Recession Proofing Your Sales Funnel: The Benefits of Awareness Advertising in 2023
Dive into the ways that awareness advertising can recession-proof your sales funnel and get insights on how to use it effectively.
A recession may seem like the time to cut back on advertising, but it’s actually the perfect opportunity to increase your visibility and come out even stronger.
In fact, study after study has shown that cutting back on advertising during a recession actually hurts your brand, sales funnel and bottom line in the long run.
If you want to stay top-of-mind during a recession, you can’t afford to go dark. Brands that cut back on their ad spend during a recession put themselves at risk of losing customers and market share, as the data clearly shows.
- McGraw-Hill Research looked at 600 companies from 1980 to 1985 and showed that those that maintained or increased their advertising spend during the 1981 recession had sales that were 256% higher than those that didn’t by 1985.
- In 2008, Millward Brown shared evidence that 60% of the brands that went ‘dark’ during an economic downturn saw a significant decrease in brand use and brand image.
- More recently, Kantar Group estimates that brands who went dark to save costs in the early part of 2020 will see a 39% reduction in brand awareness and delay recovery.
If you want to ride out a recession and emerge on top, you can’t afford to skip awareness advertising — a type of advertising designed to make a brand or product more familiar to consumers at the top of the sales and marketing funnel.
Don’t let a recession make your brand fade into the background. Keep reading to learn the benefits of awareness advertising during a recession, along with tips and best practices for adapting your marketing strategy to tough economic times.
- Historical data shows that advertising during a recession can give businesses a competitive edge and lead to success when the economy rebounds.
- During a recession, sales cycles become longer, and awareness advertising can help businesses connect with potential customers earlier in the buying process, create a larger pool of prospects, and increase brand recognition and reputation to build trust and loyalty.
- By understanding your target audience, telling stories that connect, and being authentic and transparent, you can create campaigns that resonate with your audience, build trust, and help your business succeed in difficult economic times.
Why Awareness Advertising is Key to the Recession-Proof Sales Funnel
During tough economic times, sales cycles tend to become longer as customers become more careful in deciding what and when to buy.
Your customers spend more time in the consideration phase, conducting more research, comparing products more closely, and taking longer to decide on a purchase during an economic downturn.
In other words, the sprint becomes a marathon — and your business has to keep prospects engaged and interested throughout the process.
But in some ways, a longer sales cycle is a blessing in disguise. It gives you more opportunities to connect with customers and demonstrate the value of your product or service.
One of the best ways to keep a longer funnel flowing during a recession (without increasing ad spend) is to reallocate more budget to awareness advertising aimed at the top of the funnel (TOFU).
Awareness advertising is designed to create a lasting impression that keeps your brand, products or services front and center. These ads are typically aimed at a broader audience to attract potential customers who may not yet be familiar with your brand.
By casting a wider net and reaching more people earlier in the sales cycle, you can create a larger pool of prospects to warm up and convert into customers over time. Awareness ads help you connect with potential customers earlier in the buying process so that, once those prospects are ready to make a purchase decision, they are more likely to turn to your brand over others since you have already established a relationship with them.
In addition, awareness advertising can help businesses to build brand recognition and reputation, increasing consumer trust and loyalty.
By allocating more of your advertising towards TOFU awareness-based campaigns, you lay the groundwork for a more effective sales funnel that helps warm prospects and close more sales — even in the midst of a recession or other economic challenges.
Awareness Advertising vs. Other Types of Advertising
The primary objective of awareness advertising is to enhance brand recognition and promote customer engagement, in contrast to direct response advertising, product advertising, and promotional advertising, which serve different goals.
- Direct response advertising: Direct response advertising is designed to elicit a specific response from the consumer, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or calling a phone number. Unlike awareness advertising, which is focused on building brand recognition, direct response advertising is intended to drive immediate sales or leads.
- Product advertising: Product advertising is focused on promoting a specific product or service. While awareness advertising can be used to support a particular product or service, its primary goal is to build brand recognition and customer engagement. Product advertising, on the other hand, is designed to showcase the benefits and features of a particular product or service to potential customers.
- Promotional advertising: Promotional advertising is focused on promoting a specific deal or offer, such as a discount or free trial. While awareness advertising can be used to support promotional advertising, its primary goal is to build long-term brand recognition and customer engagement.
In general, awareness advertising is most effective when used in conjunction with other types of advertising. By building strong brand recognition and customer engagement, businesses can position themselves for long-term success and increase their chances of success with other types of advertising.
Does It Work? Case Studies on Advertising During a Recession Say Yes
The numbers don’t lie – history shows that advertising during a recession can be a game-changer for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge.
In fact, some of the most successful companies in history have continued to advertise during tough economic times and emerged even stronger once the recession ended.
