Google Ads Search Certification: Cheat Sheet (Part 2/3)

(still not sponsored!)

Welcome back! Today is part 2/3 for the Google Search Certification cheat sheet! If you haven’t already read part 1 (very important for certification) click here! Today’s blog post will include info from three modules. These are “deliver the right message with text ads”, “make ads relevant with search extensions”, and “increase efficiency with automated bidding”! So, let’s jump on into it!


Deliver the Right Message with Text Ads

Firstly, let’s cover what text ads are. They’re ads that’re only text (no visuals). This means the content of the text is extra important because it’s the whole ad! The components of a text ad are headline, URL, and description.

  1. (red circle) URL: This is the actual site’s address. Remember, make sure the ad matches where the link will take a consumer!
  2. (blue circle) Headline: This is the part consumers will see first! (tip: include a keyword here!)
  3. (black circle) Description: This is where people can read a little more about you before they click the link. Here you should highlight your competitive advantage, any promotions, and a call to action!
    (Skillshop, 2019)

Note: Headlines can contain up to 30 characters and descriptions 90 characters (Skillshop, 2019)

Personally, I tried out writing my own Google Ad and it was surprisingly easy. You just sign into the Google Ads account and it asks you a few simple questions. These were your business objectives, the name of your business, your website, where in the world your ad to run (location), and keywords. Then you’re thrust into writing a text ad! I believe it said if you were a “professional marketer”, there was an “expert” mode, but because I wasn’t ready to commit dollars to this, I stuck with “basic mode”. My favourite part of the ad creation was the previews! I liked that it would should how your ad would look when implemented.

Here’s an example of the text ad I wrote! As you can see, this is after the “your business & audience” section

Google Pro Tips:

  • Implement three to five ads per group. This will better your chances in the auction due to options. Google suggests having 3+ ads per ad group.
  • Optimise ad rotation. This will make it more likely your ad will appear to users. This is because it’ll appeal to multiple circumstances (relevance!)
  • Use at least three ad extensions. The more extensions that make sense, the more likely your ad will appeal to many user scenarios.
    (Skillshop, 2019)

Mini-Lesson: Responsive Search Ads

These are essentially elevated text ads. They adapt to show the most relevant ad to the user by testing multiple ad variations (Skillshop, 2019). You supply headlines and descriptions and Google will puzzle it together. This is through taking the best elements from each for the perfect ad combination. You’d still need to monitor performance but it’s comparatively hands-off thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). Other benefits are:

Google AI putting together the best ad
  • flexibility (adaptive ads)
  • relevance (the most relevant ad will be delivered)
  • reach (the more uniquely tailored the ads, the better the reach)
  • performance (people will click ads tailored to what they’re looking for!)
    (Skillshop, 2019)

Make Ads Relevant with Search Ad Extensions

So as is continually hammered home, relevance is integral to your ads! Google breaks down what users want into three sections; relevant info, information based on their moment, and ads that contribute to their experience (Skillshop, 2019). This essentially means users want an ad that’ll solve their need right away.

Remember: Ad extensions are essentially additional information about you!

This means, having relevant ad extensions helps the user and you! On your end it’ll increase engagement, your ad quality, and give you more qualified leads (Skillshop, 2019).    

Note: A user’s “moment” can be based on a few things such as intent, device, interest, time, and location (Skillshop, 2019). Matching your ad to their moment will increase relevance and engagement.

There are three “must-know” extensions: sitelinks, callout extensions, and structural snippets (Skillshop, 2019).

Sitelinks:

Sitelinks are the links under the text of your search ad(s) that take users to a specific page on your site (Skillshop, 2019). For you, these will increase engagement, be easy to manage, and increase conversions. This is because users are taken straight to the correct page! (Skillshop, 2019).

Highlighted are examples of sitelinks

Remember: sitelinks and the headline link shouldn’t be the same link (Skillshop, 2019)! This is because the sitelinks should direct to a specific page versus the general site.

