Google Ads are a great way to attract customers locally or globally. If you get it right, Google Ads can be very cost-effective, but it’s easy to spend too much, waste money and lose opportunities if you get it wrong.
This Concise Webinar is presented by Gareth Lane and Richard Keeves. The webinar covers:
Richard: Hello everybody. Thank you for coming. Welcome to this Concise Webinar. My name is Richard Keeves. This webinar is called How to Get Better Results from Google Ads and I am joined today by my fellow director at Concise Digital Gareth Lane. Gareth come on down.
Gareth: That would be me. Hello everyone. My name is Gareth. I’ve been asked to come up with a new intro so this is my new intro. My name is Gareth. I’m very glad to be here and help everybody today with Google Ads.
Richard: There you go. Okay so for people who have not been to one of our Concise Webinars before these are meant to be 100% educational. We’re not trying to sell anything. We don’t have sales pitches. We are hoping to provide you with information that you can take away and use. This webinar is being recorded. You are very welcome to ask questions as we go through and they’ll also be time at the end to have questions at the end so feel free to type questions into the chat if you do have something that occurs to you.
Before I hand over the talking stick to Gareth this webinar about how to get better results from Google Ads assumes one of the key points. We haven’t actually gone into detail about the most important thing and that is when you are running Google ads advertise things that people are searching for. That is the key, one of the keys to success. If people aren’t searching for something then you’re probably wasting your time advertising for it. Okay now with that I’m going to hand over to Gareth. Take it away mate.
Gareth: Thank you very much. Okay I must stop saying um so look Google Ads, I have been using probably almost since it came out which is when I was almost a little kid. So they’re always the first thing I always say to clients or anyone who’s interested in Google ads just remember who you’re dealing with. You’re dealing with a giant American company who is driven by shareholders so as much as Google pretend to be the nice people and they’ll happily give you all of these things for free their angle is always to deliver shareholder return so just be very cautious of some of the phone calls you’ll probably get, emails you’ll get, information that you’ll read on the Internet. A lot of it is very much skewed into getting you to spend more money on ads. What I had suggested that we do on this webinar was just give you some quick little tips that will help you save a few bucks and these are things that I’ve learnt over the last 10 years or so that that basically generate results for clients.
So one of the most important things that is easily misunderstood is the concept of keywords and keyword types so the idea of keywords is pretty straightforward in that these are the terms that you want to rank for but what Google conveniently leave out of the campaign setup unless you know what button you’re pushing is the different types of keywords and how they apply to triggering ads. Keep in mind the more ads that Google can trigger for you the more likely someone’s going to click and the more likely they’re going to make some more money out of you.
A lot of clients don’t spend anywhere near enough time looking at their keywords and really thinking about their keywords. I would generally suggest avoiding any automated suggestion or automated list of keywords that the Googlebot suggests to you. You really need to put the time and the effort in so what we’re going to explain now is the five different types of keywords and they’re spread out between broad phrase, exact, positive and negative.
This screen here is worth looking for. This is actually from Google themselves so you can, there is a link there and if you can’t quite see the link it’s pretty straightforward for us to send you one of those so if you get stuck please send us an email and we will send it to you so just working through the different types of keywords.
The standard or the default is called a broad match keyword and you don’t have any special symbols on that when you set up those keywords and an example keyword would be something like women’s hats. If you had set an ad camp with a broad match keyword like women’s hats then you are likely to trigger that ad for misspellings, any synonyms, related searches and any other relevant variations but the balk can also be quite good at triggering ads for some fairly irrelevant searches as well that for your business is probably not related.
The next one down is called a broad match modifier. I prefer to call this a positive keyword because it’s got a plus sign in front of it. Makes it a bit easy to remember and the idea behind these are that you must have the those words with pluses in front of them but can be used in any combination so if you can see there on the example you can if you had the keyword set as plus women’s and plus hats then as long as the user used both of those keywords but in any order and in any phrase then it would trigger the ad. The example there women’s scarfs and hats would trigger the ad. Winter hats for women would trigger the ad. Okay.
