If you have ever considered earning a Google AdWords Certification, the you are likely aware that you need to pass the Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam and one of two advanced exams.
In order to better understand the concepts that are covered on the Google Advertising Fundamental exam, the Google Partners team hosted a Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam – Refresher Hangout.
Refresher Hangout: Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam
The Refresher Hangout: Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam is designed to help experienced Google AdWords practitioners to prepare for the first step in achieving certification.
What Are Google Ads and Where Do They Appear
Ads Appear on Google Search Results
Believe it or not, many Google users are unaware of which links are organic (natural) search results versus the paid link, or Google AdWords ads. The screenshot below shows clearly which areas of the Google search results are typically where paid links (ads) appear.
And Millions of Other Websites
But Google Ads are not limited to showing up only in the search results. Some Google ads will show up on partner websites that are part of the Google Display Ad Network or what is sometimes referred to as GDN.
and the best part is that…
Advertisers are in Control
Google AdWords benefits:
- Control the costs with budgets
- Decide where the ads appear with targeting
- Edit ads and keywords (anytime!)
- Measure profitability and ROI
Align Advertising Goals with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
The key to success in Google AdWords is to focus on the right metrics for your goals
|Goal||KPIs||Account Elements to Focus on|
|Increase Site Traffic||Clicks, CTR||Keywords, Search Terms|
|Increase Sales or Drive ROI||Conversions, Conversion Rate||Landing Pages|
|Raise Brand Awareness||Impressions, engagement, reach and frequency||Ads|
How AdWords Ranks Ads
- AdWords is an ad auction, perhaps the largest ad auction in the world.
- Advertisers bid on keywords to win a position on Google.
- AdRank is determined by a combination of quality score and bid.
What is Quality Score
Given that Quality Score is one of two factors that determines how Google AdWords ranks ads, let’s examine some of the components that factor into an ads quality score.
A simple definition of the quality score is
An estimate of how well Google expects a keyword to perform
Let’s take a look at what this might look like graphically:
As we can see from the graphic above, the Google Quality Score has 3 components:
- Relevancy – relevancy of keyword to Ad
- Click-through rate, both estimated and over time, realized
- Landing page relevancy to search, keyword and advertisement
Google uses all three of these components to calculate a quality score for each advertisement.
Bids and Budgets
Now let’s take a look at bids and budgets:
- The bid, or the Maximum Cost Per Click (Max CPC) is the Maximum amount you are willing to pay for an ad click
- In addition to bids, daily budgets control overall costs.
Different Ways to Bid
Advertisers can choose a bid model that best fits their goals. Below are bid models available within Google Advertising:
- CPC: Cost Per Click
- CPM: Cost Per Mille ($ per 1,000 impressions)
- eCPC: enhanced CPC – Google varries your bids based on the likelihood of a conversion
- Flexible Bid Strategies
Let’s take a look at which bid strategy is recommended for each advertiser goal and at which level that bid strategy can be applied:
Bid Strategy by Business Goal
|Maximize Clicks||More Site Visits||Campaign, Ad group, keyword|
|Target search page location||More ad visibility||Campaign, Ad group, keyword|
|Target CPA||More Conversions at Target CPA||Campaign, ad group|
|Enhanced CPC||More Conversions||Campaign, ad group|
|Target ROAS||More Return on Ad Spend||Campaign, ad group, keyword|
With bid modifiers, advertisers can automatically change their bid for different segments. Campaign-level bid modifiers include:
- Ad Schedule
Ad Group-level bid modifiers are limited to Devices. If an advertiser has a device bid modifier at the ad group and campaign level, the more granular one takes precedence. In other words, if there is a difference, the device bid modifier at the ad group level will be used.
Ad Rank Example
To help bring some points together, let’s take a look at a an Ad Rank Example. In this example, Judy and Rob have the same quality score, but Judy has a higher bid. How much does she pay for a click?
|Advertiser||Max CPC||Quality Score||Ad Rank||CPC|
|Judy||$1.00||7||1st Place||$0.50 + $0.01|
In general, advertisers will pay 1 cent more than what is required to have the same rank as the advertiser below them.
Now let’s take a look at Google AdWords account structure.
To use Google AdWords, you will need a Google Account to login. If you have a gmail account, you have a Google login. Here are some considerations when creating your Google AdWords account.
- Pick a time zone (cannot be changed once selected)
- Pick a currency (cannot be changed once selected)
- Setup billing
- Bank account, credit or debit card
- Grant access to other users including administrative, manager standard, managed read only and email only access.
My Client Center
My Client Center provides agencies with a a single login for agencies who manage many AdWords accounts. The following figure illustrates who a My Client Center may be configured for an Agency organized around B2B (Business To Business) and B2C (Business To Consumer) clients.
The My Client Center, or MCC for short, is an extremely useful tools for agencies who directly manage many AdWords accounts on behalf of their clients.
