The 8-Step Process HubSpot Uses to Optimize Google Advertising Costs

The 8-Step Process HubSpot Uses to Optimize Google Advertising Costs

Google Adwords 101 Keywords From a fifty-thousand foot view, you win ad impressions on Google by bidding on keywords. For example, if you’re advertising a free CRM, you might want your ad to show up on Google when users type “free crm” into the search engine. You could bid $10 per click while your competitor bids $5 per click, and you could still lose that auction if they have a high enough quality score. For example, if you bid on “free crm software”, your ad will show up on Google for “free crm software for small business”, but not for “free software crm.” Exact Match: Exact match is exactly what it sounds like. Come up with a list of 5-10 keywords and start bidding using modified broad match. Adwords is an auction, so if you want to win more impressions, you have to bid more. One of the most important principles of writing Google Ads copy is that you need to signal to Google and their users that your ad is relevant to what they’re searching for. So if you have one campaign bidding on “CRM Software” on MBM and another bidding on “Free CRM Software” on exact match, you’ll be competing with yourself if a user searches for “free crm software”. If you notice a specific search query performing particularly well, tag it as negative keyword so you don’t bid it against your other keywords, and then break that keyword out into its own campaign. How to Make Your Google AdWords Ads More Impactful Without Spending More How to Get Started With Paid Search [Free Guide] How To Waste Money On Google AdWords: Bid High For Top Spot Google’s AdWords system continues to be a popular vehicle for small businesses to advertise their offering using targeted keywords.

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With over 3.5 billion search queries on Google everyday, paid Google search — where you pay Google to advertise your content on SERPs for relevant keywords — is one of the most popular and effective types of online advertising. However, there’s enormous demand for the top ad rankings for a lot of keywords, and all your competitors are duking it out to win the top keywords in your industry. So are you supposed to compete?

Over the past three years, HubSpot has spent millions of dollars and ran over 1,200 controlled experiments on acquiring free CRM users through Google advertisements. We’ve gleaned a ton of new insights and processes along the way, so we want to share them with our fellow marketers to help everyone save their time, budget, and frustrations.

Read on to learn the eight-step process we use to optimize Google Advertising costs. And if you’re new to Google ads, check out the basics of Google Adwords in the section below. If you already know the fundamentals, feel free to skip it.

Google Adwords 101

Keywords

From a fifty-thousand foot view, you win ad impressions on Google by bidding on keywords. In other words, you’re asking Google to show your ad to a user when they type a specific search query into their search engine. These search queries are called “keywords”.

For example, if you’re advertising a free CRM, you might want your ad to show up on Google when users type “free crm” into the search engine. Every other brand who wants to win those impressions will set their bids, and based on that and various other factors, Google may choose to display your ad to its users.

Ad Groups

An Ad Group organizes your keywords into different groups. For example, if we had a “Competitors” campaign, we’d have a “HubSpot Marketing Competitors” ad group and a “HubSpot Sales Competitors” ad group. Within each of these ad groups, we might bid on keywords that consists of our competitors’ brand names plus each product we both sell.

Quality Score

Aggressively bidding on keywords is not enough to win impressions. You could bid $10 per click while your competitor bids $5 per click, and you could still lose that auction if they have a high enough quality score.

Your quality score is a metric that measures how positive and relevant of an experience you are creating for the searcher. A lot of signals are taken into account, a few of which are your landing page experience and click-through rate. This means organizations can’t acquire the top ranking for any keyword they want just because they have the biggest ad budgets. Their content has to be relevant.

Google’s top priority is providing their users with a great user experience, so they’d rather give an impression away for free than make $100 per click if the loss in revenue means they can provide a better user experience to their users.

Match Types

Google Ads offers four types of match types: broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, and exact match. Here’s a rundown of each of them.

Broad Match: With broad match, the user just needs to type in one of the words within your keyword or a “variant” of it, which can sometimes be somewhat irrelevant, and your ad could show up on their results page. For example, if you bid on “free crm software”, your ad could only show up for “crm software” and “adobe software.” Be careful with broad match, though. Bidding on these type of keywords is the easiest way to burn through a ton of cash without producing substantial results.

Modified Broad Match (MBM): MBM allows you to lock in specific keywords within a phrase. For example, bidding on “free +crm +software” will display your ad on a Google search for “no cost crm software” and “easy crm software”, but not on “adobe software”.

Phrase Match: With phrase match, your ad will appear when Google users search for the phrase that you’re bidding on, as well as instances where your phrase is before, after, or in between other keywords in the search query. For example, if you bid on “free crm software”, your ad will show up on Google for “free crm software for small business”, but not for “free software crm.”

Exact Match: Exact match is exactly what it sounds like. If you bid on “free crm software”, your ad will only show up if users search for “free crm software” on Google, in addition to other close variants.

Now that we know the basics of Google Adwords, let’s get back on track.

The 8-Step Process HubSpot Uses to Optimize Google Advertising Costs

1. Pick your keywords.

When you first launch your Adwords campaign, start small. Come up with a list of 5-10 keywords and start bidding using modified broad match. For example, if you’re working on a campaign for a free CRM, the keywords “Free CRM”, “CRM Software”, “CRM Reviews”, “CRM Comparison”, and “Best CRM” would be good to start with. Modified broad match will be more expensive than exact match, but it gives Google greater flexibility to display your ads on more search queries…

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