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My colleague Marian used to own a small IT repair and services business in the Northern Colorado area.
When people went searching for IT repairs and related services in the area she served, she wanted her business to show up in those search results.
She used a combination of paid and organic search tactics to drive awareness and sales for her business.
If you’re not sure of the difference between the terms “paid” and “organic,” stick with me because using both can improve the chances of people finding your business when they search.
So what’s the difference? Let’s look at typical search results
When you type something into the search box, Google looks at the term or phrase, and through their algorithms, they try to return the results that best match the term you were searching. The search results page (or SERP) contains the results, both paid and organic, that are most relevant to your query.
Below is an example of what showed up when I did a search for ‘custom garage door broomfield.’ The page includes both paid and organic listings. At the top, you’ll see the paid ads. Below those results, you’ll see the natural or organic search results.
Paid vs. organic search results
What is paid search?
If we define paid search, it’s when someone pays for an ad, like a Google search ads, to show up at the top of the search results page, increasing the chances of people clicking through and eventually doing business with them. In Google results, these paid advertisements are notated with the word “ad” in a green rectangle next to the website address.
Here’s a paid search engine advertising example on Google:
Google denotes a paid search add with the word “Ad” in a box.
Paid search marketing helps you compete in a busy marketplace to reach the top of the search results. In fact, 40 percent of clicks from search results go to the first three paid ads listed.
A paid search ad allows you to target the right audience through the most relevant keywords and phrases for your business and industry on a cost per click (CPC) basis. Cost per click means you pay only when some clicks on your ad.
Plus, you can reach people based on where your customers are located geographically which is especially important if you have a physical location. Google Ads are flexible so you can run them whenever you need to and with any budget you have.
What is a paid search strategy?
A paid search strategy includes a combination of aspects that allow you to reach the right audience through keywords and messaging that entices them to take action.
In order to set up a paid search strategy that works for you, it’s important to take some time to understand what you want to accomplish. For example, you might entice them to sign up to your email list to generate leads or make a purchase.
Having a specific goal helps you determine your target audience and other ad details. You want to understand their pain points and the reason for their search. This knowledge helps you to pick keywords and phrases that your audience is looking for.
Ad copy is also important. Ad text should be short and concise while catching their attention and inspiring them to click through to your website.
The last important piece is the budget. Google Ads allow flexibility to set a budget that works for you. You’ll only pay when someone clicks and your costs will be capped at a specific price so you won’t ever break your budget.
What is an organic search listing?
In the same search results page, below any paid ads are the organic or natural rankings. These non-paid results are determined based on algorithms for their relation to the keywords or phrases used in the search.
In some search results, people may see a “featured snippet,” also referred to as “position zero.” This organic result shows at the very top of the page, even above paid ads and it provides an answer to a specific question that the user is searching for.
While featured snippets don’t show up all of the time, they are a great way to answer a question and get your business in front of more people.
Below is an example of a “position zero” search result that answers the question “how to get my kid to go to bed?”
The result at the top of the page is know as a featured snippet or position zero.
Why is organic search important?
According to content marketing firm BrightEdge, organic search results account for more than half of all website traffic. Organic traffic to your website helps to improve your search engine ranking which also helps to show trust and credibility. Plus organic search results have staying power because they bring a more steady flow of traffic.
How do I get organic search results?
Ideally, you want your website to be at the top of the organic search results and you can use search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your natural ranking. While there are technicalities that go into SEO, at its core is providing valuable content and answers to the questions that people are already searching for.
Think about the questions you hear from your customers all of the time. These are the types of questions you want to answer in your content. Create a blog or a resource center where you’re constantly answering questions and providing helpful content as this helps to improve your organic result ranking.
Do I need to use both paid and organic search?
As you can imagine, online search algorithms change constantly to better meet the demands of users.
A strategy that may work today for your business may not work tomorrow due to changes in algorithms and the way people are performing searches. Unfortunately, neither paid or organic search results are guaranteed.
It’s about focusing your time and energy to do both. Run some tests so you can see what works best for your business. Determine where most of your traffic is coming from and focus your efforts there.
Organic search typically helps while people are in the awareness stage. Paid results can help with this too, however, most of its impact is on those who are ready to make a decision.
Plus, when people see your business twice in the results, it only enhances your credibility.
While paid search ads can be valuable to drive traffic over time, they can also be used when you’re ready to boost your sales or even launch a new product or service.
Organic search results are important to generate a consistent stream of traffic. Don’t forget, always be testing as digital marketing tools are constantly changing.
When should I start using paid search ads?
If you’re just getting started with online marketing, it’s a good idea to build a strong foundation with your website first. That begins with providing great, valuable content on your website, by answering the questions your prospects and customers are likely to have in regards to your products and services.
Once you feel confident about your website and organic results, you can experiment with paid advertising to boost your results and extend your reach. A website is typically where you’ll want to drive people from your paid ad.
The good news is that there are a ton of resources out there to help you with both organic results through SEO and paid advertising. Plus, great tools like Google Ads by Constant Contact are built to save you time and take the guesswork out of creating an ad.
Paid and organic search work together
Marian’s company directed people to a landing page on its website from their Google Ad. They offered a coupon for their services and asked people to sign up with their email address. She says “a landing page is great to use for ads because it’s specific to what you want them to do. You want to have them do something.”
Just note that improving your organic reach through SEO and using paid ads take time to work. Marian says “it’s a constant process” to see what works and make adjustments to improve.
Understanding these basic concepts will give you a good foundation for attracting prospects when people are searching for a business or organization like yours.
Remember technology changes, so it’s not something you can set and forget.
Keep your website fresh and continually add valuable content to improve your organic results. Add paid advertising to your online marketing strategy to boost your reach for those who are ready to make a decision or a purchase.

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If you’ve been providing paid marketing services to clients for any extended period of time, you know that every person you work with has a different level of online marketing knowledge. Some people might be experienced account managers, others might know basics, while others still might not know the industry at all. It can be easy to overwhelm and confuse your points of contact with too much data or jargon outside the realm of their experience. That’s why providing a personalized, concise, and streamlined method for reporting on the successes (or failures) of your hard work is foundational to building a long-lasting client relationship.

Creating personalized reports will also cut down the issues in client communication and make your check-in calls go more smoothly. Regardless of your client’s size or how long you have been working with them, providing improved reporting will always strengthen your relationship. In this post, I’ll walk you through some of my favorite tools and methods that provide superior paid channel reporting so that you can make your value clear to your clients.
1. Use the right tools
The first step in generating compelling reports for clients is to use the right tools to pull and translate the performance data. If you’re used to using spreadsheets for this data, you may be reluctant to switch to something else that requires additional investment. But you could be spending way too much time pulling and presenting data weekly or monthly—way more time than you would using real-time technology to do the same thing faster and better.
There are a variety of tools out there to help make pulling and translating performance seamless and aesthetically pleasing. I’ll walk you through a few that I use myself, as well as a few that I’ve heard great things about from other agency owners.
Databox
I am somewhat biased here: Databox is my personal favorite reporting tool. I’ve mentioned Databox in some of my other posts, but the sheer versatility it provides both the agency and the client is worth talking about again. Connect multiple data sources for a complete performance overview. Create templates that can be duplicated and personalized for each client. You can also invite your clients to their own portal where you can assign them specific dashboards just for them.

NinjaCat
Specifically tailored to agencies, NinjaCat is a great tool that is similar to Databox in many respects. It allows you to create personalized client reports and dashboard across 750+ data sources. Additionally, NinjaCat gives you the ability to monitor budget and KPIs to stay on top of your accounts, call tracking for paid search, and all of the native integrations you could ask for.

ReportGarden
This is another great option for reporting and monitoring performance. And in addition to reports and dashboards, ReportGarden has a plethora of features related to franchise marketing, proposals, budgeting, invoices, as well as an SEO audit tool. Some agencies might find these additional features as a selling point to cleanly operate their agency. I would suggest comparing ReportGarden to the other tools listed to determine which features are the best fit for your agency’s needs.

WordStream Advisor for Agencies
What’s better than automated reporting? How about a platform that allows you to streamline Google Ads, Facebook, and Bing workflows, recommends optimizations across platforms, and allows you to share success reports with clients? For PPC agencies, there really is no better complete offering than WordStream Advisor for Agencies. Outside of the robust optimization and budget monitoring features, WordStream’s platform makes it easier for you to demonstrate your value to clients with customizable Success Reports that allow you to share performance results across every campaign. Not only would you eliminate spreadsheets in the process of adopting WordStream, but you would also streamline numerous other time-consuming aspects of running your agency.

2. Personalize your reports
There isn’t going to a one-size-fits-all report: Each client you have is going to have unique reporting needs regardless of the particular niche that your agency operates within. Because of this, it’s important to make general reporting templates for basic performance data and then customize these templates to be specific to the client that you’re making it for. The best way to do this is by focusing on each client’s business goals.
Conversion reports
The tracking of tangible results is the common thread for the vast majority of paid acquisition clientele, so creating a report or dashboard related specifically to conversion activity over time is a great way to prove that your actions are visibly impactful on your client’s bottom line. Time frames for presenting such data vary from client to client, but I typically choose to display this information both monthly and quarterly. With advanced reporting tools, your clients will have the ability themselves to expand the date ranges to view trends if they so desire.

A great method for presenting this information is to run through conversion trends via screen-share with your clients. Allowing your points of contact to view (hopefully improving) trends within conversion volume and CPA will give them an immediate insight into overall performance as it is related to their goals. This will allow you to later supplement this information with supporting evidence via other metrics that indicate a healthy improvement of their overall account. The strategy here is this: Show your clients what is most important and easily digestible first.
Impression and click-related reports
As mentioned, you’ll want to present the goal-centric information first. This will allow you to show the client where they were previously and where they currently stand from a general performance standpoint. From here, you will be able to concisely convey the reasons behind the trends in the broader scope with the supporting data related to them. Some clients may be more interested in impression and click-related data, as that may in fact be one of their goals.
Funnel reporting
A great feature that these reporting tools have gifted agencies is the ability to track performance throughout the funnel. You aren’t limited to only displaying the surface-level metrics of Google and Facebook, for example; you also have the ability to connect HubSpot, Salesforce, Google Analytics, or others. The clear advantage to this is the fact that you have real-time access to how things are performing further down the funnel. This allows you to make more informed adjustments to the campaigns based on how the leads driven from them are performing on the backend. This also makes the job of presenting this information to the client much easier. Instead of reporting on the surface metrics within each channel and having to ask them to pull the information on their end, you both can have this information in one place. Reporting capabilities on how your ads are affecting your client’s bottom line will grant you undeniable value and proof of a job well done.
3. Break out the channels
If you’re using the right tools—like the ones I mentioned earlier—you can create single dashboards that compile all of the channels together. Unless the information is very high-level and straightforward (budget pacing, for example), I would argue against trying to jam everything into one report or dashboard. Instead, break out each individual channel (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc.), and give each its own series of dashboards that effectively break down the layers of metrics. In addition to giving you more room to display supporting KPIs, breaking out the channels will prevent the client from being distracted by poor performance in one channel versus another. The last thing you want on a call is the client ignoring the good performance while obsessing over the bad.

