Getting Started with Google Ads Marketing – Planning

Google Ads is the digital marketing powerhouse for businesses aiming to reach customers when it matters most. The set up requires careful planning and strategic execution, so we’ve created a two-part guide to help you understand how the process works and what you need to be aware of when you – or your agency – launch Google campaigns.

Part one of this series covers planning and part two covers execution. Below are the concepts to sort out in your planning efforts before embarking on your Google Ads adventure.

Define your campaign strategy, goals & target audience

Select key product and service areas

Unless you only offer one product, you’ll likely need to determine which of your services or products are the most strategic for your business and focus on those in your campaigns. You can always add more on later, but you’ll want to take the less is more approach to start off with while the approach is honed over time. You can determine which to focus on based on factors as your highest margin business line, timely new service launches, or an area that needs more elevation in your marketing efforts.

Set goals based on historical data

To determine future success, it’s best to understand where you are now. Revisit your existing baseline of average monthly new clients, sales or leads so you know if your soon-to-be launched digital marketing efforts are making an impact. This includes knowing the number of leads or inquires you typically get, where they come from and who they are. Ideally, you’d have access to analytics data to know the number of your monthly website visitors and other vital stats, such as pageviews, leads, and time spent on page. Having this information will help you understand what is realistic once your campaign starts and how far you move the needle.

Outline your ideal customer and their path to purchase

Knowing why your clients buy from you and how they make purchases is just as important for online marketing as it is offline. Your ad copy and images will change depending on which stage your potential customers are in. Some of our clients focus on promoting ads to make users aware (or remind them) that the company or service exists while others focus on moving a potential customer to make a purchase. And some do both. Here are examples of how ads are tailored based on these circumstances.

Awareness Stage:

  • Focus on broad and informational concepts related to the industry, problem, or need.
  • Highlight the high-level unique selling points (USPs) of your product or service.
  • Encourage users to read a blog post, download a guide, or explore resources.
  • Use CTAs to match the exploratory nature of users at this stage, such as “learn more”.

Decision Stage:

  • Emphasise specific product features or benefits and what sets you apart from competition.
  • Include brand-specific wording and images.
  • Highlight promotions, discounts, or any special offers.
  • Reinforce trust with guarantees, return policies, list of awards or credentials.
  • Use conversion CTAs to direct a sale, such as “buy now” or “schedule a consultation.”

Define goals

Is your goal to drive brand awareness? Drive traffic? Generate clicks? Or perhaps, like many companies, you are wanting to drive sales and leads. This should be defined up front so you know what to measure and how to set up the campaigns. Key methods to track leads digitally include using website tags or platform triggers to measure clicks made to your phone number, clicks on emails on your website, ‘contact us’ form fills or offer downloads. Goals around awareness and brand building will be centered on new page visitors, click through rates, impressions, time on page, etc. These latter metrics are also used to determine baseline effectiveness of lead-based campaigns.

Agree on budgets

Whether your ads are seen by your target audience can depend on your ad budget, but that doesn’t always mean that more spend is better. As you’ll see in part two, the quality of your website and ads determines how much your ads costs and if they will be seen. Nonetheless, you do need to invest in your ads to see results. While ad budgets can vary, especially when it comes to bidding on search ads, here is a general guide that we recommend for Cayman clients just getting started with Google ads digital marketing: $10 a day for YouTube video ads; $10-20 a day for display ads; $20 a day for Google Search ads. These amounts are per campaign, monthly. This example tallies up to $1,500 a month, which is great ad coverage for low spend when compared to traditional advertising. When you compare these costs to print ads in the Cayman Islands, for example, a single page ad printed one time in the local newspaper is an investment of around $1,200.

Plan for audits and optimisations

Once your campaigns are live, they should be monitored weekly for any adjustments that need to be made. That means that you need to plan to check in on the ads and make tweaks to images, copy and website pages. There are industry benchmarks per ad type that you can use to see if your ads are doing well, but the ultimate way of determining this is by viewing your performance over time and seeing what is best for your company. If you are aiming to make a certain return on ad spend then this should be considered as well. Below are a few questions you should plan to ask when looking at your account performance.

  • Does an increase or decrease in ad spend correlate with a decrease or increase in conversions?
  • Are the trends going up or going down?
  • Are the click through rates stable?
  • Are there ads with lower performance that can be turned off or adjusted?
  • Are conversions and cost per conversion in line with industry trends or your prior performance?
  • Are the sales teams following up and closing on the leads?
  • Are the bounce rates on the landing pages high?
  • Revisit if the ads being shown relevant to the landing pages that users are going to?