We live in the age of the Fourth Industrial revolution (4I), better known as the digital or internet age. Of course, we all remember from high school the profound impact factories and steam power had on forever changing human society, but while this was the first Industrial Revolution, it was not the last. The second came about with Henry Ford and how he perfected the assembly line and optimized vehicle production by creating the field of Industrial Engineering. What is now known as the third Industrial Revolution came about with robotics in the ’70s, and that brings us to the 21st century.
The beauty of the internet is it allows people to reach practically anyone, however, the downside is it is very hard to stand out. Herein is the importance of using GoogleAds – giving Google the context to target your potential customers. GoogleAds campaigns target exactly what keywords you have identified for your campaign. Sure, you budgeted money and chose your keywords for Google to display your ads on relevant search queries, but this is not enough to be successfully found in this day and age. To effectively generate leads for your small to medium business (SMB), the smart and savvy SMB owner needs to choose the right keywords to create the best keyword contextual ads in order to get your ad in front of the correct audience. The following suggestions are some that can help you take your Google Ads campaign to the next level and generate more, and better, leads.
To find the right keywords for your Google Ads campaign you need to research related topics. Google’s keyword planner tool within the Google Ads platform is a powerful tool to capitalize on. The easiest thing to do is to type your industry or main target keyword into Google’s keyword planner right within Google Ads and see what related search terms are recommended. Assemble your list, say of 20 related terms and topics and then run an Ads campaign. For example, if you are a pet store owner, sure you sell pets and pet-related products, but consider what people do with pets – they play with them (to name a simple example). People walk their dogs and need leashes, leashes you sell. A related topic for your campaign to target then is “dog walking”. Keywords, like language usage in general, change and can go stale. Be sure to update your list of keywords periodically to always ensure you are using the most relevant search terms.
By creating a list of products and services, you have a list of keywords, a list that sets you up for the cyclic nature of the calendar year. This is important because many search queries are seasonal in nature. The savvy SMB owner knows the importance of capitalizing on these seasonal trends. Back to the pet store owner example, the keyword “gift” or “present” and related terms should be most used during the holiday season, when people are most concerned with buying gifts. Yes, a puppy is a wonderful gift all year, but the “gift” keyword is most relevant during the winter season.
Let your creativity run wild when you compile your list of keyword and topics. Celebrities are adored by legions of fans, and if a famous one happened to adopt a specific breed of dog, then you should capitalize on this trend and insert that celebrity’s name and that dog breed into your campaign when their followers inevitably want to adopt a similar dog!
When it comes to generating leads, it is important to be aware of the context. Negative keywords may sound confusing, but it is worth fully understanding the impact they can have – they exclude search terms from your Google Ads campaigns and help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers, resulting in better targeting, increasing your ROI and generating higher quality leads for you. A negative keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase, known as a negative match.
The most obvious example of a negative keyword to add to your campaign or ad group is “free”. This is how your inform Google Ads not to show your ad for any user whose searches contain the term “free.” Returning to the pet store analogy from earlier – a negative keyword for fish and fish related products might be sushi. You do not want your ad to appear in the context of someone eating fish. Therefore sushi is a great negative keyword to add to your Google Ads campaign.
Negative keywords are case literal for Google Ads campaigns – they match exclusively on what you input. For the pet store owner, a negative keyword might be “tiger” because you do not sell those, but “tiger” is not the same as “tigers” and your ad potentially could be shown by Google when a user queries “tigers”.
User intent is a context heavy area to consider for an effective SMB owner running an effective Google Ads campaign. One of the most crucial factors in your business’s ability to rank well on Google and other search engines is to master the concept of the user’s search intent. What is the problem needing to be solved? Keywords often have many different meanings in many different contexts and people often lack the knowledge of the proper keywords to query Google for. Therefore, generating leads needs to be considered from the lens that your ad is a solution to a problem the user did not explicitly state.
Consider the pet store owner who offers classes for dog training. The keyword “obedience school” lends itself to dog training and the person likely means to search for dog training classes but did not explicitly type that keyword phrase. Or when our example pet store owner is researching the keyword phrase “dog walking” for related search terms. The intent behind this phrase can vary, but it could mean someone who queries “dog walking” is looking for guidance on dog training. You offer pet training classes and therefore the intent can be more broadly interpreted as “pet training”. If your Ads campaign or content strategy only targets people interested in “dog walking” you miss out on the broader intent and are then competing with the more unrelated concepts of “dog walking services” and reviews of parks that allow dogs to be off-leash.
Piggybacking on the searcher’s intent section above, knowing what people are searching for is important, and knowing how you are going to solve their problem is equally so. Test different calls to action that align with your businesses. If you are a plumbing company, your searchers will most likely have an urgency for your service. “Call Now” will likely out-perform “Learn More”.
This graphic from Wordstream breaks down the most common and successful Calls to Actions seen in Google Ads.
When someone clicks on your Google Ad, what happens? Sending people to your home page, where they have to search for the information again, isn’t nearly as useful as sending someone to a page that is exactly what they are looking for. Another good example of this, let’s say you want to promote your dog training classes through Google Ads. Sending someone to your homepage will not yield you nearly as good of results as sending someone to a dedicated page on your dog training classes with testimonials, costs, schedule, and an option to sign-up.
Other considerations for your landing page, include page speed if your website is outdated, difficult to navigate, or calls to action are difficult to find. Half the battle is getting people to your site and if you don’t have a professional/modern website, those efforts are often wasted.
There is a ton more research on the best landing pages for Google Ads, and you can learn more here about some best practices for a high-converting landing page.
Where are people physically located when they are searching for your business? If you’re a local business, you hopefully will have already set up your ads to only show in a specific area. It’s no good to have your ads show up in Miami, Florida if your business is located in Seattle, Washington.
But, did you know that you can optimize even further? If you’ve set up targeting around a city and you aren’t seeing the results you would like, try setting up a radius around that city to include a more targeted geographical area based on where your business is located. You can even target down to a specific zip code!
Now that you have the where you need to define the HOW. Do you know if people would be more likely to be searching from a mobile device or a desktop for your business or service? If your ads have been running for a little while, take a look and see which is performing better. Adjust your bid according to the device that is generating a higher click-through rate as well as more leads.
Scheduling your Google Ads, or “dayparting” is a feature that you can use to schedule when your ads are shown. For example, if you have a physical storefront and have set hours, you can schedule your ads to run only when your store is open. You can get really specific here as well i.e. showing ads between 7-11 am and then again from 4-8 pm. There’s a lot of room for efficiencies and all it takes is a little time to discover which moments are best to capture your ideal audience.
Once your ads have been running for a while, you will have access to data that will tell you how well they are performing. Using that information, you will be able to make decisions to further optimize your ads by filtering out the keywords that are yielding the most phone call and signups on your website and allow you to increase the bid amount to you spend on those. This is a huge area for opportunity and if you’re using conversion tracking, don’t know how to set up or have general questions of finding the best ways to track conversion performance, get in touch. We’re data nerds and love helping business owners optimize their campaigns for the right goals i.e. phone call and signup conversions.
As much as we’d love Google Ads to be a set-it-and-forget-it platform, it’s not. Check-in weekly to make sure your ads are still running well and look for any areas for improvement.
Know your keywords and weed out any negative keywords that you don’t want your ads to be shown. Know your audience, their pain points, and how you plan to solve their problems.
Be clear with your ad copy and your landing page. And of course, test, test, test!
This is just a sample of things you can do to generate more leads from your Google Ads campaigns. If you have questions or would like a free audit of your account, contact us and we’ll find additional areas to help your campaign run more effectively.