Google is the most commonly used search engine in many countries. Therefore, maintaining good visibility at the top of its search results can help you to get relevant traffic to your website. According to Internet Life Stats:
Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.
That’s a massive amount of traffic! Also, the likelihood of later converting this traffic into a customer or qualified lead is relatively high ー when people find your ad on Google, they have a high chance of being interested in what you have to offer! This is why advertising on Google can sometimes deliver better performance than ads in other channels.
But what if your target audience does not search for your products or services on Google? Or what if the auction is so crowded that getting your ad displayed at the top of the results page for a reasonable CPC (cost per click) is almost impossible? That is when other Google networks can become quite handy for helping you connect with your customers.
What are Google Ads networks?
Google Ads (previously known as Google Adwords) is an advertising platform that allows advertisers to display their ads across different networks such as Search, Display or YouTube ーThat’s right! YouTube is also part of the Google ecosystem. These networks allow advertisers to reach potential customers by using various targeting criteria, for instance, based on interests and behaviours. Additionally, there are many different ad formats available, like banners or video, which give advertisers a chance to tell a story about their product in a more appealing and engaging way than text alone.
Google’s advertising system has been around for three decades now. The first ads on Google started appearing in 2000 and since then, the whole system has become much smarter and more convenient for advertisers. Google has developed so many great products throughout the years, and most of these are heavily underpinned with algorithms automating the whole process. Google’s algorithms use advanced data modeling to make quite accurate predictions and, if applied correctly, can help campaigns to be more successful.
But before spending your whole marketing budget on Google, let’s get a good overview of what Google Advertising system has to offer and make sure you know where to invest your money.
Google Search is probably still the most popular way of advertising your product on Google. Throughout the years, Google has experimented with displaying ads in different layouts and formats in SERP (search engine result page). Nowadays, these text ads are mainly displayed at the very top or bottom of the page and are marked with an “Ad” tag, so they are distinguishable from organic (free) links. Advertisers participate in auctions where they bid against each other. Nonetheless, the maximum CPC (cost per click) is not the only factor in winning an auction – so-called Quality Score is also important, meaning the score that defines how relevant the ad is to a given search query.
Shopping ads are image ads displayed in the search engine result page when researching products on Google. They do not appear on every keyword and are mainly reserved for e-commerce platforms. Shopping ads usually display information about the product, such as a short description, image, price and merchant name. The ads of different retailers are typically displayed next to each other (especially when searching on the “Shopping” result page, which gives customers the ability to preview products and compare offerings from various vendors. These ads are created using data from the product feeds submitted in the Merchant Center and are shown using Google’s own keyword data.
There are also Google Ads Smart shopping campaigns available, which allow retailers to maximize their reach even more by also displaying their shopping ads across Display network and YouTube.
Google Display Network is a very powerful system that helps advertisers access more than 2 million users and 90% of Internet users worldwide. Display Ads are mainly static or animated banners, which are shown in many different networks, including Gmail and YouTube. Similar to search, advertisers pay for a single click on the ad; however, another commonly chosen bidding strategy is CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Google also gives advertisers a variety of targeting options, e.g. based on demographics, affinity audiences (interest-based targeting), in-market segments (people with specific search behaviours), custom audiences, similar-to and remarketing. As you can see, there are many possibilities for reaching your prospective customers via Display Network!
Another great way to reach your target audience, and probably the most creative, is to display information about your product or service on YouTube. This network allows you to display the ad before, during or after the content is watched or even in search results on YouTube themselves. Similar to Google’s other networks, there are many different targeting criteria, bidding options, and formats to choose from, all designed to help you connect with your prospect customers in the most appealing way possible and maximize your investment. Some of the most popular formats are True-View, Discovery Ads, In-stream ads, Bumper ads and Discover Ads, all of which serve slightly different purposes, allowing advertisers to engage with potential customers on different levels.
How to promote an app on Google?
If you want to promote your app in Google Ads network, you can launch what is called a UAC (Universal App Campaign). This type of Google campaign allows you to reach your audiences through Google’s largest properties, including Search, Google Play, YouTube and Display. UACs are heavily underpinned by automation, meaning that they rely on machine learning technology to optimize bids and understand which audiences should be shown an ad about your app. Advertisers can control things like budget, desired CPA (cost per action) and other types of targeting, such as geo or schedule.
Which Google network to choose?
The decision isn’t always straightforward. You may think that search ads are all you need, but you might quickly realize that these are not the optimal way to connect with your audience.
The first question you should always ask yourself is this: Who are the people who are interested in my products or services, and where can I find them? What online behaviours do they have? What is the most effective way for me to access these users and show them ads about my business? Answering these questions will already give you some good guidance for choosing which one of Google’s networks and campaigns will help you best meet your business objectives.