Before we jump into our Step-By-Step Guide for Getting Started with Google Ads, we want to ask you, did you read last month's Memo, "Before You Place a Google Ad: The Foundation Needed Prior to Advertising Yourself"? If so, great! You're ready to move on to Google Ads. If not, stop here. We urge you to take some time to make sure you have a strong business messaging and online foundation before setting up your Google Ads. We promise that if you spend a little time getting ready, you'll see the fruits of your labor.
Now, the first step is to create your account on Google Ads, (previously known as Google Adwords). You will need a Gmail account, so make sure you have that in place if you don't already have one. Then, go to https://ads.google.com/ and click the "Start Now" button in the upper right-hand corner. From there, Google Ads will ask you a series of questions to get you started with a Smart Campaign. Unless you're an expert, we suggest you follow their prompts and process. Smart Campaigns allow Google to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Plus, a good thing to know is that Google learns how to optimize your ad the longer you have it online. This is great if you only have a little bit of time per month to work on your ads!
The first question asked is "What is your main advertising goal?" You can choose from "Get more calls", "Get more website sales or sign-ups", or "Get more visits to your physical location". Hopefully, you spent some time thinking about your messaging and your business goals prior to getting to this step, so select the goal that matches your business' need.
Once you've made your selection Google will ask you, "Where are your customers?" This may seem like a simple question but how you answer will greatly affect your ROI, (Return on Investment). The key here is to setup a radius that makes sense for you and your business. Are you a local coffee shop or a boutique salon serving a specific customer demographic? Think about who will be searching for your services. Do you reach customers everywhere in the US, or should you narrow your paid reach down to a 5-mile radius? Make a good judgement call to start with and know that you can change this at any time in the future.
When you reach the next point, Google will ask you for keyword themes. These are the words and phrases your clientele will use in their search to find you. Make sure to select commonly used words that you know match your business' messaging. Don't go too broad, make sure the keywords you use are specific to your business', messaging, and services offered.
Pro Tip: To see what words may be more popular than others, go to https://trends.google.com to look up search terms, view their popularity by region, and compare these terms to others that may be more widely used.
The next step is to write your ad. Do everything you can to fill out each headline and description, and make it engaging with a clear call to action. Then, plan on creating between 3 - 5 different ads. Google will mix and match when needed to try to encourage engagement, so don't just write one and be done. At the minimum, make sure you have 3 ads highlighting your business and its services.
One of the final steps is to pick your budget. Google will provide you with suggestions based on the information about your business that you've provided. Take into account the information they share and don't be worried about starting small! Remember that using Google Ads is an investment, and as time goes on Google continues to learn how to optimize your ad. Now is not the time for you to go over budget on your marketing!
Once you've entered your billing details, you're all set! Let Google start working its magic and allow yourself to be excited when you get the first sale from your paid marketing efforts! No, the work does not end there. You should make a commitment to review your Ads at minimum once a month. Things you'll look at are your keywords and search phrases. Maybe you’ll need to change the location reach of your ad or update your ad copy. Either way, make time to maximize Google's efforts so you can reach the customers who need you most.
Interested in a consultation call to improve your current Ads? Or, looking to dive into some of Google Ad expert-level techniques?