One of the most frequent questions I get is about the “new” Google Ads. And while there are a lot of questions about the updated format, many people aren’t aware that it’s actually made its way into marketing circles. If you’re not, here’s a quick lesson:
The first Google Ads appeared all the way back in 2007. Since then, they’ve been a mainstay of Google Search results, and their formats have changed plenty of times to fit emerging consumer behavior and new technology.
The Evolution of Google Ads
It’s important to understand the history of Google Ads, because it forms a context for the questions you might have about the present state of the format.
When Google launched AdWords in 2007, it was already the biggest and most popular search engine in the world. Since then, it’s continued to grow, and today, it has over 2 billion monthly active users and processes over 100 billion searches per day.
And it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Google just this year announced that it would be expanding its reach to even more users with the launch of its new social network, Google Plus.
With such massive amounts of data, Google is always on the lookout for new ways to improve user experience and grow business.
That’s why it’s constantly evolving its search algorithms, introducing new features, and testing out new products and formats.
The Present And Future Of Google Ads
With the ever-evolving Google, the present and future of Google Ads is always in flux. But as of late 2019, three things can be said with certainty:
- The most common and familiar Google Ads are still here.
- They continue to be a significant part of Google’s business.
- And they’ll always be tied to search engines, given that Google is the biggest and most popular search engine in the world.
This makes sense when you consider that over 90% of Google Ads are placed inside of a search engine (versus being displayed as a standalone ad).
So while there are a lot of changes afoot with the evolution of Google Ads, many of the fundamentals are still the same. And that means anyone who is familiar with the Google Ads format can have a head start in the future of online marketing.
Is Google’s Ad Rank Still Relevant?
One of the first questions people ask about the new Google Ads is about their relevance. But is it still relevant to measure ad rank by the number of clicks a given ad gets?
Before we dive into this question, it’s important to note that not all Google Ads are created equal. Some ads can be incredibly competitive and might not always lead to a sale. But with that said, over time, Google has developed metrics that give a clearer picture of ad performance. And it forms a clear picture of whether or not the ad is performing as expected. In other words, are people actually clicking on the ad?
In 2018, Google replaced click-through rates with three new metrics:
- Overall Conversion Rate
- Average Order Value
- Average Order Size
The first two metrics, overall conversion rate and average order value, are pretty self-explanatory. You get what you pay for, but considering that Google is a for-profit company, this should come as no surprise. The average order value metric indicates the average dollar value of all sales from a given account. So if you’re running an ad with an average order value of $100, this means you’re generating $100 per sale.
Last but not least, we’ve got the average order size metric. This indicates the average order size for all ads running on a given account. So if you’re running an ad that has an average order size of $20, this means your ad will generate $20 per sale. It’s basically an extension of average order value, but it factors in all orders, not just the most recent ones. This makes it a bit more useful for comparing ad performance over time, especially if you want to track performance over different market segments.
Where Do I Start?
So which Google Ads do I start with? There are a few factors to consider, including how much time you have to devote to learning the new format, the amount of money you’re willing to spend on ads, and which metrics are most important to you. Let’s take a look at each one.
How Much Time Do I Have?
The first step is to determine how much time you have to learn the new format. You’ll need about 30 days to get accustomed to the new changes, according to Google. After that, you can either choose to stick with what you know or dive into the new features and benefits of Google Ads.
If you’re looking to get up and running as quickly as possible, continue through to the next section.
How Much Money Am I Willing To Spend?
Once you’ve determined how much time you have to learn the new format, you can move on to the next step. This is where you need to determine how much money you’re willing to spend on ads. If you’re new to online marketing, you might not have access to a lot of money to spend on ads, particularly if you’re starting out. In that case, it might be smarter to start small and build up your budget over time.
As previously discussed, not all adverts are created equal, and some ads might not even perform well, which could result in a lost investment. So you need to determine how much you’re willing to spend on ads before you start running them.
What Metrics Do I Need To Focus On?
So you determined how much time you have to spend on learning the new Google Ads format and how much money you’re willing to spend on ads. Now, it’s time to figure out which metrics are the most important to you. Think about what you’d like to see returned from your ad campaign and which ones you’d like to see improved upon. Once you have that clear picture in mind, you’ll be able to determine which metrics to focus on.
There are a few main metrics you should look out for when it comes to measuring the success of your Google Ads campaign. Keep in mind that while Google has made changes to these metrics over time to make them more accurate, they still reflect the original intent of the metrics creators. So while not all of these metrics will apply to your specific situation, you can use them as a guide to help you determine how your campaign is doing.
What Will Be The Determining Factor Of My Success?
Once you have a clear picture in mind of what you’d like to see returned from your ad campaign, it’s time to figure out what will be the determining factor of your success. In most cases, you’ll want to look at revenue generated from adverts as the determining factor of their success. If you’re just getting started, you might want to consider using a tool like Google Analytics to track the ROI (return on investment) of your ad campaigns.
But that’s simply the determining factor of my success. Ultimately, you need to figure out what made the difference between those that worked and those that didn’t. Was it the copy used in the ad? Was it the design of the ad? Was it the timing of the ad? How much time did I give to learn the new format? These are all questions to ask yourself, and you can continue to iterate upon this topic as you grow your account and become more familiar with the ins and outs of Google Ads.