The inherent differences between paid channels is another good reason to do this. Your strategy between Google and Facebook is most likely going to be very different. The simple fact that these channels serve ads and optimize via their algorithms differently is reason enough to keep the information separate. I would suggest keeping the data all in one place if the client is small enough and the performance data is fairly straightforward. Otherwise, take the time to make channel-specific dashboards.
4. Have more than one report for each channel
In addition to breaking out reports by channel, I suggest creating multiple reports for each of these channels. As I had mentioned previously, you’ll want to start simple but have the option to display more complex information depending on the client and the evidence you need to present. Compiling all of the necessary data within one report may sound like the best option, but it makes more sense to create reports with varying degrees of detail and complexity. A main dashboard that addresses high-level metrics related to budget pacing, impressions, clicks, and conversions is a good place to start. From there, you’ll allow your client to take a look into some of the details of the paid campaigns, such as targeting, keywords, and impression share.

Paid search alone has so many data points and moving pieces that are a part of the whole puzzle that it makes sense to create templates for these. You may never need to use these templates for some clients, but for others you will—and with templates, when the time comes you will be able to quickly duplicate the report and connect the necessary data sources. This will save you hours of time in the long run because you won’t have to build entire reports from scratch every time.
5. Create reports for your own use
These tools are great for clients to get a real-time look at how things are performing, but there is additional value in being able to compile important information into one dashboard for yourself. You’re likely spending hours a week logging into your respective channels just to determine your next plan of action. The beauty of these platforms is that you can make separate dashboards or reports for you and your team to stay on top of the most important aspects of running an agency. Spend pacing per client, conversion pacing towards goals, and dips in KPIs can all be monitored quickly. This will save you time when making your optimizations and prioritizing which client accounts need your immediate attention.

Reporting is the most important factor in client satisfaction outside of your expertise and ability to run successful paid marketing campaigns. Giving your client an easy, great-looking way to understand a report or dashboard could make a world of a difference. If your client is relatively new or has had bad experiences with other agencies, your ability to be a cut above the competition in the customer relationship department will go a long way.

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How to Set Your Google Ads Budget

Wednesday, 19 June 2019 by

The usual starting point for setting up a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign is to establish your Google Ads Budget. In fact, the most asked question we get is “How much will this cost?” followed closely by “What is the Return on Investment (ROI) of a Google Ads campaign?”. Both are good questions. However, the answer isn’t straightforward. Here’s what I mean.
A Few Terms
For this to all make sense, let me define a few key terms.

CPC – Acronym for Cost Per Click. This is the amount Google will charge your ad account when a user clicks your ad.
CTR – Acronym for Click Thru Rate. This is a percentage. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks on an ad by the number of times the ad was shown.
Landing Page – The web page that the user will see after they click your ad. This page explains the offer behind the ad and gives the user directions or a choice.
Quality Score – This is a Google assigned value for your ad. This is based on a formula looking at your ad’s relevance to the search topic, an estimate of CTR, and the landing page experience. This includes page design, mobile-friendly layout, and SEO.

Now, the definitions are out of the way. Let’s continue to look at the pricing.
Auctions Abound
The Google Ads platform is a continually running auction.Relevant ads are shown when someone types a search query into Google. The ranking, or order, of the ad choices is based on an auction. Here’s how the ranking works.
For the ordering of ads, Google calculates your Ad Rank. When your ad is determined to be available for display, the simplified formula is:
Ad Rank = Maximum CPC Bid x Quality Score
You can see how this idea helps to level the field. It’s not always about who is willing to pay the most. In fact, the Quality Score is just as important as the CPC bid. This is to protect users from seeing ads promising one thing and seeing a landing page on a different or misleading topic. Additionally, this allows a newcomer to have a fighting chance in a competitive market.
Now that ranking has been established, we can move on to the actual cost of the campaign and set the budget for your Google ads.
And The Winner Is…
The final piece of the puzzle is determining the actual ad click cost. Of note, there is more than one bidding strategy on the Google Ad Platform, However, for this post we will be focusing on the most common strategy and pricing model, the CPC Model.
When the ad is clicked on, Google will charge your ad account. The amount charged is determined by this formula:
Sale Price = Ad Rank of Ad Below Yours / Your Quality Score + $.01
Again, you can see how Quality Score affects your entire Google Ads campaign. To help, Google does provide a handy tool to help you discover related words and expected costs.
So About That Google Ad Budget
Now that you have the tools to forecast, and the knowledge of how the playing field works, you can start to set your budget. If you take your average CPC and multiply by the number of clicks you are looking for you can get a daily budget. Remember start conservative, but be realistic.
In addition, be sure to routinely check the health of your landing pages. Google makes these tools available to you so you can advertise as effectively as possible. So please, use them. Spend wisely and let the world know about your awesome brand.

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Whether you are a start-up company ready to break into Google Ads for the first time or a small business that has been running ads for a while, you might not have a massive budget to spend on advertising. But either way, you still need to get the word out there somehow.
Google’s Search Network is still one of the best ways to capture user intent. But if people don’t know about your products or services, they aren’t going to search for you on Google. This is where the Display Network can help out: Brand awareness is the single biggest benefit of Google Display advertising.

Here, I’m going to explain why expanding to awareness marketing on the Google Display Network is important to your account’s success. And because this knowledge is nothing without strategy to act on it, I’ll leave you with a few tips to get your Google Display Network advertising started off on the right foot.
Google Display campaigns build brand awareness
Before we get into some tactical steps, let me share a real-life scenario here and see if you have ever come across a similar situation.
I have one client who was running primarily branded, Search Network campaigns in Google Ads when we first took over the account. Because of their smaller budget, this client told me they were primarily sticking to brand campaigns because their branded terms (no surprise whatsoever) had the best CPCs and CPAs. Again, not a shock—that’s to be expected. But branded campaigns don’t help a smaller business grow.
When I suggested to this client that they should consider expanding more of their non-branded campaign efforts, they were extremely hesitant. The reason for their apprehension was the big CPC and CPA difference when comparing the branded versus non-branded campaigns.

Their hesitation is completely fair. Telling them to spend more money on keywords that are more expensive and convert at a lesser rate isn’t an appetizing solution. They pushed back and suggested that we spend more on their branded terms. The issue with that request was we were hitting nearly 100% search impression share, our current brand campaigns were not limited by budget, and there weren’t any more branded keywords we could add to the account. We were already capitalizing on all of the brand demand that was out there. Here is where the Display Network comes in. Like I said, people aren’t going to search for you if they don’t know you exist. If you want more people to be searching for your brand name, you’re going to have to invest in building that awareness.
We can also use the Display Network to build brand affinity. Larry Kim wrote a post on why brand advertising drives more conversions than you think. That post explains perfectly how the Display Network can fit right in. When we spent some budget on reaching out to new users for this client, yes, more people started searching for our brand name (not just paid searches). But we also saw our non-branded campaigns perform better. Larry sums it up nicely:
“The single biggest predictor of whether people will purchase is whether they’ve heard of you before.”
Spending money on boosting the brand helped increase the CTRs and lower the CPAs of our client’s non-branded campaigns. The more people are familiar with your brand—assuming you’re branding to the proper audience, and more on this in a minute—the more likely the trust your brand as the more desirable option.
How to build brand awareness with audience targeting
Now that we see the importance of investing in awareness, let me show you a few ways you can reach your desired users. One of the biggest initiatives in the paid media world right now is audience targeting. We are seeing the degradation of keyword match types by the search engines along with more features being released that allow PPC marketers to focus on groups of people instead of search terms. So, while we look at focusing on the user, the most important step we should take first is to find out who our target user really is.
If your business does not have a ton of money to spend on user research, it’s okay. You do not need to spend lots of budget on persona studies. There are a few free tools Google gives to marketers that better help us home in the user most likely to take action from our ads—here’s how to make the most of the top two tools for targeting on the Display Network.
Google Analytics
In Google Analytics, head over to the Audience report. Select “Interests.” Then click on “Overview.” Here, you will get a snapshot of with Affinity and In-Market audiences where your current users fall into.

The segment view will default to All Users, but you can change it to whatever you have set up in your Google Analytics. Add in the factor of the date range and your Key Metric selection, and you will get the first ten audiences for each category. You can click on each option to get deeper stats on each of the audience types if you want to, but checking out the higher level stats is a good place to start. One last factor to note: If you look in the top right corner of each category breakout, you’ll see Google is only showing you a certain percentage of users with the chosen segment. So while this is a great place to start, remember, it’s not perfect.
Google Ads Audience Insights
Audience Insights is another great free tool provided by Google. This tool is in Google Ads under “Tools,” “Shared Library,” then “Audience Manager.” By default, advertisers will see which in-market and affinity audiences the users from the “All visitors (AdWords)” belong to. Just like the audience reports we just went over in Google Analytics, the affinity and in-market audiences in the Audience Insights tool are exact targeting options you can use for the Display Network. To make the research more meaningful for the advertiser, we can change the base audience to almost any website visitor, YouTube user, or customer list audience you have created within Google Ads. Here is a small example of the types of audiences you can review using the tool.+

For this client, I looked at all users, all converters, blog subscribers, and users who logged in on the site. You’ll notice the audience categories change depending on the base audience I’m using, which depends on the audience I’m looking to use to expand my reach. The difference in audience results will help guide you structure your awareness campaigns depending on the goals of your campaign.
You may see certain audiences are grayed out when trying to review them in the Audience Insights tool. This occurs because that particular audience does not have enough users built up to be able to review within the tool. Your audience needs to have at least 1,000 users in order to break down the audiences within Audience Insights.
Whether you use Google Analytics data or the information from the Audience Insights tool, the in-market and affinity audiences you see in the results are the exact audience options we can choose to target in Google Ads. If you see consistent patterns between the various audience breakouts, you know you have a better chance of expanding to more relevant users. Take the time to conduct the extra research to make sure you’re putting ads in front of the most relevant user possible. It can save you a lot of money—or make you money—in the long run.
Remember where users are in their buyer’s journey
Another scenario—in case you are wondering, yes, I do have plenty of stories to tell—I come across when taking on a new account or working with a current client comes across when I ask for new image ads to implement. What I see a lot is the client will create one set of ads and will want to use the exact same creative for every single Display Network campaign. This is a big no-no in my book, and here is why.
Someone who has visited your website is different than someone who has never heard of your brand before. People who belong to in-market audiences are in a different “purchase mode” than users in an affinity category. Users in different audiences have different intent and are in different phases of the buyer’s journey. Start segmenting these users (as volume allows) to better control your budget and ad creative.

