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2021 Guide For Setting Up Profitable Google Ad Campaigns

Google Ad Campaigns

 

Google is dominating the internet, and in this day and age, that means the world.

 

I think it would be a safe bet to say they are going to be here for a while. 

 

Google has access to so much data on everyone and they monetize this data by offering businesses to purchase advertisements that reach the right people. 

 

If you own a business you should be advertising on Google. 

 

Google allows advertising on multiple different platforms that can help benefit any type of business. 

 

For this article, we are going to be focusing on Google Search Ads (A.K.A. Pay Per Click “PPC”). 

 

PPC is usually the first step in SEM (Search Engine Marketing) where you can pay for Google to put your website first in a Google search. 

 

For example, getting the 1st spot on Google for the search term “A/C Company In (Your City)” may be hard to achieve. 

 

This would require a lot of Search Engine Optimization or SEO to gain rank on Google. 

 

Or the easier way is to just pay for it. 

 

Here is an example of a Google Ad. 

 

They look like normal search results but you can see they are stamped with the word “Ad” 

Google Search Results

If you can’t see the benefit of being number one in Google, you must not know how many people use Google every day. 

 

There are about 3.5 Billion Google Searches done every day.

 

In most industries, you can expect close to 1,000 to 100,000 clicks per month being number one. 

 

Example:

 

Let’s say you are a smaller advertiser and you pay about $20 per day on Google. 

 

This budget gives you close to 1,000 clicks on your website each month.

 

Out of these 1,000 clicks, 800 visitors actually make it to your site. 

 

800 visitors lead to only 20 estimate requests.

 

Out of these 20, only 10 were qualified leads and converted into customers. 

 

You spent about $600 and converted 10 new customers. 

 

Now reading the example above you might have noticed something. 

 

Depending on the profit margin of your products, the example above may not be that great of a deal. 

 

The beauty of advertising on Google is everything can be personalized and changed to fit your business’s exact needs. 

 

If you are exploring the option of starting to advertise or you are trying to make your ads more profitable, the following article can help you change your customer acquisition process. 

 

Important Questions Before Advertising

 

The Google Ad campaign process or really any advertising campaign process starts with strategy and ideas. 

 

It is really important to ask yourself these questions.

 

Also, it may be a good idea to have a peer review these questions before any money is spent on advertising. 

 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How much are you willing to spend? (Ad budgets should be pretty liberal and looked at as a recurring monthly investment, but never spend more than you can afford to lose)
  • What is your break-even point? (How much money would you need to gain from the campaign for the campaign to break even?) 
  • What are your goals for the campaign? (How many sales, how much money, how many new email list subscribers, etc.) 
  • Who are you trying to target? (The more defined your audience is the better the results) For example, one of my clients is a CBD company that targets veterans for muscle relief with an ad campaign. This is very specific but it allows us to make very directed messaging that resonates with the target audience. 
  • What are you offering? (How are you going to reel in the big fish? You need an offer that is almost impossible to refuse for your target audience) 

 

After you feel confident in the answers to these questions it is time to start strategizing your Google Ad campaign. 

 

 

Google Ads are very effective for “intent-based” businesses. 

 

When I say intent-based, I mean businesses that customers could be anyone who is actively seeking your services, regardless of demographic. 

 

For example, personal injury leads could be anyone who just had a car accident and now is searching for an “attorney in my area”. 

 

For personal injury attorneys, it would be unwise to only target elderly women because a young man could also find himself in need of an attorney. 

 

*Unless the attorney had separate campaigns for each demographic.

 

This is why I call these types of businesses “intent-based”. 

 

Google also allows you to utilize not only search ads but display ads and video ads. 

 

This is very helpful for reaching your target audience most effectively.

 

If your budget allows it, I would highly recommend using each of these mediums for your Google Ad campaign. 

 

Usually, the basic approach would be to start with a Google search ad and when people visit your website you should retarget/remarket them with the display or video ads across the internet.

 

Setting Your Goals

 

Before any ad campaign, you need to have very clear goals set.

 

“We want to reach 30 sign-ups in a month” 

 

“We need 15 new purchases per week” 

 

It is important to set a quantitative goal (Number) and a temporal goal (Time). 

 

“We want to hit ______ by _______ .”

 

It is very important to be realistic with your first campaign. 

