Google Ads is the paid part of SEM (search engine marketing) on Google, like what other platforms propose for paid search. It is complémentary to SEO and allows you to develop your business by making yourself known to customers and reaching the right audience at the right time.
Google Ads is a very efficient way to generate traffic on your website. This is a paid service of course but has the advantage of being adaptable to any company’s budget. Every second, no less than 2.3 million searches are made on Google. The vast majority of these search pages contain Google Ads. This shows the potential of visibility that this service offers. Google Ads is a sure fast way to get relevant and qualified traffic towards the products or services you sell. These ads can also be displayed on other sites via the Display Network and the Google AdSense program.
To better understand the difference between paid and organic ads, here is an example of a Google results page. The first ad is a paid ad (it can be distinguished only by the small green insert under the title of the site); the 4th link below is an organic link.
The Google Ads that appear on the Display Network are available in text, image and video formats and allow for different targeting thanks to remarketing (or retargeting). The AdSense ads will appear in dedicated areas proposed by participating websites.
Ads are displayed according to a bidding system. Advertisers bid on a number of keywords they have chosen or from lists proposed by the keyword planning tool. These keywords must be relevant and correspond to what Internet users are most likely to type when searching for a product or service. These keywords are then put up for auction. Each auction is based on the amount advertisers are willing to pay for a Google user to click on their ad. But the bid amount is not the only display criteria. This bid is also combined with a quality score assigned by Google, which determines the position of the ad in the SERPs. When users click on the ads, the advertiser pays a fixed cost per click (called in the jargon the CPC).
The end game is to win bids to be positioned as high as possible in the SERPs. To do this, you must optimize the two Google Ads criteria: your Quality Score and your bid. The higher your Quality Score and the higher your bid, the higher your ad will be positioned.
You can influence your Quality Score thanks to several factors:
- Relevance of your ad to the search query: pages and content must meet the user’s search intention
- Relevance of the keyword for your ad group
- Historical click-through rate (CTR) of the ad and its ad group
- Overall historical performance of the account
By improving your Quality Score, you can significantly reduce your CPCs because Google rewards advertisers who care about relevancy. This will allow your ads to appear more often on the first page. You'll get a better click-through rate and conversion rate, without having to increase your bids.
The cost of Google ads varies according to several criteria such as the competition level of your keywords, industry, catchment area...
The most important advantage of Google Ads is that it works faster than SEO. A well optimized AdWords campaign can indeed work in a few hours while SEO can take several months. But Google Ads has many other advantages for a marketing strategy:
- You can focus on several keywords at once and turn the campaign on and off whenever you want. It is an ideal solution when your offer evolves very quickly.
Google Ads allows you to increase brand awareness more quickly by associating it with certain searched keywords.
- You reach more customers through their Gmail inbox. Google has indeed integrated native Gmail ads into Google Ads and made them available to all advertisers. This is a new and very interesting opportunity.
- You will benefit from the power of remarketing by being reconnected with your prospects even when they have left your site.
- You measure your performance and ROI in a relevant and accurate way, unlike traditional communication media like newspapers or TV spots.
- You can react quickly to competitors' attacks
You don't launch a Google Ads campaign on a whim just because your competitor is there and seems to be successful. You must first know if it makes sense for you and your company and if so define what type of ad is best.
Also ask yourself the right questions about your target audience:
- Is your audience online? Our first reflex is indeed to think that everyone is nowadays on Google. However, some industries have a strong interest in communicating on other media (web or traditional).
- Are the keywords related to your company searched online? To find out, use the Google Ads keyword planner. It will show you the search statistics on the desired keywords. If you find that these words are not very popular, isn't it better to think about an SEO strategy that will allow you to position on long tail keywords keywords and that will prove to be much more sustainable?
- Do online magazines and bloggers publish articles related to your products or services? This kind of influencers can be much more profitable than Google Ads.
- Are your competitors investing online (paid or unpaid channels)?
Since Google Ads works on a CPC basis, you can easily calculate the return on investment of your ads. There are several key performance indicators (KPI) to monitor:
- The click-through rate which helps determine your Quality Score and tells you if your ads are attractive. This measure indicates, in percentage, the frequency with which people click on your ad. Ads with a low CTR should therefore be removed or optimized.
- Your Quality Score for each keyword which reflects the relevance of your ads. A high quality score means that your ads, keywords and landing page are all relevant to your target audience.
- Conversion Rate, which of course tells you if all the traffic generated has resulted in increased sales.
- Keyword performance, which changes over time. You should therefore monitor them regularly in order to keep only those that meet your objectives.
This is a recurring question from neophytes. Officially, Google Ads has no influence on SEO. They are different bots and different algorithms. However, as we said before, Google Ads can help gain notoriety. Thus, if your site "Choco-miam" was well positioned on Google Ads on the query "chocolate delivery", then a greater number of Internet users will be likely to type on Google "Choco-miam chocolate delivery". Thus, the search bots (which are dedicated to organic ranking), will be able to connect "Choco-miam” & “chocolate delivery" and thus better position your site on this request. Google Ads can therefore in some cases indirectly influence organic ranking.
Google Ads is a very powerful tool that offers a large number of features. Each site, small or big, new or old, can set up campaigns according to its budget and commercial objectives. However, this marketing tool can quickly become a money pit if it is not optimized correctly. It is therefore better to get trained and to give yourself time to understand its workings before launching yours.