google ads feature that allows you to get hyper-focused around specific searches and visit behavior. A single text ad can have hundreds of variations, giving you the opportunity for dynamic, hyper-specific text. Ad customizers can be placed anywhere in your text except the URL and reporting is automatic.
When Google sees that customer is searching, it can multiply your bid in real time for the keyword you established for that audience. Examples of audience segments you might adjust your bids for are:
- Existing customers
- Recent purchasers
- Visitors who did not convert
- Abandoned cart visitors
To take this one step forward, video remarketing via YouTube also offers personalization based on user interaction. For example, you can utilize video ad sequencing to put a series of videos in front of a user for a time frame. You might start with a short teaser and then follow up with a longer follow up based on views/interactions.
The benefit is that this method allows people to complete the sequence in different stages and at a lower cost to you. [One Google lab experiment reported a +74% ad recall lift for video ad sequencing vs. single 30-second TrueView YouTube Ad.]
We’re wired to remember great stories. The ability to control the structure and timing of these narratives is a huge advantage to advertisers who know how to leverage it.
The Google Ads universe is huge and expanding all the time, which makes it tricky to master. It is easy to get lost in the weeds, but thankfully, covering your basics can take you a long way. If you define your campaign goals, leverage tracking, pursue similar audiences, and retarget intelligently, – and learn to do them well – you are well on your way to effective, profitable Google marketing.
If you are interested in launching successful campaigns on Google, contact our digital team today!