Hello friends, and welcome to this edition of The 20 Percent.
This week’s newsletter is brought to you in collaboration with Joanna Formella, website marketing consultant and co-founder at Studio for Digital Growth.
When I talk about website marketing, I refer to it in the context of SEO and website experience. However, another important part is how your website (and brand) appear on the promoted search results.
Joanna’s mastery of Google ads is second to none, and the breakthrough strategies she shares today are actual strategies we utilize for our clients.
Let’s dive in!
Your Google Ads 101
What are Google Ads?
Google Ads is currently the biggest provider of search advertising on the market. It puts you in front of customers when they’re searching for businesses like yours, and you only pay for results, like clicks to your website or calls to your business. Moreover, PPC visitors are 50% more likely to buy than organic visitors (already have buyer intent). Neat.
Does it really get you on page one?
Because Google Ads are an auction, your bidding strategy and qualitative signals are important. The notion that you run Google Ads and then your website occupies the #1 position on Google is incorrect. Depending on these signals, you may find your ads placed on the second page of Google or at the bottom of page one.
What are the constraints?
When you run Google Ads, you operate within certain constraints. For example, your ad copy needs to contain the keywords you want an ad to be shown for. Also, the website or landing page that it leads to should have an affinity with the ad and contain the ad copy and keywords that lead a visitor to it.
Show me the ads!
Because of all these constraints, many Google Ads are boring and virtually indistinguishable. But as you will see below, all it takes is a little bit of texture to stand out from the crowd.
Here is a SaaS example: I understand that all these are booking software. But how are they different?
And another example from the e-learning industry: All these trainings are easy and effective. But it’s not clear what are the advantages of each platform. Which one is for me?
How to Spice Up Your Google Ads Game
At the heart of every strategy is understanding your competitors and your customers. Because your ads will appear alongside the former, how you frame your value proposition (USP) matters. Sometimes, niching out makes sense, even at the expense of addressing a narrower audience.
Strategy 1: The Opposer 🙅🏻♂️
This strategy is great for service providers. We call it internally “the opposer” because we stand out by framing our offer in a way opposed to the competitors. We don’t really differentiate our USP, though; it’s all about the packaging.
Step 1: Outline your USP 🦄
E.g., you advertise an event for entrepreneurs that teaches business skills.
Step 2: Find the opposing elements. 🔥
E.g., the competitor’s events are online, so you will organize yours fundamentally differently at a five-star hotel garden (don’t take current restrictions into account for this example).
Step 3: Craft the ad 💊
Strategy 2: The Competitor 🥊
The competitor strategy is great for small businesses. The purpose of this strategy is to highlight the unique parts of your USP. For example, is your competitor a franchise? You should lean heavily on the fact that you are a family-owned business.
Strategy 3: The Butler 👨🏻💼
This strategy is great for everyone, and the goal is to concentrate on one or two benefits of your product that serve your audience. I think the leather goods company Bellroy offers a perfect example of this type of strategy. Without further ado:
As in every good marketing strategy, advertising and business need to work together. If you can adjust your offer to match these ad formats, you will see the most benefit. It also helps if you have detailed customer personas in place, as well as a SWOT analysis of your product or service.
Narrowing down on specific benefits may initially lower the CTR of your ads as you appeal to a narrower audience. But lower CTR is not necessarily a qualitative indicator. If your conversion rates are 20-30% (or above 🚀), you know that these strategies are the right path to follow.