Sitelink Pro Tips:

  • Add a lot of sitelinks! Google suggests 8-10 active links per campaign (if possible).
  • Select the right page. Direct to popular pages on your site or high-conversion areas.
  • Guide the user. Clearly describe what the sitelink’s gonna lead the user to!
    (Skillshop, 2019)
Callout Extension:

Callout extensions are pretty much what they sound like. They’re extensions that call out to the user to take action! These are 25 characters or less and should highlight the value-adding  attributes (Skillshop, 2019). The benefits to you are easy implementation and increased engagement (Skillshop, 2019)! Examples of how to use callout extensions include driving to brick-and-mortar (“free pickup in store!”), online conversions (“free online shipping!”), and brand awareness (“100% cruelty free products!”) (Skillshop, 2019).

Callout Pro Tips:

  • Be brief. Remember KISS; keep it simple, stupid!    
  • Be appealing. Call out to something users will be interested in.
  • Be concrete. Mention specific information that could increase relevance.
    (Skillshop, 2019)
Structure Snippets

Structure snippets describe features of a specific product (or a few) before users click the ad (Skillshop, 2019). This allows for more qualified (likely to buy) leads because they click for the product they saw! Of course, these are to be used to highlight the specific features; such as free wifi in a hotel or a flight to a high-demand location (Skillshop, 2019).

Snippet Pro Tips:   

  • Focus on the essentials. Make sure you provide clear and informative info! Google recommends four values per heading maximum.
  • Be relevant. The snippet must be relevant to the header! If you’re advertising great amenities, use a snippet to mention the fast wifi.
    (Skillshop, 2019)

Remember: Callouts are for the whole business (your competitive advantage), snippets are for specific attributes (Skillshop, 2019).

Other Extensions Are:

  • Location (give directions to your business)
  • Affiliate location (gives directions to retail partner locations; great for manufacturers)  
  • Call (provides a phone number)
  • App (to promote your app)
  • Price (to showcase products/services and their prices)
  • Promotion (to display info about a promotion without updating all your ads)
  • Message (*mobile only* to let users message you via text)
    (Skillshop, 2019)
    To find out more about these other extensions, click here to read more.

Ad Extension Pro Tips:

  • Use the right number of extensions. Google recommends at least three, but make sure they make sense for your business!
  • Keep them fresh. Change up your extensions every-so-often to keep your ad fresh and interesting to users.
  • Monitor! Always monitor how your extensions perform! This will give you feedback how to improve.
    (Skillshop, 2019)

 Automated Ad Extensions

Google will automatically identify which ad extensions are best for you. These will be almost the same as manual ad extensions, but Google will also use AI to help out. You don’t need to do anything to activate these and your Google Ads account is automatically opted-in (Skillshop, 2019). Google also offers “dynamic” versions of the big three ad extensions. Much like dynamic search ads, these are essentially the same to manual ad extensions. The difference is, these are dynamically tailored to the user’s needs/experience (Skillshop, 2019). Don’t get lazy on the manual ad extensions though! These will still always take precedent to the dynamic versions (Skillshop, 2019).

Seller Ratings Extensions

These are a special type of automated extension that is like Yelp. It’ll show users if your business is well-rated (Skillshop, 2019). This score is based off a few elements:

  • Google Customer reviews (GCR). This is a service that collects feedback from customers who’ve made a purchase on your site.
  • StellarService. An independent company that evaluates customer service
  • Google-led shopping research. This also evaluates customer service
  • Google Customer Surveys. These collect ratings for certain businesses/domains
  • Third-party sites. Like Yelp
    (Skillshop, 2019)

 Much like any rating, you want to keep this high, so customers trust you! If your seller rating is low, new customers may be off-put and choose to go with a competitor.

Increase Efficiency with Automated Bidding

Automated bidding! Ad bidding, but automated. This section will explain how to set bids and how automated bidding will help you (Skillshop, 2019)! Firstly, here are some key factors:

  • Performance (bids influence how visible your ads work and how they perform. You want high performing ads!)
  • Auctions (it’s like an eBay auction, if someone outbids you, you’d want to catch that speedily)
  • User Journey Complexities (automation will help take into account all the user’s behaviours and use this to bid effectively)
    (Skillshop, 2019)

Some of the benefits of automated bidding are obvious. These include it’s time saving thanks to machine learning/AI. By letting machines use algorithms to decide on the best bid for your situation, you don’t need to randomly guess. Plus, because the AI is bidding for you, it will be well-timed and bid based on the opportunities at each auction (Skillshop, 2019). Lastly, the AI can use user signals to predict future intent (Skillshop, 2019). This is great because it can automatically adjust to have the best-suited bids (Skillshop, 2019).