Take the recent public health crisis. When COVID-19 forced people to stop traveling, VRBO and Airbnb responded in very different ways. While Airbnb scaled back its advertising, VRBO saw an opening and increased its spending to $90.8 million in advertising from January to February 2021. The strategy paid off, with VRBO seeing a 61% recovery in bookings while Airbnb’s bookings dipped by 15%.
In a sea of struggling travel businesses, VRBO found a way to come out on top – by investing in advertising when others held back.
Another well-known example comes from the recession of 1990, in the responses of three fast food giants: McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. When times were tough, McDonald’s cut its advertising budget, while the smaller competitors Pizza Hut and Taco Bell strengthened theirs. As a result:
- Pizza Hut increased sales by 61%.
- Taco Bell increased sales by 40%.
- McDonald’s sales decreased by 28%.
Want to grab a bigger slice of the market during a recession? Follow Pizza Hut and Taco Bell’s lead and ramp up your advertising efforts, while the competition holds back.
Then there’s Amazon. Even during the Great Recession, Amazon continued to innovate with new products despite the slumping economy, most notably with the new Kindle products – supported by millions spent on advertising. When the rest of the economy hit its nadir, Amazon’s sales rose by 28%.
When the going gets tough, the tough get innovative. Amazon proved this during the Great Recession by continuing to invest in new products and advertising, and reaping the rewards with a surge in sales.
These are just a few of the countless examples demonstrating that companies that invest in advertising during a recession can come out ahead when the economy rebounds.
By keeping their brand top-of-mind for consumers and continuing to offer value and promotions, these companies were able to maintain or increase their market share and build customer loyalty.
Awareness advertising during a recession can pay off in spades, as the historical data demonstrates.
Benefits of Awareness Advertising During a Recession
When times get tough, businesses need to get creative to maintain or grow their market share. That’s where awareness advertising comes in.
Here are a few reasons why awareness advertising can be a powerful tool for businesses during a recession:
- It strengthens brand recognition: Awareness advertising can help businesses build strong brand recognition, keeping them top-of-mind throughout a longer sales cycle so that customers remember the brand when they’re finally ready to buy.
- It increases customer engagement: By communicating with customers through advertising, businesses can create a stronger connection with customers, showing them that they are still here, still providing value, and still committed to serving their needs.
- It leverages lower competition: When other businesses are tightening their belts and cutting back on their advertising spend, there is a unique opportunity for companies to take advantage of awareness advertising and gain an edge over their competitors.
By building brand recognition, increasing customer engagement, and positioning for long-term success, businesses can emerge from a recession as stronger players in their respective industries.
1. Strengthen Brand Recognition
One of the most important benefits of awareness advertising during a recession is its ability to build and strengthen brand recognition.
During tough economic times, many consumers cut back on their spending, making it more challenging for businesses to compete.
However, by keeping their brand top-of-mind through awareness advertising, businesses can increase their chances of being chosen over their competitors when consumers do decide to make a purchase.
In addition to helping businesses stand out in a crowded marketplace, building brand recognition through awareness advertising can also lead to increased customer loyalty.
When consumers have a positive association with a brand, they are more likely to choose that brand over others, even when there are cheaper or more convenient options available. In a crowded market, positive brand associations are worth their weight in gold.
As well as building brand recognition, awareness advertising can help businesses establish themselves as thought leaders. Awareness ads provide businesses with the chance to show customers that they are knowledgeable and experienced in their fields. It’s not enough to be good at what you do – you also need to show it. By doing so, your business can build trust and authority which pays off in the long run.
The ability to keep your brand at the top of people’s minds and establish yourself as an industry leader will provide your business with a position to emerge from a recession as a strong player.
2. Increase Customer Engagement
In a time of financial uncertainty, customers need more than just a sales pitch.
Many consumers feel nervous about their finances during a recession, so they’re more cautious about their spending. In this environment, it’s important for businesses to find ways to engage with their customers and demonstrate the value they can provide. This is where awareness advertising comes in.
By sharing stories and experiences that resonate with their target audience, businesses can create a sense of community and belonging that can keep customers coming back. For example, a restaurant might use awareness advertising to showcase its commitment to using locally sourced ingredients, or a clothing brand might use awareness advertising to highlight its commitment to sustainability.
Through awareness advertising, your business can show customers that you are still here, still providing value, and still dedicated to serving them, even in the toughest of times. In a world of faceless corporations, that kind of connection and authenticity makes a world of difference.
3. Leverage Lower Competition
As businesses cut back on their advertising and marketing spend during a recession, competition for customer attention goes down as well. This can be a valuable opportunity for you to take advantage of awareness advertising and gain a stronger foothold in your industry.
- With fewer businesses vying for ad space and airtime, advertising costs may be lower during a recession. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses that may be operating on a tighter budget — more bang for their buck.
- With less competition for ad space and airtime, businesses may be able to increase their ad exposure and get their message in front of more people. This can be especially valuable for businesses that are looking to build brand recognition and increase customer engagement.