In the image above, you can see this Display campaign ad group breakout is by in-market audience. It would be pretty hard for the advertiser to use one set of ads and maximize the full potential of this targeting breakout. Yes, you could have a generic branding ad, but that doesn’t make a psychological connection that speaks to the user and what solutions they need in their life at the moment. If someone is looking for an apartment to rent, show that in your ad creative. If someone is looking to rent a house instead, show them a house to rent! The more you speak to the user, the better results you will see—and this will make the investment in Display advertising a lot more worth it.
Use Display to grow your business in a cost-effective way
Google gives us some great tools to better help small businesses find out who their best performing customers are and how to reach more users just like them. Staying on top of a user’s mind can lead to more people searching for your brand name or going directly to your site later on. And as more people are familiar with your brand and trust your brand, the better off all of your search campaigns will be. If people are not searching for your business name or the products and services you offer, you will have to invest in building that awareness. And the Google Display Network is an affordable way to help in that initiative.

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Nothing gets people going like a good rivalry. Jason Varitek planting his catcher’s mitt directly on Alex Rodriguez’ face is an iconic moment in professional baseball history. Pusha T setting Twitter on fire with the news of Drake’s secret child was the most memorable hip-hop moment of 2018. John Wick dethroning Mission: Impossible as this decade’s coolest, most incredibly unrealistic action film franchise is more important to me than I’d care to admit.

But the intensifying rivalry we’ll be looking at today has nothing to do with sports teams, rappers, or indestructible men who—much to my disappointment—don’t actually exist. Instead, we’re here to talk about tech companies—Google and Amazon, to be more specific.
During last month’s Google Marketing Live keynote, Google’s VP of Engineering for Shopping and Travel, Oliver Heckmann, announced two big changes coming to Google Shopping this year:

A bigger, better Google Shopping experience
The expansion of showcase shopping ads

Although the majority of this post will be dedicated to breaking down these announcements, we think it’s important to frame them within their broader context: As Amazon continues to improve its rapidly growing ad business, Google means to dominate ecommerce.
Google vs. Amazon: Setting the scene
The digital advertising market has been a duopoly for a while now. At the time of this writing, roughly 60% of digital ad spend goes to Google and Facebook. Although Microsoft (which owns Bing and LinkedIn) and Verizon (which owns AOL and Yahoo) hold steady market shares, neither of them has struck experts as legitimate contenders to become the industry’s third giant.

Via Statista.
Enter: Amazon. As of 2018, it’s the most popular place to search for a product online—a title formerly held by Google. Although millions of consumers are beginning new product searches on Google every day—indeed, this alone is reason to run Shopping ads—Amazon now reigns as the go-to ecommerce marketplace. Accordingly, advertisers are shifting more and more dollars to Amazon, thus driving the company’s ad sales through the roof. In Q1 of 2019, their advertising revenue spiked to nearly $3 billion—a far cry from Google’s quarterly mark of $30 billion, but potentially significant of an industry sea change nonetheless.
As is the case with all good rivalries, one party’s zig is met with the other party’s zag. Google isn’t going to sit idly by while Amazon takes bigger and bigger chunks of its ad revenue. That would be the tech equivalent of Drake failing to clap back after Pusha T exposed his—oh, right.
So, how does Google respond? By improving Google Shopping and delivering more value to their ecommerce advertisers. That’s exactly what they’ve done with these changes unveiled at Google Marketing Live. Let’s take a look at each one in turn.
Change #1: A bigger, better Google Shopping experience
Amazon’s comprehensiveness makes it appealing. No matter what you’re using the platform to look for, you’ll probably find a wealth of information about it. This is crucial, of course, because a lot goes into online shopping. As much as we’d like it to be the case, consumers don’t simply head to Google, do a quick search, and pick one of the options presented to them. Along the path from inspiration to purchase, they like to answer quite a few questions:

Brands: Who’s offering what I’m looking for?
Prices: How much should I expect to pay?
Locations: Is this available in any stores near me?
Features: Which option best meets my unique needs?
Reviews: What are other people saying about each option?

Although some of these questions are more important than others—too high of a price can be prohibitive, for example—each of them plays a role in influencing purchase decisions. The less work consumers have to do to find this information, the less frustrating their online shopping experiences. Amazon has proven this, and Google has taken note—and their vision for the new Google Shopping experience proves it. Let’s take a look at its major value propositions.
1. Easily find and purchase the most relevant products
Rolling out this year, the new Shopping experience enables users to browse millions of products and find all the information they need to make informed purchase decisions. When someone searches for a product (e.g., running sneakers), they’ll be able to filter the results according to their personal needs and preferences. Whether they’re looking for a specific brand, color, size, feature, price, or any other attribute you can think of, Google Shopping will deliver them the most relevant results.
Once the shopper has found the perfect pair of running sneakers, they’ll have their pick of buying options: from the seller’s website, from a nearby brick-and-mortar store, or—in certain cases—directly from Google within the Shopping interface. The latter option signifies the effort to incorporate the best parts of Google Express—Google’s less-than-thriving shopping cart and delivery solution—into the new Shopping experience. If a shopper does decide to purchase directly from Google, they’ll enjoy the comfort of guaranteed returns and customer support.

In other words, the reimagined Google Shopping is a full-fledged ecommerce marketplace—a direct competitor to Amazon. The key advantage, of course, is that it enables sellers with brick-and-mortar locations to drive foot traffic to local stores. So, whereas Amazon is a fantastic way to sell products online, Google Shopping is a fantastic way to sell both online and offline.
2. Browse personalized recommendations
After our runner friend (let’s call him Ron) has made a few more purchases—a couple pairs of shorts and a water bottle, let’s say—he’ll notice something new about the Shopping homepage: It’s personalized with recommendations based on his past searches and purchases. From here, Ron can browse all kinds of relevant items and start thinking about what he wants to buy next.

This is a particularly strong feature, in my opinion, not only because it borrows directly from the Amazon homepage, but also because it taps into the logic at the heart of another rapidly emerging ecommerce platform: Instagram. Instagram’s successful transition from a fun social media network to an honest-to-goodness ecommerce platform is due, in large part, to the personalized nature of the browsing experience. Because users have full control over which brands they follow on Instagram, they’re able to curate their own digital shopping experiences.
By using machine learning to personalize users’ Shopping homepages, Google is effectively replicating the Instagram experience. In fact, they’re improving the Instagram experience. Google can use the data it collects not only to show users the brands and products they want to see, but also to predict the brands and products users may want to see. We’re no longer talking about a channel designed to simply capture commercial intent; we’re talking about a channel designed to inspire commercial intent.
3. Shop wherever you please
Despite the seamlessness and comprehensiveness of the new Shopping interface, you can’t expect your prospects to use it whenever they feel inspired to make a purchase. No matter how badly someone wants or needs your product, the fact of the matter is that it takes effort to open up Google Shopping, apply the necessary filters, and buy something.
That conversion-killing friction is precisely why the new Shopping experience will extend beyond the Shopping interface itself and into the realms of Images and YouTube. At the time of this writing, certain search queries are triggering shoppable results under the Google Images tab. Starting July 15, users will see shoppable results on YouTube as well.

The reasoning behind this extension of Google Shopping into new properties is simple. Across devices and platforms, consumers make tons of touchpoints with their favorite brands every day. Although different consumers are at different points in their respective customer journeys, each of those touchpoints—in theory—is an opportunity for you to make a sale. By eliminating the need for in-market consumers to actively search for your products, the new (and broader) Shopping experience enables you to turn those opportunities into revenue.
As an example, let’s say you’re advertising athletic t-shirts and Ron the runner is one of your prospects. Previously, you’ve served him ads as he scrolls through YouTube videos related to running. Although he’s been enticed by your products, he hasn’t bothered to search for your brand on Google. In just a few weeks, he’ll no longer have to. Thanks to shoppable YouTube ads, going from inspiration to purchase will barely require lifting a finger.
In a nutshell: Whereas Amazon advertisers can only reach consumers on Amazon, Google Shopping advertisers can reach consumers across relevant Google properties.
How to get in on the action
If you’re as excited as I am about the new Shopping experience and you want to take advantage of all the opportunities it has to offer, you’ll have to join Google’s Shopping Actions program. Available only to sellers in the US and France, Shopping Actions is essentially a tool that enables you to connect with and sell to consumers across Google’s properties.
To join the Shopping Actions program in the US, you need to be a Shopping advertiser with systems for fulfillment, returns, and customer support already in place. Get started here.
Change #2: The expansion of showcase shopping ads
As I mentioned when discussing the personalized Shopping homepage, Google doesn’t want to simply create another marketplace that consumers visit when they already know which products they want to buy (cough, cough, Amazon, cough, cough). To borrow the words of Search Engine Land’s Ginny Marvin, Google wants to “own the whole funnel”—and that means inspiring consumers with relevant content when they’re in the mood for discovery.

That was the motivation behind the introduction of showcase shopping ads back in 2017. The idea was straightforward enough: When a user does a broad product search, invite them to browse a collection of relevant offerings. Effectively, the showcase shopping ad type has been a way to assist consumers who turn to Google Search to discover new products.
But regular ol’ Search isn’t the only way people discover new products, is it? Nope. Google Images, for example, is an awesome way to find new ideas for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle purchases (which is why, as mentioned before, shoppable images results are now live). Elsewhere, users turn to Google Discover (long live the news feed) when they need to catch up on the stuff they care about—thus giving you, as an advertiser, a golden opportunity to introduce them to your business. And then, of course, there’s YouTube—arguably Google’s greatest asset. Two-thirds of users have watched a video to help them make a purchase decision. Of those users, 80% say they watched that video at the beginning of their customer journey. Translation: YouTube is a phenomenal place to help consumers discover new products.