Much like ad-types, not all bid strategies will match your goal. This is why it’s important to choose the right one(s)! Your strategy should be based on what you want to focus on. This could be improving clicks, conversions, etc. This is also based on “which networks your campaign is targeting” (Skillshop, 2019).

Awareness-based Strategy
Increase Visibility

So, an awareness strategy is great for when you want to build awareness (duh). This will increase your ad’s visibility based on certain searches, location, or more! The best bid strategy for visibility would be  to target impression shares (Skillshop, 2019). This helps guarantee a specific impression threshold is being met (Skillshop, 2019).

Consideration-focused Bidding Strategy
Increase Clicks

This is a strategy if you want users to consider you (or get as many clicks as possible). For this, the best bidding strategy for you would be to maximise clicks (Skillshop, 2019). This would help “get you as many clicks as possible within a target spend” (Skillshop, 2019). Again, this will help drive clicks so if you want clicks or have extra budget to maximize traffic, consider this strat!

Conversion-focused Bidding Strategy
Increase Conversions

This strategy is great if you are “tracking post-click actions, valuing conversions equally, and are looking to [max] conversion numbers” (Skillshop, 2019). Essentially, you’re interested in conversions! For this strategy, Google recommends three different bid strategies. These are:

  • Maximise conversions (drives conversions as much as possible within the budget)
  • Target cost-per-acquis ion (tCPA) (to help increase your conversions while reacing the CPA goal)
  • Enhancing cost-per-click (eCPC) (to automatically adjust your bid based off click-likelihood)
    (Skillshop, 2019)
Revenue-focused Bidding Strategy
Increase Revenue

This strategy is for revenue! This is good if you’re tracking revenue, value-added, or ROI (Skillshop, 2019). The best strategy here is to target return on ad spend (Target ROAS) (Skillshop, 2019). This automatically will set bids to maximize conversion value to target the ROAS set. This is great because it’ll automatically “optimise bids to maximise revenue” (Skillshop, 2019).

Conclusion

So once again, a lot to take in so let’s sum it up! Once again (again), you want to make ads as relevant as possible. To do this, you’d want to utilise ad extensions. The standard three are: sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets. Sitelinks will link to your site. Callouts and structured snippets will show competitive advantages. The implementation of these extensions can be automated, much like bidding. Automated bidding is great because its timesaving and utilises AI. Now, let’s look at an example!

Here’s an image of the ad!

Let’s build an ad (you’ve seen earlier) for ViibeNetwork. This is an online Minecraft server/community. As you can see the headline is “Multiplayer Minecraft Server” “Active Community” and “ViibeNetwork”. This includes the maximum number of headlines allowed (three). Next you’ll see the URL, and lastly the description. This is split into two sections, one that lists the server-types and one that’s a call to action. So, to improve this ad, what should be done? Ad extensions!

Firstly, a callout extension would be smart here because it could highlight a competitive advantage. This is seen in the headline through “active community”. If this extension is perused, the link could lead to the discord link. A structured snippet might also be good to advertise creative players. This link could lead to a photo gallery. Lastly, in terms of bidding, this is a small company. Due to this, the best strategy would ether be awareness (visibility) or consideration (clicks). This would depend on the Viibe’s business goals. Personally, I’d just make two ads and have one for each strategy. This way, you can compare to see which provides success the best.

Some images pulled from Viibe’s Instagram

And that’s it for part 2/3! Be sure to leave a like if you’ve enjoyed and follow this blog to be notified when part 3 releases!

References

Skillshop. (2019, September 7). Google Ads Search Certification . Retrieved from Skillshop: https://skillshop.exceedlms.com/student/path/18128-google-ads-search-certification

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