 

I would recommend for the first 2-3 months to set your goal as your break-even point. 

 

Then with daily optimizations and the help of Google’s machine learning, you will be able to reevaluate your goals from a better place. 

 

Target Audience Creation 

 

Earlier in this article, I said it would be unwise for an attorney to only target elderly women. 

 

This is true if the law firm is only running one campaign. 

 

If you want to start segmenting or breaking up your audience, you should create separate ad groups tailored to each age group.

 

For example, you should have ad groups for young and old, men and women. 

 

This only applies to a handful of businesses that are intent-based (Attorneys, Doctors, Contractors, etc.) 

 

The more specific the messaging is in your ad the higher the Click Through Rate (CTR) will be.

 

A higher CTR gives you more opportunities to convert. 

Keyword Research

 

Within Google, they have a fantastic Keyword Research Tool.

 

This platform may be confusing at first but it really helps create profitable Google Ad campaigns. 

 

Type in, either a big competitor’s website URL or enter a related keyword that is popular in your industry that your audience would search for.

 

If you sell shoes, you would type in “Shoes” or “Footwear”

 

If you sell subscription juice packages, you would type in “Juice Cleanse”. 

 

Other examples could be “Vintage Clothing”, “Photography”, “car accident not at fault”. 

 

Google will then give you a list of related keywords, how much monthly search volume they get, how competitive it is, and how much will it cost to beat all your competitors for that keyword. 

 

See below an example of a Keyword Research report from Google for “Leather Boots”:

Google Keyword Research Tool

 

For this example of leather boots, you can see there is a lot of search volume each month for people looking for boots to purchase. 

 

If you look to the right of this screenshot you can see the top of page bid is less than $2. 

 

This means you can set a fairly low budget for this campaign and still see results for your hypothetical shoe store. 

 

For your business, collect a list of 10-20 keywords at first to target. 

 

If your budget is low I would recommend only using keywords that are listed as “Low” or “Medium” under the “Competition” column. 

 

How Google Ads Work

 

Google ads, and most advertising platforms, operate on a bidding system. 

 

Whoever has the highest bid wins. 

 

Your bid is set within your daily budget. 

 

Google will use your daily budget until it runs out and the way they use this budget is by bidding on live search queries. 

 

If the top of page bid for a keyword is $10 and you have a daily budget of $50, you can expect to be on the top of the search results for 5 search queries each day. 

 

You will show up more than 5 times in searches but most likely not as the first result. 

 

Sometimes Google will give you a notification on your campaigns saying 1 of two things:

 

“Limited By Search Volume” 

Or

“Limited By Budget” 

 

“Limited By Search Volume” would mean you need to add more keywords, ad groups, ads, or expand to Google search partners. 

 

Luckily for “Limited By Search Volume”, this signal means you can expand your ads within your daily budget. 

 

For “Limited By Budget”, you may need to increase your budget. 

 

This can sound scary but what this means is you have more opportunities to sell because a lot of people are searching for businesses like yours. 

 

For example, if you have a budget of $20 per day and a conversion rate of 3%, if you raise your budget to $40 per day your conversion rate should, at the least, stay 3%. 

 

Meaning you will be getting more conversions at a similar cost. 

 

Keeping track of your Google Ad campaigns regularly is the best way to monitor performance, however, looking at campaign performance every day and making a lot of optimizations could do more harm than good. 

 

I like to look into my campaigns only twice a week.

 

The first time I go into a campaign I only monitor performance and I note suggestions for optimizations. 

 

Then later in the week, I revisit the campaign and if performance has not changed I will make the changes to the campaign I wrote down earlier that week. 

 

If something is not broken don’t fix it. 

 

If your campaign is doing good, for the most part, I would not make regular optimizations for the risk of hurting your overall performance. 

 

Setting Up Your Google Ads Campaign

 

Google Tag Manager

 

Before you begin setting up your campaign it is very important you do not skip this small step.

 

Conversion tracking.

 

When you spend money on ads and you start to see traffic flood your website, it is smart to know which traffic came from where.

 

Also, this will help Google’s machine learning optimize your campaign conversions.

 

In other words, Google will be able to find more people that are likely to convert to show your ad.

 

Google Tags are also helpful when building retargeting or remarketing audiences.

