4 Important Takeaways from a Google Ads Expert

marketing Sep 09, 2020

Recently on my Podcast and YouTube channel I had the chance of interviewing Google Ads Expert (who I also happen to be married to!) Chris Caruana.

This is one of the most HIGHLY requested topics I get so it was great to get his take on many of the misconceptions out there around Google Ads, like that they are overly-complicated and are more expensive than other forms of advertising-- such as Facebook Ads, print ads, etc.

I decided to give a recap of some key takeaways that I got from my interview with Chris. If you’d like to hear the full interview, I included the podcast episode in this post, or you can click here and listen wherever you get your podcasts! 

In case you missed it-- my podcast has been renamed and rebranded so it’s now called The Marketing Junkie Podcast on all platforms -- but more about that another time!

If you are curious about google ads or are just getting started-- here are some tips before you dive in.

1) Google Ads are NOT Like Other Online Ads, Such As Facebook and Instagram Ads

I’m going to keep this takeaway short because I’ll elaborate on this point throughout the post. Basically, Google Ads and something like Facebook Ads are two different types of marketing tactics completely and they should be treated as such.

Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Tik Tok ads (and print/ radio ads if you want to group them in here as well!) are all what we call INTERRUPTION marketing,

Meaning, while they may be targeted, they are still shown to customers who are engaging in another task, aiming at drawing their attention away from whatever they are doing (i.e. interrupting their scrolling, listening, reading, etc).

After all, when was the last time you opened a social media app with the purpose of being sold to? You likely use those types of apps to engage with friends and family, get news updates, etc. -- not to see ads.

It is often much more difficult (even with a great ad and offer!) to use interruption marketing to convert a scroller into a customer.

However, Google Ads (and Pinterest ads if you want to go there) are a type of SEARCH marketing-- meaning the ads will ONLY be shown to those who are actively searching for a product or service. For example someone typing “indoor play areas for toddlers Rochester NY” can be shown an ad for local indoor play areas.

Because they are using specific keywords to search and are focused on that task-- they are more likely to convert into a customer.

While all of these types of advertising can have a solid place in your overall marketing strategy-- it is important to note that they are not an apples-to-apples comparison and they have key differences which makes their cost difference, which I’ll detail next.

2) Google Ads Can Be LESS Expensive Than Many Other Ways to Advertise Online

As I mentioned, Google Ads often get a reputation for being super expensive. However, this reputation is unfortunately perpetuated on looking at the data incorrectly.

For example, many people only look at ONE metric when comparing Google Ads to another form of ad-- we can use Facebook ads as an example here.

Many people point out that the cost-per-click of a Google Ad is often much higher than the average cost-per-click of a Facebook ad. In the same sense, the cost-per-lead of a Google Ad is often more expensive than the average cost-per-lead of a Facebook ad.

However, looking at this ONE metric leaves out the big picture here.

The metric we should be comparing is the cost per CONVERSION of the different platforms (i.e. the cost per sale, the cost per new customer acquired, etc).

While clicks and leads may be easier and less expensive to come by on Facebook and Instagram, the QUALITY of these clicks is almost always LOWER than a click or a lead from a Google ad, and therefore less likely to convert into a customer.

This is why Google Ad clicks and leads cost more. They are more likely to convert -- so you may actually be SAVING money in the end.

Does that make sense?

It all ties back into how Google finds you leads-- when someone types something, for example “birthday party venue for a toddler in Rochester NY”-- they are clearly interested in making a party booking.

With Facebook and Instagram, you have to hope that based on some key demographics that a scroller not only may be interested in a party venue, but that they also have the time and the will to do their research while they are scrolling through Facebook.

So to wrap this point up-- make sure you are analyzing the most important data point-- the cost per sale or new customer-- or CONVERSION-- when you are interpreting which advertising platforms are bringing you the most business in the most cost-effective manner.


3) What type of businesses can google ads work for?

The short answer is-- any business. 

However, Chris recommends that you tailor your approach with Google Ads depending on your business type.

Local businesses who have one very specific service (for example, landscaping companies) can run google ads directly to a special offer or landing page for their local service. Their area is specific enough to make this effective.

For online businesses, there can often be much more competition and a much larger area to target. 

Because of this, Chris recommends running ads to either a lead magnet (if you are an online course creator or coach) or some kind of very special discount/ offer (if you are an online retail store).

Since customers have more options, it may be harder to make  a sale or book a call/ appointment directly from the ad, especially if your products or services are relatively expensive or “high-ticket”.

A lead magnet is a free piece of value (maybe en eBook, a guide, a quiz, a checklist, etc) that gets someone onto your email list so you can then follow up with a prospective customer, establish a relationship with them, and convert them into a paying customer in days or weeks after they click on the ad.

The important thing to note here is that most businesses will NOT generate a sale directly from the ad. The follow-up process with leads is an extremely important part of the equation (much more important than the ad itself!) so do not rely on google ads alone to generate business. 

Lead magnets can work for local businesses as well, especially where there is a lot of competition.

For example, many real estate agents and companies can be running ads concurrently in one specific area.

Now tell me, which ad are you more likely to click on-- an ad for a free home valuation questionnaire or a free first-time home buyers kit (i.e. a lead magnet) OR an ad that asks you to make an appointment or call a number right away? 

It’s likely you will go for the free piece of value, then reach out to them after you have consumed the content and feel more comfortable with the agent or company who provided you with it.

Another note: always be testing! Run ads BOTH to a lead magnet and an appointment booking, and see which your customers prefer.  There are nuances in every industry and area so make sure you try different things before putting too much effort and money into a single campaign.

4) What is the biggest mistake most businesses make with google ads?

The biggest mistake Chris sees with his clients who come to him with ads that are not working, has little to do with the ads themselves.

Instead, Chris notices that most of these businesses are simply sending ads directly to the business homepage, making it difficult for the prospect to understand exactly what their next step is or where they should go to contact.

Instead of sending them to your website homepage, Chris again recommends that people using google ads create a simple and clear landing page JUST for people visiting via the google ads.

This allows you to offer something specific (i.e. a lead magnet or a discount) and it also will allow you to measure your results more accurately, because you know all traffic to that page comes from the Google Ad.

The key here is to make the page CLEAR and easy to navigate. Make it easy for that potential customer to book, buy, or enter their information so you can follow up with them easily.

The more difficult you make the process, the less effective your ad strategy will be.

Want to learn more about Google Ads-- like how to track results, how to navigate the tool itself, and how to create a high-converting offer? Watch my FULL interview with Chris here!


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