Campaigns and Ad Groups
It is very important to understand the relationship between campaigns and ad groups as each has certain options associated with them. For instance, budget, targeting and bid strategy are set at the campaign level.
Ad Groups are comprised of Keywords, Ads, and Device Bid Modifiers. The following figure adds some additional details.
As can be seen from the diagram, campaigns can and typically do have a one to many relationship with Ad Groups. In other words, one more more Ad Groups are part of or comprise a campaign.
There are different aspects to an Ad Words budget, including:
- Daily budget: the amount, on average, you’d like to spend every day
- Overdelivery: Some days you may see 20% extra delivery cost to make up for slower days that underan daily budget
- Budget Delivery oOtions
- Standard (spread evenly through-out the day)
- Accelerated (spent as quickly as possible)
- Shared budgets can be set across multiple campaigns
Location and Language Targeting
Location Targeting by Specificity
Location targeting can be performed for several levels of specificity in the Ad Words interface. For example, location targeting can be done at the following levels:
- City, Zip Code,
As different locations are selected in the targeting interface, they become highlighted int the map so the user can see clearly the locations where their ads will be delivered.
Google Ad Words has a number of Ad extensions that can be used to influence Ad Rank while driving down cost per click. Ad can include one or more of the following ad extensions:
- Social Extensions (i.e. including circle count)
- Location extensions for business with multiple locations
- Sitelink Extensions (can also be set at the ad group level)
As can be seen from the Hertz.com sitelinks example, an ad may have multiple ad extensions displayed on a single ad. These site extensions can enhanced ad performance while driving down cost per click.
What is a Keyword?
A Keyword in this context is a word or a phrase that can trigger an ad. What is a good keyword?
- Specific to the product or service that you sell
- Close match to the searchers query
|General keywords = Lower click through rate = Few customers|
What Are Keyword Match Types?
|Match Type||Ads show on Searches For||Your Keyword||Ads Can Show for These Search Queries|
|The words or phrase plus variants, in any order||Alaska Cruise||
+Broad Match Modified
|Each word with a plus symbol must match or be a close variant like a misspelling, singular/plural form, abbreviation, acronym or stemming.||+Alaska Cruise||
|The word or phrase plus close variations in this order. Can include additional words before and/or after.||“Alaska Cruise”||
|The word or phrase plus close variations, in this order. Cannot include additional words.||[Alaska Cruise]||
|None! Ads cannot appear when this word or phrase is included in the search query||-Cheap-Jobs-Tom||Cannot show for:
Use the Keyword Planner Tool to Generate Keyword Ideas
The Keyword Planner Tool is available in the AdWords interface and can be used to generate a list of keywords to create ads on.
To use the Keyword Planner Tool, start by entering in a keyword or phrase that is relevant to the products and/or services you sell. Next, checkout the keyword ideas to see if there are relevant keywords that you would like to add to your campaigns.
Use The Search Term Report For Ideas
Another great source for keyword inspiration is the Search Term Report. Use this report to find out what users actually typed into Google search when your ads where shown.
This report shows the actual user queries that triggered the display of your ad. There may be common search terms that you can discover this way that can benefit your campaigns.
Google Paid Search – Text Ad Specifications
- 25 characters max including spaces
Two Description Lines
- 35 characters max each including spaces
- 35 characters max each including spaces
- 1024 characters max
What Makes a Good Ad?
The following are characteristics of a well designed Goolge paid search ad:
- Relevant to the keywords in the Ad Group
- Garners a high click through rate
- Stands out from the competitors and their ads
- Includes a clear call to action
- Meets Google review policy requirements such as
- No excessive punctuation such as !!!
- No generic calls to action such as “click here”
Landing Pages Link Ads to the Best Webpage
It is important to make sure your landing page is relevant to the search that triggered the advertisement(s) that are linked to it. The goal is to preserve the scent (or intent) of the users search query.
That means that when a user does a search, they have just told Google exactly what they are looking for. Advertisers want to reflect those same works in the Ad Text to make it immediately clear to the user that your ad is going to help them with what they were looking for.
Then when they click on the ad and are taken to the landing page that lets them do or buy whatever it was that they were looking for. If you take them to the homepage then they have to search again it makes it easier to hit the back button than search for what they were looking for. Linking ads to the homepage also creates a negative user experience an impacts conversation rates/ROI.
Tips for Ads
- Create mobile preferred Ads
- Chose the right ad rotation option
- Optimize for clicks
- Optimize for conversions
- Rotate evenly for 90 days
- Rotate evenly forever
Ad Preview and Diagnostic Tool
This is a good tool to see which of your ads are running without negatively influencing CTR by triggering your ads within Google.
Google AdWords provides businesses large and small, access to the largest online ad network in the world. In the hands of a skilled marketer, Google AdWords can help advertisers reach customers along different points during their buying journey.
If your business prefers to outsource you online advertising, make sure that any media partners demonstrate their proficiency in Google AdWords through their Google AdWords Certification.
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