2022 Google Ads Checklist: Understand PPC and Make Great Ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising via Google Ads is one of the best ways to gain immediate exposure for your business. This is true now more than ever after the boost that Covid-19 gave to online shopping.
We have seen the tools customers shop with evolve in a very short time. Even after the Covid restrictions concluded, customers are online more. It's imperative to promote your products in their new favorite marketplace.
Still, PPC advertising requires specialized research and experience to do right. So, let's break down the following:
- What pay-per-click marketing is
- Why you should consider using PPC
We'll follow this with our recommended 2022 Google Ads checklist for your pay-per-click ad campaign.
What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?
The basics of pay-per-click advertising are self-explanatory. You pay for every click you receive on ads for your business.
There is, of course, more nuance to PPC advertising than that. You control where your ads show up around the web, what they look like, and the amount you would like to spend per month.
You can read our full breakdown in March's monthly tip 'SEO vs PPC: How They Work to Increase Qualified Leads.'
The Benefits of PPC Advertising With the Google Ads Platform
Our PPC strategy experts only uses Google Ads for our pay-per-click campaigns.
Why Google Ads?
Google has invested incredible amounts of money into its paid ad service—it shows. Google Ads is very capable and customizable. We've found that Google Ad's raw power and extensive integration across other properties are invaluable.
It makes sense that Google Ads is the standard that third-party PPC ad platforms strive to meet. Still, the flexibility of Google’s ad service does come at the cost of a steep learning curve.
So, our digital marketing professionals work hard to be experts in Google Ads.
The Benefits of PPC Advertising
We recommend using Google’s ad service for your pay-per-click advertisements. We've found that Google Ads is the better option because:
- Search ads convert better
- PPC helps you scale globally
- Google is always improving their ads platform
- Google ads are a wealth of data
We've broken down each reason below.
SEARCH ADS CONVERT BETTER
Pay-per-click advertisements place your advertisement high on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Your SERP results have a positive effect on conversions. In fact, we learned that PPC often leads to a 50% higher conversion rate vs organic traffic.
PPC HELPS YOU SCALE GLOBALLY
Google’s PPC advertisement platform allows regional audience targeting. You can limit where your ads display by zip code, state, country, and various stages in-between.
Google users make close to 2 trillion searches per year. So, no matter where you’re advertising, you’ll have strong and consistent traffic.
GOOGLE IS ALWAYS IMPROVING THEIR ADS PLATFORM
Google is always improving its ad service tools. Google Ads alone made up 85% of their parent company, Alphabet’s, revenue in 2021. So, Alphabet made upwards of $61.2 billion from its ad service alone.
For this reason, Google’s ad team reinvests in its PPC ad service platform. Google Ads will only get better as time goes on.
GOOGLE ADS ARE A WEALTH OF DATA
More than any other ad service program, Google Ads provides a wealth of user activity data. Google ad campaigns provide you with information about:
- Where customers go on your site
- How many times site visitors take pre-defined actions (conversions)
- The pages they visit once they land on your site
- And much more
Why? Google wants you to succeed and become a returning customer.
All you need to do to get this useful data is to tell Google’s tracking code where to look on your website.
Your 2022 Google Ads Checklist
Okay! Now you know why you should run Google Ads for your next PPC campaign. It’s time to learn how.
An effective PPC campaign is a combination of social science and data analysis. The most important and time-intensive part of your PPC campaign is marketing strategy. You need to understand who your customers are and what your customers will be looking for.
So, most of the items on our Google Ads Checklist focus on understanding your customers. To create a successful PPC ad, follow these steps:
1. Define Your PPC Campaign’s Audience
The audience you target with your ad copy is everything. Are you trying to appeal to new retirees? Young professionals? Pull different information to set up your Google Ads campaign based on your answer.
Our team of digital marketers is well-versed in the art of understanding audiences by demographics and intention. That expertise drives our PPC and keyword decisions.
2. Decide on the Goal of your Google Ad Campaign
Now you know who your audience is, it’s time to decide how you want to reach them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want to always be present in your customer’s feeds?
- Do you want to augment your e-commerce site with posts that show up on Google’s shopping page?
- Are you selling one product or several products?
- Is this an isolated push or a constant effort?
Once you’ve answered those questions, you’ll know whether you need display ads, search ads or shopping ads. These questions will also help you understand if you need one ad group or several.
One of Our Search Ads
3. Define Keywords for Your PPC Campaign
We’re still in the information-gathering phase of your PPC campaign. Now, you’ll want to gather keywords that align with your PPC campaign’s goal. There are different kinds of keywords. Depending on the words you choose, you can target intentions like:
- Intent to buy
- Intent to learn
- Intent to find a specific item
Target a series of keywords that match your offerings and goals.
Our PPC experts work with specialized tools to find keywords for our marketing clients. But you're welcome to research this information yourself—to an extent. Make educated guesses and check how close you are by searching Google.
Now, gather the keywords you would like to target into a list—preparing them for your Google Ads campaign.
4. Assess Your Website’s Quality Score
Every website gets a ‘Quality Score’ from Google. A quality score indicates the user experience your site offers to customers. Three factors influence quality scores:
- Click-through rates
- Webpage quality
- Your ad’s relevance to the page it links to
The better your quality score, the better your ad rank, and the more your ad will display.
Our Page Speed Insights Score
If this PPC campaign is your first, you will be in control of the second two aspects. You will earn a click-through rate score as you run ad campaigns.
Increase your web page's quality by improving your on-page and technical SEO optimization. A well-optimized page will also be likely be more relevant to any ads you run.
5. Gather Your PPC Ad Assets
Now, gather the images you would like to use in your display ads and the text for your search ads. The more images and text variations you can gather for your PPC campaigns, the better.
6. Build Ad Groups for Your PPC Campaign
Now, it’s time to build your campaigns! Create your Google Ads account and start building out advertisements.
Make sure they stay within Google’s ad policy when creating your ad copy. Google Ads will do a lot to help you create your first ad.
Like images, the more caption options you can give Google's ad service, the better. That's where hiring a team of professionals comes in handy—good ad copy takes a lot of experience to write!
7. Set Your PPC Campaign’s Budget
Google provides you with the budget they believe will serve you best, but you're free to choose any budget amount.
Meeting or exceeding Google’s recommended budget often gives you the best results.
The amount you budget for your ad spend impacts how often your ad can appear. Each time your ad appears, you are committing a set amount of money if a user clicks. So, higher budgets often steal prime positions from lower-budget PPC ads.
Our PPC marketing team recommends an ad spend budget at the start of your campaign. We build that budget from Google's data and our professional experience with PPC ads.
8. Set Your Google Ad Extensions
Google ad extensions control where your ads lead to or what they prompt your potential customers to do. Extensions can be links to product pages, main site pages, your phone number, etc.
You can set many extensions for PPC ads to use. So, choose the ad extensions that make sense for your business.
One of Our Search Ads Using the Extensions We Defined
9. Ongoing Management For Your PPC Ad Campaigns
Watch out for the following once you launch your PPC campaign:
- Low-performing ad descriptions
- Impressions vs. click-through rates
We recommend regular keyword targeting refinements and tweaks to low-performing phrasing. The language you use will go a long way to maximizing the performance of your ads.
For this reason, our PPC marketing team offers several pay-per-click management plan options. We can help you create, manage, and optimize your Google ad campaigns no matter the industry or goal.
If you would like to start a PPC campaign and don’t have the time to follow this checklist, please reach out! Our PPC digital marketing team would love to help.