- With lower advertising costs and increased ad exposure, businesses may be able to achieve a better return on investment (ROI) with their awareness advertising efforts during a recession.
By taking advantage of lower advertising costs, increased ad exposure, and improved ROI, your business can position itself for long-term success and emerge from a recession stronger.
Don’t wait for the storm to pass – make your move now. Use awareness advertising to seize the opportunities that a recession presents and come out on top, stronger and more successful than ever.
Strategies for Effective Awareness Advertising During a Recession
In a time of economic uncertainty, your advertising needs to work harder than ever.
So, how do you create an awareness advertising campaign that will stand out and make an impact during a recession?
- Know your audience better than anyone: To create an effective awareness advertising campaign, it’s essential to understand your target audience. Who are they? What are their needs and pain points? What motivates them to make a purchase? By understanding your target audience, you can create messaging and content that resonates with them and helps build a sense of familiarity and trust.
- Tell stories that connect on a deeper level: To create a strong connection with your target audience, it’s important to use storytelling and emotional appeals in your advertising campaigns. By sharing stories and experiences that resonate with your target audience, you can create a sense of community and belonging that can keep customers coming back.
- Be real and transparent: During a recession, it’s more important than ever to be authentic and transparent in your advertising campaigns. Be honest about the challenges that your business is facing, and communicate with your target audience in a way that shows that you care about their needs and are committed to serving them.
Use these tips to create campaigns that resonate with your audience, build trust, and help you weather the storm.
1. Know Your Audience Better than Anyone
When the economy is down, it’s imperative to understand how the spending behavior of your target audience may change. Harvard Business Review identifies four general segments that illustrate how consumers behaviour changes during a recession:
- The slam-on-the-brakes segment is the most vulnerable and suffers the greatest financial losses. These consumers reduce all types of spending by eliminating, postponing, decreasing, or substituting purchases. While lower-income consumers are usually part of this segment, higher-income consumers may also join it, particularly if their health or income deteriorates.
- Pained-but-patient consumers are resilient and optimistic about the long term, but less confident about the prospects for economic recovery in the short term. They economize in all areas, but less aggressively than slam-on-the-brakes consumers. This segment includes the majority of households unaffected by unemployment, representing a wide range of income levels. As the economic news worsens, more pained-but-patient consumers migrate to the slam-on-the-brakes segment.
- Comfortably well-off consumers feel confident about their ability to weather the economic storm. They spend at levels close to pre-recession, but tend to be more selective (and less conspicuous) about their purchases. This segment primarily consists of people in the top 5% income bracket, as well as those who feel secure about the stability of their finances. This group includes retirees, as well as investors who had low-risk investments.
- The live-for-today segment continues as usual and remains unconcerned about saving. These consumers respond to the recession mainly by delaying major purchases. They are typically urban and younger, more likely to rent than to own, and prefer spending on experiences rather than possessions (except for consumer electronics). They are unlikely to change their spending habits unless they become unemployed.
By understanding the impact of a recession on different consumer segments, businesses can create awareness advertising campaigns that resonate with their target audience and enhance brand recognition.
It’s also crucial to understand where your product or service falls on a scale from ‘essentials’ to ‘expendables’.
- Essentials are necessary for survival or seen as essential to well-being, and consumers are likely to continue buying these items even during tough economic times.
- Treats are indulgences that consumers may still splurge on occasionally, even if they cut back their spending in this category during a recession.
- Postponables are needed or desired items whose purchase can be delayed until the consumer’s financial situation improves.
- Expendables are perceived as unnecessary or unjustifiable, and consumers are likely to cut back their spending in this category during a recession, potentially eliminating these purchases altogether.
While basic levels of food, shelter, and clothing are essentials for all consumers, transportation and medical care are also often seen as essential. However, the assignment of specific goods and services to each category is unique to each consumer.
During a recession, consumers typically reevaluate their spending priorities. Products and services, such as dining out, travel, arts and entertainment, new clothing, automobiles, appliances, and consumer electronics, can quickly shift from essentials to treats, postponables, or expendables.
As consumer priorities change, they may eliminate purchases in some categories, such as household services, moving them from essentials to expendables. Consumers may also substitute purchases in one category for purchases in another, such as dining out (a treat) for cooking at home (an essential).
In a recession, consumers become more price-sensitive and less brand-loyal. They may seek out their favorite products and brands at reduced prices or settle for less-preferred alternatives. For instance, they may choose cheaper private-label products or switch from organic to non-organic foods.
2. Tell Stories that Connect on a Deeper Level
During a recession, businesses can build trust and emotional connections with their target audience by using storytelling and emotional appeals in their advertising campaigns.
Storytelling can create a sense of community, empathy and inspiration by weaving a narrative that resonates with the audience’s experiences. Emotional appeals can tap into the emotions that the target audience is feeling, whether it be fear, uncertainty or hope, to show that the business understands their struggles and is there to help them.