They’re quite handy but you do need to be careful because you kind of need to think about all the different scenarios that would apply. My preferred approach is to use phrase match and that is simply putting inverted commas around the keyword like the example there for women’s hats. What that means is that the phrase must match in that exact order but it can be anywhere in that sentence. For example I could use the word blue and have blue women’s hats or I could buy women’s hats or I could have women’s hats on sale so long as the woman’s and the hats are together inside the phrase then it would trigger the ad.
Then you have an exact match which is also very useful if you have very specific terms that you’re trying to rank for and you don’t want to trigger ads for all of the additional sort of variations of those things. Very handy to use but they are quite time-consuming to set up because you really do need to go through all of the scenarios. To do an exact match you use square brackets. Very important that they’re not round brackets or curly brackets. They are square brackets and that means that the ad would only trigger for the exact term but Google does this sneaky little thing where they trigger the ad for what the bot thinks is related.
In that example there even though we said we only wanted to trigger it for women’s hats because the bot knows that ladies hats matches with women’s hats and hats for woman are likely to being the same thing then it will trigger for that. If you want to get around that then you use what’s called a negative keyword so a negative is simply putting a hyphen in front of the keyword and so if you had, if you really only wanted to make sure that that ad triggered for women’s hats and nothing else then you would put negative ladies, negative for and the other one would trigger at the end probably as well. You can have you can use that but just be careful of that. If the bot thinks it’s related then you will still trigger an ad.
I don’t particularly like Google’s example because it is skewed for them to make more money so this is my example and I’ll demonstrate on screen in a second. This particular one Indian food right? So if you’re a business and you’re a restaurant and you’re selling Indian food you would probably think that you would want to trigger an ad for Indian food. Fairly straightforward concept so a typical sort of unassuming client would come along and do a broad match keyword for Indian food. That would trigger all sorts of things which I’ll show you on screen in a second like recipes, spices, basically anything that the bot thinks of that’s remotely related to Indian food it’s going to trigger. An Indian food Safari, I think there’s a TV show that’s about it. You really wouldn’t want to use a broad match key term if you were a restaurant in Perth that’s selling Indian food.
Even if you used a phrase match the Indian food like that any word that’s used either side of that so things like Indian food recipes or Indian food spices that would still trigger the ad so again probably not that handy. Exact match, that also would be quite a good approach however it because it’s not specific to restaurants or takeaway or those kind of keywords it’s still likely to trigger an ad for not what you intended to do. When you were doing it, when you’re building a campaign like this it’s very important to use negatives and positives together.
So if I was a restaurant I would want a negative keyword to be recipe so any time anyone typed in Indian food with the keyword recipe then it would stop my ad from triggering because I’m a restaurant and I don’t sell, I don’t want people just looking for recipes and clicking on my ad so that would be how you perhaps combine a phrase match with a with the negative keyword so you had Indian food as the phrase and then you had negative recipe. Then you could also have a positive and you could have say you’re the best restaurant in in your location then you could use positive with the word best.
So if I typed in something like the best Indian food in Melbourne because I’ve got best in there and I’ve got Indian food but then I’ve added in Melbourne then that would trigger my ad. So if I’m a business in Sydney I would want to make sure that I had a negative keyword on the word Melbourne or I set my location for my ads to show only in Melbourne however if you’re going to do that you have to be careful because you may have a scenario where there’s someone in Sydney Airport who’s coming to Melbourne for the weekend who is going to type in the best food in Melbourne and if your ads are only set to show in Melbourne then you would not show those out ads.
So Google ads on the on the face of it looks fairly simple but it’s actually, it does actually require quite a trained brain if you like to think about all the different combinations and all the different scenarios and it really comes down to knowing your business really well. I assume there’s no questions because I can’t see any coming in. People are just, their brain has been melted then you can watch it again later. We are recording it and it’ll be on YouTube.
I am going to now show you a very handy little tool that we use. Unfortunately it is paid for but is really not very expensive. I think it costs something like ten dollars so it is a paid tool but it’s a really cheap one but it is extremely handy. I’m just going to share my screen and if Richard, if you could do the honors and tell me if you can see my screen clearly.
Richard: Indeed I can.