 

Make sure your G-Tag is properly set up before your first Google ad campaign goes live.

 

This is the single most important step for your campaign to be profitable.

 

Create Your Campaign

 

Hopefully, before you are ready to click the “+ New Campaign” button, you came up with a strategy, an offer, a target audience, a budget, keywords, and copy. 

 

Now it’s time to pull all those things together and build your first Google Ad.

 

If you have a Google account you should already have access to the Google Ads platform. 

 

If you do not use Google for email, this is a great time to set up your Google account

 

Once you are in the Google Ads dashboard, click “+ New Campaign” in the upper left of the screen. 

Google Campaign Goal

 

You should see these 8 boxes with different objectives on them. 

 

It is important to select the proper objective for your Google Ad campaign so Google’s machine learning can self-optimize to help you reach your targets. 

 

For this example campaign, I am going to select “Website Traffic”. 

 

Google Ad Types

Now that you have selected the goal, it is time to select the campaign type. 

 

Select Campaign Type

 

Search 

Search ads are promoted on Google Search Listings. These are the most used Google Ads and are great for intent-based businesses. In other words, if people search for your products or services, search ads can help you. 

 

Display

Display ads are great for using creative design to capture the eye of your target audience. For this type of Google Ad campaign, you would upload different dimensions of ad creative and select which type of websites you want to advertise on. Personally, I like to use a combination of Search ads and Display ads to make sure my clients are everywhere their target audience is. 

 

Shopping

Shopping campaigns are pretty cool. You would upload your product list to your Google Merchant account. Then select the product list within Google Ads. Google will create individual ads for each product and route clicks to the exact landing page of that product. For example, one of my clients is a skincare company and we utilize Search, Display, and Shopping campaigns for this one client. 

 

Video

Video ads are basically YouTube ads. These are very powerful if you are able to say what you need to say within the first 5 seconds before someone chooses to skip. Google also gives the option to show your video ads to more people on different websites. 

Discovery

Discovery campaigns really help expand your brand’s awareness and reach more people. It utilizes a lot of the other forms of campaigns to reach one common goal. 

 

For this article, I am going to select the Search campaign option. 

 

Now we have to set the first landing page we are promoting. 

 

A lot of novice advertisers will use a company’s homepage and this is a great way to not convert anyone. 

 

If you can, you should create personalized landing pages for each target audience. It is important to write your ads as the introduction to the story, then when someone clicks the ad, the landing page should pick up right where the ad left off. 

 

If you have a landing page, enter the URL here. 

 

Select Campaign Settings

General Settings

 

Next up is selecting where your ads want to be displayed. 

 

Despite popular belief, more is not always better.

 

The more tailored your messaging is, is the main thing that will help your conversion rates.

Google Goal Settings

 

If you are not running any programmatic advertising or display ads, I think using Google’s Display Network can really help reach the right audience. 

 

Imagine you search for a business, you click the first result (which is an ad), but you are not completely sold on the product. 

 

Display ads can help stay in front of your audience and eventually lead to sales. 

 

For example, this works very well for a Bowling Alley client. 

 

We remind people about bowling being an option for a fun night (I forget about bowling all the time). 

 

This helps warm up a bigger audience to the ads and gives more opportunities to sell. 

 

However, if you do not have properly designed creative I would recommend just starting with Search Network 

 

More Settings

 

This is the section where you can set the start and end dates of your Google Ad campaign, edit URL options, dynamic search ad settings, and ad schedule. 

More Settings

 

All these things can be edited later but the one I wanted to touch on is the Edit URL option.

 

A lot of the campaigns I run are elaborate and are utilizing several platforms at the same time.

 

When we get a conversion on a client’s site it is hard to know what platform made the conversion (without a proper attribution platform like Wizaly). 

 

So to help know where the conversion came from I create different UTMs (or URLs) for each platform using Google’s URL Campaign Builder

 

If you are running a campaign on Facebook and also Google, I would recommend adding “Facebook” or “Google” to the Campaign Source line of the Google UTM. 

 

I would do the same if you send email blasts. The Campaign Source should be “email”. 

 

Let me know how this works for you if you try it!  

 

Targeting and Audiences

 

This section, for the most part, is self-explanatory. 

 

If you only sell products in Florida, select Florida. 

 

Select your city, if you only sell services in your city.

