One of the most common questions we get from coworking space owners is how Google shows ads in search results, where you ideally want your ad to appear, and how you can ensure that happens.
And the answer comes down to understanding a few simple concepts:
- How Google displays content
- The Google Ads user journey
- How to gauge where your ad appears and why it’s there
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know.
How Google Displays Search Results
There’s a good chance you conduct at least one of the 8.5 billion daily Google Searches. So, you’re probably vaguely already familiar with the order in which Google displays results, even if you haven’t spent much time analyzing it.
When you conduct your search, you’re immediately taken to Google’s Search Engine Results Page (otherwise referred to as SERPs).
The first thing you might notice on this page is the number of search results that were considered by Google in response to your specific query. For example, if you’re searching for coworking spaces in your city, you might see that Google analyzed 1.8 million options before showing you the results you’re seeing.
At a fundamental level, Google instantly sifts through all the possible pages and evaluates these results based on which ones are most relevant to your search and, in turn, which should be displayed first.
But those results are displayed in a very particular order:
- Google Ads
- Google Local/Google My Business with possible Local Ads
- Organic search results
- More Google Ads
- More organic search results
The first thing you’ll see when you conduct a search on Google are pay-per-click ads. The reason for this is simple: Google generates revenue from ads.
But you might also notice another interesting tool that Google has been experimenting with: Google Ads extensions.
These are typically applied on top of Google Ads and are used to show Google what kind of additional information searchers are drawn to click on.
- Call-Out Extension: This displays a call to action, such as book a tour of your space, directly on your ad.
- Site Link Extension: This extension displays various pages of your site that people can immediately navigate to from your ad.
- Phone Number Extension: Searchers are able to see your phone number and directly call your coworking space’s phone number.
- GMB Location Extensions: Users can click your address to be immediately shown where your coworking space is located on Google Maps.
- Image Extensions: Google adds images to your ad in order to give a preview of what your space looks like.
The types of extensions that will be displayed with your ad will ultimately boil down to what Google determines to be the most relevant and useful to your search.
Google Local shows Google My Business listings next to–and on top of–a map of the geographic region you’re searching for.
This is valuable because Google My Business profiles offer a ton of additional readily-accessible information, such as reviews, addresses, and hours.
And while some of the GMB listings in the Google Local section of the SERP will show organic results, you’ll also see Google Ads appear in this space as well.
Drive users to any one of your coworking locations by connecting all of your GMB locations to your Google Ads account.
If you’re full at one location and wish to divert more leads to a certain location, you do have the ability to toggle locations at a Campaign level, in addition to the Account level.
This is a fairly advanced strategy, but it works well where you may have locations with overlapping geographic target markets.
Want to drive more leads to a specific location? Explore our Google Ads Blueprint.
Finally, Google also displays organic search results–those driven by Search Engine Optimization and relevant keywords.
It’s interesting to note that, while in the past most businesses were primarily concerned with ranking at Position Zero on Google for SEO keywords–the very top organic search result–that priority has changed in recent years.
With the new layout of SERPs, ranking first from an SEO perspective doesn’t actually even mean your coworking space is showing up first on the page since the searcher now needs to scroll down to find these kinds of results.
The Google Ads User Journey
Understanding the user journey of a Google Ads search helps you understand how people go from the SERP for their respective search query to ultimately becoming a member at your coworking space.
Gauging How Your Google Ad is Performing
When you’re investing your money into running Google Ads for your coworking space, you’re going to want to understand how your ad is performing and why.
Google makes this information easily accessible and understandable with a few basic metrics.
These metrics are intended to show you how your ads are performing for their respective keywords using very specific metrics:
- Search Top Impression Rate: Simply put, this metric will tell you how often your ad’s showing up in the top group–that is, the few results that appear above the Google Local section of the SERP.
- Search Absolute Top Impression Rates: This metric narrows your ad’s performance to show you how many are ranking at the number one position on the SERP (as opposed to the top grouping).
- Other: This general catch-all metric refers to any ad that’s displayed below the top group.
It’s easy to over-obsess about being number one. Google Ads is an auction-based system, and having two companies competing over the first position can start a bidding war.
Instead, focus on the position(s) which bring you the most value to identify your sweet spot. In most cases, this is not the first position.
Dial in your tracking to identify what clicks convert. Not sure where to begin? Start with a tracking audit to make sure you’re measuring what counts.
On the other hand, Google also provides simple metrics that allow you to understand why your ads might not be showing up so that you can tweak your strategy to improve their SERP ranking:
- Search Lost Impression Share (Budget): This is the percentage of time your ad didn’t appear because your budget is too low. For example, depending on the daily budget you’ve set for a campaign, your ads may appear in the morning, but then when your daily budget runs out, it prevents you from bidding in the afternoon.
- Search Lost Impression Share (Rank): This is the percentage of time your ad didn’t appear because of poor ad rank, which is determined by the quality of your ad in comparison to your competitors. To learn more about how Google ranks ads, read through our resource: Winning the Google Ads Auction for Your Coworking Space.
You can also look at these on an even more granular level with metrics based on Absolute Top and Top Impressions, just like in the performance-based metrics section.
What You Can Do to Help Your Ads Show Up Higher on SERPs
When it comes to how Google shows search results and where you want your ad to appear, the goal is always to reach the top group. And to help your odds of having your coworking space appear there, your key focuses should be to:
- Ensure your ad has a custom landing page that’s hyper-focused on the service you’re trying to sell
- Focus on making sure your ads check the boxes for Google’s quality score
- Set a sufficient budget for your campaigns
- Make sure your Google My Business profile is up-to-date and dialed in
Setting a Google Ads strategy and successfully executing it is an incredibly effective way to bring new members into your coworking space. But it can also be complex if you’re new to it. And that’s where Spacefully can help.
Learn how we can supercharge your lead generation by signing up for our Google Ads Blueprint today.