However, it’s important to be authentic and avoid exploiting emotions for the sake of sales. Messages should be positive, uplifting and empowering, reinforcing an emotional connection with the brand.
Worried consumers, including those in the comfortably well-off and live-for-today segments, often seek comfort in familiar and trusted brands during a recession. To build trust with their audience during tough times, businesses need to communicate reassuring messages that reinforce an emotional connection with the brand and show empathy.
3. Be Real and Transparent
During a recession, consumers are looking for brands that they can trust. When businesses are honest and genuine in their advertising, consumers are more likely to believe in the brand and feel that they have their best interests in mind.
Transparency is another crucial factor in building trust with your audience during a recession. Businesses need to be open and honest about their practices, including pricing, product quality, and any potential issues that may arise. This can help to establish trust with consumers and show that the business is committed to being transparent and upfront.
Being authentic and transparent can also help businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors. By showcasing unique values and practices, businesses can stand out and appeal to consumers who are looking for something different.
While authenticity and transparency can help businesses to stand out during a recession, it’s essential to ensure that these qualities are genuine, rather than just a marketing tactic. Consumers can easily detect when a brand is being insincere, which can harm the brand’s reputation.
By prioritizing authenticity and transparency, businesses can build trust and foster long-term relationships with their customers. However, businesses should be careful to ensure that these qualities are ingrained in their values, rather than just a superficial marketing strategy.
Awareness Advertising: Your Key to Resilient Sales Funnel in a Recession
When the economy takes a hit, your sales funnel can take a hit, too. But with awareness advertising, you can keep the leads coming in and the sales rolling.
Navigating a recession as a marketer or business owner can be challenging. While it may be tempting to cut back on expenses, including your marketing budget, during tough economic times, this decision could have long-term consequences.
But we want to encourage you to stay the course and continue investing in your business, even in the face of a recession. The truth is that advertising during a recession can make a significant difference in your business’s ability to weather the storm
Instead of reducing your marketing efforts, consider investing in targeted and strategic campaigns that can help your brand stand out and build loyalty with your audience.
We understand that these are challenging times, and want to assure you that you’re not alone in this struggle. Our team of experienced marketers can help you develop a comprehensive and effective marketing strategy that will allow you to stand out from your competitors and connect with your target audience.
Whether you need help with awareness advertising, lead generation, or closing more sales, we’re here to help you achieve your marketing goals.
5 Mistakes KILLING Your Google Ads Budget
As a business owner, you’re probably no stranger to people trying to turn you into a believer in Google Ads.
And the well-intentioned folks singing the praises of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) do have a point. After all, on average, businesses make $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads.
So, why not jump at the opportunity? Who wouldn’t go for a 100% return on your investment?
Well, I’m willing to guess the savvy business owner in you isn’t ready to take that vague stat at face value…and you’re right to be a bit skeptical.
When things sound too good to be true, you know there’s got to be more to the story.
Let’s get serious.
The Truth Is, Google Ads Are Not Automatically Profitable.
The “$2-revenue-per-$1-spend” statistic we just mentioned up above is an average.
Meaning, some companies who use Google Ads actually see results that eclipse that 100% return on their investmentby a long shot…while other completely miss the mark.
In fact, there are horror stories of businesses losing thousands upon thousands of dollars due to inefficiencies or ill-fated campaigns. A few beginner mistakes can result in:
- Visitors landing on entirely the wrong page on your website and immediately losing interest.
- Paying for search queries that have absolutely nothing to do with your business.
- Shovelling more and more money into ads that aren’t moving the needle in the slightest.
- Getting tons of traffic from visitors that have zero intention of ever buying from you.
- Churning out ads with no hope of ever gaining ground on your competitors.
All the above will decimate your Google Ads budget faster than you can say, “Broke.”
I hate seeing hardworking business owners throwing good money after bad. So, today, I’m going to tell you exactly where companies like yours most often go wrong with Google Ads.
Then, I’ll explain how you can avoid falling into a Google Ads money pit yourself.
1. Sending Visitors to Irrelevant Landing Pages
Right off the top, I need to make one very integral point: your home page and a landing page are not the same thing.
Sadly, there is a wealth of inexperienced, unseasoned people running ads that send their audience directly to the company homepage.
People who click PPC ads are generally looking for a particular product or service. If someone clicks your paid search result expecting something specific, and is taken to a homepage instead, they’ll likely navigate elsewhere.
People want the most hassle-free navigational experience possible. They should be able to transact on the landing page, removing any barriers from the scenario.
This practice leads to bad quality scores and paltry conversion rates, which both increases your cost per click and takes a chunk out of your ROI.
2. Having Keywords That Are Too Broad
With keywords, specification is everything.
