What Are Google Search Ads and How Do They Work?

Matthew is a Marketing Copywriter with a B.A. in Professional and Public Writing from Auburn University. He aims to learn a little more about the SEO world each day, and share as much of that knowledge with you as he can. When he's not striving to put out some fresh web content, he's usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.

After your lawnmower breaks, you head to the Google search bar to look up “new lawnmower,” and straight away, your eyes are drawn to a lawnmower ad at the top of the search results.

The above example illustrates the effectiveness of Google paid search ads. When users see paid ads at the top of their Google searches, they often don’t feel the need to scroll down any further — which is why Google search ads are the perfect advertising strategy for your business.

But what are Google search ads, and how do they work? We’ll answer both of those questions below, so read on to learn more. Then subscribe to Revenue Weekly for more digital marketing tips delivered right to your inbox from our team of over 300 experts!

Cta40 Img

For even more digital marketing advice, sign up for the email that more than 190,000 other marketers trust: Revenue Weekly.

Sign up Today! Icon Longarrow Right White

What are Google search ads?

Google search ads are a type of pay-per-click (PPC) ad that appears at the top of Google search results. You’ve likely encountered paid ads before in some of your Google searches — they typically look the same as organic results, but with an “Ad” label in the top corner.

 

 

Google PPC ads are beneficial for reaching your audience online. That’s because ads appear only for specific, relevant keywords. So, if someone searches for “wooden dresser,” they’ll likely see ads for wooden dressers.

Not all paid search ads look alike. While most appear like organic search results, some ads will display an image of a specific product, along with its price.

 

 

You can create ads in either format, depending on what you sell.

How do paid search ads work?

If you want to launch a paid search ad campaign, you can do it through Google Ads, Google’s PPC platform. You can also use Google Ads to set up display ad campaigns if you’re interested.

To get started on your search ads, come up with a list of keywords to target. Make sure your keywords are hyper-relevant to whatever you’re advertising — don’t target “accounting services” when what you’re advertising are accounting consultation services.

Once you know which keywords you want to target with your campaign, you can bid on them in Google Ads. Your bids tell Google how much you’re willing to pay every time a user clicks your ad. Try not to overbid, but keep in mind that your competitors are bidding too.

Whenever someone searches for a keyword, Google will display ads based on two factors:

  • Bid amount
  • Quality Score (Google’s assessment of your ads’ quality)

Once you’ve set your bids, you can create your ads and their corresponding landing pages. With an optimal bidding strategy and a high enough Quality Score, you can quickly start reaching users through Google and increasing conversions.

The best part is that since Google Ads are pay-per-click, you only have to pay for your ads when people click on them. That makes Google PPC a very cost-effective strategy when done well!

4 tips for optimizing your Google PPC ads

Now that you understand the basics of how Google paid ads work, how can you get the best results from your campaigns? Luckily, you have several options for improving your ads.

Here are four ways to boost your Google PPC ads’ performance!

1. Target branded keywords

When you bid on keywords in Google Ads, you must choose keywords that help you reach the most relevant audience possible. In many cases, that means targeting the names of specific products or services. But perhaps the most relevant keyword is the name of your company.

That’s why you can benefit from targeting branded keywords. Branded keywords are keywords that include brand-specific terms like your business name or names of trademarked products you sell.

When you target your own branded keywords, it makes it easier for you to reach the best audience because anyone searching for your company name already has a vested interest in you. That makes them the most receptive audience to try to convert.

2. Harness RLSA

Keywords aren’t the only way you can hone your ads to a specific audience. Google has various audience targeting options, with remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) as one of the most prominent.

RLSA is a Google Ads feature that enables you to target your ads to users who visited your website in the past. Google can track traffic to specific pages and then direct ads to the people who visit those pages.

The reason RLSA is so useful is that, just like with branded keywords, anyone who visits your site has already indicated an interest in your business. That means they make some of the best targets because they’re some of the people who are most likely to convert.

3. Use ad extensions

Generally, paid search ads are composed of two primary elements: A title tag and a description. You can use those two elements to attract clicks, but your word count is not infinite. Fortunately, though, if you want to provide more information in your ad, you can use ad extensions.

 

 

Ad extensions are additional elements that you can tack onto the bottom of your ads. Some types of ad extensions include:

  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Site links
  • And more!

The reason you may want to use ad extensions is that they give you additional opportunities to attract users. Someone might not be interested in your title tag or description, but a link to a specific page on your website may intrigue them.

4. Monitor results

It’s easy to assume that once your ads are up and running, your campaign is finished— but that couldn’t be further from the truth. On the contrary, you’re only just getting started. If you don’t monitor your ads’ progress, they won’t benefit your business.

In Google Ads, you can view metrics related to your ads’ performance, like click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate. Keep an eye on these analytics to see which ads are performing well and which ones aren’t.

For underperforming ads, you can either reoptimize or pause them. For high-performing ads, on the other hand, you can consider devoting a larger portion of your budget to them.

2.4 Billion

IN CLIENT REVENUE

6.3 Million

Leads for our Clients

4 Million

Client phone calls

Our digital marketing campaigns

impact the metrics that matter most!

Learn More Icon Longarrow Right White

WebFX can help you get the most from your paid search ads

Could you use some help getting your Google paid search ads off the ground? WebFX has your back! With over 20 years of digital marketing experience, we’re the experts in Google search advertising.

With our PPC services, you’ll get help optimizing your campaigns for each of the tips listed above and more. You’ll also receive a dedicated account representative to keep you closely informed of everything we do for you.

To get started with us, give us a call at 888-601-5359 or contact us online today!