Adding Google Ads to the Marketing Mix
September 21, 2023
Over the past couple of years, our team has been running Google Ads with some of our clients. We’ll be honest, starting and running Google ads is overwhelming at first. But as we’ve gotten more into them, we’ve discovered how great of a tool they are for an existing marketing mix.
When it comes to Google Ads, the potential is nearly limitless. We’ve seen over 100,000 new visitors to one of our client’s websites in six months of ads running. So, with everything we’ve tried and observed over the last few years, here are the highlights of what we’ve learned while running ads.
It’s best to get started when you have a solid marketing strategy in motion.
One of the things that have made Google Ads successful for us is the fact that we already have an existing marketing strategy in motion. The website is engaging and has SEO measures in play. Organic social media content is being delivered every day. Email communication is regular and we’re staying top of mind with our audience. So, Google Ads come into play as a boost to what’s already happening.
One thing we learned quickly about timing is that Google Ads take a while to get going. You can’t expect to see results immediately, and sometimes the hardest part is waiting. We found the ramp-up time was about three months to start seeing solid traction.
Targeting gets you in front of a more defined audience.
It’s easy to share a message with a broad audience, but being more specific on who you actually want to reach is what makes Google Ads successful. To make sure we only spend ad dollars on those who are likely to convert, we target by zip code, age, interests and other demographics. We can then implement retargeting campaigns to make sure we stay top of mind with anyone who has already visited the website.
A solid budget gets you started and adjustments along the way will boost reach.
Ad budgeting was hard when we got started a couple years ago. Some clients wanted Google ads running for $100 a month, and we quickly learned that was not worth the spend. In general, starting with around $600 per campaign per month is the sweet spot. That’s enough to get traction and get in front of the right audience.
In many cases, more budget means more results. Going from $600 to $6,000 per month doesn’t just equate to 10x the results. It can equate to 100x the results. Why? Because there is search demand for what we’re putting out there. Keyword research and planning tells us how many searches are happening each month and allows us to increase budget or even decrease the budget if there isn’t enough search demand.
The journey must be lined out.
The ads loaded into Google are just one small portion of the full plan. Lining out the customer journey is probably the most important step in implementing an effective ad strategy. We consider:
- Where customers land – a special landing page just for the campaign they clicked on
- How we collect data – a form is always available for the user to submit their information and become a hot lead
- The first communication – enter an email list, receive a phone call, etc.
- How we follow up – retargeting with a display ad, 7-day email sequence
Data is always the answer.
The data doesn’t lie. When running ads, we check the progress every single day. We look at impressions, clicks and conversions to determine what to do next. If an ad isn’t performing, it could be time to change the creative. If we are limited by search volume, we expand our audience or refine keywords. Using data to make decisions is the only way to ensure ongoing success.
Overall, the goal of running Google Ads is to get more leads in the door and get our clients more sales opportunities. The ROI for ad programs reveals itself quickly and offers our team a new way to think both creatively and strategically to hit the mark for our clients.. We’ve learned all of the complexities of Google Ads and seen outstanding results for our clients. The key was getting started and giving ads time to get rolling and, ultimately, deliver results.