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7 Tips to get more out of your Search campaigns on Google

Back to all resources

7 Tips to get more out of your Search campaigns on Google

Key take-aways

Online shoppers are sophisticated consumers with complex needs and desires. From just one search, you or your competitor could win a new customer — and sometimes, a simple search can spark an entirely new idea, desire or need in the person browsing. Here are seven insights that you can use to improve your Search campaigns, and win potential customers online:

1. Consider location and convenience

2. Count on an informed customer

3. Expect that search will lead to discovery

4. Think about complementary categories

5. Prepare for the unexpected

6. Don't underestimate the power of reviews

7. Remember the world is mobile-first

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is an advertising service by Google that allows businesses to display ads on Google search results and its advertising network.

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1. Consider location and convenience

Often, your potential customers will have certain priorities when they visit your website.

Take Marcus from Sydney, for example, who wants to buy his girlfriend a graduation gift. Marcus searches between local campus bookshops and Amazon. He’s looking for a gift that his girlfriend will like, and ideally, he’d like to pick it up in Melbourne before he attends her graduation ceremony.

In Marcus' search journey, he is concerned about both convenience and location—like many other potential customers.

Over the past two years, there has been a 500% increase in the number of "near me" mobile searches that also contain "can I buy", "to buy" or a variant term. This shows that consumers are increasingly seeking location information when they want to purchase a product or service.

When running ad campaigns with Google Ads, you can target by location to reach potential customers based on where they are. This approach can be especially useful when using text ads, which appear alongside organic search results according to your chosen keywords.

Also keep in mind that people today expect to have everything at their fingertips, and are more likely to buy from brands that offer flexible delivery and collection. Highlight attractive options in your messaging, and display your product inventory online so that potential customers can easily see what's in stock and where.

What is a campaign?

A campaign is a set of ad groups (ads, keywords, and bids) that share a budget, location targeting, and other settings. Campaigns are often used to organise categories of products or services that you offer.

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2. Count on an informed consumer

With so much information available online, consumers are now more informed than ever before.

Take Jonathan, for example, a keen traveller who is planning his next trip. Over the course of a month, he has nearly 3,000 online interactions related to travel. Around one-third of them centre on London, and he conducts nearly 100 searches about one specific hotel.

By the time Jonathan makes his travel bookings, he will have explored all of his options using search, user reviews, price comparison tools, social media, and more.

Today's consumers have the time and tools to access a huge amount of information before they commit to a single option. With this in mind, businesses should learn to anticipate potential customers' needs in advance. Aim to be useful to potential customers throughout the research process, and establish your brand as a trusted resource from the start.

Keep in mind that you can explore different goals with your online ads, and that you don't always need to aim for a sale. Instead, consider creating an ad campaign focused on establishing brand recognition or garnering customer loyalty. You could use this campaign to collect user information, such as newsletter sign ups, and encourage potential customers to engage with your site or business.

What are keywords?

Keywords are words or phrases that describe your product or service. The keywords that you choose are used to show your ads to people, and your keywords essentially help to determine when and where your ad can appear.

Select high-quality, relevant keywords for your ad campaigns to reach only the most interested people, who are more likely to become your customers.

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3. Expect that search will lead to discovery

Many user searches begin without a particular destination in mind.

Nicole, for example, is a pregnant mother of two children. She wants to find a new car that will fit three car seats and plenty of supplies for family trips. She starts off looking at one vehicle brand, but decides that she should check out alternative brands as well. She uses Google to research the available options – and eventually finds a minivan that’s manufactured by a different company, but suits her needs better.

For Nicole, search is a means of discovery. She's open to ideas, and a new product could capture her attention at any moment. As you refine your understanding of the customer journey, consider the moments you can use to capture potential customers every step of the way. By highlighting key or stand-out features, you have the best chance of appealing to specific needs of potential customers.

4. Think about complementary categories

Businesses that see the connection between what they offer and complementary categories will be better able to reach consumers when they're feeling receptive.

For example, Amelia is planning a trip to Bali. She doesn't know much about Bali, so she goes online to learn more.

Amelia searches for specific restaurants, guided tours, and even what to wear when visiting temples. This search behaviour shows a domino effect. Her travel plans lead to her wanting to know what type of clothes are appropriate if she’s headed to a temple in Bali, which leads her to shop for new clothes. This happens all the time.

With this in mind, think about your customers holistically, and understand that one seemingly unrelated search could trigger interest in your brand. Consider which related brands or products in different—but connected—verticals reach similar audiences during search, and use this information when crafting your Google Ads campaigns.

5. Prepare for the unexpected

User behaviour is often unpredictable.

For example, Tiffany is a 37-year-old mother of three from Perth. During the festive season, she has hundreds of digital interactions with various retailers as she shops to spruce up her apartment for Christmas.

Tiffany might move from looking for tableware to shopping for cushion covers when she realises that both Bed Bath N’ Table and Castlery sell these products. From there, Tiffany hunts for cushion covers, browsing different brands and retailers, as she looks for the best product at the best price.

Keep an eye on the customer journey and maximise your presence in places where shoppers may change course. One way to take advantage of this is using related products to guide your potential customer towards other product offerings.

6. Don't underestimate the power of reviews

Shoppers often show interest in numerous different products or brands before making a purchase. Reviews and ratings factor heavily at this stage of the customer journey.

Jamie, a 32-year-old accountant, regularly checks Groupon for deals on cosmetics and other products. When she runs out of mascara, she goes to Sephora’s online store to look at different brands, then uses search to focus on the brand she wants, reading reviews along the way.

Jamie was looking for better value and a longer-lasting product than she could find at her local retailer. She decided on the Lancome brand, in part because of the positive reviews in comparison to products from other brands.

Embrace the importance of online ratings and consumer perceptions to stay ahead of the competition. Pay close attention to your ratings and reviews, responding or making improvements to your products or services where necessary. Finally, build positive feedback into your ad campaigns and messaging for added social proof.

7. Remember the world is mobile-first

Mobile devices play an important role in shoppers’ online research. Today, many internet users start their shopping on one device, but continue or finish on a different one.

Jason, a 66-year-old retiree, enjoys going on cruises to faraway destinations with his wife. With a retirement income and time to spare, Jason is always open to travel deals and impromptu getaways.

During a three-month period, Jason has nearly 250 travel-related interactions online, with 50% of those occurring on mobile. Though he often books his trip with a travel agent, Jason regularly uses his mobile devices to conduct research and learn more about his potential destinations.

Knowing that shoppers are likely to research products and services using mobile devices, businesses may design their messaging and targeting accordingly. For instance, it’s good practice to ensure that your website is mobile-responsive, so that your shoppers get a great experience regardless of whether they’re browsing on desktop or mobile.

Summary

To recap, you may capitalise on the power of search by emphasising your location and convenience, helping to educate shoppers, sharing key details or standout features of your products and services, highlighting complementary categories, building up your customer reviews, and more.

Potential customers are often in a receptive mindset when they use search, so embrace the opportunity to reach them with your products or services at the right moment.

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