By Yamil Amed Abud - August 04, 2017
It was the last quarter of the year 2000 and the world had just welcomed a new online marketing platform—Google AdWords.
“Marketing will change forever!” said nobody at the time.
Now it’s been 17 years ever since Google AdWords was launched and we can say that, with quite a certainty, Adwords did revolutionize Online Marketing after all.
As Google evolved, it acquired and/or developed its product line with platforms such as YouTube, Google MyBuinsess or Google Maps.
Google not only offered a better type of advertisement but also expanded their reach by placing ads all throughout the web—Google AdSense and DoubleClick.
I don’t want to get you bored with this but to fully understand that which is today, it is required to know what it once was and how it evolved through time.
Google AdWords, then, transitioned to become the king of Search Engines and leading advertising platform around the world. I know, it does sound like a lot of money.
In this article, we shall discuss all possible advertising campaigns that Adwords can run and, additionally, we will explain their functionality and purpose according to our Adwords Pyramid of Campaign Types.
Just FYI, I believe this is an incredible easy-to-read article. You’ll be amazed how clearly Adwords will seem once you finish reading through.
I’m not saying that just because I wrote it. *Right hand upon my chest.
Alright, let’s get to it.
The Adwords Pyramid
Let me give you a quick overview of what’s included in our Adwords Pyramid.
You may notice it’s built upon 5 different levels.
Based on our Pyramid, bottom-up, we will explain the overall Google AdWords setup process depending on your campaign of choice, and eventually, what follows from there—Campaign optimization, data analysis, and calculating your ROI.
Here’s a list of what to expect from our Pyramid, bottom-up:
- 1st Floor – Explain the purpose and functionality of each campaign type.
- 2nd Floor – How does remarketing work for each campaign type.
- 3rd Floor – Additional value for your campaign—Maps, reviews, ad extensions.
- 4th Floor – Analyzing your campaign performance—Google Analytics, conversion tracking, etc.
- 5th Floor – Determining your Return on Investment—ROI.
4 Campaign Types Explained in a Nutshell
Google AdWords – Search Campaigns
In the Google Search Network, ads appear particularly in the Google Search Result Page (GSRP).
When we talk about a search campaign we refer to Text Ads only. Sounds easy to remember, right?
This type of campaign is used to generate Leads and Sales only. Here’s an example of how your text ad may be shown on Google:
In Search Campaigns, you may segment your audience by:
- Ad scheduling (Days of the week, hour of the day)
- Network (Search Partners)
Search Campaigns fall under the Pay-per-click payment method as opposed to other campaign types.
Don’t worry; we’ll talk about all other payment methods shortly.
Google AdWords – Display Campaigns
Think of Display Campaigns as in Banner Ads, although you may create text ads too.
You are probably very familiar with banner ads and how they work; you see them every day as you browse through different websites.
They may appear anywhere on the screen; it depends on where the owner of the website has allowed for Ads to appear.
Take this other example of Banner Ads on YouTube:
A Display Campaign may have two different purposes:
1 – Generate Leads or Sales; this purpose works best based on a Pay-per-click (PPC) payment method.
2 – Build Brand Awareness; this purpose works best based on a Pay-per-impression (PPM) payment method.
PPM means that you will pay an X amount of money every time your banner ad or text ad is displayed every 1,000 times.
As opposed to Search Campaigns, the Display network provides additional settings, hereby the list:
1 – Ability to choose where you want your banner ads to be shown, which are referred to as Managed Placements—Websites.
2 – Target your audience based on additional segments such as gender, age, demographic, topics or interests.
3 – Also, you have the option to use keywords to target your audience; notice that in this campaign type only broad match keywords are allowed.
When we talk about banner ads, in particular, Display campaigns offer a variety of banner ad formats such as fixed images or interactive designs.
There’s a tool in Display campaigns that allow you to build banner ads automatically—The Display Ad Builder.
Additionally, within Display - Search with Display Select Campaign
With a pin aside, let me add that, within Adwords, you may also create a campaign type called “Search with Display Select”.
Think of a Search with Display Select Campaign to be the same as of a search campaign; however, your text ad will be shown throughout the web just like any banner ad, using same targeting benefits as that of a Display-only Campaign.
Notice it also serves ads as a regular Search Campaign. Cool stuff!
Google AdWords Campaigns - Shopping
A Shopping Campaign is helpful only for eCommerce—Websites that sell products. Here’s how it works.
To create a shopping campaign for an eCommerce website, you must:
1 - Create a Merchant Center account; one you install a piece of code on your website, you will be able to verify such account.