Given alllll of that, it was only a matter of time until Google expanded showcase shopping ads beyond Search and into the other properties people turn to for discovery. Once these additional placements are fully rolled out, you’ll be able to bring consumers to the top of your marketing funnel no matter where they are.
How to get in on the action
The only requirements for running showcase shopping ads are (1) that you’re a Shopping advertiser and (2) that you have an active Shopping campaign. If you check both of those boxes, here’s what you’ll have to do.
Open up your Google Ads account and select Ad groups from the left-hand menu. Click the blue plus button and then Select a campaign. Once you’ve found the Shopping campaign you want your showcase shopping ad to live in, select Create ad group. When you’re prompted to select an ad group type, pick Showcase Shopping. From there, you’ll need to name your ad group and set a bid. Keep in mind that the bid you’re setting is on a cost-per-engagement basis (CPE). This means that you’ll pay every time someone expands your ad and spends at least 10 seconds browsing or whenever someone clicks a link within your ad.
Once you’ve named your ad group, set a bid, and selected the products you’d like to display, it’s time to create your ad! All this requires is a header image (which will appear at the top of your ad when a user expands it) and a couple items of ad copy. Make sure everything looks good in the preview window, click Save and continue, and you’re ready to go!
Google vs. Amazon: Why the new Google Shopping matters
Amazon dominates ecommerce. There’s no getting around that. Although it’s as much a cloud computing company as anything else, the terms “Amazon” and “online shopping” have become virtually one in the same. Google is the gatekeeper to everything online—except products.
The company can’t do much about consumers’ increasing preference for beginning their product searches on Amazon. What it can do is worry less about connecting advertisers to consumers when they’re actively searching for products and focus more on turning key touchpoints into opportunities for both discovery (top of funnel) and sales (bottom of funnel).

You’ll notice that creating a one-stop marketplace (read: Amazon) is only a single aspect of the new Google Shopping experience. While the personalized homepage serves as a data-driven hub for introducing users to relevant brands and products, the shoppable placements on Images and YouTube serve as friction-reducing tools for turning prospects into customers. Plus, with the expansion of showcase shopping ads to those same platforms as well as Google Discover, advertisers can fill their funnels and drive conversions all in the same place.
So—why does this matter to you, the ecommerce advertiser? Because your prospective customers are everywhere. They’re consulting Google Images for new ideas. They’re scrolling through Google Discover to find engaging, relevant content. They’re watching YouTube videos to find out what other people think about the products they might buy. As loyalty to particular businesses becomes, frankly, a thing of the past, initiating impactful touchpoints at meaningful moments makes all the difference.
Amazon boasts two crucial strengths: a huge user base and high commercial intent. Though Google Shopping has a smaller user base (for now), it’s certainly not lacking in commercial intent. And now, with the reimagination unveiled at Google Marketing Live, Google Shopping will give ecommerce advertisers the marketing tools they need to supplement that low-funnel magic with tons of high- and mid-funnel potential.

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“Get $100 in Free Ads!”
“Free $75 Ad Credit”
“Claim Your Free Ads Coupon”
We have all seen these ads online. It seems like every SAAS product has some partnership with Google that can get you “free money”. And yet… you still haven’t dipped your toe into the ad world.
Why? For most people, it is because it is a big investment in both time and money.
I am writing this article for those of you in that situation – you are familiar with Google Ads and think they could benefit your SAAS company but aren’t sure where to start and how to go about it in the right way.
Let me walk you through taking your first steps in paid media at your SAAS company and answer some of the common questions we get.
When should I start using paid media for my SAAS company?
As someone who makes a living partially off of clients using paid media, you may expect me to say something along the lines of “Everyone should use paid media. If you are breathing right now and like money, you should be using paid media”.
The truth, however, is that not everyone should be using paid media.
The channel should be treated just like any other marketing channel, from email to SEO – you should only use it if you can get a positive ROI out of it. And in paid media, just like any other channel, you can only have success if you know a few things first:
Know your audience
Who are you selling your product to? I don’t just mean what their title is, I mean you should know everything about them:

Are they mostly male or female?
What age range do they fall between?
What publications do they frequent?
Where do they live?
Hanes or Gildan? (okay, maybe not that one)

While this is important for any marketing, it is especially important to paid media. Google Ads has some VERY specific targeting methods that allow you to prioritize certain attributes of users. This is one of the strengths of the channel, and if you don’t have an accurate understanding of your buyer then you will be throwing money away on clicks that are unlikely to convert.
Note: If you aren’t confident in who your persona is, then use a tool like Hubspot’s persona worksheet to figure it out.
Other, more important note: If you think you have an understanding of your persona but you have not taken the time to talk to real clients, you may want to revisit that. You can tell some demographic information by looking at your clients, but without talking with them (or better yet having a third-party talk to them) you can only assume what their pain points and desires are.
Know what your offering is
While it would be great if every click you got on an ad led to a customer, that is not going to be the case. Depending on the set up of your campaign, users may still be in the early stage of the buying process when they click; they’re doing research for solutions to their problem. If your ads are targeting those still in the research phase, they may not be ready to make the purchase, so don’t try to force them to. That is like the Comcast rep asking you if you’re interested in buying Xfinity Mobile when you just called to cut cable – you’re not in that mindset.
Instead, give them something useful for where they’re at in their journey. Maybe you offer a whitepaper, tip sheet, or worksheet to guide them in their decision process.
If your SAAS company offers a $10-a-month product, however, you may be able to go straight for the sale. The important part is understanding where prospects are in the buyer’s journey and how you can help get them to the next stage.
Know how to use the platform (or work with someone that does)
There are some types of marketing that you can do without any complicated tools – like social media, for example. If you know what you are doing, you can just jump on LinkedIn and start creating great content. You don’t really need to know how to use a social media management tool.
That is not the case for paid media and Google ads specifically – lack of knowledge of the platform leads to a lot of wasted money and effort. I don’t say this to discourage you, but instead to make sure that you get a positive return from your efforts. Many business owners or marketing managers of SAAS companies have sworn off paid media because “it just doesn’t work for them.” And yet, it is bringing in mountains of leads for their direct competitors…
Luckily, there are lots of free resources to learn everything there is to know about Google Ads. They even have their own academy and certification process!
How much should I spend?
One of the first questions I get when I start working for a client that is interested in paid media for their SAAS company is, “How much should I spend?”
A simple and very reasonable question. The answer, however, is not as simple. And while that’s probably not what you were hoping if you’re asking it as well, the answer is that it depends.
What does it depend on?
Hey, that’s a great follow-up question. First and foremost, the amount you should spend depends on the competitiveness of your market. Google Ads is built on a bidding system, so as competitors increase, so do prices. If you are a lawyer, then you are going to need to spend a lot more than Lefty’s would.
Secondly, it depends on your results. If you are running ads and have tightened up your campaign to the point that you are getting a 200% ROI – scale, baby! It usually takes time to build up to that point, but if you are getting a great return on your ads then increase your budget and take over a larger share of the market.

While tracking ROI is an article in its own, I do want to note that you need to take more than just your average cost-per-click from paid media into account. If you make $5,000 from your ads this month and only spent $2,000 that may sound good, but if it costs $3,500 to deliver the goods (labor, rent, taxes, etc.) then you are actually $500 in the hole.
The math Income: + $5,000 Ad Cost: – $2,000 COGS: – $3,500 Profit: ($500)

If you are reading this and thinking “I get it, there are lots of factors in figuring out pricing. But just give me a number!”
I hear you. Spend $1,456.75 /mo. to start off. No more, no less.
How should I set up targeting?
Paid media tools like Google Ads are particularly strong in their ability to target accurately. To provide an example, we recently set up a campaign for a waterproofing company that connected to an open-source weather API to increase ad spend when it rained outside. You can’t do that with SEO.
Use that power. Too often we see campaigns that are only using keyword and geographic targeting. That is a start, but you may find after looking into the data that 85% of the sales come from the 35-44 age bracket while 60% of your clicks are going to the 65+ age bracket that led to no sales! This is an extreme example, but it highlights the importance of targeting.
Here is a list of some of the targeting options available through Google Ads:

Keywords
Location
Geography
Age
Gender
Marital Status
Contextual Targeting
Interests
Device
Audience
And more…

Big picture, target as precisely as you can. You want to balance tight targeting and having a big enough audience to drive real traffic to your site.
Adwords is all about testing, learning, and tweaking. Start the campaign off with the targeting you think will work best, give it a week or two, then look at the data. After a few weeks of this, you will be making decisions based on cold, hard data and will be well on your way to building up your marketing funnel.
I hope this answered your initial questions on paid media for SAAS companies, but I know the world of paid media can be a confusing one. Best of luck on your journey toward success in paid media.

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I’m going to go out on a limb here. You want people to become your customers, right?
Of course you do. You’ve got bills to pay, mouths to feed, former paramours to impress. Well, partner, you’ve come to the right place. Though I won’t be so bold as to claim that display advertising is essential, I will be so bold as to claim that it’s a really good investment.

And an underused investment at that! More on this at the end…
Why? Because it helps you do two things that are crucial to winning new customers: (1) building a valuable, recognizable brand and (2) keeping that brand at the top of your prospects’ minds.
Sound good? Awesome. Let’s get into it, then. By the end of this guide, you’ll know more about:

The value of display advertising
Google display ad types, sizes, costs, and targeting parameters
Best practices for Google display ads

What is a Google display ad?
Although the term “display ad” may be unfamiliar, you’re almost certainly familiar with display ads themselves. They’re the visual-based ads you see while reading an article on your favorite blog, watching a video on YouTube, or using a mobile app.

Appropriately, Google display ads are served on the Google Display Network—a network of over two million websites and apps that reaches somewhere in the ballpark of 90% of internet users. Such an immense potential for reach is the definition of a double-edged sword. True—you have the power to introduce your brand to tons of relevant consumers. But you’re also liable to introduce your brand to tons of irrelevant consumers.
In other words: Display ads can cost you a bunch of money if you’re not careful. We’ll talk about the steps you can take to avoid waste later in this post.
The case for display ads
Before we dive into the details of display advertising, let’s take a bird’s-eye view. The other major Google Ads network is the Search Network, which enables advertisers to buy promotional real estate in the Google search results. Generally, search advertising is a valuable channel for marketers because it allows them to capitalize on the commercial intent that often motivates people to use Google.

The same can’t be said for display advertising. People are served display ads while they’re consuming content—not while they’re actively looking for solutions, as is the case on the search network. Put differently, the commercial intent that makes search advertising so valuable doesn’t exist on the display network.
So, why bother with display ads? Different marketers answer this question differently, but we’re pretty confident there are a couple reasons nearly everyone can agree on.
The first involves branding. Because you and your competitors are going after the same prospects, you have to find ways to differentiate yourself—to separate your business from the pack. Thanks to the power of visual imagery, display advertising is an opportunity to establish (and distinguish) your brand in your prospects’ minds.
The second is more practical. Typically, a prospect won’t become your customer immediately after seeing your product or service advertised on the search network for the first time. Even if they click on your ad, they’ll most likely leave your website without taking any form of action and move onto a completely different task. The challenge, then, becomes getting them back on your website. With display ads, you can keep your business at the top of your prospects’ minds.
Alrighty, then! With the high-level stuff out of the way, we can get into the details.
Google display ad types
Broadly speaking, there are two types of Google display ads: uploaded and responsive. Whereas uploaded ads place the onus of creation and optimization (more on this below) entirely on you, responsive ads pass the reins to Google Ads.

