When it comes to digital marketing, Google Ads can be a quick solution to get your advert and business seen at the top of search engine results. As you scale up, those same paid search campaigns mature and can form the backbone of your digital marketing strategy.
PPC plays a key role in the marketing mix by catching high-intent low-funnel search volume. This drives relevant traffic to your website, and delivers conversions.
In this article we discuss ten common myths or misconceptions about Google Ads that we often come across.
Spending more will get the Number 1 position
Being at the top does not guarantee clicks, and spending the most doesn't guarantee success. Google weighs many factors into each bidding auction such as how relevant your Ad is to the search phrase, the quality score of your Ad and how good the customer experience will be through to your landing page. Impression share and other metrics can also influence your position in the rankings.
You also need to consider balancing spend with return on investment. Spending more to get to the top won't necessarily be your most optimal choice, and can lead to rapidly diminishing returns.
The more keywords and phrases the better
The old adage of quality over quantity is true for PPC Ads. The higher the quality and relevance of your Ad, the more Google will serve it for relevant search terms. This will inevitably lead to more conversions, as Google wants to give users the best expeirence and send only the most relevant visitors to your website.
Padding out your set of keywords with less relevant terms will generally waste money, and reduce campaign performance. A long tail of keywords and phrases can be a positive in the right circumstances. For example, if you run an e-commerce website selling thousands of different products then you will likely cast a wide net over thousands of relevant search terms.
On-going Google Ads Campaign maintenance is not necessary
PPC Campaigns need to be continually monitored and optimised. A constant feedback loop of testing and learning is required, to react to changes in the market and competition, and to hone your campaigns.
For example, keeping on top of negative keywords can boost performance. Testing new campaign types and Ad Copies can unlock gains. Ignoring on-going maintenance leads to wasted spend, and worsening campaign performance over time
Keeping on top of industry trends is also essential. Google moves quickly, with Smart Shopping giving way to Performance Max, and other frequent changes to tooling and algorithms. If you are not moving with the times in paid search, you'll quickly move backwards.
Only e-commerce businesses need PPC
Whilst PPC campaigns are highly recommended for e-commerce businesses, they can be used very effectively for other sectors as well.
For marketing campaign goals such as lead generation, brand awareness and for charities with events and donations, Google Ads can still be an invaluable marketing channel.
You don't need SEO if you are running PPC Ads
Quite the opposite, there is a strong synergy between the two which we discuss in our article SEO vc PPC, which is better.
Many of the techniques used in SEO feed directly into gaining a higher quality score for your PPC Ads. A semantically correct, authoritative and well structured page of content which loads quickly and provides an excellent user experience is likely to win favour for relevant Google Ads.
The DSA (Dynamic Search Ads) Google Ads campaign actually crawls your website for content, and creates Ads automatically for you. Better on-page content from SEO will result in higher performing Google Ads DSA campaigns.
Google Ads are too expensive
Businesses of all sizes can access Google Ads, setting budgets and goals that work for them. It is not the preserve of big business, and can scale to meet most needs.
Additionally, Google Ads are often viewed as expensive when campaigns have not been properly designed and optimised, and ROI's not fully understood. This is a common misconception, and can be addressed by first calculating what target Cost per Acquisition is needed to generate a positive ROI. Then, campaigns can be built to that CPA goal.
It might seem like a big spend, but viewed through the lens of the return that it is generating it starts to makes sense. If you're spending £20 to make a sale that might seem expensive, but if the sale is worth £150 you might be very happy with it!
Impressions are the most important metric
Impressions are the number of times your Ad is shown, which translates to the overall visibility of your adverts. Whilst this is important, you also need clicks on those Ads and ultimately conversions to build a picture of the full funnel, and to measure success.
Click through rate is the key metric
CTR (Click through Rate) is another important metric, but again in isolation can't paint the full picture. Conversion rate is needed as well, and how much you are paying for each click.
This will give you a CPA (Cost per Acquisition), which is a key performance indicator. See our guide to PPC acronyms for further explanation of the terms involved with Google Ads campaigns.
I don't need a PPC Agency to run my Google Ads Campaign
If you are not an expert in Google Ads yourself, then running your own campaigns is more likely to lead to wasted advertising spend and more poorly structured and performing campaigns.
There is a risk of spending accidentally if you don't set targets or caps correctly, and understand how Google will spend your budget. With an experienced PPC agency, you will pay a fee for their expertise but are more likely to have a successful, higher-performing and more controlled marketing campaign.
It's risky to change from my current PPC Agency
This is a common concern we hear from prospective Clients who might have been with an Agency for a long time, and are reluctant to move in case it upsets their established revenue streams.
To address this risk and allay any fears, OutSearch offer a free PPC Audit of your existing campaigns to highlight specific areas that could be improved. In 80% of cases, our Experts find that there are significant wins on the account that are not being unlocked. Very often, Ad spends can be reduced significantly with no loss of sales just by optimising existing campaigns.
by E-commerce Director Peter Howarth
Peter is an E-commerce Director with over 20 years of experience in business, online retail and digital marketing.
Managing development and digital marketing teams and Agencies, Peter is well versed in the key success factors in E-commerce.
Peter co-founded and grew a global e-commerce business from start-up to £25M revenue.
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