The Merchant center account is where you upload your products information—A Product Feed File. (Name of products, prices, description, taxes, etc.) This is the information you already have about your products on your site.
2 – The Merchant Center account is a separate account from Google AdWords. You must link this account to Google AdWords.
3 – Once the Merchant account is linked with Adwords, you will then, similarly to a Search Campaign, be able to create ad groups for your products—By Categories, product names, ID number, etc.
Notice a shopping campaign does not run by keywords or managed placements such as Search or Display campaign.
A shopping campaign uses the information of your products (The Product Feed File) to display your ads on two different sections of Google.com. For instance:
The main Google Search Result Page (GSRP):
The Google Shopping Tab:
In Adwords, a shopping campaign may be managed just like a Search Campaign—Settings, payment method, etc.—except that you would optimize your Product Information instead of Keywords or Banner/Text ads.
Simple isn’t it? Please, don’t get overwhelmed.
Let’s talk about the last campaign type we have on the 1st floor of our Adwords Pyramid.
Google AdWords Campaigns – Video
Let’s make it simple; when we talk about video ads, we are talking about videos hosted on YouTube.
Then, just like the Merchant Center account, you must link your YouTube Account with Adwords.
This way, within Google AdWords, you will be able to manage your Video Ads similarly to Text Ads or Banner Ads.
Remember we talked about different payment methods? Video Ads have what we call the CPV (Cost-per-view).
The cost-per-view may vary depending on what Video Ad format you are using.
For instance, there are three different types of Ad formats for Video Campaigns:
1 – TrueView in-stream Ads
This type of videos is useful when promoting content on YouTube in particular, but you may show these across the Display Network too.
Have you ever skipped an ad on a YouTube video after 5 seconds? Yup, that’s an in-stream ad.
Here, you are charged when the ad reaches 30 seconds, or the entire duration if it’s less than 30 seconds. Also, you are charged if a user interacts with the ad—Clicks on the website link.
2 – TrueView Discovery Ads
These are also known as “In-Display Ads”.
This format of Video Ads is shown on Related YouTube Videos, YouTube Search Result Page, and YouTube Mobile Home Page.
Here, you are charged when users click the thumbnail to watch your video.
3 – Bumper Ads
These Video Ads are 6 seconds or less, playing before, during or after another Video.
These can’t be skipped. Maybe that’s why Bumper Ads rhyme with bummer.
Yes! We finally made it to the second floor. Here, you will learn how remarketing can work for all the campaign types we have discussed.
It’s very simple, I promise. Shall we continue?
Remarketing refers to how ads, of any kind, follow users throughout the web after they have been on your site and left.
I like to call them Stalker Ads, but it never got popular.
By installing a piece of tracking code on your website, you may follow users after they leave your site.
This tracking code gathers information about all users and builds an Audience List.
An audience list is built at an Account Level in Google AdWords. Meaning that this list can be applied to any campaign type created within the account—Search, Display, Shopping or Video Campaigns.
Therefore, since it works with any type of campaign, you may do remarketing for: Text ad, Banner ad and Video Ad formats—Notice I said formats; there’s different set of formats within each ad type.
Before you can do remarketing on any sort of campaign, your audience list must reach a size of at least 1,000 users.
For those statistic enthusiasts out there: More than 90% of users won’t buy a product online on their first interaction.
Were you thinking about 1-click, 1-purchase? Ha! It’s not that easy.
Depending on your industry, or also your product line prices among other variables, the buying funnel for your product may require the user to visit your site 3 to 4 times, or perhaps even more before they may actually fulfill a purchase.
Based on that, I must say, remarketing is quite handy; stalking that user around, reminding him to buy your product.
Want to get more sales? Start stalking your users.
Welcome to the third floor. May I get your coat?
Here, we will discuss additional platforms offered by Google that are highly beneficial for advertisers using Google AdWords.
Ad Extensions – Google My Business, Google Plus & 3rd Party Reviews
Have you heard about Ad Extensions? These are not only meant to take more space in the Google Search Result Page.
Whether you have an eCommerce website or a local business, having additional information through different platforms about your business adds more value to whatever it is that you are offering.
Did I also mention the words Relevancy and Trustworthy?
Anyways, let’s try to review three particular platforms and see how these may help advertisers, a.k.a. you.
Google My Business
When we say MyBusiness, we practically refer to Google Maps.
If you were a Chiropractor, wouldn’t you want to be shown like this?
Creating a Google MyBusiness account means you are adding your business information to Google Maps; this makes it easier for users to find you, especially if you offer a service with a fixed location.
