Google Search Ads: What are they and how can you use them?

Posted by Localized Digital | August 1, 2016 | AdWords Hacks, Pay Per Click Marketing, Search Marketing
using Google Search
Photo credit: searchengineland.com

Every second, over 2.3 million searches are carried out on Google, and a huge percentage of those searches also display paid advertising results. These paid ads will show up on desktop devices, tablets and on mobile, ensuring that advertisers get maximum reach. Google search ads can be a very good way to drive relevant and quality traffic to your website or business.

In this article, we’d be discussing Google search ads, what they are and how your business can leverage this robust platform.

The value of Google Search

Think of the last time you needed a product, not some groceries, but an actual high end product – like a gadget – that’ll probably cost you more than N100,000. Think of what you did immediately you made a decision, in your mind, to get that gadget. Chances are, you didn’t buzz your friend to ask him how and where to get it and to know if it was worth it, you most likely went to Google Search. Same as the rest of the world.

Lets go one step further, look for your product or service on Google search, if you are a photographer for example, search for photographer in Lagos. You’d most likely still be looking for yourself on the 5th page (which no one ever gets to by the way), and just like that, you just lost potential business, money goes to the guy at the top of the list.

A significant amount of people go online to search for products / services you can deliver to them, believe it or not, whether you’re visible during that search can make or break your business. Doesn’t matter if you’re an agency, freelancer, small business, marketing professional or even an enterprise class organization. More people are looking for you everyday.

What are Search Ads

Search ads are paid / sponsored or promoted search results that show up within the Search Engine Results Page (the page you see when you carry out a search on Google). These paid ads come above the organic search results and can drive immediate ROI for your business if implemented right. Here’s an example differentiating paid advertising and organic (free)

paid and organic identify

As you would have probably seen before now, paid advertising search results have a little green “Ad” button beside them. This separates them from organic (free) search results below. While organic search ads get most of the traffic (an estimated 70% on Google Search), they take some time to bring in the amount of traffic you typically want. Paid search ads on the other hand can be deployed immediately and you can start getting traffic same day they go live in most cases.

Now imagine you run an ecommerce website like Konga, your typical search strategy should contain both Paid Search ads and Organic (free) search ads. A mixture of these two is what we refer to as Search Engine Marketing.

Why is search important

One word differentiates search from every other marketing channel, and that’s “intent”.

When you check out your favorite blog every evening and you see an ad for a mobile phone starting at ₦20,000, you might click on it, doesn’t mean you want to buy it. However, if you went to Google and searched for mobile phone for ₦20,000, you’re in the buying stage. That’s the difference between any other advertising channel and search, and that’s what makes it so important.

What’s the reach for your business

I’m sure that by now the most important thing for you is how you can use it to your advantage, and that’s good thinking.

To find out how much traffic your business can generate, you’d need to use a tool called Google Keyword Planner, which is free 😀 . The keyword planner helps you find out how many people within a region are looking for words that are similar to your business or service. Take a website that sells shoes for example, lets see how many people in Nigeria search for related keywords to that

search traffic for buy shoes

Over 11,000 searches in June alone, and this is just an estimate, likelihood is that there are more searches than that. Go ahead and try this out for your business, let us know if you have any issues doing so in the comment box below.

On the flip side, looking at reach on a state level tells you how many unique individuals Google can reach in those states. Take a look at a short list below. Be mindful that this is only an estimate

reach by state

 

More targeting control on paid search

Among many other things you can do with paid search advertising, a few important ones are targeting specific locations and times of day.

You can decide to target locations in three different ways

  1. Show ads to people in, looking for, or viewing pages about your specific location: This is selected by default and means that if you are targeting Lagos only, and someone in Abuja searches for restaurants in Lagos, your ad for restaurants is eligible to show up, and I’m sure you can see how that makes sense.
  2. You can instead opt to show ads to people in your target location: This will only show ads to people physically located in the location you have targeted. An emergency tow service, for example, will only want to reach people within a defined location where it operates.
  3. Or you can show ads to people looking for, or viewing pages about your target location: In this case, people physically located in your specific target location don’t get to see your ads. Take for example a tourist attraction like Obudu Cattle Ranch, you most probably wouldn’t want to advertise that to people already in Calabar, my guess is, most of your visitors come from outside Calabar.

 

Targeting by time

Another interesting targeting option for Google Search is time scheduling. This gives you the ability to make ads show at specific times of different days, or show all the time. Assuming your business operates between 8AM and 5PM for example, you can schedule your ads to only show at these times. Here’s a picture of what the ad schedule settings look like

ad schedule for Google Search

Next, we’d look at how you’re charged for running paid search ads, and how you can ensure you’re actually making money not loosing it.

Move on to Understanding Search Ads – Part 2

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About The Author

Localized Digital

We work as a team to answer your most pressing questions about Digital marketing in Nigeria. Feel free to ask any question by tweeting @localizedigital

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