There’s no way around it: if you’re not using Google Ads, you’re already behind the times—and behind your competition.
Why? It’s simple: Google dominates 88% of all worldwide search engine traffic. Think about that for a second. Out of every 100 people in the world, 88 of them use Google every single day to find the products and solutions they’re looking for.
And just as importantly, Google is able to show ads to extremely specific groups of users (selected by search term, location, age, interests, and hundreds of other options) in order to find the perfect audience for every advertisement.
But the necessity of using Google Ads in 2020 is no secret, either. As of last year, 82% of all US paid search advertising spend in the United States went to Google Ads. Translation: even if you don’t see the value in Google Ads, your competitors certainly do.
That’s why today, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about Google Ads for your flooring business. Then, we’re going to walk you through setting up a Google Ads campaign of your very own!
Google Ads 101
Google launched “AdWords”—its first advertising platform—in 2000. Since then, the system has gone through several adaptations. Today, Google’s ad platform is simply called “Google Ads”, and it’s fully integrated with Google’s other webmaster tools like Google Analytics.
You may not have known it at the time, but you’ve seen Google Ads before. In fact, you’ve probably seen thousands. Almost every time you search something on Google, you see at least one or two (depending on what you search, of course).
Don’t believe us? We’ll show you.
Where do Google ads display?
Interestingly, Google Ads display in a number of areas. Depending on an advertiser’s budget and strategy (along with Google’s algorithm), Google Ads sometimes can display above or below organic search results. It depends on some factors that we’ll discuss further down.
How does a Google Ads campaign work?
We talked about this before, but in its most basic sense, a basic Search Campaign (the bread and butter of Google Ads) works like this:
- An advertiser wants to show an ad.
- The advertiser chooses which search terms or “keywords” will trigger that ad to display.
- The advertiser chooses which audiences will see their ad based on location, demographics, and other segmentation options.
- The advertiser pays for their ads on a CPC (cost-per-click) basis.
- The ad displays among the top results for whatever term or phrase the advertiser has chosen.
Of course, a Search Campaign is just one type of Google Ad—but it is the most popular.
How do you pay for Google Ads?
Like we said, you pay for Google Ads on a CPC (cost-per-click) basis. But the actual price you pay per click depends on two factors:
The Bid Market
The more competitors trying to bid on a specific search term, the more that search term is going to cost per click. It’s basic economics! The good news: in this bid scheme, flooring retailers have a big advantage.
Why? Think about it! General searches like “hardwood flooring” will most likely have a lot of competition. But, specific search terms directly related to your business (like “flooring dealer sarasota florida”) are often quite competition-lite. And customers searching those super-specific terms are the ones you want to attract with your ad in the first place!
Your Ad’s Quality Score
Every Google Ad is assigned a score (by Google) depending on:
- How relevant the advertiser is to the search term they’re bidding on.
- How relevant the ad itself is to the search term.
That means a branded company—let’s say FloorForce—would have a high Quality Score for an ad that’s triggered by the search “FloorForce”.
Building out a Search Campaign
Do you want your ad to display whenever anyone in America googles “best vinyl plank installation?” Probably not. That’s a wide search, and it’s not going to attract many qualified leads. Plus, it’s very general, so your cost-per-click would probably be expensive.
Most likely, you’d rather have your ad display every time someone in your area googles “flooring store near me” or something similar.
You could even get cheeky and have your ad render every time someone searches for a term that references one of your competitors!
Whatever your choices, here’s how to build out a basic Google Ads Search Campaign:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- From the page menu on the left, click “Campaigns”.
- Click the plus blue button, then select “New campaign”.
- Select or create goals for your campaign.
- Select a campaign type.
- Choose your campaign settings.
- Save your campaign.
Understanding Keyword Matching
You have tons of options when you create your first ad campaign. Budget, location, timing—you name it.
But: one of the most important concepts to understand is the idea of keyword matching. When it comes to having a successful first campaign, it can make all the difference in the world.
Simply put, keyword matching control which searches trigger your ads to appear.
There are 3 major keyword match types in Google Ads:
- Broad Match: Triggers your ad whenever your chosen search term is present in a search, even if it’s part of a larger phrase and/or not in order. This includes misspellings, synonyms, and close variants of your chosen search term.
- Example: Using Broad Match, an ad triggered by the term “wood flooring” would also render in a search for “hardwood flooring” or “flooring made of wood”.
- Broad Match Modifier: Triggers your ad whenever your chosen search term is present in a search, including close variations, in any order. This does not include misspellings or synonyms. It’s a great middle-ground between Broad Match and Phrase Match.
- Example: Using Broad Match Modifier, an ad triggered by the term “wood flooring” would also be triggered by “best wood flooring”—but not “hardwood floors”.
- Phrase Match: Triggers your ad whenever your chosen search term is present in a search, but only if the words are in order. Synonyms are not included.
- Example: Using Phrase Match, an ad triggered by the term “wood flooring” would also render for “tan wood flooring”, but not “floors made of wood”.
- Exact Match: Triggers your ad only when a search exactly matches your chosen search term.
- Example: Using Exact Match, an ad triggered by the term “wood flooring” would not render for any other search.
There are pros and cons to each of these types. Broad Match will almost always give you more clicks and trigger your ad more often, but many of those clicks may be irrelevant (since the ad was less targeted in the first place).
That’s going to cost you money and give you a lower ROI. On the other hand, Exact Match terms will often not trigger enough, wasting your time and budget. It’s all about finding the right balance.
Understanding Negative Keywords
Before you launch your first campaign, you should also understand how Negative Keywords work. Simply put, Negative Keywords prevent irrelevant searches from triggering your ads.
For example, if you create a campaign with the word “free” marked as a Negative Keyword, your ad will not be triggered by any searches that contain the word “free”.
Obviously, people searching for free flooring have no intention of buying anything from you in the first place—so you don’t want to waste your money showing them ads! If you want to max your ROI, Negative Keywords are a great place to start.
Using Ad Extensions
The final element of Google Ads you’ll need in order to get started: Ad Extensions. These are just extra pieces of information that render inside of your Google Ads. They’re easy (and free) to include, and they often boost an ad’s click-through rate by several percentage points.
Examples of Ad Extensions include:
- Location Extensions – Shows customers your store location and address (great for driving foot traffic via Google Maps).
- Call Extensions – Includes a click-to-call button or phone number in your ad.
- Sitelink Extensions – Includes one or more links to your site (great for driving traffic to specific web pages).
- Structured Snippet Extensions – Includes more information about your business’s specific products and offerings.
- Callout Extensions – Includes info on what makes your business special—price match guarantees, 24/7 chatbots, etc.
You don’t need to use Ad Extensions, but given that you can increase your click-through rate by doing so (for no extra fee), there’s really no reason not to! Here’s an example of a Google Ad with a Structured Callout Extension:
We know—that’s a lot of info. But really, there’s no better way to drive revenue to your flooring store in 2020 than by harnessing the power of Google Ads. We hope this guide has been helpful, and we can’t wait to see you bring your flooring store to new heights with this amazing tool!