Google Ads is an online platform that allows you to drive targeted traffic to your website on a pay per impression, pay per click, and pay per acquisition model.
Marketing Throughout The Sales Funnel
Google offers you a lot of opportunities to reach clients throughout the buying cycle. By creating campaigns with different objectives, you'll be able to successfully introduce new customers to your website, bring back visitors who expressed interest in your products or services and reach those who've already bought from you, and bring them back to your site.
Before we get started, let's talk about the buying cycle. The conventional sales funnel is made up of:
Google identified that this sales funnel was not a good representation of how digital experiences happen. So, Google has developed a framework called the See, Think, Do, Care framework. This has simplified the sales funnel, and it works great with digital marketing strategies.
See - allows you to get your brand name out in front of your potential customers. This casts a wide net to get your message in front of as many people who could be interested in your product.
Think - shares your marketing message with people who have some purchasing intent, maybe they've been researching products like yours or visiting sites similar to yours.
Do - gets you in front of people who have strong purchase intent, and is more likely to make a purchase.
By matching your sales funnel up to the sales funnel that Google uses, you are more than likely to pick the right objective and show the customer the proper call to action, garnering you more conversions.
Now that we have our buying cycle aligned with Google's STDC framework, we can now discuss Google and the types of marketing available within Google Ads.
Google has marketing opportunities on its search results pages; this is what people think of when they think of Google Ads.
Ads for search show up when people search for specific keywords related to what they want to buy. These ads can show up at the top or bottom of the search engine results page.
The searcher's intent to purchase will determine the type of ads displayed. If there's a high intent to purchase, then the search engine results page may include product ads from Google merchant it may consist of local listings of retail stores where you can buy products it may also include product detail page is from e-commerce stores. Google understands the intent of the person shopping based on the words that they type and will display the best results that match closest to what their intent is based on the STDC framework.
Paid search ads are the most popular types of ads from Google Ads, and this is because the advertiser has the opportunity to match phrases with high purchasing intent to specific products in their site, driving those who have a high intent to purchase into their website.
Because of this, it is highly competitive, and the cost per click is extremely higher on phrases that have a high intent to purchase. You need to be prepared with a higher budget. Otherwise, your ads will only be displayed a couple of times per day, lowering your chances for conversions.
You can also take advantage of the 2 million websites that partner with Google; this is called the Google Display Network. With the Google Display Network, you have the opportunity to reach potential customers throughout the STDC framework.
You can use it to introduce your products to new potential customers, consumers who are researching or reading about products and services similar to yours, people who are actively in-market, and retarget those who've already been to your website.
The display network is great for retargeting; it gets you back in front of those who were looking at your products for whatever reason did not purchase. At an extremely low cost, you can get back in front of those consumers with an irresistible offer to get them to take action.
Another opportunity that Google Ads offers is Gmail Ads. You can display what looks like a branded email to consumers, even if they are not subscribed to your email list.
I believe this is critical to reaching those who have abandoned the shopping cart but haven't provided enough details to send any shopping cart abandonment emails.
Most people think email funnels through their email marketing platform covers all abandoned carts. It doesn't, it can only include those people who've provided their email address. Maybe through a pop up, or deeper in the checkout. But for people who add products to their cart and leave, you don't have enough information to reach out to them, Gmail Ads makes this possible.
Youtube advertising is also an option to reach consumers as they watch, videos learning, and gathering information. A lot of big brands are taking advantage of video ads to reach millennials and gen z' rs they can't reach through television, as many have opted not to buy cable packages. Video ads are a great way to engage with users and put your brand in front of a large group of consumers for just pennies per view.
The types of ads that can be displayed on Google ads include text ads image as responsive ads shopping ads and videos. The type of assets that you use will depend on what you're trying to achieve and where you plan to show it.
We're now going to talk about the strategy to reach different people throughout the STDC framework. From See through Do. Care is how you make your information available for existing customers so you can focus on that at a later date.
If you're targeting the See stage to increase awareness of your products and services, then use the brand awareness and reach campaigns. This is to get your brand out in front of as many people as possible that may be interested in your products or services for the least amount of money. Target affinity and custom affinity audiences using image ads, responsive ads, and videos.
I don't recommend using search for broad keyword phrases to introduce your company unless you have a large budget.
Using search higher up the funnel can be a costly way to add new visitors to your business. I'd recommend starting with the display network and Youtube, bringing the cost to advertise to this area of the funnel a lot lower.
Because our goal is to introduce them to your brand and products, you need to make sure that your call to action matches your goal. Now is not the time to use strong calls to action such as Order Today or Shop Now. Consider using something like Visit Our Site, View Our Collection, or Explore Our Products. This is more about inviting them to learn more about you, and what you offer, hard sells aren't appropriate here.
Targeting the THINK stage will put your ads in front of those who are actively in search of products and services that you offer. You could consider using search, but again it's more of a hit or miss and can dramatically increase your cost per acquisition. Still, I'd recommend the Google Display network and Youtube.
You'll want to select Sales as your campaign goal. In the consideration phase, responsive ads, image ads, and video ads are a great combination. You're targeting would be best served to reach those who are in-market as well as custom audiences for retargeting those who have visited your website but not yet made it to the checkout.
When you are ready to tackle the DO stage, you want to focus on those who have a high purchase intent. If you understand user intent in relation to keyword phrases, I'd recommend you set up a search campaign for keywords that show high purchasing intent. If you have a small budget, but you want to use search for keywords with high purchasing intent, I'd recommend targeting visitors who have already been to your website and are searching with high purchase intent keywords. They are more likely to recall your brand name and may choose to visit your site and make their purchase as they may feel more comfortable shopping with you.
To help with saturating other areas of the web outside of search, you can use the display network. Select sales as your campaign goal and make sure that your ads have strong calls to action like "Order Today," "Shop Now," etc. Consider using a promo code to entice these users to make the purchase now. You'll want to target again the in-market audience as well as custom audiences that have visited your website and have added products to their cart, started the checkout, and abandoned the checkout process.
This strategy will add people into your marketing funnel, move those who have some interest through the middle stage of your funnel, and help those who have a high commercial intent to complete orders and increase your conversions.