Now, notice that, just like any other account we have discussed, you may link your Google MyBusiness account to Adwords.
If you have a Pizza Restaurant and you are running a Search Campaign, your text ads may be shown along with a location extension, taking such information from your Google MyBusiness account into the Search Result Page.
If you want to learn more how to expose your business on Google MyBusiness, click here.
Again, this is just another platform offered by Google. Meaning what? Come on’, you know this one.
That’s right. You may link your Google Plus account to Adwords.
This means that when your ads are shown, the number of followers you have on such social media platform will be displayed along with your Ad.If you want to learn more on how to link your Google+ Account to Adwords, click here.
3rd Party Reviews
If you sold boots online, wouldn’t it be great to have a 4-star review right underneath each product?
Better yet, what if you could add your review to your Ad for people to see?
We all know how important reviews are. Being able to show this information along with your Ad it’s more than convenient.
If you want to know about how to setup Reviews Extensions for your Ads, click here.
So far you have:
1 – Created an Adwords campaign based on your advertising goals and objectives.
2 – You created a remarketing audience list; this way you will start gathering data about all users that visit your site.
3 – You have linked your Adwords account with other Google platforms that improve the value of your advertisement.
Now, you are about to run your first Search Campaign, including also a Display Campaign for branding purposes.
Before running your ads, it’s time to setup Google Analytics—Conversions tracking.
Data Tracking & Analysis – Google Analytics
Do you know what one of the greatest slogans about Online Marketing is? You can track everything!
And I mean everything.
I would never launch any online advertising campaign without being able to track users and judge performance since day 1.
By tracking data through your site and Google AdWords, you will be able to know how your money is being spent and how your users are interacting with your website.
By placing one single piece of code on all pages of your website, you will be able to use Google Analytics and track:
1 – Track all revenue from your site, if you have eCommerce.
2 – Track phone calls and contact form submissions.
The image above represents real goals setup in Google Analytics. The data may be reported as follows:
When you have an analytics platform as such, you have full control over how your money is being distributed throughout different campaigns—Search, Display, Shopping, Video.
3 – Track additional actions you want your users to do - User interaction (Pages visited, time on a page, bounce rate, etc.)
For instance, here is a chart that represents how all users interacted throughout the site, showing actions path and drop offs.
You have made it this far!
You… I like you.
ROI, this may be the most important aspect of your advertising campaigns: calculating how profitable your campaigns actually are, assuming, of course, that is the case.
ROI – Calculating the Results of your Advertising Campaigns
Again, the value behind online marketing is that you can measure performance with an impressive accuracy. Therefore, on this floor, we will review how ROI is calculated in two short yet simple examples.
I have divided these examples into: Lead generation and eCommerce.
Let’s assume that you provide Locksmith services, and that you have the following data about your overall service:
- On average, you charge $150 per job.
- You close a business for every 3 phone calls you get, which is a 33% conversion rate.
- Adwords overall cost was $650 last month.
As you see into Google Analytics and check your conversions on Adwords, you generated a total of 40 unique caller IDs. (You see why is important to track conversions properly).
Here’s your ROI calculation:
You converted 30% of 40 phone calls last month: 12 closed deals in total.
On average, your service is valued at $150 per job; therefore, 12 actual deals would mean you generated $1,800.
Remember you spent $650 in Adwords last month, meaning that your profit would be $1,150 ($1,800 - $650)
By dividing your revenue over your overall cost from Google AdWords, you get $1.76. That is, for every dollar you have spent on Adwords, you received $1.76 in return.
In order to track eCommerce data through Google Analytics, it is required that your programmer modifies the tracking code; this way, sales value will be reported in dollars based on the price of your products.
As you may notice in the image above, when tracking eCommerce through Analytics, you automatically get all values you need to calculate your ROI.
In this particular case, the advertiser in Google AdWords (Google/cpc) spent a total of $1,554.71 however, the campaigns generated $5967.59.
By dividing his revenue over his overall cost, for every dollar he spends on Adwords, he gets back $3.83.
Top of the Pyramid
We are at the top of the Pyramid, looking around all over the vast World of Adwords.
From simple campaign types to advanced remarketing techniques; all of your online marketing efforts are worth the pain only if you track users data properly.
And as we reached the top of this world, we understand the most important aspect of running Adwords Campaigns—calculating your ROI.
Online advertising it is a game. You must know if you are winning or losing!
If you want to get a Free Evaluation about your Adwords account, and most importantly, understand how to archive a positive return on investment, click here.