In this article, we will cover why you should strongly consider investing money in Search Engine Advertising, specifically using Google Adwords. We will cover why we believe this is a winning strategy and the necessary steps to begin your journey using Google Adwords.

This article is part of a series of articles for founders, marketers, and anyone interested in the display advertising world. If you need to market your product or service you've come to the right place.

You can read the previous article of this series "How to Measure and Track Advertising Performance"which covers the necessary requirements you'll have to consider before starting any types of online advertising.

Start with search engine advertising

When you start to advertise your product/service it is heavily recommended to focus on SEA (Search Engine Advertising) only, then split your efforts to other advertising strategy and acquisition channels.

Why? Understanding how to create and optimize paid search ads works will take time but the insights you will gain from running these types of campaigns will help you understand who is your real audience. Creating paid search ads will help you understand your customers’ interests, and what keywords/offerings work best with them.

There are a lot of other platforms that will allow you to promote your business: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest,... Depending on your product and targeted audience, some of the above networks would maybe make more sense than Google Adwords in your acquisition strategy.

However, you have to start somewhere and if you’re reading this, you’re new to the game: we suggest Google Adwords as a starting point.

Starting with Google Adwords: defining ad spending budget

Google Adwords is one of the most used advertising platforms because of its reach, segmentation granularity, and cost-effective pricing.

A simple way to determine your campaign budget is to analyze the average cost per click (CPC) in your industry and related conversion rates (CTR). Doing some research on this can lead you in the right direction, luckily a little searching will help you figure out your costs.  After defining the budget to spend on a campaign and calculating your expected return on investment (ROI), you can calculate your monthly budget for a given month.

Start with a small budget (not too small or it won't work), typically 10% of your gross revenue -  Starting with $1000/m.

Some early criteria to follow:

  • Avoid High Competition keywords at first.
  • Leverage the Keyword Planner tool to find keywords from ad groups.
  • Don't just use every Ad Group Google will suggest. Dig into each one and find the keywords that are most relevant to your offering.
  • Setup 3–4 ad variations.

Free up some time to manage your campaign

At first, managing Google Ads will take a substantial amount of time so you will need to identify how much time it will take you to actually manage all your campaigns and gather your learnings. We suggest you create your own reports extracting data and importing it in a spreadsheet. Doing so you can monitor things like CTR, cost, and conversions over time.

It will take you quite a few hours (even more if you are new to this) to understand how the Google Ads platform works, especially setting up your first campaign properly. Consider it an extremely valuable skill, we promise it’s worth spending time.

You can also expect an advertising rep to reach out to you via email to schedule a call before and during your first few weeks of using Google Ads. Take all the help you can get, schedule the call!

Evaluate keyword search weight and associated costs

The best way to know if people are looking for a product/service similar to yours is to find how many associated terms are searched on Google.

To do so, you should use the Google Keyword Planner Tool to search for keywords and phrases related to your product and service. Think about what problems your target audience has and how they would search for a solution for it on Google.

Other keyword planning and analysis tools are available:

  • Ubersuggest
    A freemium toolset mostly advertised as a platform to generate content ideas and suggestions for your own SEO & SEA strategy.
  • Semrush
    Paid alternative with an extensive list of SEO tools (keyword planning, keyword tracking, SEO & backlinks audits, and many more. Starts at 99$/mo
  • Ahrefs
    A well-known toolset for backlinks and SEO analysis. Starts at 99$/mo
  • SpyFu
    The cheapest paid alternative! It still includes an extensive list of features enabling you to plan keywords for your SEA strategy. Starts at 39$/mo

Competitors benchmarking

To maximize your bid strategy you should analyze which keywords your competitors are bidding on, by doing so you can discover some interesting keywords...and you might decide to target such keywords in a campaign too!

For example, you could perform competitor research on terms that relate to your industry. This could give you an idea of what others are targeting and how wide their reach is. Widening your reach will increase your budget; however, at some point in your marketing strategy, you might need to compete on these keywords too.

For example, mattress companies not only target every product in the bed industry, but they also target sleeping badly and typical issues related to resting unwell in your bed.

Let’s say you have found a competitor, and let’s say you want to know how much they are spending on bidding on search terms you to are interested in. You could use the tool SpyFU. This website will give you all the information you want on your competition and their ad spend.

What's next?

After reading this article you should spend a few weeks practicing and implementing search engine advertising for your own business/project.

You’ve learned HOW a platform like Google Ads is very powerful and helps you get more views and sales. and you are finally running paid search campaigns. You’re probably already pushing your marketing content on relevant social media channels and finally, you are now looking for other types of marketing strategies to leverage.

This is when you decide it’s time to add display ads to your marketing strategy.

In our next article, we're going to do a deep dive into display advertising, the available banner formats and how each performs. You will learn how to plan accordingly your first display advertising campaign!

Best Performing Ad Sizes in 2020
To the end-user it may look like all Ad formats are similar, the truth is that not all of them are going to meet the same goals & expectations. Different sizes require different strategies, text, creativity, and call to action!