Running with overly generalized, broad-match keywords will put you on wrong end of irrelevant search results fast.
For instance, say you’re running a plumbing service. You’d think using “plumbing” as your keyword might seem like it makes sense, right?
But think about all the different intentions someone might have if they type “plumbing” as their search term.
They might be looking for a plumbing job, a do-it-yourself plumbing blog, a general definition, plumbing tools…anything else that falls under the plumber umbrella. Meaning, you’re drastically reducing your chances for click-throughs and conversions.
From there, you’ll see a significant increase in your costs per click and a decrease in your quality scores.
Then, your ads will sink to newer and more troubling depths in the rankings.
None of this is good.
3. No Trial and Error Process
Earlier, I mentioned how some companies manage to blow the industry average $2 revenue per $1 spend out of the water.
This kind of success doesn’t happen by accident. There’s a rigorous testing period involved in order to learn what really does and doesn’t work for your audience.
In Google Ad language, this is known as A/B testing.
If you start your Ads initiative expecting results right out of the gate, you’re setting yourself up for immediate failure.
Without taking the time to figure out what connects with your audience, it’ll all-but guarantee low click-throughs and conversion rates.
If you haven’t noticed a pattern here, the next part of that process is a higher cost per click and lower quality scores!
4. Neglecting Negative Keywords
As vital as it is to let Google know what exact keywords for which your ad should pop up, you also need to indicate words for which you don’t want your ad to show.
Those search terms you’re looking to avoid are called negative keywords.
For instance, say you’re an electrician who provides more expensive services because you cater to a high-income clientele.
Imagine you add “electrical services” is added as a keyword. Google’s default searching algorithm will show your ad for a range of phrases and broad match keywords, including “cheap electrical services” and “electrical services for cheap.”
All your search traffic will reach your site and be turned off by your prices because they were looking for bargain-basement pricing! Thus, leading to the cycle that drains your budget so substantially.
A skilled Google Ads partner will have a knack for these negative keywords and will ensure you receive the correct kind of traffic on your landing page.
5. Putting Bids Over Quality
When has throwing money at a problem ever helped anybody?
Yet, that’s what many individuals – in over their heads – working on Ads campaigns try to do.
To win out valuable Google Ad space, people will throw their budget away without focusing on quality score.
No matter how much you spend on outbidding competitors, it means nothing if your quality score stinks.
Google Ads Are a Professional Discipline
You know how you’ve spent years upon years honing your craft, whether you’re an electrician, mechanic, or HVAC specialist, etc.?
There are people out there who’ve invested just as much time learning the endless intricacies of Google Ads…and still haven’t mastered this highly technical art/science/math hybrid.
All mistakes highlighted in this blog are only scratching the surface—and they’re a lot to digest on their own. Learning all the ins and outs of Google’s advertising platform at the same time you’re running a business is a tall order.
However, that doesn’t mean you should turn up your nose at Google Ads.
Google Ads provides too many lucrative opportunities for you to ignore. There are many companies like yours who’ve seen a massive uptick in revenue thanks to Google’s PPC services.
What’s essential is finding a digital marketer who’s equipped with the know-how, dedication, and savvy to generate a sizeable return on your Google Ads spending.
An expert with a proven track record who gets the concepts discussed in this blog like the back of their hand – and knows how to generate a significant return on your investment.
The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Google Ads
Google is quite possibly the most powerful online advertising platform out there.
You can run ads to generate more leads and revenue. You can sell more products online. And you can bring more traffic to your website.
Best of all, Google Ads are relatively simple to execute.
Why Google Ads?
Google is the most popular search engine in the world, receiving 3.5 billion search queries a day and an estimated 700% return on investment. It’s used by people everywhere to ask questions from “How many ounces of flour equates to one cup?” to “What is the best outfit for a first date?” These questions are answered with a combination of paid advertisements and organic results.
Ok, so advertising on Google makes the most sense from an ROI standpoint – based on the massive amount of daily users – but what are the tangible benefits to advertising on Google?
Google Ads are:
- If you create a Google Ads campaign that is converting at a profitable rate, there is no reason to cap spend on that campaign. Just hop back into your Google Ads account and bump up your PPC budget. Your leads and profits rise accordingly!
- With detailed conversion tracking, Google Ads PPC is one of the most measurable of online channels.
- Google Ads is more transparent, providing tons of PPC metrics.
- Quickly determine if your campaigns are sucking or returning ROI.
- Google Ads provides tons of options so you can customize your campaigns.
- Hyper-target the audiences you most want to reach.
In addition, specific keyword match types for example, only show your ad to people who search for an exact keyword you specify, like “Vegas hotels” – filtering out traffic on general terms related to Las Vegas or hotels.
Google Ads Best Practices
Google Ads typically perform quite well without in-depth optimization. However, in order to get the biggest bang for your buck, it’s important to do your research.
