Did Super Bowl LV’s ads inspire you to rethink your company’s advertising strategy?

Most of us may not be able to pull out the stops like big-name brands and get characters like Wayne, Garth, and Cardi B to make a cameo in our commercials. (Great job, btw, UberEats!)

But fortunately for most small to medium-sized businesses, targeting a local audience is the nature of the game. So, if you don’t need a TV or national advertising campaign, what’s the next best thing?

With over 3.5 billion searches occurring on Google every day, there is big ROI potential to capitalize with Google Ads and reach your local audience via the search engines.

What is Google Ads? How do you make a successful go at it and convert website clicks into actual conversions and sales leads? And is it really better than the tried, tested, and triumphant practice of search engine optimization?

If you’re new to Google Ads, NEXT! Ad Agency has all the scoop on how this pay-per-click platform can help your business thrive in 2021.

What Is Google Ads?

Have you ever searched for products and services like “car parts” or “pizza delivery” and wondered why Google pulls up websites with the word Ad labeled next to their listing?

Those are Google Ads, pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements which appear on Google’s search engine results pages (SERP). The Google Ads platform allows companies to bid on keywords that are relevant to their business, paying to place ads with those keywords and rank in their local areas.

How Do Google Ads Work?

Anytime users click an ad and visit the advertiser’s website, the company pays Google for the click.

Clicks aren’t the only possible conversions, either. Conversions can include phone calls to the business, purchasing of products, signing up for a service or newsletter, or sending an email to the company.

Google Ads vs. Other PPC Advertising: Which Are Better?

There’s no shortage of pay-per-click advertising platforms out there (Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Bing Ads, to name a few.) But because Google continues to dominate world web traffic, companies can have farther-reaching results with Google Ads.

That’s not to say other PPC advertising platforms can’t benefit your business. If you have a large following on Instagram or if your target audience is younger and spends more time on the social media platform, running an Instagram Ad campaign may yield faster conversions than your website.

Keep in mind that the majority of consumers nowadays conduct Google searches. If you are a product or service-based business that needs a prominent presence on local SERPs, a Google Ads campaign is going to benefit you more than other PPC platforms.

How Does Google Determine Ad Rank?

With Google Ads, companies are essentially paying to appear at the top of search engine results pages. But it’s not as simple and straightforward as that. Because there are several factors Google takes into consideration when ranking a Google Ad.

First, Google looks at the bid amount on an ad. The higher the bid amount, the more likely the Ad will appear at the top.

But Google also looks at other components, like the ad’s click-through-rate (CTR) history and the quality of the ad (as well as the quality of the advertiser’s website). Ads that historically convert more queries into clicks, or ads that belong to high-quality, user-friendly websites, tend to rank higher on the SERPs.

Keyword Relevance & PPC Advertising

Google also looks at the relevance of the ad to the context of a search. Here’s an example to illustrate what relevance means in the context of a Google query:

Let’s say you are in Rochester, NY, and search for “chicken wings near me” on Google. Because Google can track your smartphone’s location, the SERPs of your query will most likely show PPC/Google Ads from Rochester restaurants bidding on the keyword “chicken wings.”

But if you were still in Rochester and conducted a similar search for “chicken wings in Buffalo, NY” ahead of a weekend trip, the SERPs would show Google Ads from Buffalo restaurants bidding on “chicken wings” rather than the restaurants in Rochester.

Day & Time Targeting

There’s more to Google Ads than simply bidding on keywords.

Companies can optimize their efforts by targeting users in their local area at certain times of day when sales leads are more likely. With the chicken wing example previously discussed, a restaurant may opt to run their Google Ad during dinnertime hours or on Sunday afternoons during a football game, for example.

Targeting Different Demographics

When it comes to writing the ad copy itself, having variations can help you target different demographics. A company may use jargon slanted towards a younger audience at a certain time of day when sales or conversions are more likely.

Let’s pretend you’re a taxi company bidding on the keyword “taxi services.” You may place an ad for “taxi services” from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM on a Friday night, using language that can appeal to your ideal customer at that given time, such as “Need a ride home from the bar?” or “Late-night taxi services.”

That same taxi company could also place an ad for “taxi services” on any given weekday between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM when airports are their busiest. By varying up the ad’s language, they can appeal to an entirely different demographic, like an older crowd, business travelers, or families who need a lift to and from the airport.

PPC vs. SEO: Which Is Better for Marketing?

Now that we’ve talked more about Google Ads and how pay-per-click advertising works, you may be wondering where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. Is PPC advertising better than SEO? Or is it equally or less effective as SEO?

The short answer: It depends.

It’s true search engine optimization can drive organic traffic and help a website perform well on Google. Not to mention, SEO is free if you take a DIY approach to marketing. And generally speaking, if you do hire a digital marketing company to help with your SEO efforts, it can cost significantly less than PPC advertising in the long run.

But no matter how strong and successful your SEO strategies may be, organic, search-engine-optimized listings will always appear below PPC ads, and they can easily become overlooked by the eager consumers who are looking to purchase a product or service right then and there.

It also takes far less time for a Google Ad to appear on the SERPs than it does for organic listings (which can take months, even with the best SEO practices instilled on a website.)

So, when it boils down to SEO vs. PPC advertising, one is not necessarily better than the other. Utilizing both can yield conversions and clicks and wholly optimize your online presence. But if you’re a product or service-based business and need immediate leads, Google Ads may be the way to go.

Are Google Ads Right for Your Company?

Making the plunge into pay-per-click advertising and Google Ads can seem daunting at first. But if you’re ready to revamp and modernize your company’s advertising strategy with the goal to secure immediate sales leads, running a Google Ads campaign may be in your best interests.

If you’d like to learn more about Google Ads and whether they’re a good fit for your business, contact us today, and stay tuned for more on Google Ads coming to our blog soon!

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