7 Surprising Ways to Use Google Ads You Haven't Tried Yet
Google Ads is a very powerful tool packed with lots of features to help you get the most out of your search engine marketing efforts. It can be one of the most complicated PPC platforms out there. There are hundreds of different tabs and sections to focus on, and a thousand more metrics to worry about.
On top of that, the settings and bidding options can tie you up for hours. You could potentially spend hours on Ads every single day and barely make any progress on optimizing or setting up a campaign. But you can’t give up on it Ads king when it comes to search network advertising.
It’s one of the fastest ways to drive new sales on your website. The search network has high intent when it comes to purchasing. This means if you are driving clicks, you will likely be driving tons of sales, too. It’s a cheap and effective way to bring in extra revenue and sales. But the difficulty of it tends to drive marketers away fast.
Spending hours on the platform every single day to grow your business isn’t an option. Today we break down some lesser-known but highly valuable Google Ads features to help you maximize your campaign performance.
1) Poach Your Competitors’ Clients
When your consumers get close to making a purchase, they Google the vendors they found along the way to do some final comparing. But what if your business isn’t one of the vendors on their shortlist?
Don’t fret. With a little clever engineering in Google Ads, you can intercept customers during this final research phase.
Instead of bidding and focusing on industry keywords, try setting up your ads on the brand names of well-established competitors. By inserting your business into the conversation when consumers research your competitors, you allow yourself to attract purchases from those who are still on the fence.
2) Radius Targeting
Yes, you can target by location, but did you know you can also target by radius? This little trick is perfect for businesses who know that they have a local audience, such as a restaurant or hairdressers, or a flower shop with a local delivery option, and will therefore want to target those in the area. It’s a rather unique feature in the sense that not a lot of advertising platforms have this option.
You can also set bid adjustments to increase depending on how close the person searching is to your location – getting comfortable with bid adjustments, and knowing whose view or click is worth paying more for, is an important key to success.
3) Support Your Organic SEO Initiatives
According to 2017 data, Google searchers click on Google ads about 15% of the time. The other 85% goes straight to the organic results -- that is, the search results that are not Google ads.
That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) remains a cornerstone of digital marketing initiatives.
By creating valuable content and optimizing it to rank for carefully-considered keywords, you convince Google to rank your website for key terms and phrases in the long run without having to pay each time someone clicks.
Of course, writing high-quality content is incredibly time-consuming, and it can sometimes take months before the results of an SEO campaign come to fruition. So how do you know which keywords are worth your attention before you dedicate months of writing, optimizing, generating traffic, and building backlinks?
Google Ads can help
“Ads data is invaluable for SEO keyword research,” explains Elliott Brown, an SEO, and marketing consultant. “If people are willing to pay for traffic from certain keywords, it's worth making an effort to get that same traffic for free.”
While it may take weeks or months to push organic results higher in search, you can see the results of your PPC ads the same day you launch a campaign. And writing an advert in Ads takes way less time than developing long-form blog content.
“By determining which keywords are most effective in driving traffic to your website, you can double back and include those in your SEO strategy,”
To that end, remember to share your Ads data with the team responsible for generating organic traffic. Doing so can help align everyone's efforts around the most profitable keywords for your business. And once you’ve determined the right keywords to target when you create your new content, try using Google Ads to drive supplemental traffic there too.
“PPC ads are not going to magically increase your organic rankings; you can't pay to do that, But PPC can help to catalyze your SEO efforts by increasing traffic and proving to Google that your page is relevant to certain searches. This in turn helps your page appear more often in relevant searches, and much more quickly than with SEO tactics alone.
4) Keyword Planner
Whether you’ve heard about the Keyword Planner before, it’s important to know how to use it effectively. We’ve already covered some of the ways you can use the Keyword Planner when it comes to writing website copy and a content strategy for SEO, but its actual purpose is for Ads.
The Keyword Planner shows you search volumes and bids for the keywords and phrases you’re thinking of adding to your campaign – but it also shows you a large list of other, similar keywords and phrases that you can add to your list.
It’s worth investing the time into looking through the Keyword Planner – if you think you know every search term used to find your business, think again! Some keywords and phrases might not have the search volume you thought they did, or you might find that bidding on certain keywords will blow your budget.
5) Ads Bid Strategies
Having trouble reaching or maintaining certain acquisition goals? If so, it might be time to check out Ads Bid Strategies. Since reaching certain goals or maintaining conditions within your Google Ads campaigns can require constant attention, utilizing bid strategies can help automate some of these tasks for you.
As Google sums it up, “Flexible bid strategies automatically set bids to optimize for your performance goals across specific campaigns, ad groups, and keywords.” You can manage bids with specific goals in mind: Enhanced CPC, Target Search Page Location, Target CPA, Maximize Clicks, and Target ROAS. For more details on each of the different bid strategies.
6) Ad Extensions
Ad Extensions, as also previously discussed, are a quick and easy way of offering more information to searchers. The more information you can offer them at one time is generally better since you’re competing against at least six other text ads at a time. Offering them additional site information, contact info, reviews, and social popularity with site links can make all the difference for a click.
You can also utilize dayparting, which allows you to show different, more relevant extensions at certain times of the day. To utilize ad extensions, simply click on the ad extensions tab within the campaign section of your account and start creating.
7) Quality Scores
It’s really easy to overlook Quality Scores when it comes to writing Ads. You might think that your amazing Ad copy is sure to get your bid low and your placements high because that’s the ultimate goal, but, in some respects, you have to forget what you know and instead write your Ads based on the keywords in your campaign.
It’s the keywords that dictate your entire campaign and what you pay, so your keywords need to be present in your Ads – headlines and descriptions – and on your landing page (the page you want people to click through to). Otherwise, you’ll get a low-Quality Score meaning higher bid cost, lower overall placement, and Ads not being placed frequently.
You can check the quality score of each ad in the Ads and Extensions tab. If it’s anything less than a 7 you need to take a look at your keywords, ad copy, and landing page to ensure that they’re cohesive.
Google Ads has tons of features that can help move your search engine marketing efforts forward. Not all of these methods work for all businesses, but it’s a good idea to check them out and find what works for your business.
Got any Google Ads features you, love? Share in the comments.