You finally got it!
Asking about Google Ads (previously known as AdWords) is an intelligent move from your side. Only smart people know that Google Ads is the place to go when looking for targeted traffic online.
I’m starting here with the very basics of this leading advertising platform as I think many people are still starting out and want to figure out the foundations.
However, as we go along our journey, there will be more advanced stuff for all levels of Google Ads mastery.
In today’s post, we’ll be covering 2 important questions I always see people asking…
– What is Google Ads?
– Why should You use this advertising platform?
So let’s start with the first question…
What is Google Ads?
To define it in simple words; it is the advertising platform created by Google to help entrepreneurs and professionals meet their business goals in an easy way at the best time by showing ads to people at the moment they are most likely to take the desired action. Google Ads works by leveraging the power of the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model.
This means you decide on a daily budget, and choose where and when you want your ads to appear; then Google will meet your criteria and you’ll ONLY pay when someone clicks on your ads (this is why it is called pay per click.)
Google Advertising Networks
Google has 2 main advertising networks; the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network (GDN.)
Google search ads are those that appear on the top of search pages above the organic search results when you search for a keyword in Google.
Sometimes, those ads appear below the organic results based on the ad rank.
There are spaces for 4 ads above and 3 ads below the organic results (Google used to have 3 ads above and 8 on the right-hand side, but this has changed a long time ago.)
(N.B.: Organic search results are those results that appear without paying. i.e.: they are not ads.)
Here’s an example of ads results for the keyword “dentist USA” Notice there are 4 ads shown here while another 3 are below the organic listings…
Now Google shows the word “Sponsored” above every ad. They used to show the word “ad” but not anymore!
The Search Network contains not only Google search, but also Google partner search websites (like AOL and Ask.com), and other Google sites like Maps and Shopping.
Ads on the Search Network appear when someone runs a search for a keyword that advertisers have chosen as a target in their campaigns.
On the other hand, Google display ads are those that appear on the Display Network which includes:
- A collection of Google sites like Blogger, YouTube, Gmail, and Google Finance
- Partner sites (those who join the AdSense program)
- Mobile sites
The Display Network shows ads relevant to the content on the page being viewed. Or according to the preferences of the advertiser who could choose the ad to appear on a specific page whatever its content might be.
Benefits of Both Networks
The main advantage of the Search Network is that it shows ads to people actively searching for whatever you are advertising. So this type of audience is considered a warm audience (even if they have never heard about you or your business.)
They are ready to take action because they are searching for it.
On the other hand, GDN has many different advantages. Here they are as defined by the people of Google themselves:
- Use appealing ad formats to reach a broad range of customers with broad interests
- Build brand awareness and customer loyalty
- Increase engagement with customers
- Choose more precisely where ads can appear, and to what type of audience
- Remarket to previous visitors of your website
This last advantage is for a weird reason not written on Google’s page about the benefits of GDN, but I see it as one of the top benefits of GDN (yes, this is equal to Facebook Retargeting.)
So when I hear marketers say that Facebook is the best place to advertise these days, I know that they simply have no idea about GDN (or at least can’t use it efficiently.)
Don’t get me wrong; Facebook is a brilliant advertising platform, and I use it often, but from my experience, GDN ads can convert even better than Facebook ads.
Think of this scenario; say you want to advertise a new kitchen product. What would be better: Put your ad in front of people spending their spare time in a relaxing mood on FB or put it in front of people browsing a website in the Home & Kitchen category?
Which network should you choose for your ads?
This depends on the type and goal of the campaign you want to run (we’ll cover different campaign types in another post.)
This takes us to the second question…
Why Should You Use Google Ads (or PPC in general) in Your Business?
Here are some reasons…
- A fast, reliable way to put your business in front of targeted people.
You can control your budget whether your overall, daily budget, or the maximum you want to pay for a single click.
You only pay when someone clicks your ad.
You can adjust your ads to show for targeted people only (people could even be hot prospects, unlike cold audiences on other advertising platforms.)
You can run ads at specific times on specific days (e.g.: If you advertise your local business that closes from 12 am to 8 am and on Sundays, you can just schedule your ads to run from Mondays to Saturdays from 8 am to 11:59 pm.)
It allows you to have geo-targeted ads: This is a huge benefit especially if you run a local business. If for example, you own a restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, would you like to target people in the entire US, individuals in the entire state of Texas, or only people in San Antonio? Or even better target people within a 50 miles radius of your restaurant?
Measurable results. For example, You can know which keywords or specific ads lead to your desired end result, so you can scale the winners and turn off the losers.
Puts your site immediately on the top of page 1 of search results (this saves the hassles of months of tedious SEO work that can go with the wind when Google changes their ranking algorithm.)
You can test anything related to your product quickly. A famous example is when Tem Ferriss had run an AdWords campaign with different ad headlines to see which one gets the most clicks. He then used the one with the most clicks as the title of his all-time famous book “The 4-Hour Workweek.”
You can use it to remarket to previous visitors of your site (stats say that only 2% take the desired action on their first visit to a landing page. Do you want to lose the remaining 98% by not retargeting them?)
The above are 10 reasons you need to consider when thinking of advertising your brand or product. There are many other reasons, but the most important of them is the market share of Google and other search engines…
According to Internet Live Stats; Google now processes over 99,000 search queries every second on average. This translates to over 8.5 billion searches per day and more than 3.1 trillion searches per year worldwide.
Other platforms like Facebook have 2.96 billion users which is a big number of course, but not compared to search stats.
The chart below shows the number of searches per year throughout Google’s history up to 2012 (notice how the numbers have more than doubled in the last 10 years):
The above chart is from internetlivestats.com.
But what about other search engines like Yahoo and Bing and their search market share?
Check this chart…
The above chart is from statcounter.com as of December 2022.
As you see, Google alone has 92.58% of the search market share. Yahoo and Bing combined have 4.27% of the market share which is not a bad percentage which means you may like to consider Bing advertising as well. But by any logic, your #1 priority should be Google Ads.
By this, we come to the end of today’s post. I hope you know by now what is Google Ads and why you need it in your business.
What do you think? Is there anything else you would like to know? I’d love to know in the comments section below.