If you have the design resources to create your own display ads from scratch, then by all means—take the uploaded route. JPG, PNG, and GIF files are all supported. Keep in mind, however, that every web page is different. Even if you qualify for a particular placement, your ad won’t be shown if it doesn’t meet the size specifications for the page. This is what we mean when we say uploaded display ads place the onus of optimization on you—you have to create differently sized versions of each ad.
Because that’s not the most fun activity, Google introduced responsive display ads a couple years ago. In fact, as of the summer of 2018, the responsive ad type is the default for display advertisers. The process couldn’t be much easier. Simply upload your business’ name and logo along with some visual assets (images and videos) and some basic ad copy. From there, Google Ads will test different combinations of visuals and copy to determine which versions of your ad perform well. Best of all, responsive display ads automatically adjust in size to meet the requirements of specific web pages.
If you’re looking for a couple more options, we’ll discuss three of our favorite ad creation tools (all free!) at the end of the guide.
Google display ad sizes
If you’re planning on running only responsive display ads, you can go ahead and skip to the next section. Alternatively, if you’d like to maintain control over your ads and you plan on taking the uploaded route, these are 12 common sizes you’ll likely need to accommodate:

Mobile: 300×250, 320×50, 320×100, 250×250, 200×200
Desktop: 300×250, 336×280, 728×90, 300×600, 160×600, 970×90, 468×60

Google display ad costs
Like the Google search network, the Google display network runs on a live auction system. When you’re eligible for a given ad unit—according to your targeting parameters—you’re entered into an instantaneous auction with the other advertisers who are eligible for that same unit. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume you and your competitors are bidding on a cost per click (CPC) basis and competing for real estate on a standard blog page.

The auction is Google’s way of determining where each advertiser lands on the page and how much each advertiser pays for a click. Your ad position and CPC depend on your Ad Rank—a metric that, in turn, depends on your maximum CPC bid and Quality Score. The former, of course, is the maximum amount of money you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. The latter is basically a measure of how relevant your ad is to the people you’re targeting.
The outcome of the auction determines how much you actually pay for a click—your actual CPC. Often, this is lower than your maximum CPC bid. When all is said and done, you pay the minimum amount of money required to outrank the advertiser in the position directly below yours—for incremental clicks, that is.
An incremental click is a click you wouldn’t have gotten if you were in a lower ad position. For example, while the ad in the first position may get five clicks, the ad in the second position may only get three clicks. In this case, two of the top ad’s five clicks are considered incremental. The CPC for those two clicks is just high enough to outrank the next advertiser. However, the CPC for the remaining three clicks is equal to what the next advertiser is paying for their clicks.
So, even if you win the best ad position on the page, a lot of the clicks you drive will be priced as if you’re in a lower position. The clicks you drive solely because your ad is more visible are slightly more expensive.
According to WordStream data, the average CPC on the Google display network is $0.63. For comparison, the average CPC on the search network is $2.69—more than four times greater. That’s because search network clicks are generally more valuable, as we discussed earlier.

Google display ad targeting
As promised earlier, the time has come to talk about the steps you can take to avoid wasting your display advertising budget. Broadly, the key to efficiently spending your display budget is layering your targeting parameters to yield the most relevant impressions and clicks possible.
This raises the question: What targeting parameters do you have at your disposal? At the ad group level, there are two categories of targeting parameters: people and context. Whereas the former category enables you to advertise to specific groups of people, the latter enables you to advertise within certain types of content. Let’s look at each in turn.
People targeting for display ads
There are two subcategories beneath the umbrella of people targeting: demographics and audiences. With demographic targeting, you can serve your ads to certain groups of people based on characteristics like age, gender, and parental status. Audience targeting, on the other hand, is based on interests and behaviors. Believe it or not, this branches off into a few more subcategories.
An affinity audience is simply a broad group of people who share a common interest. Sports fans, travelers, and foodies are all examples of affinity audiences you can target with your display ads. If you find that Google Ads’ pre-made options are too general, you can create your own custom affinity audiences.

An in-market audience is a group of people who are actively looking to buy a particular product or service. These audiences are powerful, of course, because they enable you to keep your business at the top of the minds of consumers near the bottom of the funnel.
A remarketing audience, finally, is a group of people who have interacted with your business in some way—often by visiting your website. As we said earlier, a key part of the case for display advertising is the ability to re-engage your prospects.
Contextual targeting for display ads
As with people targeting, contextual targeting comes with two subcategories: keywords and topics. With keyword targeting, you can serve your display ads within pieces of content that relate to a particular keyword. For example, if you’re advertising running gear, you can target keywords like “running sneakers” and “running wristwatch.”
Topic targeting, on the other hand, enables you to serve your display ads within pieces of content that pertain to a particular topic. For example, if you’re advertising an upcoming music festival, you can target topics like “music” and “live entertainment.”

Perhaps more importantly, Google Ads allows you to exclude specific topics as well. Topic exclusions are meant to keep your brand away from irrelevant or inappropriate content. If you were advertising a violent video game, for example, you’d probably want to keep your display ads off websites that publish educational content for young kids.
5 Google display ad best practices
Alrighty then! Now that we’ve covered all the technical details of display advertising, let’s talk about some of the best practices you can implement to maximize your returns.
1. Tap into your top-performing search keywords
Keyword targeting is a great way to introduce your business to relevant audiences. If you’d like to give it a try but you’re unsure of where to start, we recommend using your top-performing search keywords at the outset. The definition of “top-performing” is up to you, of course, but if there’s a handful of keywords that tend to drive low-cost clicks or conversions on the search network, why not give them a shot on the display network?
True—consumer intent on the two networks is completely different. But insofar as clicks and conversions indicate that your search ads are resonating, you can feel confident that the keywords behind them are winners.
2. Use bid adjustments
After running your display campaigns for a while, you’ll have enough data to make informed performance judgements—which keywords are doing well, which custom affinity audiences are doing poorly, and so on. Bid adjustments—which you can set at either the ad group or campaign level—allow you to turn those performance judgements into strategy.
When you set a positive bid adjustment on a given ad group, you tell Google Ads to increase your maximum CPC bid whenever one of the ads in that ad group is eligible to show. Likewise, when you set a negative bid adjustment, you tell Google Ads to decrease your maximum CPC bids for that ad group.
Plain and simple, using bid adjustments is a terrific way to boost your gains from top performers and cut your losses from poor performers.
3. Look at your referral traffic
Google Analytics is full of useful information. For display advertisers, the referral traffic report (which lives under Acquisition > All Traffic) is incredibly valuable. Basically, the referral traffic report tells you which websites are linking to yours the most. Put differently, it tells you which websites cater to people that could benefit from your product or service.

These websites make for the perfect places to serve your display ads. Because you know you’re advertising to relevant audiences, you can feel confident that you’re driving returns on those impressions and clicks.
4. Emphasize your value proposition
Because they’re beyond accustomed to display advertising at this point, your prospects can very easily scroll past your ads without even noticing them. To avoid wasting opportunities—as well as money if you’re bidding on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis—it’s crucial that your display ads grab your prospects’ attention.

Obviously, the visual aesthetics of your ads—color scheme, typography, etc.—play a huge part in this. What’s less obvious is the part your value proposition plays. Your value proposition, quite simply, is the benefit someone will enjoy upon becoming your customer. If you’re advertising a pair of men’s boots, for example, your value proposition might be the enhanced confidence one feels when he looks good.
No matter what your value proposition is, make it jump off the page.
5. Focus on headlines when writing RSAs
When creating a responsive display ad, you’ll be prompted to write four pieces of copy:

A short headline (25 characters)
A long headline (90 characters)
A description (90 characters)
Your business name (25 characters)

Regarding headlines, there are two key things you need to know: (1) Google Ads will never run both at the same time; (2) Google Ads will sometimes exclude your description. Regardless of which headline is selected for a particular iteration of your RSA, there’s no guarantee it’ll be accompanied by your description.
The takeaway: Make sure your headlines are enough on their own. Both should communicate the unique value of your business or the offer you’re making.
5 awesome Google display ad examples
No cheat sheet is complete without a little inspiration! Let’s wrap up this guide with five examples of awesome Google display ads. We’ll make sure to break down what makes them tick so you can walk away with immediately actionable tips.
1. CheapCaribbean.com uses stellar imagery

Our first example is courtesy of CheapCaribbean.com—a travel agency that helps people book vacations in the Caribbean. I came across this beaut while perusing a travel blog and felt immediately impressed by its effectiveness. First things first—the images are beyond gorgeous. Assuming the goal of this ad is to incentivize me to get back on Google and continue searching for a luxurious Caribbean destination, I’d say it’s a home run.
Additionally, the company makes fantastic use of the ad copy. By highlighting the affordable prices of their offerings, they’re sending a strong message: When we say cheap, we mean it.
2. ClickCease taps into the power of fear

ClickCease—a software company that helps advertisers mitigate click fraud—served me this display ad while I was reading a Search Engine Journal article. What makes it so effective is the use of fear to both grab my attention and communicate the value of the product they’re selling. Fear is an arresting, persuasive emotion. Because no PPC marketer wants to fall victim to click fraud, this is an ad that’s certain to leave an impression.
One small critique: This ad needs a brand name. Although it’s effective, it’s not as trustworthy as it needs to be to meet its full potential.
3. Wikibuy makes an undeniable value proposition

Let’s get competitive! Wikibuy—an online shopping assistant that automatically hunts for the best deals available to you—hit me with this wonderful little display ad while I was perusing the news. The key to its strength? Simplicity. That right there is a dead-simple ad with a dead-simple value proposition: Stuff is cheaper when you buy it from us. The copy is minimal, yet it jumps off the screen. The brand name is there, but it takes a back-seat to the value prop. Those of you in highly competitive markets should take notes!
4. Alteryx nails it with their headline (and their offer)

There’s a LOT that I like about this display ad from Alteryx—a software solution for data science and analytics. First of all, that’s a hell of a headline. Injecting a little aspirational sentiment into your ad copy never hurt anybody. Secondly, the subhead puts forth a great value proposition: We make analyzing data easy. I think that’s something all marketers can get on board with. And finally, the company hit the nail on the head with their offer—an ebook. Rather than trying to take my money right away, they’re simply trying to get me in their funnel.
5. LinkedIn makes it personal

We’ll wrap up our Google display ads cheat sheet with this one from LinkedIn. If there’s one thing that makes this ad great, it’s the personalization. Because I’m a B2B marketer, this ad instantaneously grabbed my attention when I saw it on the homepage of EZgif (an essential tool for all my fellow content marketers). Beyond that, LinkedIn is doing the same thing as ClickCease—creating fear. More specifically, they’re creating a fear of missing out (FOMO). Because no marketer wants to be a late adopter, this is a super clickable ad.
3 easy, free tools for creating Google display ads
As much as we love display advertising, we’ve noticed a glaring problem with it: it’s not as accessible as it is powerful. A lot of small and medium-sized businesses simply don’t have the resources—time, money, designers—to create sleek, effective display ads.
Fortunately, there are a number of free tools on the market that enable you to easily create your own Google display ads. Here are three of our personal favorites:

Smart Ads Creator: Simply enter a website or page URL and we’ll turn your best visual assets into beautiful display ads in a matter of minutes.
Bannersnack: Drag-and-drop all kinds of free fonts, stock photos, and animations to create high-quality visuals that work across platforms.
Canva: Browse thousands of free, flexible banner ad templates and customize them to match your brand aesthetic.

