Planning your Google Ads strategy can be tricky but with the right tips and tricks, you can easily run a successful Google Search campaign. Here is everything you need to know about planning your Google search ads strategy:

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is quickly becoming the standard for obtaining guaranteed and fast positioning in the top search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Unfortunately, it can also become the quickest exit plan for your new or current business if not properly developed and managed.

Setting up your first AdWords campaign can be confusing, but once you do it the first time, it gets easier and easier. In our Google AdWords blog post series, we’ll share our best practices so that you can become a seasoned paid search expert.

In this post, we’ll start with how to plan your Google Ads strategy to start your first ad campaign. As with any marketing channel, it’s crucial to have a strategy in place before you get started. Without planning, you’ll simply be throwing away advertising dollars.

1. Determine the Campaign Focus

The first step of developing your AdWords strategy is to decide what your campaign will be for. Here are some questions that may help you choose a focus for your campaign:

  • Are you looking to promote a specific product or service? Or do you want to promote and spread awareness about your brand?
  • What are your campaign objectives and goals?
  • What is the purpose of this campaign? Does it offer any value to your audience?
  • What are you doing on traditional marketing channels? How can your digital marketing be integrated with these efforts?

If your campaign object is too broad, consider separate campaigns. It’s more beneficial to have different campaigns running especially if your target audience is large. This way, you can tailor your search terms to male or female audiences, different age groups, interests, etc. This will hopefully lead to more clicks on your ads.

2. Know Your Customer

Create a consumer profile to help inform your AdWords strategy. Consumer profiles are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on their demographics and online behaviour. Educated speculation about a customer’s personal history, motivations, and concerns is also important to have noted. A consumer profile will help you to keep the customer in mind when making decisions for your campaign.

A useful tip that will help you understand your audience:

From your Facebook business account, you can access useful insights about the customers that engage with your business. From your business profile on your desktop, it’s located on the left-hand side under “insights”.

facebook insights tool thats useful for when planning your google adwords strategy

Then at the top of the page you’re going to click on “see all insights”.

Facebook Insights to help with google adwords planning with your Adwords strategy

Once you click on “see all insights”, you’ll be brought to an overview page. On the left hand side click on “audience”.

facebook overview, results, and audience. Useful when trying to figure our your adwords strategy

From there you can explore your current audience’s gender, age, and geographic area.

Although you can’t target genders on Google Search or Google Display networks, knowing this information is very useful when it comes to graphics and copy of an ad. Typically, when you’re targeting different genders you’ll use different imagery and language to catch the attention of your target audience.

Need some more help with your Google Ads? Book a one-on-one coaching session.

3. Prepare Your Website

Now that you have the preliminary research done and your strategy ready, you’ll need to ensure your website is ready for your Google Ads campaign.

  • Is your website structured to correctly appear on a mobile device?
  • Do you have content on the focus area you’ve chosen, or do you need to create some?
  • Will you use an existing page or do you need a new landing page that matches the look and feel of your ad?

4. Determining Keywords & Selecting a Landing Page

Keywords and landing page selection are very closely tied, and your ad copy will be determined based on these two elements. There are two approaches to planning your keywords and landing page:

1. You can start by planning the keywords. Think of keywords that describe your product, service, or brand. Brainstorm terms you think would generate search results based on your audience.

Useful tip:

Once you run a few online advertisements on Google Ads you can start using the keyword planning tool which populates keywords based on relevance and region. From your Google Ads interface click on “tools and settings” on the top right-hand side. You’ll see a drop-down menu – click on “planning” then “keyword planner”.

google ads keyword planning tool

From here click on “discover new keywords”.

discover new keywords - planning your adwords strategy

Earlier we talked about the geographic location of your audience and that it’s a great place to start when it comes to targeting your ads. Knowing that information comes in handy when using your keyword planner as well. Let’s pretend you’re looking for search results on the keyword “leather boots”. You can type that keyword, edit the location you want to target, and put in your website domain.

keyword discovery

On this page, you’ll be shown keywords that are sorted by relevance and potential keywords you might consider ranking for. It tells you the amount of times each keyword is searched on Google and if the term is competitive or not. Google gives you a minimum and maximum bidding cost for the first-page rank. You can also change your date range so you’ll know the search volume over a certain period of time.

list of keywords and alternative keywords that you can consider for your google adwords planning strategy

Once you have a list built of potential keywords, you can use the keywords as the basis of your landing page. Select an existing page of your website, or create a landing page with new content that reflects the keywords if you don’t have an appropriate page already.

2. You can start by choosing a landing page. If you have an existing page on your website that describes your product, service, or brand, use this as your landing page for your AdWords campaign. Then, take a good look at the content and pick out key terms to build your keyword list.

No matter which way you start, you will likely let the two work off of each other to build your campaign. Then, when it comes time to create your ad copy, you have both the keyword list and the landing page content to work from.

Planning your AdWords strategy is often the most challenging part of starting your first paid search campaign. Knowing your customers, defining your business goals, and then preparing for future ads are all important aspects of running a successful campaign. While often time-consuming, planning a strategy for AdWords ensures you are getting the most out of your advertising dollars.

Next: Choosing Keywords

Keyword, landing page, and ad copy take some time and thought to develop. In the coming blog posts, we’ll discuss each of these ad components in great detail. Stay tuned for more Google Ads best practices in the rest of our blog post series; subscribe to our newsletter.

This post is an adapted excerpt from our free eBook, A Beginner’s Guide to AdWords. To learn more about starting your first AdWords campaign, download the free eBook here.

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