So you want to appear at the top of Google for search terms that are relevant to what you do or sell.
Love your thinking.
Just one problem.
Getting to the top of Google is not easy.
And it’s not quick.
And it’s not that cheap either.
To rub salt in the sting, getting to the top of Google might not be as fruitful as you think.
It’s very easy to spend thousands of dollars and months of work getting your website to the top of Google using PPC marketing, only to discover that the keywords you rank for don’t convert into clicks, calls, or customers.
Before you rush into a 3,6, or even 12-month search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, wouldn’t it be reassuring to know which relevant keywords are worth ranking for?
More specifically, which relevant keywords will actually generate leads and sales?
Running Google Search Ads (PPC) is the trick; in this article, we’ll show you how to do it.
For the uninitiated, Google PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, is a form of online advertising where businesses can promote their products or services by placing sponsored search ads on Google search results. When a user clicks on one of these ads, the business has to pay a small fee to Google to appear in the search engine results. This fee is usually very small and is calculated on a per-click basis. Google PPC allows businesses to reach a wider audience and potentially increase their customer base and revenue.
Before you do anything, ensure that you have Google’s tracking pixel set up on your website.
This will allow you to see which search ads and relevant keywords generate search engine results, leads, calls, and sales on your website.
Once the tracking pixel is set up, head to Google Ads to create your first ad campaign.
On the first screen, make sure you switch to expert mode (In expert mode, you’ll have more control over your Google Ads. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert as we’ll walk you through this.)
On the next screen, you’ll be asked if you need guidance with your goal. In this situation, choose to create a campaign without guidance on your goal. Again this gives you more control over your options.
On the next screen you’ll choose a campaign type. Typically, most businesses begin with a search campaign to test keywords and find customers. A search campaign displays text ads.
Below the campaign type, choose the result you’d like to get from your Google Ad. Website visits, phone calls or app downloads.
In the next step, you’ll name your campaign and choose which networks you’d like your ad to display on. We recommend disabling the Display network and Search network as this can produce a lot of wasted clicks. Now your ad will only show on the actual Google search results.
You can also choose a start and end date for your campaign and when you want your ads to show in the day. You don’t want ads to run at times of the day when you’re not able to follow up with the leads immediately.
In this step, you can choose which regions you’d like your ad to appear. Choose your area on the map and then choose “Presence” as the target. This will ensure you only target people who either live or frequently visit the area, not tourists or people who don’t actually live in the area. Choose a language, which would most likely be your own, then move onto budget.
Choose the currency of your budget and your average daily budget for ad spend. You can always change this later.
Google will now ask what you’d like to focus on in terms of results. In other words, what’s important to you; clicks, impressions, maximum conversions, etc. For now, we recommend focusing on clicks.
Choose how much you’re willing to pay per click and Google will figure out the best way to get you as many clicks as possible within that budget. Later on, this will allow you to quickly see which keywords are getting the most volume, leads and sales.
Ad extensions allow you to include additional info about your business which helps you stand out in the search results and increase your click thru rates. This, in turn, improves your “quality score” which is how Google determines the quality of your ad. The higher quality score, the less you’ll pay for ads.
Ad extensions might include call out text, such as “Shop now” or “Browse store” etc. It may also include multiple links to different parts of your website to help people find the exact content they’re searching for.
Here’s what the ad extensions look like in Google search results:
At this point, we will choose the keywords we want to target for our Google Ads and place them into an Ad Group. Each Ad Group acts as a “house” for a set of highly related keywords, with a corresponding ad that will show up for those keywords in the group. This allows you to create ads for a specific set of keywords, which makes your ad more relevant and increases your quality score.
Name your first ad group with your most relevant keyword. For example, if you sell accounting SaaS for SMEs, your ad group name would be “accounting SaaS for SMEs.”
Then, enter your keywords in the box below to add them to the ad group.
You’ll want to add 3 versions of the keyword to make sure you show up for different types of searches:
This will ensure your ad shows up when people type that exact phrase into Google, in that order.
This will show your ad whenever someone uses a phrase in Google that includes this phrase within it, for example “How to choose accounting SaaS for SMEs.”
You can repeat this process for different keywords, but make sure you create a new ad group for each keyword you want to target and never mix unrelated keywords in the same ad group.
Finally, we’ll create the actual ad that searchers see. Remember, we’ll create a different ad for each ad group, so that the ad is highly relevant to a specific set of keywords and only shows up when people type those keywords into Google.
Your ad will need:
Let’s cover these briefly:
Final URL – Where people will be sent when they click your ad
Make sure the link works and that you’re sending people to a landing page that works on mobile and ideally has some type of conversion event set up (optin form, click to call, etc.)
Headlines – The blue text that people see on your ad
Be sure to include the keyword you’re targeting in the headline. This makes the ad relevant to searchers.
Descriptions – The grey/black text below the blue text
Again, use your target keyword here and expand on your headline. Tell people more about your product, its features and benefits, reason to act now and what they should do next.
Once you’re finished, feel free to create new ad groups targeting different keywords for each, along with new ads for each group.
Once you’re finished creating your ad groups, adding keywords and creating your ad for each group, click Next and Google will review your ads.
Once your PPC campaign is up and your ads start running, you’ll be able to measure the results and see which keywords are getting the highest volume and converting to leads and customers.
Once you know which relevant keywords are producing results in search engines, you can confidently hire an SEO agency who will optimise your website to show up for those winning keywords in the organic (non-paid non-PPC) Google search results, without spending more money on PPC ads!
This is how brands are approaching SEO the smart way in 2022 – instead of risking time and money optimising their website for keywords that will never convert into leads or sales.
Even if you think a certain keyword should convert into a lead or sale, it’s always best to validate that idea first by running a short PPC campaign to be sure.
Often, brands are shocked at which keywords convert, and which don’t. Use this guide to validate SEO keywords using PPC first and save yourself months of wasted time, money and energy when doing SEO.