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Getting the word out about your business is hard. We get it. Between running your business or serving a dozen clients, you’re one little hiccup away from feeling completely overwhelmed. Under all that pressure, it’s easy to either fall back on last year’s outreach plan or just do nothing and watch your competitors snap up all your potential leads.
But don’t sweat. Let’s chat about the Google Display Network (GDN).
The power of images
The Google Display Network is a massive ecosystem of websites that reaches 90% of internet users worldwide—a staggering 3.94 billion people!—where you can place display ads via your Google Ads account. Display ads allow you to include images in your ads, not just text, making them a vital tool to raise awareness for your brand.

An example of a display ad (Don’t worry—this blog post won’t explode on you.)
Why? Images both ignite interest immediately and trigger long-term memory. As Miriam Elkorchi, a member of our Customer Success team, shared at her recent WordStream Live presentation in San Francisco, our sense of sight engages 30% of our brains, in comparison to touch engaging 8% and hearing 3%. Plus, images go into our long-term memory, while words go into short-term. So if you want to raise awareness for your brand with a medium that will (a) grab people’s attention right away and (b) make them remember you, then display ads could be right for your business.
Oh, and despite the Display Network’s humongous audience, your display ads’ cost per click would be about 76% lower, on average, than on the search network. Pretty sweet, right?
As you’re very aware, the problem with using display ads to raise awareness for your business is that it kind of requires making the ads. Which requires graphic design skills. Not to mention that most rare commodity of all for small biz advertisers and agencies: time.
Hang tight. Help is on the way.
Introducing the Smart Ads Creator from WordStream
When we saw that one in four small businesses doesn’t advertise on the Google Display Network, we knew we had to help. How awesome would it be if there were a simple, easy-to-use, fun tool that would create animated display ads for you, freeing you up to run your business and go home on time?
Meet our Smart Ads Creator, a new free tool designed to empower you to create custom, animated display ads that look awesome and actually work in a matter of minutes. No designer? No time? No problem.

How does it work? Just copy and paste the URL for your website or a specific product or landing page into the Creator, tell us what you want your display ads to accomplish, and off you go!

Then, our free ad creator explores your site, snags your best images and copy, and crafts a variety of animated display ads in a wide selection of standard sizes you can use on the Display Network. If the ad preview doesn’t show you what you wanted, you can change the theme, colors, copy, images, and more.

Once you’re happy with your ads, just type in your email, and we’ll provide access to ZIP files for seven different ad sizes, ready to upload to your Google Ads account.

With the Smart Ads Creator, there’s no need to hire a graphic designer or to bother the one you’ve got. Just upload, download, and go. It’s that easy.
Let’s take a closer look at how the Smart Ads Creator can help you push toward your marketing and advertising goals.
Make HTML5 ads that are actual magic
You know what’s cool about the Smart Ads Creator? It makes ads that move.
The Smart Ads Creator generates high-quality, mobile-friendly, animated HTML5 display ads. According to one Adform study, dynamic animated ads see a 267% higher click-through-rate than their static Muggle cousins. With the Smart Ads Creator, you get ads that are ready-made not just to raise awareness for your brand, but also to drive website traffic and push you one step closer to your conversion goals.
Those of you who are familiar with Google’s native display ad builder will know that this tool lets you embed video into its otherwise static display ads. If you have the resources to create killer video content, and you already have some display advertising experience under your belt, the native Google display ad builder may be right for you. The more power to you! But otherwise, the ads produced by the native Google builder are pretty static. For the many small businesses who don’t have the resources to make videos, the Smart Ads Creator’s ability to build animated display ads is pretty magical.
Make lots of magical ads
Ask any graphic designer: The most annoying parts of the job are (a) making a thousand different versions of the same asset in different sizes or formats, and (b) making and re-making a thousand changes to an asset based on non-designers’ helpful feedback, like, “Could this banana feel more, like, banana-y?”
Guess what? The Smart Ads Creator automatically builds ads for you in seven different standard sizes to use on the Google Display Network—no manual resizing or reformatting needed. Plus, you can run the Smart Ads Creator multiple times a day to create ads for multiple websites.
And don’t forget—you can customize them as much as you want. Don’t like the graphics or text that our tech pulled from your site? You can upload your own images, swap in your own text, change the hex colors, change the theme, you name it! As soon as you make an edit, the Smart Ads Creator will refresh the ad preview so you can see your changes in real time.

Don’t like your edits? You can change it back, try something else, whatever, and it’ll automatically refresh the preview right away. There’s no limit to what you can try! So why not make it rain?

We work, you play
Which brings me to my last point: The Smart Ads Creator is fun. We do the hard part—and you do the creative part.
If you always thought that display advertising was out of reach—whether you’ve felt held back by not having access to a graphic designer or by your lack of budget—why not give this a try? Drop a URL from your website (or a client’s, if you’re an agency!) into the Smart Ads Creator and see what happens. Experiment. Play with the colors and themes. Consider what calls to action have made you click on ads, or what messaging has performed best in your search campaigns, and try some of them out.
Ready to get started? Just visit the Smart Ads Creator on our website.
Explore. Learn. Play. Who knows what amazing thing you’ll create?

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Getting clever with your RLSA strategies can have a significant effect on boosting your conversions. As we learned in our five ways to increase eCommerce traffic post, Google remarketing campaigns are a must for any eCommerce store. And your remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) are the vital component of these campaigns.
RLSAs enable you to create customized search campaigns that target previous online store traffic, based on their behavior while browsing your store. Being able to target searchers who already know your brand can have a dramatic effect on your conversion and click-through rates while lowering your CPCs – if they are tailored to your brand and optimized correctly, that is.
Before you get started with RLSA, here are some tech points and FYIs to ensure you are ready to build and implement your remarketing list strategies.

List members have a maximum time limit of 540 days
If you have someone in more than one remarketing list, Google will use the list with the higher bid
To use RLSAs, your online store will need at least 1,000 active cookies

But the most important must-do before you get going on strategy testing is to know your audience. You will want to be familiar with your target shopper, your traffic and customer journey maps, and have planned out your sales funnel strategies. Once you know that, you’re ready to get started.
Newbie Tip: If you’re brand new to Google Ads, we suggest you start with our beginner’s guide to Google remarketing campaigns. You can find this and other newbie guides here.
Here are 11 RLSA strategies you can test to drive more conversions and improve your CTRs.
RLSA Strategy 1: Messaging Coordination
One of the most powerful ways to use RLSA is by creating campaign personalization. This means matching specific ad text to searchers based on the way they first interacted with or behaved on your online store. To do this, you would first create a remarketing tag for certain traffic behavior, and then add bid modifiers in your ad group to ensure the ad copy matches the behavior of the tag.
Let’s say a potential shopper visited your online store for the first time and viewed a specific product page or feature. You could create RLSAs that allow you to show more details about the benefits of that product or feature. Alternatively, you could use promotional ads that show discounted prices on the products they viewed.
A brand that has had great success with using RLSAs to tailor keywords, creatives and bids for individual users is Clarks – which was able to increase their conversion rates from 0.68% to 4.5%. Here is a video summary of the case study and how they used RLSAs to improve their business.

RLSA Strategy 2: Competitor Terms Bidding
There is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition – especially when it comes to remarketing campaigns. By using RLSAs to show ads – that include your competitors brand as keywords – to potential shoppers who already know your store, you can reap the rewards of their comparison shopping.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to target your own brand name as well, and not only with your remarketing campaigns. This will help reach people searching for your brand after seeing an awareness campaign elsewhere. Additionally, this will help if your competitors are bidding on your brand name. You can read more about branded keywords in our full guide to branded keywords.

RLSA Strategy 3: Demographic Targeting
Demographic targeting is nothing new, but have you tried combining demographic targeting and remarketing? Let’s say you have a specific product that appeals to a particular gender or age demographic. You could then target previous visitors who match that demographic, with specific product or promotion search ads. Alternatively, if you have popular products that do well in certain locations, you can target previous store visitors from those specific locations with those specific products.
RLSA Strategy 4: Abandoned Cart Targeting for Shopping Campaigns
Using remarketing lists for search ads with Google Shopping campaigns can have awesome results. Why? Because they allow you to target shoppers already familiar with your brand and with higher buying intent, who are actively searching for what you’re selling.
However, it’s using this strategy based on cart abandonment behavior that could be really, really lucrative. This would mean using remarketing lists made up of traffic that abandoned a cart, with a specific product that you could add to a Shopping ad group with that and similar products.
Here’s Google’s step-by-step guide on how to add remarketing a list to your best-performing Google Shopping campaign ad groups.

