Google Ads: Transforming Challenges into Victories with Expert Guidance

How Can You Overcome Challenges in Google Ads?

To conquer the hurdles of Google Ads, expert guidance can turn your challenges into triumphs. With insights from seasoned professionals, you can refine your ad strategy, optimize campaigns, and navigate the complexities of Google's advertising platform. By leveraging expert advice, you can transform your Google Ads experience into a successful and rewarding endeavor.

Embarking on a Google Ads journey often raises numerous queries, uncertainties, and obstacles, deterring many from harnessing its full potential—or even utilizing it.

In a recent survey, we polled Semco users about their top Google Ads challenges and fears. To help you overcome these hurdles and enhance your ecommerce arsenal, we’ve consulted with experts to gather insights and actionable strategies.

Whether you’re grappling with launching your inaugural campaign or apprehensive about platform intricacies or budgetary concerns, this guide is for you!

Exploring the Most Common Fears and Challenges

Delve into the primary obstacles faced by Google Ads users. Through discussions with our community, we’ve identified prevalent concerns and hurdles. Our collaboration with digital marketing experts aims to illuminate these challenges and offer expert insights, solutions, and strategies garnered from their extensive experience.

Concern #1:

My ads might reach the wrong audience.

To ensure your ads target the right audience, examine the network segments and placements. Check if you’ve inadvertently chosen broader placements than intended. Since audiences no longer operate on bid adjustments (except for manual bidding), exclude audiences that don’t fit your criteria and monitor test audiences. For low-budget campaigns, it’s advisable to target and observe audiences. Since PMax doesn’t allow direct audience targeting, focus on having a robust placement, topic, and negative keyword exclusion list.

Concern #2:

Choosing the right keywords for conversions feels complicated.

To simplify keyword selection, focus on understanding your audience’s needs. Use language that resonates with them and directly addresses their interests. Search engines aim to match user searches with relevant content, so optimizing your keywords to align with user intent is key. In 2012, I presented the analogy of online searching to dogs chasing a scent, emphasizing the importance of relevance and understanding your audience’s intent. This approach can help you choose keywords that are more likely to lead to conversions.

Dr. Ed Chi’s research from 2001 highlighted how people navigate the internet, likening it to animals following a scent trail. This “hub-and-spoke” surfing behavior involves starting from a main point and following the trail if it seems interesting, but returning if it doesn’t meet expectations. Despite this understanding, many marketers fail to keep their online trail interesting, leading customers to get distracted, similar to how beagles behave.

As marketers, our goal is to understand what customers are looking to purchase and assist them in making that purchase. This process starts with selecting the right keywords and understanding the customer’s intent and approach to those keywords. For instance, the search for the “best hamburger” can vary greatly depending on what “best” means to the individual. Matching your message to their specific search intent is crucial, as customers want an experience that aligns with their expectations, not just any hamburger.

It’s the responsibility of the business to precisely match the search intent. If you’re outsourcing your keyword strategy to an agency, ensure they can explain exactly how they’re accomplishing this.

Concern #3:

Start by identifying the ad platforms that have the highest potential to reach your target audience.

Platforms like Google Ads offer extensive reach, while more specialized networks like LinkedIn, Meta Ads, or Pinterest Ads may be suitable for specific audiences.When allocating your budget, consider starting with a higher percentage allocated to the platform with wider coverage, such as Google Ads, typically around 60-70%. Allocate the remaining budget to one or two other platforms to diversify your reach.After running ads and collecting performance data, evaluate which platform is delivering the best results based on your campaign goals, whether it’s brand awareness, lead generation, or sales. Once you’ve identified the top-performing platform, reallocate your budget to invest a higher percentage in that platform and reduce or discontinue spending on the others.

Always leave room in your budget to test new opportunities and add them into your ad mix as needed. This approach allows you to optimize your budget allocation based on actual performance data.

Concern #4:

Selecting the right audience for my Google Ads feels daunting, and I worry about the consequences of making the wrong choice.

While it may seem like a significant risk, it’s important to view it as a challenge that can be addressed through research and experimentation. Initially, you may not have a clear picture of your ideal audience, and that’s normal. It takes time and testing to refine your targeting strategy.Even if you realize later that you’ve targeted the wrong audience, it doesn’t mean your efforts were in vain. Each campaign provides valuable insights that can guide future decisions. In marketing, testing and learning are essential components of success. Understanding what works after conducting thorough research and data analysis is just as valuable as recognizing what doesn’t.

Concern #5:

I’m hesitant about setting negative keywords for my Google Ads, fearing that I might unintentionally exclude potential customers.

Negative keywords play a crucial role in ensuring that your ads are shown to the right audience. They are words or phrases that, when included in a user’s search query, prevent your ads from being displayed.For instance, if your business only sells athletic shoes, you would want to include negative keywords like “dress shoes,” “pumps,” and “slippers” to avoid displaying your ads to users looking for these types of shoes. It’s important to give as much attention to negative keywords as you do to positive keywords to ensure your ads are targeted effectively.

One effective method for finding negative keywords is to use keyword tools provided by search engines. These tools can help you identify irrelevant terms that you can add to your negative keyword list. Additionally, regularly reviewing your search query reports can help you identify new negative keywords to add based on user queries that trigger your ads.