Gareth: Good stuff. Okay so this little tool that I’m going to show you is called Keywords Everywhere. If you just Google Keywords Everywhere like that and the first one that comes up is the app that I’m talking about. It installs itself into Google Chrome in the browser so you have to use Google Chrome and it’s a little plug-in up here. I’m not going to talk you through all of the options but the one that’s really important is to have the country selector .so you can change what country you’re in or what country you’re trying to look at. I’m just going to keep it on Australia for now but really important because all the data will skew.
This is really handy for looking for new opportunities so I’ve used the terms that Google’s example suggested. For women’s hats that I’ve got at the top here there’s a little strip that appears underneath the keyword up here when you’ve got Keywords Everywhere on so you can turn, it can get a bit annoying if you’re just browsing for your new washing machine so you can turn it off very easily but since I do this nearly all day I’ve got it on all the time.
This tells you a number of different things so the first part is volume and what this is the number of searches in a month so MO for a month in the location I set. For women’s hats there’s twelve thousand one hundred people per month typing in that term in Australia. I’ll just skip over to the little blue bars at the end here. This is a graph of trend over time so this gives you a bit of an idea about how people are evolving and this is very useful if you have a product that is either seasonal or is a bit of a fad product. We have a few clients that have products that have all of a sudden come on the mark and everybody wants one so this gives you a bit of an idea of how volume is. This helps you sort of allocate budgets and traffic and so on.
The other information that’s shown on the screen here is one called CPC and that stands for cost per click. That gives you a rough idea of how much it would cost to have an ad for that. It’s not entirely accurate and I’ll explain why in the next part of the webinar because it is related to something called Quality Score but it gives you an idea of if I had an ad under women’s hats it would cost somewhere in the vicinity of 99 cents per click. You’ve then got another one here called competition and this is 0.18. It’s a percentage so that that’s the same as saying 18% or 1.8 out of ten. One, if there’s a one in that that’s as hard as it gets so it gives you an idea of where opportunities lie that are easy or low cost and so on.
I’ve used a couple of examples ladies hats. There’s only 880 people a month searching that. Slightly higher cost per click but extremely competitive which I find really interesting because women’s hats has 12,100 people but ladies’ hats only has 880 people but it’s far more competitive so that to me says that these companies here that are competing for these ads haven’t really considered that maybe they should be looking under women’s hats because it’s easier and there’s a lot more volume. That’s where Keywords Everywhere can be really handy.
The other example that was given by Google is blue women’s hats and here we can see a number of blue women’s hats that are being triggered however what I find extremely interesting is that there is absolutely no volume whatsoever in Australia for blue woman’s hats so some of these companies that are triggering ads under that are pretty much wasting their time because they didn’t go and see if there’s anyone in the market looking for something in the first place.
Woman’s hats on sale, again used in the example. A lot of people competing for ads but hardly any volume. There’s only ten people a month so Keywords Everywhere is a really handy tool to work out what the market is and it kind of gives you some insights into whether there’s people in the shopping center or not and on what day, what country they’re in, what stores they’re wanting to look at, what their needs are so anytime you’re going to run an ad campaign or maybe even do SEO because the same thing applies then you should always start with a keyword research tool like Keywords Everywhere in the first place because that will help you work out whether or not you should be running any ads.
Just for example I’ve done the Indian food again so Indian food 14, 800 people a month, bit more expensive but really low competition and then Indian food recipes are only a hundred a month and hardly any competition so it gives you a bit of an idea that how the user is working in Google and what they’re interested in looking for by having a look at some of these key terms. So with that I unless there’s any questions or demonstrations I will go back to the presentation.
Okay so that’s Keywords Everywhere. If you can’t use Google and can’t find it yourself you’re more than welcome to see either Richard or myself an email and we will send you a nice link you can click on otherwise moving on.
The other big ticket item that Google conveniently leaves out of any article or guide or I’m pretty convinced a lot of people that pretend to know lots about Google Ads don’t even know anything about the Quality Score either. What Quality Score is and we have done a previous webinar on this which is in far more detail so if you get this if you don’t get the exact idea straight away from this then you’re more than welcome again to watch the more detailed version that we’ve already got up on our website but the Quality Score is probably the most important part of the whole algorithm for how Google chooses what ad to show and how much you pay.
