Google search ads are the first touchpoint many consumers will have with your business. In order to make the best impression, you should aim to make your ad as relevant, enticing, and clickable as possible.
Search ads have the potential to help both consumers and businesses, but only if they’re persuasive and targeted in nature. They can save time for advertisers and provide a more efficient user experience for the searcher.
Recent changes to the digital marketing landscape mean the consumer journey has altered significantly. The halt of in-person retail during the global pandemic resulted in changes to the way buyers ‘shop around’ online, before settling on a product to purchase.
This pattern is not showing any signs of reversing despite the reopening of physical stores.
Previously perceived as a post-research destination, Google ads have now become a starting point for inspiration and ideas about what is on the market. Now more than ever, your business needs its ads to be on the first page of Google results.
In this highly competitive era for Google Search ads, brands must work hard to make sure their ads are pulling their weight against competitors.
How to Boost Your Google Search Ad Performance
Be Seen In the Right Places
You don’t have to be right at the top of the page. As long as you appear in the results, you’re accessible to the consumer. This may sound obvious, but it’s at the core of Google Search ad success.
Be More Visual
With the growth in online ‘shopping around’, consumers are especially enticed by attractive visuals. Make sure your Google Shopping ad imagery is high quality and on-brand. Users are expecting more and more in terms of product information from Google Shopping ads, to make up for the decline in the physical shopping experience. Take it from the search engine itself:
“Many companies have found that taking a more visual approach to search advertising has become increasingly effective and paid huge dividends.” (Think with Google)
Use the Power of Behavioural Science
A study conducted by Google themselves used five behavioural science principles to alter ads in order to influence consumers interests. The principles were:
- Freebies – Free items, shipping, offers etc. These act as a big motivator, swaying the consumer towards your product over other, similar options.
- Authority bias – Stand out from the crowd of competition with expert testimony and reviews from trusted industry sources. This works especially well for beauty brands.
- Popularity pull – Positive reviews and recommendations, especially from relevant consumer groups, provide social proof. Think of this as the Google ads version of peer pressure. You could even get influencers on board.
- Frame of reference – Changing this can help people reconsider a product’s value e.g. highlighting benefits such as convenience and efficiency that are only revealed by introducing a new context.
- Friends in high places – Using premium associations to assign a premium brand identity.
The study added these biases to Google Search ad copy one at a time. The results were clear. Behavioural science principles have the power to steer the test subjects away from their ‘favourite brand’ and win their attention and preference.
Supercharge Your Copy
While copy performs well with one or some of these principles applied, the results showed the best performance when ad copy was ‘supercharged’ with all the principles at once. This helps to optimise return on investment.
For smaller brands, this can help ads to hold their own against industry search result dominators, levelling the playing field.
Lightning Fast Reflexes
Automation is essential when it comes to reacting to constant changes in demand and ensuring your brand continues to find the consumers who are most likely to convert. Smart shopping campaigns use machine learning to optimise the product selection displayed by your ads, showing only the most relevant creative to each consumer.
Automate to counter unpredictability. Smart shopping allows for highly reactive campaigns that are tailored to the appropriate territories and take real-time insights into account. Your bidding strategy and ad investment will be matched and adaptable to current local demand.
Closing the Gap
Efficient and influential search ads speed up the consumer journey from first search, to purchase. Combining automated tools like Dynamic Search Ads with the behavioural science principles Google has honed enables your marketing strategy to adapt to the complexities of the consumer purchasing journey from user to user.