Google Ads, also referred to as PPC (Pay Per Click) is a simple and effective way to get links to your website to the top of Google search results when someone searches for a product or service on any device. Google Ads are popular because it’s so affordable – you only pay when a person clicks on your ad, which directs them to your website. It’s also very easy to understand the success of campaigns due to the traceability and measurability Google Ads provides.
The Google Ad Network and the Bing Ad Network working together
Both Google and Bing have ad networks and they work in a very similar manner. While many PPC advertisers view the two platforms as competitors, they actually work best hand-in-hand. Google undoubtedly has the majority of the search market, but Bing advertising certainly shouldn’t be forgotten. Rather than Google Ads vs. Bing Ads, marketers should be thinking Google Ads plus Bing Ads.
For the rest of this page, we will be talking about Google Ads, but much of the content also relates to Bing Ads.
Search network text ads
As with all Google Ads, search text ads operate on a pay-per-click model, in which users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their advertisements. Google selects which ad appears based on the quality and relevance of keywords, budget and Ad Rank. It’s similar to how an auction works but happens in a fraction of a second when someone searches.
The ads are displayed as text and consist of a series of text titles and links which are controlled by us when we create the campaign. The top 3 or 4 results in any search will be the ads.
The cost is incurred when someone clicks on the text ad and is taken to the webpage. But budgets can be tightly controlled by setting daily, weekly or monthly budgets.
Google’s shopping ads are highly effective for increasing sales on e-commerce sites, resulting in the most profitable source of paid traffic. Shopping ads are shown when a user searches for a product made up of the product’s name, image, and cost and the show above the text ads. Users view a picture and price of the product first before they click through to your website meaning traffic quality is significantly higher.
Customers will see 5 ads displayed with an arrow to expand the section, plus there is a link above to see all shopping ads.
Google Display Network
Google’s Display Network (GDN) consists of millions of websites which allow advertisers to display ads in multiple formats alongside relevant content. GDN is an extremely versatile platform, providing coverage to an estimated 90 per cent of all Internet users, and the capabilities to advertise to targeted audiences.
The Display Network offers a wide variety of ad formats:
- Text Ads include a headline and two lines of text.
- Static Image ads fill the ad block on the website they appear on. Advertisers can feature their own imagery, layout and background colours on image ads.
- Rich Media Ads can feature interactive, animated or other elements that change depending on who the ad is viewed by and how it’s interacted with.
- Video Ads can now be placed alongside relevant YouTube videos.
Remarketing works by placing cookies on the computers your website’s visitors. Google then knows to display ads specifically to those users when they visit sites on the Google Display Network. Remarketing enables advertisers to show their ads to everyone who visits their site, or to a more specifically targeted selection.
As an example, Google allows you to target ads just to users who have viewed a video on your homepage or stated on the site for a longer period of time. We can help to set up re-marketing lists to strategically target.
Anatomy of a typical Google text ad
Ads will vary depending on how they are set up, what ad extensions are included and how much competition there is for the keyword or phrase you are bidding on.
With careful use of ad extensions, you can get more links displayed within your ad, giving customers more reasons to click.
The image on this section shows two variations on this with the top ad displaying the star seller rating and two further link extensions that consist of a link and secondary text.
On the bottom ad you will see that it has one more line of text, rather than the star rating and has four smaller link extensions.
Get your star seller rating shown
Google has licensed 32 independent 3rd party review companies, such as Trustpilot and Feefo to provide seller ratings. These companies are authorised to display the stars that you see in your Google ads. Star ratings can make a big difference to click rates.
But don’t worry if the service you provide doesn’t have seller ratings. In fact, some services, especially in the B2B space are unlikely to get seller ratings, so you won’t be losing out by not displaying them.
Pretty much all of the 32 ratings providers charge for the service, so you need to factor this into your digital marketing budget.