I’ll try and briefly explain it with a few tables. If you’re not a math person probably go make yourself a coffee. If you are a math person you’ll probably pick this up really quickly but I will try and go through it slowly. In this table here column the first column we have three different websites A, B and C. Very simple. A quality score is a score out of 10 which the Google algorithm gives your ad and your website every time the ad is triggered so every time the user types in a search term the quality score is recalculated constantly. Just because you’ve got a nine out of ten now doesn’t mean you’ll have a nine and ten next week so just keep that in mind. It’s a score about how important and how relevant you are for the term that is at hand. A, they’re really relevant. They’ve got a nine out of ten. B, they’re okay. They’re five out of ten. C, not very relevant. They are two out of ten.
Each of those web website advertisers when they set up their Google ad campaign they put in a maximum cost-per-click bid much like an auction. A has said $0.50, B has said $0.70 and then C has said $1.20. Keep in mind that each website owner cannot see what the other website owner has got from a quality or a cost point of view so it’s only in my example that you can see all them together. What the bot then does is it times these numbers out very simply to give you a score called a position rating. Don’t misunderstand that for position. It’s a position rating like a score. The first one 9 x 0.5, 4.5. Next one 5 x 0.7, 3.5. 2 x 1.2, 2.4. Very simply the advertiser with the highest score would get first place. Next high score gets second place. Next high score gets third place.
Very simple but here comes the clincher. What Google then does and which I think is probably one of the fairest things I’ve ever seen in advertising and I believe is the reason why Google has completely excelled from a business point of view. If I was a smarter 18 year old when I started using this I would have put every dime of money that I had into Google shares unfortunately I didn’t which is why I’m still doing a webinar for you today. What has happened here is the Googlebot will only charge you what it costs to beat the person below you much like an auction. If you say you’re prepared to pay a million dollars for a property that you want to buy and the next best bid is only five hundred thousand you’d be mad to pay the million because you could probably get it for 510,000. Very simple.
If you look at the each example A in order to get the best position all it needed to get was a 3.6 because the next best bid was 3.5 the score so Google then works backwards and says your actual bid only needs to be 40 cents because your quality scores so strong and you’ll be able to retain a first-place position. They’re paying a lot less than everybody else. Let’s say advertiser B comes along and says well I want to be first. I now need to get a 3.7 to be the next best score so the 5 out of ten quality score applies and you’ve got 74 cents cost per click bid so paying nearly double what A is to get the same spot. Let’s then say C comes along and says well I want to be first so they now going to get a 3.8 and because their quality score is so low it’s a 2 out of 10 the cost-per-click has to be a 1.9. They’re paying nearly four times, in fact nearly five times as much as advertiser A because their quality score is so low.
Anytime we ever look at a new ad account with a client particularly if they’re spending more than about $500 a month because if you’re spending less than $500 a month getting a 10% improvement is only going to save you $50 and it’s probably not worth the time spent on it. If you’re spending 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 or more a month then 10% improvement start making a big difference in dollar terms. Again keep in mind Google doesn’t want you to know this because if you’re happy to pay them a thousand dollars and they’re happily take it off you.
I’m just going to show you now where to find this information because again they conveniently hide it from the default view. Richard, if you could care to do the screen viewing check test.
Richard: It’s loaded for me.
Gareth: Good stuff so this is a Google ad account and so where you get to the quality score information is down on the left hand side. Under keywords you have search keywords okay and then you then go to columns, modify columns scroll down to the one that says quality score. Tick the one that says quality score and then tick apply. This will then add a column to all of your keywords that tells you how much your quality score is out of ten so this particular example here has a 7 out of ten.
Next one down this has a blank in it and that’s only because the ads haven’t triggered so there hasn’t been any searches for this job development company in New Zealand so there hasn’t been any ads triggered and that’s why the quality score is not shown. So really handy thing to do if you’ve got an ad account make sure you’ve got the quality score on there. Make sure that you are getting as best as you can and if you’re competing in an expensive industry something like law firms I think are the most expensive ones I’ve seen lately or finance when they’re paying in the vicinity of $50 a click. The Quality Score is extremely important because of the cost saving.
