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Does anyone actually click on Google Ads?

It’s a question that we’re asked a lot and the answer is unequivocally ‘yes!’. 

Our client data tells us that yes, people do click on Google Ads. But don’t just take our word for it: when AdWords first launched in 2000 it had 350 advertisers, now there are estimated to be over 1 million advertisers spending tens of billions of dollars in ad revenue. 1 million advertisers certainly must think they’re onto something! People often have a ‘Marmite approach’ to Ads – they either love them, or hate them. But before we get into why this might be, what exactly are Google Ads? 

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads is Google’s advertising platform which encompasses search, display, video, remarketing and shopping advertising. Given that over 90% of the world’s internet searches are performed via Google it’s certainly a platform that all digital marketers should give serious consideration. Our blog takes a closer look at search advertising, specifically ads that appear on Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), previously known as AdWords. 

So, why would I want to pay to appear in Google’s SERPs?

A big question, most easily answered with; exposure, awareness and ROI. In an ideal world your website would be perfectly optimised to perform well in all appropriate keyword searches, driving FREE organic traffic to your site. However, the reality is that SEO is a long game. 

If you’re a new business, or plan to launch a new product or service, Google Ads can help ‘kick start’ your website traffic, while your SEO strategy takes shape. Google is now giving more and more physical space to paid search advertising on SERPs, so paid search may help your brand and/or product physically appear on the page. Google Ads is also very measurable, so you can be crystal clear on your ROI (can you say the same about the last print advert you placed?). 

OK, sounds great. How do I setup Google Ads?

Google are extremely good at taking money from businesses and have created AdWords Express and Smart Campaigns (which are simplified versions of their Ads interface), to encourage businesses to create accounts.  However, we would NEVER recommend a business create one of these accounts. 

Google Ads accounts are complicated to manage and require experience of the platform. Click Through Rate (CTR), bounce rate, landing page experience, quality score, demographic settings, ad copy, ad extensions and call outs, keyword match types and budget settings all work together.  Complicated? Yes. But it’s this subtle balance of factors that can make Google Ads so effective.

We recently started to manage a client’s Google Smart Campaign and in less than a week had increased their CTR, reduced their CPC (from £2.31 to £1.38) and reduced their paid search bounce rate by over 15%!

What’s needed is consistent, thorough monitoring of the traffic the Ad campaigns drive to your website, reviewing the visitor actions whilst there and then optimising your account accordingly. That, combined with professional expertise, will help Google Ads add real value to your business

In short, if you don’t know the difference between your broad match modifiers, negative keywords and sitelink extensions, you should certainly consider outsourcing your account management!

Nothing works in isolation

Although we’ve looked specifically at the effectiveness of Google Ads in SERPs, it’s important to remember that no marketing activity (digital or not) works in isolation. Depending on your strategy and campaign objectives, SEO, remarketing, social media marketing and display advertising may all play a part in achieving your objectives. A targeted, integrated approach is always the most effective. 

David RiceCreative Director

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