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By John Eberhard

Google Ads has a number of advertising options today that you may not know about.

Search Ads

Search ads are what most people probably think of when they think of Google Ads. These are the text ads that show up at the top of the results in Google when you search for some keyword phrase.

Google Search ads are very targeted and have the advantage that you get your message in front of people right when they are searching for your product or service.

The disadvantage is that there is a ton of competition for Google search ads, and their system is set up so that advertisers compete to have their ads appear at the top by bidding. This means in very competitive industries, that the bids cost (i.e. what you pay for a single click) can go sky high and get completely out of hand, and make advertising not viable. In general, Google Search ads are workable if you are selling a high-ticket item, i.e. over $1,000.

Display Ads

Google Display Ads used to mean just banner ads. Different website owners would sign up and allow Google to place banner ads in certain places on their sites. For years I didn’t use display ads as they just didn’t work very well. But some recent changes have made this a much more viable advertising alternative.

First of all there are several ways to target who sees your display ads now. These include:

  1. You can target websites by topic. Google will place your ads on sites that fit the topics you select.
  2. You can target people who have typed in keywords that you select, within the last 7 days, and Google will show your ads to those people. This method is very effective.
  3. You can provide Google with a list of websites and they will show the ads on sites that are similar to those on your list.
  4. You can provide Google with a list of websites and for any that allow ads, Google will run the ads on the exact websites on your list.

Another change is that Google now has what they call responsive ads. You provide them with at least 2 pictures, and up to 5 headlines and 5 descriptions. They will combine these pictures and headlines and descriptions, and make them fit into whatever size spots are available. My experience on a recent campaign was that the responsive ads worked much better than banner ads.

In a recent campaign I ran using display ads, my cost per click was in the 15-18 cents range. This is generally much lower than with search ads.

YouTube Ads

You may have noticed on YouTube over the past few years that when you go to a specific video, that another video will show before the video you went to see. This is called a pre-roll video, and you can create a video and have it shown there.

If someone watches your pre-roll video for at least 20 seconds you get charged some money. On the campaigns I am running for one client, this is averaging 2 cents per view. If the person watches it for at least 30 seconds, it counts as a view for that video.

It works best if you produce a video that is 30 to 60 seconds long, and it should have a “call to action” at the end, i.e. you tell the person to do something – call you or go to your website or whatever. Google will also put a button below your video and you can have that button go to a landing page or any page on your website.

Other Targeting

With all the types of ads described above, you can select what geographical areas you want your ads to appear in, and what times and days of the week they will appear. You can also set a max budget you want to spend per day, so you can control your costs.