 

The same with selling nationwide, select your country. 

 

If you are writing ads in different languages, enter in all the language variations you are wanting to include. 

 

Sometimes in South Florida, we run Spanish campaigns along with English campaigns to reach everyone we can. 

 

As for the Audiences section, this section can be edited later on in the campaign but if you know who you are targeting (which you should if you made it this far), it is important to select the audiences that most closely match your target audience. 

 

You can target the business industry, parental status, hobbies, and more. 

 

I always use an “Observation” audience. This lets you monitor the performance of the audience, while at the same time it will deliver your ads to people you have not targeted but are showing interest in your products or service. 

 

“Targeting” can help if your audience is very defined but it may limit the impressions your campaign could get. 

 

An expert strategy would be to set up a few Observation audiences, then later down the line only target the best performers. 

 

Budget and Bidding

 

All digital advertising works on a bidding system. 

 

Meaning whoever in your industry is paying the most, is going to get the majority of the impressions. 

 

There are ways to combat this, like being very specific in your targeting and messaging, but for the most part, the highest bid wins.

 

Budget and bidding

Set a daily budget that you are comfortable with. 

 

Also, keep in mind the keyword research we did earlier in this article to know what a good budget would be for your industry. 

 

Side note: I have explained to a lot of clients that with Google, they spend “An Average” each day. Some days you might spend 3x your daily budget, and other days only spend 1% of it. Within the course of the month, you should have spent your (Daily Budget X 30.5). 

 

Now for the bidding section, most of the time I focus on Conversions. 

 

Duh, right? 

 

We want sales and money! 

 

But I select the “Conversion Value” option so I can set a Target ROAS or Return On Ad Spend.

 

If your account is new and has no previous conversions, you may not be able to select this option. In that case, just select “Conversions”.

 

At the beginning of each campaign, I usually set a Target ROAS of 100% which means I am trying to break even (later on in the campaign you can slowly raise this target). 

 

To explain the Target ROAS formula, if every $1 I spend in ads I want $1 back in revenue, that would be 100% ROAS. 

 

If I wanted $5 in revenue for every $1 I spent on ads, that would be 500% ROAS. 

 

Remember, you can’t just set Target ROAS to a million and become rich overnight. 

 

Google has machine learning that needs to take time to learn your strategy and what works best.

 

Target at 100% Target ROAS if you have not run an ad before and raise this 10% every two weeks. 

 

Ad Extensions

 

This section is very important and often overlooked

 

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions make your ad physically bigger on people’s screens. 

 

This helps attract attention to your ad, and proper messaging should help you get a lot more clicks. 

 

I would recommend going through and adding each type of extension to your ad. Google will walk you through each one. 

 

For example, if you are a landscaper, you could add Sitelinks on similar but different services than what you are advertising. 

 

You may be advertising general Lawn Maintenance, but you can add Sitelinks for Weed Eating, Edging, Mosquito Repelling, or Grass Seeding. Which may help more people click on your ad.

 

Click “Save and Continue” and let’s get to the fun part!

 

Set Up Ad Groups

 

Your ad group can be looked at as your ad set (Facebook) or the keywords you are targeting. 

 

Before you reach this point you should have already done some sort of keyword research, as we spoke about earlier in this article. 

 

You can choose 2 types of Ad Groups: Standard or Dynamic. 

 

Both are great options for different reasons. 

 

Standard ad groups allow you to have more control over your Google campaign but they are more work while managing. 

 

Dynamic ad groups are led by Google’s machine learning. You have fewer fields to enter and less control, but most of the time Google knows what it’s doing. 

 

I typically use Standard ad groups because they allow for a lot more control on my end when running these campaigns, especially since I do my keyword research first. 

 

When you first start a campaign I would recommend creating at least 2 different ad groups to start testing. 

 

For example, if you are a dentist I would create an ad group for teeth cleanings and general dental health keywords, and another ad group for dental surgeries or more severe dental problem keywords. 

 

Create Ads

 

Each ad group is going to have advertisements within them. 

 

Here is a better visualization:

Google Campaign Structure

I like to use 2 ad groups and 2 ads within each ad group so we can start testing performance. (This is the key to a profitable Google Ads Campaign).

 

For the most part, Google walks you through the ad copy process. 

