Writing compelling ad copy, crafting informative and appealing landing pages, and make it easy to contact your business is all important in online advertising. None of this matters, however, if your ads are not reaching the right people, at the right time, and in the right location. That is why learning how to target search ads is one of the most essential factors of building a successful online advertising campaign.
With Google’s vast and growing amount of data you can target your ads to appear to a hyper-specific, hyper-local audience. This is especially important to our clients who are in the home service industry because you want to reach the right client base in your service area. Our philosophy at AdMachines is the more specific, the better!
When you think about targeting your search ads, bring it back to your elementary school English days and answer the 5 W’s:
Who – Who is your target client? Has someone already visited your website?
What – What services are you looking to advertise? This lets you know which keywords to use.
Where – Where are your target leads located?
When – When do they need your service? When are they most likely to call?
Why – Why would someone want to call your business or why would they need your service?
Since every ad is different, it is a good idea to go through your different campaigns and ad groups and think about the 5 W’s.
If targeting your ads is essential, then properly setting up your keyword targeting your ad is critical. You want to make sure that your ad is being seen when someone is searching for a service you provide – obviously! Keyword targeting allows you to control what search terms trigger your ad.
A good way to determine which keywords you should be using is the Keyword Planner.
Think of the Keyword Planner like a financial planner who is here to diversify your keyword portfolio. It gives you tips and tricks to optimizing your keyword by telling you how much traffic certain keywords get and gives you ideas for new keywords. This allows you to truly think like a customer when it comes to your ad. Think about how someone who knows nothing about your trade will search to find your service. Usually, those customers will use a conversational tone. Who knows, they might even find your ad when they ask Siri to help them out!
The most important thing when it comes to creating keywords for your ads is making sure that you are reaching every opportunity you can. Using Keyword Planner, you can make sure your keywords are tailored to the customers that need your service.
Something else you should have set up is a negative keyword list. Negative keywords are words or phrases that you do not want associated with your ad. These are words that will not produce high quality leads because they do not match your service. For example, if you are a pest control company, but do not do possum removals you would add possum as a negative keyword. Negative keywords are crucial to a successful AdWords campaign because it prevents you from showing ads, and potentially clicking on your ads if they are not searching for a service you provide.
One way to come up with both keywords and negative keywords is a tool called the Search Terms Report. This tells you what people are searching for when they are seeing your ad or clicking on your ad. This can also give you an idea of what keywords you should add to your negative keyword list. If you see people searching for words that are not associated with your ad or what you are trying to sell, those should immediately be added to your negative keyword list.
Service areas are important to home service providers and you want to make sure you are reaching those specific people in those areas. Location targeting allows you to control the floodgates by making sure your ads are touching the right people in the right spot.
For local businesses, it is important to target your ad in specific locations. The more specific, the better to create that hyper-local experience. At AdMachines, we create different campaigns for each location our client targets so that the ad copy can reflect that specific area. Within each campaign, we will target the city as well as the zip codes that are in that area.
For example, if you have a plumbing company that serves several areas around the city of Clarksville, Tennessee, your ad will look local based on the city your ad targets. Here, the ad copy is different for Clarksville than it is for Cunnigham.
Another area to look at when it comes to location targeting is your advanced options. Your location targeting should be set up so that your ads will appear for people in, search for, or who show interest in your targeted location. This allows you to show your ad to people who may be out of the geographic area you have targeted, but are searching for it. For example, this would allow someone who works in Boston but lives in Amesbury Massachusetts who is searching for “drain repair Amesbury” to see your ad even if you did not target Boston. Because the city was in the search terms, your ad will appear. It is important to have this feature set up because 80% of consumers will look up something before they are ready to call.
Another way to make the most out of your advertising dollars with location settings is to set up location exclusions. This allows you set where you do not want your ads to be seen, allowing you to budget smarter by preventing your ads from being seen by people who won’t be able to access you. Much like location targeting, you can set this up for people searching in, or who show interest in the specific location for your excluding.
People now have their hands on devices they can use while sitting at a desk, sitting on the couch, sitting on a park bench, sitting on a horse, etc. AdWords makes it easy to track which devices your customers find you on and then use that information to your advantage with device specific bidding.
Device specific bidding lets you adjust how much you are willing to spend so that your ads show more or less often on specific devices. Google recognizes three different types of devices: mobile, computers, and tablet.
There are different benefits for each device:
AdWords makes it easy to see which devices you perform well on. You can go to your campaign settings and see where you are getting the most click or conversions on.
Once you have determined what works for your business, you can strategically bid on it using bid adjustments. This allows you to bid more or less for specific devices.
You can use device bid adjustments at the campaign and ad group level. Also, know that if you do a device bid adjustment along with another bid adjustment (like location or keyword) those adjustments are multiplied together to determine how much your bid will increase. If you do more than one device bid adjustments, such as one at the campaign level and one at the ad group level, the ad group device bid adjustment will be used to determine the resulting bid adjustment.
If there is a certain time of day that certain ads or campaigns have more success, then ad scheduling is going to be your best friend. Ad scheduling lets you tell Google the exact times and days you want an ad to run. When you set up your campaign, your ad was automatically scheduled to run at all times of the day. That means someone was probably clicking on your ad and costing you money at times you were not open. Setting up a custom ad schedule prevents that happen.
AdWords monitors data that helps you determine if it is a good time or day to run your ad. You can then use that data to set up ads to run at the best times for your business.
If you have set up a custom ad schedule fit for your business, there is a good chance that your competitors want to have their ads run at that time as well. In that case, you can use custom bid adjustments for ads at times that have a high competition. This will help your ad win out at the ad auction and help make sure it is seen at the right times.
Audience targeting and excluding involves analyzing different demographics of the people who see or click on your ad. For search network ads, we can see the age and gender of each person and analyze he or she’s clicks, impressions, CTR, CPC, and conversions.
You can analyze audience demographics at the campaign or ad group level. Regularly checking in on this data helps:
Google can get this data from people who use and are signed into their Google accounts (Gmail, Chrome, Google +.) However, not everyone uses Google accounts so it is important to remember that this is not a reflection of your entire audience. There are ways that you can include “unknown” audiences when it comes to audience targeting and exclusions so that you are not keeping your ad away from potential leads.
Once you understand which demographics your ad works with you can either or exclude different types of audiences. This lets you choose who you want to see your ads and who you do not want to see your ads. This is important because it lets you go after high quality leads while reducing the risk of having your ad clicked on by low quality leads. You can set up different audience targeting or exclusions for multiple age ranges as well as including which gender you plan on targeting or excluding. For example, you can target females ages 25-34 and 45-54.
Targeting your search ads based on the following criteria helps you reach the exact client pool you want based on location, keywords, device, demographic, and time of day. If you want to see how AdMachines finely tunes our clients’ campaigns to target the right audience, sign up for a demo!