Google Ads Do Your Marketing Heavy Lifting

Let the Power of Google Ads Do Your Marketing Heavy Lifting

In Field of Dreams, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella walks through a cornfield and hears a voice that tells him, “If you build it, he will come.” The voice inspires Ray to build a baseball diamond in the midst of his cornfield where Ray later meets the spirits of Chicago White Sox legend “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and his own father. At the end of the movie when Ray is trying to decide whether to sell his property to avoid foreclosure, a local writer assures him, “People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

When business owners invest time and money on a website, their hope is that people will come. The importance of understanding and using Google Ads is that they drive website traffic and ensure people most definitely come. Once on your website, visitors can buy from your e-commerce store, fill in a lead form, or learn more about your business.

Google Ads

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads are Pay Per Click (PPC) digital advertising campaigns. The ads are described as Pay Per Click because the advertiser only pays for the ad when someone clicks on it, not per ad impression. There are Search Network ads which are text ads and Display Network ads which are images. In June of this year, Google rolled out Smart Campaigns, a more automated, optimized alternative geared towards small business.

PPC campaigns drive traffic to your website so visitors can see the products and services you provide. When people look at a page of internet search results in Google, it’s hard to distinguish between ads and the organic search results because text ads have only a small “Ad” box near the website address. Ads blend in with search results, and therefore, are a powerful way to get potential customers to a website.

structure of a Google Ads campaign

How do Google Ads work?

In its simplest form, you can think of Google Ads as four-layered ad campaigns. From top to bottom:

  • Campaigns – how much do I want to spend or geographically, where do I want my ads to show?
  • Ad Sets – what are my different products, services or groups?
  • Ads – what is my message?
  • Keywords – what words or phrases will someone type into Google when they are searching for my product or service?

A digital marketer will set up a campaign by thinking about how much to spend, who to target and where they are, and what product or service you are advertising. At the core of every Google Ads campaign is a keyword list, a list of search terms or phrases a person may type into Google when they search for your product or service.

The Google Ads algorithm determines which ads to show, the Ad Rank, based on two criteria: the maximum keyword Bid you have specified and Quality Score which is a combination of ad relevance, Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and quality of the landing page for the ad. The landing page is the website page where the person who clicks on the ad is directed.

How can Google Ads grow my business?

On a desktop computer, approximately two-thirds of all search queries are done on Google. On mobile devices, some estimates suggest Google controls 95% of all search queries. Therefore, by being part of the search results mix, Google Ads drive website traffic. When someone clicks on an ad, it brings him or her to your website and then you’re in the driving seat. You can try to prompt your site visitors to take actions like purchase a product, fill in a lead form, or schedule a demo.

Google Ads Pay Per Click campaigns do some of the marketing heavy lifting by allowing your business to be more visible in search and driving potential customers to your website. PPC campaigns push your message out in a structured, systematic, and targeted way to an audience that has an interest in your product or service.

When it comes to Google Ads, if you build them, people will most definitely come and your business will grow.

Interested in learning more about Google Ads campaigns? Contact us.

Photo credit: Field of Dreams, 1989, Universal Studios

In-store foot traffic

How Growing Your Website Traffic Can Drive In-Store Foot Traffic

For a business owner, it’s pretty simple, really.

Marketing dollars need to drive foot traffic and sales, otherwise, those dollars are not worth spending. Most managers can actively engage in conversations about growing in-store sales or revenue, but discussions about website traffic don’t come quite as easy. While they certainly recognize there is an interdependence – it can be difficult to connect the dots. The importance of the relationship is not lost on companies like Facebook who only recently rolled out a Store Visits campaign option which attempts to track whether someone visits your store after clicking a Facebook ad.

The reality is that growing your website traffic does drive in-store foot traffic and sales. Websites are powerful digital marketing tools, and aligning what consumers experience on the Internet has become an integral part of the bricks and mortar buying experience.

Here are 5 ways growing your website traffic drives your in-store foot traffic too:

1. Websites inform and underpin purchase decisions

Websites drive product awareness, and a rich online consumer experience can include graphics, animated GIFs, photos, video, and tiers of product information. Not surprisingly, the tremendous growth of video is due in large part to the fact that according to Animoto, seventy-three percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video about it first. For consumers, websites offer 360-degree product views and the ability to zoom in and look at product detailing. User-friendly websites inform consumers, offer video clips that engage the imagination and ultimately underpin the buying decision.

geo-targeting2. Online maps provide location information

If consumers are in search of a restaurant, retailer or other business, smartphones are a go-to resource for location information. With an integrated Google map on your website, customers can bring up directions, get a view of the surrounding area or locate parking. If you have location tracking activated on your smartphone, search queries will prioritize locations that are physically closest to you when you search. You can use the Internet to check business hours, find the correct address, phone number, and the closest store if there are multiple locations. Restaurants can further integrate the value of their online presence with reservation-booking apps like OpenTable that will provide directions and calendar reminders.

3. Websites push real-time information and propel foot traffic

An L2 Daily article noted, …73 percent of respondents said they would be likely to go into a store if relevant products were shown as available online — versus just 18 percent who said they would head to a store if a website had no information on inventory availability.” Whether it is inventory levels, holiday, weekly or limited time offers, websites provide a platform to deliver real-time information. Marketing campaigns can utilize push notifications, email campaigns that link back to the online store or eye-catching graphics to get timely, pertinent information to the consumer. If the information is contextualized by consumer interest or location, it can give in-store traffic and sales an added boost.