What are your competitors doing successfully? How could you implement optimizations into your campaigns to maximize performance?
- Use ad extensions to display product images, a phone number, a mega-pack of links to your site, and your physical location.
- Narrow your audience by location, time of day to be targeted, language, browser or device type.
- Access an enormous network of non-search users on properties like Gmail and YouTube.
1. Using Google Ad Extensions
Ad extensions are additional bits of information about your business that can be added to your Google text ads. These extensions can automatically pull info from your Google My Business profile or be populated manually. Both types of Google Ad extensions can have value: automatic extensions are convenient, while manual extensions offer powerful customization.
Currently, you can enrich your text ads with 10 types of extensions:
- Sitelink Extensions: additional links you can add to your search ad to allow searchers to view all your various offerings up front
- Location Extensions: show the address of your business as well as hours of operation directly in your search ad; this is a fundamental action to ensure more traffic to your storefront location; must connect a ‘Google My Business’ account to Google Ads to enable location extensions
- Affiliate Location Extensions: these help potential customers find the best, and nearest, retail stores that sell your product; most useful for large brands that are sold nationwide
- Structured Snippet Extensions: these provide advertisers with three additional header lines of text to include meaningful business information
- Call Extensions: allows the business telephone number to be shown on the ad; on mobile devices, users can use this extension to directly dial your business
- Message Extensions: shown on mobile devices, and allows the searcher to contact you via text message; message extensions cannot be tracked for conversions
- App Extensions: this extension allows you to add a mobile app download button next to your ad; a customizable call to action can be included beneath your ad
- Callout Extensions: like Sitelink Extensions, but without clickable links; allows the advertiser to provide additional information and relevance regarding your ad; can help improve the click-through rate and the conversion rate
- Price Extensions: allows the advertiser to display products and/or services alongside their prices directly in the ad; price extensions only appear if Google ranks your ad as #1
- Promotion Extensions: allows the advertiser to include coupons, sales and other deals in their ad; you can schedule promotion extensions within Google Ads for custom holidays and promotions that are exclusive to your business
However, extensions don’t always appear when your ad is shown. It depends on:
- Your ad’s position and Adrank; and
- Whether Google predicts the extension will help or hinder your ad’s performance.
2. Narrowing Your Google Ads Audience
Google lets you narrow your ad’s audience to better reach those who are most likely to be within your target demographic. You can define your audience based on specific demographics, locations and devices – including the ability to exclude users who are outside your niche.
- Demographic targeting includes identifiable audience traits like age, gender, parental status and income.
- Location targeting lets you define your audience by country, regions within a country (like cities or territories) or even within a certain distance of a specific zip or postal code.
- Device targeting is available to display and video campaigns. You can show ads on specific devices, models, carriers or wireless networks.
3. Leveraging Google’s Non-Search Network
The Google Ads platform gives you the option to display your ads across numerous non-search networks affiliated with Google. This feature is what earns Google Ads its status as the most versatile international advertising platform.
Google’s extended network includes channels such as:
- YouTube TrueView For Action: videos ads that include a direct call-to-action. You only pay when the user elects to view your video. Targeting specific keywords and utilizing call-to-action buttons can greatly reduce your cost-per-click.
- Smart Shopping: this new campaign type uses automation to optimize bidding for maximum ROI. It’s extremely efficient for advertisers with small budgets.
- Display Remarketing: these are image ads shown on Google’s partner sites to users who have visited your site in the past. Remarketing is a great campaign to move the user to conversion.
- Gmail Ads: text ads that appear in users’ promotions inbox in Gmail. If the user clicks, they are brought to a display ad, which will direct the user straight to your landing page.
Types of Google Ad Campaigns
Google gives you plenty of ad campaigns to choose from. The campaign you select will determine where people will be able to see your ads – so your choice should be based on your specific advertising goals.
Some of the most commonly used campaign types are:
- Search Network Campaign: ads appear in Google Search results (and on other Google sites) when users search for relevant keywords. Your ads are displayed to people who are looking for information related to the content of your ad. The goal of a search network campaign is to generate a specific user action: sales, leads, phone calls or clicks to your website.
- Display Network Campaign: display ads appear to users while they’re browsing online, watching YouTube videos, checking Gmail or using their mobile device and apps. These campaigns can help promote your brand, generate product awareness, or increase sales and leads.
- Shopping Campaign: these ads use Merchant Center product data to show users an image of your product, along with the price and the name of your store. They help to promote what you’re selling, drive traffic to your store (online or offline) and find you more qualified leads.
- Video Campaign: display video ads by themselves or along with other streaming content on YouTube and across the Google Display Network.
- App Campaign: app ads appear across Google’s mobile platforms such as mobile Search, Google Play, the YouTube App and the Display Network. These ads can be used to encourage users to install your app or make in-app actions.
