If you’ve ever done any research into how exactly Google Ads work, you’ve probably read something to the effect of the platform operating on a bidding system.
Unsure what in the world that means?
Here’s where it gets sticky: it’s pretty ambiguous, even to the experts. In typical Google fashion, the bidding system isn’t exactly transparent and it leaves a lot to the imagination.
But that also begs the question: how can you tell if your ad will win the bid, and what can you do to improve your odds of it being seen by your target audience?
We’ll break down what you need to know if you’re thinking of running Google Ads for your coworking space.
What is the Google Ads Bidding System?
The Google Ads bidding system is a bit of a black box. We know it’s an auction-based system, so you can think of every search as a mini-auction that happens in a microsecond.
But what actually goes into that microsecond auction process?
Campaigns vs. Keywords
In order to grasp how the Google Ads bidding system works, you need to understand the account hierarchy that comprises how you set up Google Ads:
- Campaigns: At a high level, Google Ads Campaigns each typically focus on one specific goal, such as advertising private offices or advertising coworking space. Your daily budget (aka the amount that you’re willing to spend each day), along with your bidding strategy, is set at the campaign level.
- Ad Groups: To break up your campaigns and provide deeper matching between the keywords and ads, Ad Groups add an extra layer of control. For example, if you wanted to differentiate ads shown between “Large Office” searches from “Small Office” searches, you could do that on the Ad Group level. From a bidding perspective, Ad Groups allow you to finetune bids and targets further.
- Keywords: Your keywords are the specific terms you’ll use within each campaign. So, these keywords will all be related to what your target audience might be searching for as it pertains to finding your coworking space online.
The Google Ads auction takes into consideration settings across Campaigns, Ad Groups, and Keywords, so it’s important to have alignment with your occupancy and budget goals.
Should you bid on your own brand terms? We get asked all the time. We consider bidding on your brand term a defensive strategy. And as the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense.
Our recommendation is to analyze the competition to see if they are bidding on your brand term (knowingly or unknowingly). From there assess search volumes through Google Search Console to measure how often your brand term is being searched and what click share you’re receiving.
Want us to run our assessments on your multiple coworking spaces? Check out our Google Ads Blueprint.
The 3-Pronged Google Ads Quality Score
When we talk about the Google Ads auction, what’s most interesting is that it’s not necessarily the bidder who’s willing to pay the most who gets the first (or even the fourth) position.
Instead, Google takes into consideration a combination of your bid and quality signals that help it determine your ad rank.
At the time of its auction, Google looks at the pool of advertisers vying for ad positions by first ruling out advertisers based on settings such as geography. Then, it evaluates each ad based on a signal called a quality score—a ranking on a scale of one to ten that evaluates:
- Landing Page Experience: This is based on the usefulness and user experience of the landing page that your ad will drive visitors to once they’ve clicked on your ad.
- Ad Relevance: The easiest way to explain this concept is to imagine you’re a coworking space and target the keyword “coworking space” in your ad. If your ad displays something else—like “shoes for sale”—nobody will click on your ad, even if you’re willing to pay a ton of money for that click.
- Expected Clickthrough Rate: This refers to Google’s predictions of how many clicks your campaign will receive based on both your ad’s relevancy as well as your campaign targeting settings. Google makes money off of each click on your ad. So, it will prioritize ads that it thinks will garner the highest CTR.
But it’s not just Google that benefits from clicks on your ads: a campaign with a high CTR is generally considered to be high-performing which means you’re getting the most bang for your buck. So, it’s critical to ensure your ad relevance and landing page experience are dialed in.
When a searcher clicks an ad, you pay, and Google gets paid. A high CTR (clickthrough rate) is desirable when you’re offering something that the majority of people performing the search are looking for. When you offer something more specialized (unique, premium, etc…) chasing a high CTR can be devastating when targeting the wrong keywords. As an extreme example, the Lamborghini Urus is a $220k luxury SUV, so while “SUV” could be used to describe it, it would be too broad of a search term.
At times, does it feel like you’re selling ice to Eskimos? Pinpoint your audience with our Google Ads Blueprint.
There’s one more concept to consider when making your ad relevant: negative keywords.
These are keywords that let you exclude search terms from your campaigns and help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers.
In other words, to ensure your Google Ad is ultra-specific, you need to look past the keywords you want to show up for and consider the ones that you don’t want to show up for.
Here’s an example…
The keyword “furnished suites for rent” could apply to a flexible office space. But it could also apply to a short-term residential rental.
So, you want to ensure you’re omitting that keyword and being strategic and hyper-focused on the most relevant search terms for your service.
Negative keywords are very powerful in that once they have been added, you won’t be able to see what potential searchers you may be missing out on. For keywords that you wish to add to your negative keyword list, we often recommend using a match type of Phrase Match, or Exact Match to be more precise. It’s also important to note that negative match types behave differently from positive match types.
Want to know what Google Ads costs in your neighborhood? Check out our Google Ads Blueprint.
Optimizing your Google Ads campaign
If there’s one thing you should take away from this article it’s this: it’s not always the bidder with the highest Google Ads campaign budget who gets top exposure.
The most successful Google Ads campaigns come down to consistently evaluating and optimizing your strategy rather than taking a set-it-and-forget-it approach—one that’s all too common among DIY Google Ads managers.
Since Google isn’t exactly forthcoming with how its bidding system works, it’s hard to guess at the right combination of keywords and landing page factors will work best.
You simply need to test it and let the data tell you what to do. And that’s where Spacefully can help. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by Google Ads but want to begin bringing in new members, we’re here for you. We use our industry-specific expertise to help coworking spaces to attract new qualified leads. If you’d like to learn how we can supercharge your lead generation and help you bring new members into your coworking space, sign up for our Google Ads Blueprint today.