But it isn’t just abandoned cart campaigns you should be infusing with the power of RLSAs. When it comes to kicking conversion butt, Google Shopping is an eCommerce must. But it is by adding RLSAs that you can amplify your results. For example, Ulmart was able to increase their Shopping conversions by 13% without additional ad spend, by doing just that.
Layering your Shopping campaign product groups with RLSA enables you to target your campaigns without the need for segmented product grouping and negative keywords. This is because your remarketing lists themselves will serve as intent signals, showing specific products with high buying intent.
RLSA Strategy 5: Combining RLSAs and DSAs
Another must-have Google campaign type for eCommerce are DSAs (Dynamic Search Ads). By using RLSAs for your Dynamic ads, you’re are able to use the power of DSAs for remarketing campaigns. This can be highly effective, with one case study showing a nearly 1,000% increase in ROIs, conversions and CTRs when this strategy was used.
Newbie Tip: If you’re not familiar with Dynamic Search Ads, these are search campaigns that match content on your site to what a user is actually querying. You will want to start with one ad group (that includes RLSA of all site visitors) which targets all site content, to cast a broader net. This will not only bring in more targeted traffic but help gather data on possible keyword and customer flow behavior that you can then use for more defined campaigns. Visit our Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) Guide for more details.
This RLSA strategy allows you to target potential shoppers who not only know your brand but are actually looking for products you’re selling.
RLSA Strategy 6: Pairing Remarketing Lists and Broad Terms
Broad terms with high competition can be costly in traditional search ads. However, when combined with RLSAs you have the power of remarketing previous traffic in your corner, thus improving ROI potential. There are two main ways you can try this strategy:
Beginner Strategy
Create a broad match campaign, starting with lower bids, increasing your big modifiers as your site gets more traffic.
Pro Strategy
Clone your exact match campaigns, converting to broad match type, and add RLSA targeting.
Unlike traditional broad match campaigns, integrating RLSAs allows you to reach potential shoppers who not only know your brand but have more intent.
RLSA Strategy 7: Segment Bids Based on Sales Funnel Stages
Another good RLSA tactic is to tailor your remarketing campaigns to specific buying stages in your funnel. This strategy involves increasing your bid modifiers the closer a potential shopper is to converting. You can do this by creating different campaigns at different stages and then increasing bids for those users who have visited your store multiple times or for more extended periods – as these shoppers have higher conversion intent.
Here’s an example of how you could set up these campaigns using Google bid adjustments:
1. Hot Audience: Ready to Convert
Visited your store more than three times
Increase bid by 20%
2. Medium Audience: Considering Your Brand
Spent over 90 seconds on a product page
Increase bid by 15%
3. Cooler Audience: Visited Your Store for the First Time
New site sessions
Increase bid by 10%
Newbie Tip: Want to know how else you can use bid adjustments and how to create them? This guide will take you through it step by step.

RLSA Strategy 8: Supplement Your Low Impression Volume With Cheap Social Traffic
By exclusively showing your search ads to those searchers who have a retargeting cookie through ‘target and bid,’ you are ensuring your clicks are highly targeted. The drawback of excluding all other non-cookie traffic is that your impressions will be lower. This is where social awareness campaigns can be a substantial cross-channel asset. Take advantage of low-cost Facebook and Instagram awareness campaigns to bring in first-time traffic, which you can then retarget using a variety of RLSA-integrated Google ads. For more on how to create a highly converting cross-channel strategy, visit our Google and Facebook combined strategy guide.
RLSA Strategy 9: Implement Negative Bid Modifiers or Exclusions to Avoid Wasted Spend
Just because you’re targeting previous site visitors who know what you are selling, doesn’t mean you should forget your Google Ads simplest, but most beneficial campaign elements: negative bid modifiers and keywords.
Negative bid modifiers exclude traffic based on a number of factors including devices, scheduling, and location variants. They can help you refine your targeting and segment your campaign for more targeted remarketing and reduce unnecessary spend.
For example, you could possibly exclude or negative-bid traffic that spends very little time on your store before bouncing off your site, as these users would have low conversion potential. Another way you could use this strategy could be to exclude traffic that has already converted, which you would then push into campaigns designed especially for previous and repeat customers.
Pro Tip: To ensure your RLSA campaigns aren’t competing for your traditional search campaigns, you should create and add negative remarketing lists to your regular campaigns. This will ensure you’re not leaving it up to Google to decide which of the two ads to show.
RLSA Strategy 10: Using RLSAs to Build LTV
LTV (Customer Lifetime Value) is a crucial eCommerce KPI. Therefore, your Google remarketing strategies shouldn’t just be focused on those shoppers who are about to convert. By targeting people who have specifically visited your thank-you pages (therefore converted), you can increase your return rates. Or they could be used to up- or cross-sell other products to customers who have just purchased from you. Ultimately, to use this strategy, you would combine Customer Match (email lists) and cookied purchasers (based on thank-you page visits) and then break them down into smaller segments.
Here are some examples of segments you could test with this strategy:

Target hot customers who just bought and you could up- or cross-sell
Add warm customers, who purchased from your store in the last 180 days, to specific product promotions
Retarget colder customers who bought once outside the 180-day window

RLSA Strategy 11: Merge Ad Customizers and RLSAs for More Targeted Messaging
Another way to ensure you are personalizing your Google remarketing campaigns to increase results and maximize your budgets is by leveraging ad customizers.
Newbie Tip: Ad customizers allow for dynamic ad copy changes based on location, device, prices and promotional specifics. This enables you to reach potential shoppers with hyper-specialized search ads. You can read more about ad customizers here.

This tactic will enable you to create remarketing campaigns with ads specifically targeting different audiences depending on their behavior. For instance, you could create different messaging for remarketing campaigns that are unique to checkout abandoners or those who have bought from you before. Therefore, giving you the ability to tailor your ad copy to highlight different aspects more likely to convert those segments.
Conclusion: Mine Your RLSA Campaigns for Invaluable Data
Last, but by no means least, you want to mine your RLSA data for more RLSA strategies to test. Strategies that will be unique to your brand, your products and your market. This is particularly important if you’re a newer store that is just beginning with RLSAs, where you will want to run broader remarketing campaigns before you drill down segments by leveraging bid modifiers and other strategies mentioned here.
Regardless of whether you’re starting out or have been using RLSAs effectively for some time, the data you can gather from these campaigns is invaluable for not only optimizing your retargeting but integrating to your other campaign types.
Have questions about optimizing your Google remarketing campaigns? Post them in the comments below; our Google Ads gurus are standing by to assist.

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People are now watching 150 million hours of YouTube every day. Add that to the fact that 60% of people prefer video platforms to live television, placing your ads on Youtube is a good place to start.
Setting up a YouTube Campaign for your ads isn’t as complicated as you think. It’s actually quite easy, that’s why today I’ll be showing you how to setup a YouTube ads campaign in 10 easy steps.
Create a Goal For Your YouTube Ads Campaign
Before you get your ad up and running you first need to decide what the goal is for your campaign.
Without a solid goal in mind, you can end up with either no results or worse… with heaps of wasted ad spend.
So to prevent this, think about what you want to accomplish with your ad. This will help you to choose the right campaign objectives to get the results you want from your YouTube campaign.
Goals can range from building brand awareness, influencing the buyers decision, increasing sales, or increasing brand loyalty.

Step 1: Link Your Google AdWords Account to Your YouTube Channel
If you haven’t created a Google AdWords account, you can click here to get started. If you already have an account log in.
Once you’re in your Google AdWord account (or My Client Center, if your agency managing AdWords) click the “tools” icon. You should see a drop down options, look for “SETUP” on your far right. Under “SETUP” select the option “Linked accounts”
Action: Tools> Set up >Linked accounts

You’ll be brought to a page with a variety of Google products and services. Just keep scrolling until you see “YouTube”, click “Details”. From there you’ll be taken to a page asking you to add your YouTube channel.

From there type in the name of your YouTube channel in the search bar.Once you see it just click on it.

This step is very important, once the channel is yours you can select “I own this channel”. But if the YouTube channel belongs to someone else then you’ll need to enter the email of the owner to request access before you can move forward.
If your working for or with an agency never state to own the channel because unlinking it in the long run will be a hassle.
Pro Tip: If you want to track conversions from your Youtube ad on your website, you can enable Google conversion tracking either before or after you start you campaign. Typically it’s best to get it out of the way first, but I’ll leave that up to you.
Use this to learn how to set up conversion tracking for your website.
The Most Important Part of Your YouTube’s Ad: The First 10 Seconds
Decide which video you’d like to use for your YouTube ad campaign then upload it directly on YouTube.
The video you use for your YouTube ad campaign has to grab your viewers attention 20% of users will leave a video if it hasn’t peaked their interest in the first 10 seconds. That means the first 10 seconds of your ad is the most valuable part of your video.
So you have to make the most out of it. So here are three things you need for a great YouTube Ad campaign to make the most out of your first 10 seconds:
1.Use Strong Emotions: We know that ads that bring up emotions are the most effective and can be highly impactful. This could be speaking to an issue that your target audience can relate to or something your brand can fix for your audience.
WordPress Youtube ad campaigns did this best. They focused on the fact that they had an easy interface to help not so tech savvy business owners to create their website to help their business.

2.Use the Power of Nostalgia: Bringing back feelings of nostalgia is a great way to create an instant connection with your viewers. It also makes your brand feel and look relatable.
Wish’s YouTube ad campaigns connect it’s viewers with the feeling of finally getting a package days after ordering.

3. Add an Element of **Surprise: Shocking your viewers, in a good way, can easily grab their attention no matter how short their attention span. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be clickbaiting them, but putting a twist or spin on your video’s intro can go a long way.
GoPro captured this when they did an ad including Didga: The Skateboarding Cat. The add captured a subtle element of surprise. You’re busy figuring how this cat learned how to skateboard that you’d almost forget that your watching an ad.

Step 2: Select a YouTube Advertising Campaign Objective
Once you have your video fully uploaded it’s time to create your campaign. To your right in your Google Ads dashboard, you’ll see the “Campaign” tab, select it.

After you’ll be taken to a page where you can create your first YouTube ad campaign. Look for a blue circle with a “+”. Click on it and you’ll see the option to create a new campaign.

From there you’ll have to select a goal to determine what would make your campaign successful. Similar to Facebook ads, your goal determines the type of ads you’ll be running, the placements available, and information you’ll need to fill out.
You do have the option to creating several campaign types, based on your ultimate campaign goal.
I find that these three goals are always the best to start with choose one of the following options for your YouTube video ad:
*Leads and Website: This goal helps you to drive traffic to your website for lead generation from your YouTube ads.
*Product and Brand Consideration: This goals is centered around brand consideration and putting your products/services in front of a global audience of potential buyers.
*Brand Awareness and Reach: This goal, as the name states, is focused on giving you more brand awareness and reach to create some buzz around your brand. This is good for new brands that aren’t well known or want to extend their audience reach.

After selecting your campaign goal, you’ll be brought to a page showing the list of recommended ads that match your campaign goals. Select “Video” as the campaign type. Then click continue.