 

Good campaigns already have the copy ready before you get to this point, but in the case that you don’t, here’s what you need to know:

 

Always think in terms of the target audience wants:

  • What are they searching for?
  • Which exact words or phrases are they typing in
  • Of the various benefits of your products, which one are they looking for
  • What would make your ad stand out among your competitors (Usually price) 

 

Write headlines that incorporate your chosen keywords so they are the most relevant results for your target audience. 

 

The most important thing to look for when creating Google ads is this box here:

 

Google Ad Strength

 

You want to make sure all 4 ads you create have an “Excellent” score. 

 

Google favors ads with Excellent scores and will show your ads more often. This is the easiest way to make sure your campaign will be a success. 

 

Also, a very advanced tip you can implement is to use dynamic keyword insertion in your headlines. 

 

This is where you can set a keyword to be used in your ad that was the exact keyword used when the searcher typed in their query.

 

For example, if you are selling clothes online you can create a headline that says exactly this: “Sale On {Keyword: Shirt}”. 

 

Google will replace “{Keyword: Shirt}” with what the searcher typed in. 

 

The searcher may type in “Cute White Polka Dotted Shirts”

 

Then your ad will display saying “Sale On White Polka Dotted Shirts” 

 

Using this method will greatly increase your Click-Through Rate (CTR). 

 

Save and Continue and you are done with the initial Google Campaign Set Up.

 

The Trick To Profitable Google Ad Campaigns

 

Now that your campaign is properly set up it is time for the tricky part. 

 

Now comes the optimizations. 

 

This process is tedious and sometimes frustrating. 

 

Remember in elementary school when you had to do science projects? 

 

Well for your manipulated variable you need a constant. 

 

Before you make any changes to your campaign you need to wait at least 5 days for your ads to get enough data before you can start optimizing things. 

 

I use a simple method of cutting the fat and reallocating the budget to better performers. 

 

This is why I set up the campaign with 4 ads within 2 ad groups. 

 

You should see the better-performing ad within each ad group, and also the better-performing ad group overall. 

 

Simply put, I would pause the ads that are not performing well, and then recreate the better performing ad under the same ad group with slight differences to test. 

 

Over time you should have a high-performing campaign from weekly optimizations. 

 

I would also do the same with the ad groups, keywords, demographic information, and days and times. 

 

A few campaigns I have stopped spending on Weekends and overall we started seeing higher conversion rates because we stopped wasting money on days that no one converted. 

 

Some campaigns stopped targeting women because 91% of conversions came from men. Conversions overall increased. 

 

Do you see what I’m getting at? 

 

Over time you should cut the fat (what isn’t working) and move the budget to what is working. 

 

You should only make 1 major adjustment per week so you can wait to see if this optimization made a positive or negative change in performance. 

 

Advertising is an investment and not a “project”. 

 

You should start with a budget you are comfortable spending and slowly increase spend month over month or quarter over quarter. 

 

I would recommend increasing ad spend by 5%-10% each month. Or 15%-25% every quarter. 

 

An increase in budget will allow you to reach more customers, while at the same time, strengthening your campaign with weekly optimizations. 

 

As I stated earlier in this article, I would recommend setting the goal of breaking even at first. 

 

Some campaigns that are set up properly and have a great and unique offer can achieve that within the first week but it is unlikely.

 

To help you set expectations, I would say if you can break even for the first 3 months you are on track for a solid advertising campaign. 

 

Around month 3 or 4 is when you can start to see regular profit from the campaign and each month after that your profit margin or ROAS should increase regularly with weekly optimizations. 

 

As always, if you are running a campaign and encountering an issue, you can always drop me a line to get my opinion on what the roadblock is. 

 

Drop me a line here.

 

I hope you found value in this article. 

 

Make sure to bookmark it to refer back to the information here. 

 

This is a living document that gets updated regularly so you can be assured this is an accurate source of information. 

 

If you made it to the end of this article, I applaud you. 

 

You have done what most of your competitors wouldn’t do.

 

Now I know firsthand that running a business is not always glorious and can be very draining.

 

I have also learned if you want something done right you hire a professional. 

 

If you would like for me to run your ads for you and take the stress away of managing your own campaign you can work with me with the Big Sea team. 

 

Use this contact form to set up a discovery call with your business to start bringing in those big ROAS!

 

-Brenden The Marketer

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