Google Ads Terminology
Marketing terminology can be daunting. We’ve provided a comprehensive breakdown of some of the most popular Google Ads terms to help you navigate.
Your AdRank determines your ad placement. The higher the value, the better you’ll rank, thus a higher chance of getting clicks. Ad Rank is determined by your maximum bid multiplied by your Quality Score.
The higher your bid, the better your placement. Your three bidding options are CPC, CPM, or CPE.
The amount you pay for each click on your ad.
The amount you pay for one thousand ad impressions when your ad is shown to a thousand people.
The amount you pay when someone takes a specific action with your ad. You chose this engagement action when you create your campaign.
The format of your ads and where your ads will appear.
- Search ads: text ads that are displayed among search results on a Google results page.
- Display ads: typically image-based and are shown on web pages within the Google Display Network.
- Video ads: between six and 15 seconds and appear on YouTube.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The number of people who click through to your website from your ads.
Conversion Rate (CVR)
A measure of form submissions versus the number of total visits to your landing page. The higher your CVR, the greater the proportion of visitors that turn into leads.
A type of advertising where the advertiser pays per click on an ad. PPC is not specific to Google Ads but is a very important metric to track when running your campaign.
Quality Score (QS)
A number determined by Google that rates the quality and relevance of your ads and keywords. Higher quality ads and keywords perform better with your audience. New keywords automatically start out with a Quality Score of 6. Per WordStream:
- A good Quality Score for branded keywords is between 8 and 10.
- A good Quality Score for high-intent commercial keywords is 7 to 9.
- 7 is a good Quality Score for low-intent keywords.
Get Started With Google Ads
Advertising on Google is an effective way to support a Lead Generation strategy. If you’re looking for guidance or agency experience in the Google Ads realm, contact us today!
Why You Can’t Just Set and Forget Your Ad Campaigns
The most important thing for any business is relevancy.
Countless businesses question why they don’t see their products on Google.
How do you go about doing that? By creating ads that you check and test regularly and making adjustments to improve performance.
Think Like a Customer
One thing to change about your ads is to tailor them to what people would search for.
Structure your ads how a user would search for the product. Titles, descriptions, images, and other attributes play an important role because it is what Google sees to recommend.
For example, say you’re selling Beatles t-shirts from a tour. You title the product “Band T-shirt.” Instead of this, you should include all relevant information for the user. This could be:
- Descriptive nouns or adjectives
A new title could be: “Beatles 1965 US Tour T-shirt Black.” This system not only will increase sales, but customers are less likely to bounce, and they feel like they are not misled.
Don’t Forget About Your Ads
With any industry, especially online, your competitors are innovating and creating new products to compete with the rest of the market.
Leaving your ad campaign without constantly optimizing it, hinders your relevancy. Letting the ad just run its course may lead to negative feedback or even errors that you could have prevented by monitoring the ad.
If your ads aren’t doing as well as you wanted, why not change them? Once you set an ad live, you have countless opportunities to see what might generate more leads for you.
One of those tests that may be beneficial is split testing.
Split testing is the idea that you take the same ad and make minor changes to the title, description, layout or the creative and monitor which generates more traction and sales. It’s then important to understand why those changes benefited your campaign.
One way to analyze this is through A/B testing. In order for this to be effective, it need to randomly subdivide your products into test and control groups. This then is presented to the customers and feedback is recorded.
A/B testing specifically for titles can end up with products performing 60% in cost per click and ad spend metrics.
The Benefits of Product Groups
When it comes to identifying which products to invest advertising budget, grouping products can be extremely helpful.
It’s important to not “put all your eggs in one basket.” Let’s say you have an ad group that consists of women’s t-shirts and it received 1000 clicks in the past month. You want to invest in ads to amplify these results, but this group is far too broad.
Some shirts will have done better than others. When you identify that the V-neck style actually had half the clicks, you can invest in that group and find better results.
Most strategies that include product groupings have a catch-all for the remaining loose ends. Check this group regularly for traction. If a particular product is gaining impressions, then it may be beneficial to add the product to another group or create its own.
This way you can advertise only what will result in meaningful impressions and clicks.
Utilizing the Custom Labels for Better Results
Custom labels should not be static because of the flexible nature of them.
They are a powerful tool for managing shopping. For testing purposes, you can use label segments such as:
- Clearance items
- Price buckets
- Margin buckets
These dynamic performance labels are used to pull data from your A/B tests.
Remove the Negative Keywords
Keywords are used to let Google know that you have products that people are searching for. They are useful for enhancing both titles and relevancy.
When we say negative, we don’t mean actually negative sounding keywords. Negative keywords bring unwanted traffic, or traffic that is not desirable for the products you sell.
Google’s goal is to appropriately match information to what people are searching for. Strong keywords help gain that traction but does not prevent all the unwanted traffic.
If a keyword that alludes to something that you think is irrelevant, then remove it.