Okay I’ll just jump back to our presentation. Hopefully that all made sense. We have done a more detailed Quality Score webinar so if you want to watch it in more detail please send either of us a quick email and we’ll send you the link. No problem. Google in their wisdom are now currently offering some free ads for people. There are quite a lot of conditions. It’s not a massive amount of money but it is free. At the moment any ad account as long as you go through a partner I think which is someone like us then you can get a $150 ad credit once you start triggering some ads. If you are going to do it or you are doing at the moment we can apply the credit on your behalf and you get $150. They do do this from time to time. They certainly don’t give out any more than a couple hundred dollars but it is free money so you might as well.
One little extra little tip that does get a few clients stumbled sometimes is the way that Google charges you and they being a faceless monster everything is done by credit card and everything is done by direct debit. The ads will automatically turn off if that credit card declines and they don’t particularly do a very good job of letting you know if that’s happened. I find you generally don’t know about it until it’s a bit too late. They also have a thousand dollar charge limit so if you’re spending $30,000 a month on ads they will charge you a thousand dollars every day rather than one bill once a month so just make sure that whoever does your accounting or who has the keys to the credit card is on top of that because it can often turn ads off without anyone knowing about it.
Sort of a bit of a naughty practice if you like in the industry is some companies that manage ads on behalf of other client of clients is that they don’t give you access to the ad manager. Then they mark up the cost of the ads because remember you only pay when someone clicks so they make sure that you are actually paying what Google is charging and you’re not paying a margin. I don’t believe that you should be paying a margin on traffic unless that’s how your management fee is put together. Just have a look at that. If you are trying to choose an agency just make sure you’ve picked someone who bills for their time or an outcome rather than a margin because it’s pretty easy for them to rack up the bill pretty quickly and not do hardly anything at all.
Okay so there’s just a question coming from Melissa. Can you please restate the part to add in quality score? Okay sorry Melissa if I did that a bit quickly. I will just share my screen again so everyone can see. Okay so once you’ve got into the Google ad manager which is this on the left hand side go down to keywords and then search keywords. Once that page is loaded then look over to the right-hand side for the little button that says columns over here. Click that and then click modify columns and then you should see this load up. Then it’s hidden right down the bottom called quality score. Here, this one and then make sure you’ve got the first one mentioned quality score ticked and then apply. Then what will happen then is the column will appear on the right-hand side.
If there’s any other questions. Oh we’ve got a thank so that’s good. That means I answered the question. Okay I believe my duties are fulfilled. Back to you Richard.
Richard: Okay, thank you. Just on quality scores. There are three components to quality scores and as Gareth mentioned we did a webinar on this last year. It’s all still very relevant. The three components of what makes up a quality score is your click-through rate, the relevancy and the landing page experience. You can see the scores that Google gives you for each of those in if you add those columns in as well so there we go.
That’s been a quick run-through about how to get better results from Google Ads. The next webinar which is in two weeks’ time is How to Get Better Results from Facebook ads and so there’s a theme here. This is called how to get better results. Someone’s asked a question which says is there a Google Ads for Idiots Beginners’ Guide. I’ve tried a few campaigns and they died quickly. There’s a lot to learn and there’s a lot to know and there probably is a Google Ads for Idiots Guide. Try Googling it but I don’t know. Gareth, how would you answer that one?
Gareth: Personally I would, it’s a very tricky one because it really does take experience and practice. What I recommend to many people if you want to learn and you want to do it yourself spend the time getting the account set up but don’t turn anything on. Play with all the interfaces, get all the keywords in there, set all the campaigns up, set all the ads but don’t turn any of it on so you don’t pay. Then pay someone not necessarily me but someone to go through and check it for you. Whatever you don’t listen to the Google people that call you up and ask to tell you all this wonderful stuff about how they can improve your campaign because all they’re trying to do is sell you more stuff.