4. Internet drives search queries

The first step in the process of buying something from a business is finding it, either physically or online, and the number of search queries done on Google alone is stunning. There are approximately 3.5 billion search queries on Google daily, an average of 40,000 queries each second, according to Internet Live Stats. With free business listings on Google My Business, companies provide important location information, photos and even collect online reviews from consumers. Now, there is a new messaging feature, so you can activate chat via the Google My Business portal and allow customers to send you a text. This type of easily accessible, relevant information will continue to propel Internet search queries.  

foot traffic5. Website traffic can grow your mailing list

There is nothing quite as valuable as a potential customer that wants to be on your mailing list. If website visitors opt into your email list via a contact form on your site, they want to hear from you. If you have an e-commerce site, your website will also capture purchase history and contact information. Using this customer information collected by your website, you can grow your mailing list. Email list in hand, a business can target subscribers with timely information about their products or services and drive customer foot traffic back to the store.

From providing timely, contextual information to consumers to facilitating search queries, email lists, and online reviews, marketing savvy websites are no longer nice-to-have, but rather a must-have. Leveraging them will grow your website traffic and drive in-store foot traffic too.


Not sure if your website is driving foot traffic to your business? Contact us for a site audit; we’d love to help.

Google Data Studio for website analytics

Google Data Studio: 3 Easy Steps To Your Website Analytics

Have you ever wondered what percentage of your website visitors are returning, how long they stay on your website or what pages they look at while they are there? Google Analytics (GA) tracks a multitude of statistics like these, yet according to BuiltWith, only 7.8 percent of the 370 million websites on the Internet use Google Analytics. Given what Google Analytics can do, the percentage is shockingly low, but understandable too. Although GA has long provided a treasure trove of information about a website and its traffic, for business owners, it’s not been an intuitive interface to tackle. Now, there’s the incredibly user-friendly Google Data Studio.

Google Data Studio, still in beta, is a new tool that pulls data from your Google ecosystem, Google Analytics or AdWords as examples, into visual dashboards. We took a spin with Google Data Studio to see if we could put together a quick, informative, visual report pulling key information from website data in GA. It was a breeze.

Now you can create a remarkable, easy to understand snapshot of your website traffic using Google Data Studio. You’ll quickly see the value of the data as you grow your business and marketing efforts. You’ll need to connect Google Analytics to your website first, and then you’re ready to begin.  

Step 1: Sign up for Google Data Studio

Go to Google Data Studio and signup for free using your Google account. Use the same Google account linked to your website Google Analytics because Google Data Studio does not replace GA, but rather provides more user-friendly dashboards for viewing the data. Once you login to Data Studio, you will see a dashboard, and there are several pre-built templates which are set up to help you visualize data from many different sources including Google Analytics. You can completely customize and create your own report, but we grabbed the Google Analytics template for Acme Marketing – [Sample] Acme Marketing Website – as a starting point.

Google Data Studio sample AdWords report

Step 2. Select your data source for the Google Data Studio report

When you click on the Acme Marketing Google Analytics template, a turquoise and gray sample report pops up. In the top right of the screen, there is an icon which gives you the option to “Make a copy of this report.” Copy it and you will see a pop-up screen “Create new report.”

Connect data source in Google Data Studio

The Acme Marketing report uses sample data. To populate your report with your own website data, you will need to connect the Google Analytics data for your website.

In the pop-up window, look to the right where it says New Data Source, then:

  • Click on [Sample] Google Analytics Data
  • Click the blue CREATE NEW DATA SOURCE
  • In the left sidebar menu entitled Connectors, choose Google Analytics
  • Pick the relevant Account, (website) Property and View
  • Click the CONNECT button in the top right-hand corner
  • Click the ADD TO REPORT button in the top right-hand corner
  • Under the New Data Source section, your website Property is now listed, so you can CREATE REPORT

You’re connected!

Only 7.8 percent of the 370 million websites on the Internet use Google Analytics. – BuiltWith

Step 3. Customize the Google Data Studio report layout, theme, and elements

  • First things first – name your report in the top left of the screen near the Data Studio icon by typing over the words Copy of [Sample] Acme Marketing Website
  • Pick your date range by clicking the calendar dates in the top right of the report and select date range in the right sidebar
  • Click and delete sample elements such as the Acme Marketing logo on the top left and the note centered at the top, “SAMPLE REPORT – MAKE A COPY TO EDIT.”
  • Add your own graphic or text elements. Here are two examples. Add a logo by clicking the image icon in the top menu (a square with a mountain) and drag out a square or rectangular space with your cursor. Click Select a file in the right sidebar under DATA and choose your logo from your computer files. The logo will be sized and put in the outlined space. To add text, click the text icon in the top menu (a box with a “T”), draw out a square or rectangle with the cursor and type in your text. Customize your Text Properties in the right sidebar.

If you want to add more data views, you can either delete and replace what is in the sample report, or:

  • Add a blank page to the report with the “+Add a page” option on the top left of the menu.
  • Add custom elements

Here’s another quick example:

  1. Choose the Table icon on the top menu
  2. Drag out a rectangular or square shape with your cursor
  3. Immediately the table is populated with default source data, so in the right sidebar menu, click the green Source button under Dimensions
  4. Choose whichever data dimension you want to see
  5. Need a shorter table? Drag the lower border up and fewer entries will show.
  6. Prefer a different visualization? Repeat these steps choosing a different option besides Table or change your data source.

You can continue to add pages or visual dashboards that are useful to you. All of the elements of the report can be stylized to match your brand colors by clicking on them and using the STYLE options in the right sidebar. Your report is automatically saved because you are in the Google cloud ecosystem. Plus, all of the features you are used to with Google Docs such as sharing and download as PDF are either available or coming soon.

The best part? Once you create the report you want, you can change the date range each month and refresh the report for an updated view.

We’re loving the new Google Data Studio as an intuitive, interactive interface to view essential Google Analytics data for a website. Give it a try and tell us your thoughts in the comments!