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The 6 Necessary Boxes to Tick for Profitable Google Ads

By Paul Clarke, 06 November 2020

ppc consultant in hampshire paul clarke

Average read time: 5 minutes

Thinking of advertising on Google? Google search ads can be a fantastic way to generate customer enquiries and sales.

Whether you’re in a B2B or B2C market and whether you sell products or services, almost every purchase your customers make will involve at least one google search throughout their research and purchasing processes. So why doesn’t every business advertise on Google?

Well sadly (or thankfully), it’s not quite that easy. Google Ads operates on a closed auctions basis, meaning advertisers nominate bids (paid each time their ad is clicked) to display their ads in the search results for specific keywords or on specific websites (called placements).

Each advertiser’s bids are private to that advertiser, so nobody knows how their bids compare to competitors. Google also throws a ‘Quality Score’ metric into the mix, meaning in essence that the advertisers submitting the highest bids and giving users the greatest relevance (quality) wins the auction and displays their advert top of the search results.

It can be pretty complex, which is why most companies come to a PPC Agency like Proven Concept to manage their Google Ads campaigns.

But even with the best Google Ads knowledge in the world, the best products or services, and even with the best website in the world, there’s always 6 factors that will ultimately decide the success or failure of a Google Ads campaign.

These are the factors we look at when consulting a prospect. If you don’t have all of these points ticked off, there is probably no point wasting your money on Google search ads:

The 6 Boxes to Tick for Profitable Google Ads

1/ A well defined market demand
94%
2/ Keywords leading to the right commercial intent
96%
3/ Sufficient search volume
93%
4/ A coherent website or landing pages
97%
5/ Reasonable calls to action
92%
6/ Financial viability
91%
successful google ads

Let’s take a deeper look

1/ A well-defined market demand

When advertising on Google, it is important to know which keywords you wish your ads to be matched to. In new and evolving markets, this can be particularly challenging. If people aren’t searching on Google for what you offer, it makes sense that you’ll have to do other stuff to generate awareness, interest and demand for your offering.

Instead, you may need to take your ads proactively to the people through Display, Social Ads, or more traditional Email Lead Generation.

2/ Keywords leading to the right commercial intent

Let’s imagine you sell saucepans. A reasonable first keyword to target on Google is ‘saucepans’ and should lead to pretty consistent sales. But if every other saucepan seller is also targeting that keyword, it could make the auction expensive (possibly resulting in a non-profitable campaign).

So you choose to think outside the box and instead target the keyword ‘how to boil water’. The keyword is being targeted by fewer competitors meaning the competition levels are lower and the clicks are cheaper. But because half of the people searching ‘how to boil water’ are actually looking for a kettle instead of a saucepan, your sales conversion rates are halved, leaving you actually worse off.

The keywords you target need to have a reasonable chance of generating visitors who may want to buy your products or services.

3/ Sufficient search volume

Not only do people need to be searching for what you offer (point 1); there also needs to be enough people searching for it to support the volume of enquiries/sales you require.

If I want to sell 100 of my antique range saucepans, but only 2 people per month are searching Google for antique saucepans, this clearly isn’t going to pay for my early retirement.

4/ A coherent website or landing pages

Your website needs to do a reasonable job of interesting your prospects and explaining what you offer. If your prospects and customers are turned off or don’t understand what you’re saying, they’ll go elsewhere.

Avoid jargon unless your prospects will definitely understand it. Avoid flowery language (unless you’re a florist). And avoid large walls of text.

Keep the design and text as simple as possible.

On this point, we commonly encounter businesses that are striving for perfection with their web design. In our opinion, it’s great to strive for excellence but we don’t believe that perfection exists in the world of web design, purely because every customer is different and experiences the world in different ways. You can’t offer perfect content to all your prospects at once.

Just aim for your website to be clear and reasonably pleasant to visit.  Anything extra may be superfluous.

5/ Reasonable calls to action

Be clear in the next steps you are asking your prospects to take. And be reasonable in what you are expecting from people.

If you ask for too much, people will commonly abort the process. If you offer too much, you’ll usually generate a load of tyre kickers.

Pitch your calls to action based on what you would reasonably want to happen if you were a respected prospect in their shoes.

Also, regularly check that your web links and forms are working. You’ll be amazed at how many people don’t perform regular tests and realise their web forms haven’t worked for years. (Facepalm)

6/ Financial viability

This is the big one. If you pay £100 for 100 google clicks and convert 10 of those to sales making only £9 profit per sale, you’ve effectively swapped £100 for £90. Obviously this isn’t ideal or sustainable on a long term and scaled basis.

In reality, things are usually a little more complex than the scenario above.

a) You don’t know for sure how much you’ll be paying for clicks until they happen. The bids required to win an auction may rise or fall over time in line with competition levels (but you can set your maximum bids)

b) You don’t know for sure what conversion rates you’ll achieve until they happen

But the principle remains, you’ve got to have your maths right from the start. Knowing what conversions you reasonably expect to happen will enable you to know how hard you can bid in certain auctions.

We understand some markets use loss leaders. And we get the most important metric to follow is the lifetime value of each customer.

But if you don’t think your products or services give you enough margin to compete effectively on Google, it probably isn’t the right channel for you.

A professional PPC Agency or Manager will be able to help you set forecasts and expected acquisition costs (CPA) based on the most relevant and sensible data you have available.

For help understanding (and potentially ticking) these 6 boxes

Understanding these points in detail and deciding whether Google Ads could be successful for your business is one of the complimentary services we offer at Proven Concept. Please feel free to Get in Touch for further details.

Here to help

I hope the above article has been useful to any business considering the benefits of PPC or Google Ads for their business.

If there’s anything I’ve missed or if you have any questions, please get in touch and I’ll be delighted to assist. I can be reached on my direct email at paul.clarke@proven-concept.com.

Thanks for reading

Paul Clarke

The 6 Necessary Boxes to Tick for Profitable Google Ads 1

Before forming Proven Concept in 2012, Paul gained several years experience as an executive in online user behaviour analytics and conversion optimisation. His experience provided a solid background for the formation of Proven Concept, which was originally started as a digital marketing agency. As time progressed, Paul and his team developed a keener preference for paid advertising and particularly Google Ads. In 2019, Paul was invited by Google to become a contributor to the Google Ads Beta Testing programme.

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