You really need to invest the time in it and I would very much encourage anyone who’s willing to DIY this to start with the keyword traffic in the first place and start with Keywords Everywhere which is why I suggested this because you have to know whether or not there’s volume there in the first place and what the keywords are and what the intent of the user was and what they had intended to do. Then you follow that journey through the whole thing. I’m not trying to sell our services. That’s definitely not what I’m suggesting but it’s fraught with danger and particularly with these keyword matching types what looks like a simple little symbol has a huge meaning inside the ad manager from a phrase match point of view, a negative match point of view, location. There’s a loss of options in the menus that are very much hidden if you don’t know that they’re there so it is worth paying someone who does know what they’re doing to check your work if you are going to do something like that.
Richard: Yes and just to add to that as well I said at the start and it may have seemed flippant but it was in fact probably one of the key things. Advertise things that people are searching for. If people aren’t searching for something then there’s very little point in running search ads for them.
Another question’s come in about retargeting. Gareth do you want to just quickly explain what retargeting is.
Gareth: Sure so retargeting is when you go to a website. Let’s say I’m going to buy a woman’s hat not that I plan on wearing one any time soon but if I was going to buy a woman’s hat. Then I went on the website and I had a look at the hats and then I decided that I didn’t want to buy there and then that advertiser could then show me a reminder, half a reminder on my Facebook or my Instagram or something somewhere else on the Internet to remind me to come back. That’s called retargeting. Retargeting or remarketing, same thing that is managed through the Google ad manager. Only shows in the Google Ad Display Network which is Google’s Android devices, any app that has what’s called AdSense. Sorry any website that has AdSense in it. You cannot control remarketing on Facebook or Instagram from the Google Ad manager. A lot of people misunderstand that. You have to set up remarketing from the relevant platform where you want to show those ads.
Richard: Okay and there’s another question about what is a good keyword volume. For example how many searches per a month is worth bothering with?
Gareth: Yes okay. Excellent question. For that question I’m going to share my screen again and go back to Keywords Everywhere. You have to look at the keyword and the likely intent of the user. This woman’s hat is on sale. Okay while the volume is low there’s only ten people a month it’s quite a specific term which means that someone is very likely to want to buy something for that. Even though there’s only a handful of people it would be worth running an ad on that because the intention of those people is very high. You’d likely get very good conversions whereas women’s hats even though there’s a lot of volume the intention there’s going to be people browsing and like I might need a size large so if I click on one of these ads that advertiser has paid however if they don’t have a hat that’s a large one then me, the user is not going to buy it. Don’t necessarily chase after the volume but avoid the ones that don’t have any volume.
If they are a zero like if you’re a company that is planning on selling women’s hats don’t just go and order 10,000 blue ones without checking whether or not there’s anyone looking for it because this is helping you work out what the market wants. If you’re looking for a new product to sell go and check the volume particularly if you’re an e-commerce business. It’s very handy from that point of view.
Richard: Gareth if you just want to just show what’s on the right-hand side of your screen there with related keywords that people also search for because this is part of Keywords Everywhere, the information that you get on your browser page so this this comes from that.
Gareth: When you type in a keyword if you have Keywords Everywhere turned on then it also suggest some other words and it gives you the volumes in a bit of a table format. This is pretty handy for getting keyword ideas like say blue woman’s hats. People do want beige hats or beige caps sorry or red hats. It helps you kind of think about what the user is wanting to find.
Richard: There’s a lot of additional information there and it’s such a simple tool. As Gareth mentioned you do pay a little bit. I think it’s something like $20 or $10 for about a hundred thousand bits of information so it’s very good value as a research tool. Our guys who do this work all the time use other tools in addition to it but this is a handy tool for just having an initial piece of research is really very helpful.
Okay well that’s probably about it. If there’s any more questions please feel free to add them in now or send us an email afterwards. We will we’ll wrap up now. Thank you very much for coming along. As Gareth mentioned this has hopefully being recorded. It will be loaded up on to our YouTube channel and will be added to our website. We also do get these transcribed so if you want to see more information and be able to read it through and get more clarity on it. Feel free to see that see the replay webinar on our website. Thanks again everybody. Thank You Gareth. That was a good session and hopefully you got a lot from it. Thank you Melissa and Tony and other people for your questions. Much appreciated. Have a great day everybody and all the best. Thank you.
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