When you research keywords, keep an eye out for poor conversion words or irrelevant terms and add them as negatives. It’s important to then follow-up on those work blocks to ensure the the traffic is filtered effectively.
There’s Always Room for Improvement
Today, there are countless opportunities to segment performance and bids. Even if your performance is doing great, you can almost always make small modifications and optimizations in order to improve in another area.
Since everyone else is also trying to remain relevant in the industry, you must always be on the ball. Monitoring and testing your ad campaigns is key to this.
Without proper monitoring, you’ll never know how your ads are doing and where you can improve.
Google Ads vs Google Ads Express: Why Google Ads Wins Every Time
So, you’ve been looking at different types of Google advertising and you are deciding between Google Ads and Google Ads Express. Let us help you with this: Google Ads vs Google Ads Express? Google Ads wins 10 times out of 10.
Let’s look at what these two are and why the decision to pick Google Ads over Google Ads Express is an easy one.
What is Google Ads? (Formerly Google AdWords)
When you search on Google, you receive a list of search results. Have you ever noticed that the top search results may have a green ad square in the top left corner? These are ads from Google, known as Google Ads.
If your website doesn’t rank as well as others, Google Ads allows your website to be shown higher in search results based on the keywords you are targeting. The intent is that when users search for a keyword, results show your ad result near the top, and users will click your result first.
Yes, this costs money, but it can be effective if you are starting out, haven’t broken through the top contenders in your industry, or would like more leads/customers.
What is Google Ads Express?
Similar to Google Ads, this advertising platform that is often attractive to small businesses. It’s often used because of the ease of set up and hand-off ongoing management it offers. Set up your account in 15 minutes and Google does the rest of the work? Say no more! No website? Don’t worry – users can call you directly with one click on your ad.
Essentially, Google Ads Express is marketed as an “easier” version of Google Ads that can be set up quickly. Although you don’t have to do the groundwork after the set-up, the quality of groundwork is where the issues lie. If it seems too good to be true – it probably is.
What’s the Difference?
Sure, Google Ads and Google Ads Express seem similar, but the difference is the control over your monthly monitoring and optimization.
If you aren’t familiar with Google’s advertising or don’t have the resources to manage Google Ads, Google Ads Express seems like a less overwhelming option. Who wouldn’t trust Google to manage their own branded ads? While it’s not like they’re scamming you, they aren’t offering the manual optimizations that truly get the best bang for your budget.
Let’s look more closely in terms of the lack of control and management where Google Ads Express falls short.
Why You Should Avoid Google Ads Express
There is no “conversion tracking” in Google Ads Express. Yes, your ads are still showing for brand awareness, which is important, but having tracking to show how many people have contacted you or completed an action on your website is huge. This proves what your return on investment is and can justify the cost of advertising on Google.
Trust us, your financial controller will agree.
Broad match keywords
This means your ads will show up on more keywords than needed. In turn, there are more opportunities for users to click on your ads and for Google to charge you.
Kickpoint provides an excellent example for this: If Ads Express bids for edmonton catering companies, broad match keywords can end up showing to edmonton pig roast companies. Reason being, is they can generally be related in catering terms, but chances are this catering company would definitely not offer pig roasting. This leaves you with users searching for pig roast companies clicking on your ads and Google charging you, all for the user to realize you don’t offer that type of catering and leaving your website.
No keyword choice
Similar to broad match keywords, you cannot choose your keywords – Google does this for you. You can’t add any new keywords, you can only turn on/off any keywords that Google has chosen for you. This goes back to the note above about more opportunities for users to click on your ads which means more of your money in Google’s pocket.
No negative keywords
This is a huge bonus when advertising on Google. This means you can remove any unwanted keywords associated with terms users may search for in relation to your industry.
Not sure what keywords you would want to avoid for advertising? Here’s an easy one to avoid: FREE.
Add-on extensions can be many things: call-outs, site links, structured snippets, locations, or options to directly text/call the company. These appear at the bottom of your add to all work together to make the search results appear more dynamic.
This extension builds up your ads and add extra information that users may be looking for – which is a bonus you would be missing with Google Ads Express.
Do you have one keyword producing the best results, while your other keywords are simply helping to hit your daily budget with no conversions? Bidding adjustments allow you to allocate a larger percentage of budget to your keywords producing better results and less on the others.
This means your ads with the better performing keywords will show more often and optimize your ad spend to utilize these to produce more conversions – and better results for you.
Unfortunately, Google Ads Express is unable to change the bidding on different keywords, leaving all your keywords being shown an equal amount – for good or bad.
How Do I Manage Google Ads?
Are you unsure of how to manage Google Ads?
Google offers some great free resources including some video tutorials that can help you get started.
Don’t have time to constantly manage Google Ads?
We offer Google Ads set up and optimization and can manage your ad account with all the above-mentioned things that Google Ads offers. Get in touch with us and see how we can help!