Step 3: Choose Your YouTube Ad Campaign Format
There are three types of Youtube Ads you can choose from on your campaign:

TrueView Ads *In-Display ads
Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

I’ll be going through each one so you can select the one that you think works best with your ultimate goal, video length and ad budget.
YouTube Ad Campaigns: TrueView Ads
TrueView ads are the most commonly used video ads on YouTube. If you decide to run this type of ad you would only pay for the viewers who watch at least 30 seconds or the entire video, as well as users who interact with your ad (click the call-to-action). TrueView ads can be easily customized and shared across a wide range of platforms.
If you decide to use the skippable version of a TrueView ad your video length has to be between 12 seconds to 6 minutes in length whereas non skippable TrueView ads have to be 15-20 seconds in length.

YouTube Ad Campaigns: In-Display ads
If you’ve been on YouTube, you’ve probably seen this type of YouTube ad the most. In-Display ads show up on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and as related videos that appear on the right-hand side of your video recommendations on YouTube video watch pages.
YouTube Ad Campaigns: Bumper instream ads
Unlike TrueView ads that normally plays before someone watches a video, In-stream ads let you customize video ads with different CTAs and overlay text, giving you the option to personally A/B test which design or text works best for your YouTube ad campaign. This ad can be skippable or unskippable.
These ads also appear anywhere in the Google Display Network (GDN) or sites that have purchased Google video ad space. Giving you a wider reach and awareness in spaces where your viewers main are.
YouTube Ad Campaigns: Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads
This type of YouTube ad is best used for campaign goals centered around audience reach. In order to use Non-Skippable In-Stream ads your video has to 6-15 seconds, any longer and you’ll get an error message.
Just like TrueView ads, non-skippable ads run before, during, or after the video content. The pros of using this type of ad is that you’re viewer are sure to see your entire video for better conversions.
This ad type also comes with a few cons. It can be annoying to most viewers because their forced to watch your content, whether they like it or not. My suggestion is to try it. If you see more conversions than complaints then keep it up. This type of ad is also one of the most expensive ads out there.
Step 4: Set Your YouTube Ad Budget and Bid Strategy
Now that you’ve selected an ad format, you’ll have to name your campaign, set a budget and choose your YouTube ads campaigns end and start date.

You don’t have to bid high when it comes to YouTube advertising but the rule of thumb still stands, the higher the price the higher the impressions and vise versa.
When selecting your bid strategy it’s always best to start with Maximum CPV (the most expensive bid strategy) or Targeting CPV. If your new to Cost-per view (CPV), don’t worry it isn’t as complicated as it seems. Bids for CPV advertisements work in the same way as other pay-per-click style bidding](https://blog.wishpond.com/post/78758375513/how-do-i-optimize-budgeting-and-bidding-in-google).

Typically a business creates “bids” within Google’s advertising system targeting specific keywords, which are often further refined based on a searcher’s physical location. If more than one marketer has put in bids for that particular keywordmetric combination, the highest bid dictates which ad is displayed for the searcher. So your bidding has to be competitive.
Step 5: Customize Your YouTube Ad Campaign
Once you’re done with step 4, we’ll be choosing where you’d like your YouTube ad to be seen. Where and what type of content you place your YouTube ad on is important.
You should be seeing a page showing you three options:
*Network *Inventory Type *Excluded Content
YouTube Network
Network options determines where your YouTube ads will be placed, such as:
*YouTube Search Results: This option will only available if your running discovery ads. Reminder to uncheck this option for all other types of ads.
*YouTube Videos: This option has the perfect price point and exposure and the best option most YouTubers choose.
*Video Partners on Display Network: If you select this option you’ll be able to run your ad on sites of partners outside of YouTube. The cost is typically less but keep in mind the exposure is typically less as well.

As you continue down the page, you’ll see the option to choose which locations and languages you want to target.

YouTube Inventory Type
Inventory type gives you control over what type of content you want your ad to run in, before and after. This gives you the chance to avoid videos you don’t want your ads to be associated with. The last thing you want is to put your ad on a video that reflects badly on your brand image. Inventory options include:
Expanded Inventory: This option will help you maximize your YouTube ads potential but your ad will run on ads considered to have sensitive or mature content like videos that viewers need to be 18 and older to watch.
Standard Inventory:This is the most recommended option by YouTube and most marketers. Your ad might still show up on content that might have violence or mature. If that doesn’t work with your brand then you can opt for the next option.
Limited Inventory:This is the safest option if you want to be really careful about your brand image and the content you ad will be associated with.

Now it’s time to exclude any mature or sensitive content you don’t want your ad to be associated with.

You can add excluded types and labels to filter the type of content your ad will show on. Each filter you choose increases the cost of you ad and decreases the reach, so try and limit the number of filters.
You’ll have to experiment along the way to find the best combination of cost and results.

Set Your YouTube Ad Frequency Cap
Before you move on be sure to set your Frequency Cap.
It’s important that because your frequency cap manages your overall cost better, especially if your audience is small. Unlike Facebook ads where there’s a default setting, Youtube actually leaves this option blank. If you don’t control your frequency you being showing your ad to frequently or too little to your audience.
Click “Additional Settings” you find “Frequency Capping” and add your impressions cap and frequency.

Step 6: Choose Your Target Audience For Your YouTube Campaign
Now it’s time to define your YouTube campaigns target audience. Remember that your restrictions you placed earlier can improve the quality of the audience, but can also increase your CPV (cost per view). So for your first round ads try to avoid being too specific.
You’ll have three options when it comes to grouping your targeting like: Demographics Targeting, Affinity and Custom Affinity Targeting and lastly Affinity and Custom Affinity Targeting.
Go through each to see which targeting options will help you to reach your target audience. You don’t have to select all of them, again the more filters you have on your audience the higher the cost of your YouTube ad.
You may want to consider creating a buyer persona so that you can understand exactly who and what your audience interest or lifestyles are like. If your not sure what or how to create a buyer persona, I found Smart Bug Media’s 3 Examples of Buyer Personas as a foolproof guide to help create your own.
You can also use Google AdWords for Remarketing and Audience Targeting for your YouTube ads.
7 Add Keywords and Topics, and Placements to Your YouTube Campaign
After you define your audience, you can choose from these three settings to narrow your reach.

Choosing the right keywords for your YouTube ad campaign is essential but here’s the twist. You’re not going to add keywords that your target audience is looking for rather you’re looking for keywords that will appear in the YouTube videos where your ads will be seen.
How it works is that once you add your keywords YouTube will analyze keywords from the titles, tags, and descriptions of the video content, match them against the keywords you’ve selected, from there insert your ads into the most relevant content.
You can use tools like Keyword tool or Google trends. Maybe you want to take your SEO a little deeper, take a look at Search Engine Land Guide to YouTube SEO: How to find the best traffic-generating keywords.
Choose the Right Topics
When choosing your topics the same approach to keywords applies. When you choose a topic what it does is show your ad on videos related to the topic you’ve selected. So if your ad is about food, you’d want to select topics surrounding food so your ad can appear on video content centered around food, cooking, and snack DIY’s.

Select Placement Targeting
After you’ll need to select your YouTube placements. This is detailed step is allows you to hyper-target your videos for better conversions. You can choose the exact channel (or even exact video) to place your ads on, keep in mind that the more placements you add the more cost will be added to your YouTube ad.

Pro Tip: YouTube lets you prevent your competitors from running ads on your channel or in your videos. Go to the Advanced channel settings in Creator Studio. Go in and select “Disable Interest-Based Ads” checkbox is selected. This may cause an issue if you’re monetizing your YouTube channel.

Step 8: Set a Bid Amount for Your Campaign
Now it’s time to set your bidding strategy. I’d advise you to go back to step 5 and double check to make sure you set your Frequency Cap because this along with your bidding strategy affect the results of your YouTube ad campaign.
If you decided to choose Maximum CPV as your bidding strategy earlier I’d recommend not bidding too low or your ad might not run. It’s always best to calculate your maximum CPV before placing your bid.
CPV is calculated by dividing the total cost by views in Youtube. This is the formula to calculate CPV:
CPV = Cost divided by Views
Pro Tip: Just like any bidding strategy the higher the bid the better your ad performance will be, the same can be said for Target CPV bidding. Most marketers recommend that you set your Maximum CPV at 3–5x the average.
Step 9: Select the Video for Your YouTube Ad
We’re almost at the finish line to complete your YouTube Ad campaign. All you need now is to choose the video you want to use as your ad. You can find it using the search box, as shown below, or you can just copy and paste the YouTube video’s URL. Click “continue” and your ad should be up and running as soon as YouTube processes it.

Step 10: Monitor Your YouTube Campaign Results
Congrats, you just published your YouTube ad, but it doesn’t stop there. Here are some key tips to do after you’ve published your ad:
Monitor your ads performance in Google AdWords, YouTube Creator Studio, and if you linked your Google analytics account during step one, take a look at that as well.
Check to see if your getting the results you want, if your ad is fairly new, give it a couple of days 5-10 days to let you know if your campaign is starting to bring results. If not, take a look at your bidding strategy. Consider increasing it if you’re not getting enough traction.
Nurture your leads. If your YouTube is doing well, bringing traffic, leads and new subscribers. Your ad only opened the door for them to meet you, it’s up to you to create connect and a marketing funnel to keep them in your corner. If you’re not sure how you can use this Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Digital Marketing Sales Funnel.
After your ad is finished, take notes and see what you can take away for your next YouTube ad campaign. Experiment with different features, keywords, placements and filters to find out which combination brings in the best leads. Doing the same old same isn’t always going to cut it.
You might be feeling like you’re going around in a circle or that creating a YouTube ad seems like a long process but when you create your first YouTube Ad it can feel that.
All these little details are to make sure that you’re ad is in the right place at the right time, on the right video content so you can see better conversions. That’s why YouTube campaigns do so well compared or just as effective as other forms of social media advertisements.
Summary
Here’s a quick recap on how to setup a YouTube ads campaign in 10 easy steps:
Step 1: Link Your Google AdWord Account to Your YouTube ChannelStep 2: Select a YouTube Advertising Campaign ObjectiveStep 3: Choose Your YouTube Ad Campaign FormatStep 4: Set Your YouTube Ad Budget and Bid StrategyStep 5: Customize Your YouTube Ad CampaignStep 6: Choose Your Target Audience For Your YouTube CampaignStep 7: Add Keywords and Topics, and Placements to Your YouTube CampaignStep 8: Set a Bid Amount for Your CampaignStep 9: Select the Video for Your YouTube AdStep 10: Monitor Your YouTube Campaign Results
Remember to take it slow when since it’s your first time using YouTube ads, it’s a bit of a learning curve but the more you try the more you learn along the way.

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