Negative keywords can be applied at different levels, including the campaign or ad group level. Using negative keyword lists can be particularly useful for universally irrelevant keywords, such as in the case of our athletic shoe retailer example. By creating a list of universal negatives, you can apply them to all of your paid search campaigns.

By carefully selecting and regularly optimizing your negative keyword list, you can improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns and ensure that your ads are reaching the most relevant audience.

Concern #6:

I’m concerned about ensuring that my ads appear on reputable networks without overcrowding and finding quality Pay-Per-Lead or Pay-Per-Acquisition networks that align with my objectives.

Many affiliate systems still lack transparency and do not allow advertisers to plan where their ads will be published. To develop a strategy for generating conversions (leads/sales) through display channels, it’s recommended to use Google DSP and external DSPs that offer transparency and self-service management. Google’s own DSP, “Display and Video 360,” provides reliable targeting and tracking/reporting capabilities.

Launching campaigns on external DSPs in addition to Google’s offers several advantages:

  1. Reach users beyond the “Google network of sites” using different technologies, which is crucial for reaching niche audiences or in outreach campaigns targeting users outside Google’s network.
  2. More creative options for advertisers, including banner, video, audio, and native formats.
  3. More specific targeting options, with hundreds of parameters, and the ability to apply brand safety, page quality, and third-party viewability filters to ensure ads are served to the right users in a high-quality and brand-safe environment.

For those with a limited budget, the Google Display Network is an excellent starting point to begin achieving their goals. However, for those with a medium to high media investment budget looking to impress users with high-impact ads and leverage various targeting options, integrating external DSPs into the media mix is essential.

Concern #7:

How can I justify the cost of awareness advertising in Google Ads when it’s challenging to see direct conversions and ensure it’s not a waste of resources?

Awareness advertising is a crucial aspect of marketing, especially for brands looking to establish or expand their presence in the market. While it may be difficult to measure direct conversions from awareness campaigns, it plays a significant role in creating brand recognition and consideration among consumers.

For brands entering new product or service areas, awareness advertising is essential to educate consumers about the problem they solve and the solutions available. It lays the groundwork for future demand by making potential customers aware of the available solutions to their problems.

Even for established markets, awareness advertising helps reinforce brand positioning and keeps the brand top-of-mind for consumers. It’s a long-term strategy that requires patience and consistency to build brand awareness and trust among consumers.

To justify the cost of awareness advertising, it’s essential to track metrics beyond direct conversions, such as brand recall, brand recognition, and brand sentiment. These metrics provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your awareness campaigns and their impact on consumer perceptions.

While it may be tempting to focus solely on immediate results, investing in awareness advertising can yield long-term benefits for your brand, helping you stand out in a crowded market and build a loyal customer base over time.

Concern #8:

How specific should I be in targeting for Google Ads? It feels like walking a tightrope—too narrow and we miss our ideal audience, or too broad and our message becomes diluted.

When it comes to targeting your audience in Google Ads, it’s essential to strike the right balance. Being too narrow can limit your reach, while being too broad can lead to wasted ad spend.

To find the sweet spot, start by defining your ideal customer persona. Consider their demographics, interests, behaviors, and preferences. Then, use Google Ads’ targeting options to narrow down your audience based on these criteria.

While it’s crucial to target a specific audience, don’t overlook the potential of broader targeting options. Sometimes, casting a slightly wider net can help you reach new potential customers who may not fit your exact persona but are still interested in your products or services.

Additionally, use Google Ads’ audience insights and analytics to refine your targeting over time. Monitor the performance of your ads and adjust your targeting settings accordingly to ensure you’re reaching the right audience with the right message.

Introducing Ads Launch Assistant

The prospect of delving into Google Ads tools can be daunting. If you’ve been deliberating over whether to launch Google Ads, our new AI-powered tool could be the solution.

With the Semco Ads Launch Assistant, you can manage and run search ads with confidence. This tool is designed to address common challenges encountered when setting up and managing ad campaigns.

Creating campaigns is simplified with keyword suggestions and personalized recommendations from the AI assistant at every stage. Once your campaigns are up and running, you’ll have a clear visual overview of their performance. This includes insights into which campaigns are performing well and which may require adjustments. Additionally, you’ll receive a visual report detailing impressions (how many people see your ad), spend, and clicks, allowing you to maximize the effectiveness of your ad budget.

Using Ads Launch Assistant

It is a straightforward process, designed to simplify the creation and management of Google Ads campaigns. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Access the Tool: Log in to your Semco account and navigate to the Ads section to access the Ads Launch Assistant.
  2. Create a New Campaign: Start by creating a new campaign. The assistant will guide you through the process, offering personalized suggestions at each step. This includes selecting the campaign type, setting the budget, choosing keywords, and creating ad copy.
  3. Run Your Ads: Once your campaign is set up, you can launch your ads. Take advantage of any promotional deals available, such as the offer to spend $500 in 60 days and receive up to $500 for future campaigns.
  4. Monitor Performance: After your ads are running, use the visual reports and campaign data provided by the assistant to analyze performance. This includes tracking impressions, spend, clicks, and other key metrics to optimize your campaigns for better results.

By using Ads Launch Assistant, both beginners and experienced advertisers can streamline the process of creating and managing Google Ads campaigns. With intelligent suggestions and guidance, you can make informed decisions and maximize the effectiveness of your advertising efforts. Start using Ads Launch Assistant today and see the difference it can make to your Google Ads experience!