It’s prudent for building materials manufacturers to try and find a variety of ways to market themselves and stand out on the web. One tried-and-true way is to use Google Ads.
A mainstay of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Google Ads are a staple across many industries for capturing consumers with real intent to buy specific products and services. 80% of businesses across the globe trust Google’s platform for their PPC ad campaigns.
Google Ads can work amazingly well for your business, but they do have some unique quirks and frustrations that can take time to figure out.
Bullseye Locations reached out to Eric Hicks of BuildMaterialsMarketing to ask: What are the most common Google Ads mistakes made by building material manufacturers?
Here, we’ll share Eric’s answers, along with what you can do to avoid those mistakes — starting with a key principle you’ll need to understand when adding Google Ads to your online marketing mix.
The #1 Rule to Follow When Launching Google Ads: Focus on Progress, Not Perfection
Google Ads campaigns are never perfect from the get-go. Finding the right keywords and targeting takes patient experimentation and refinement.
This is because the Google Ads algorithm discovers what will work the best over time. There’s no perfect headline or audience for a building materials manufacturer to choose when first setting up their campaign.
For this reason, it’s best to approach Google Ads with a “crawl, walk, run” approach. Initially, you’ll have to make your best guess at the right parameters, set a reasonably small daily ad spend budget, and watch the data slowly come in day by day. From there, you’ll be able to fine-tune your campaign and adjust key aspects of your setup for better outcomes.
You’ll know exactly what’s working with your Google Ads efforts soon enough. Then, you’ll be empowered to spend more efficiently on your lead generation.
The 4 Most Common Google Ads Mistakes
Here are the issues building materials manufacturers who are new to Google Ads routinely run into. Avoid them and you’ll quickly see better results.
1. Not Using the Right Location Targeting
Some of the quirks of the Google Ads dashboard simply require a bit of insider knowledge to navigate effectively. That’s certainly true when it comes to location targeting.
When choosing your geographic location targets for your ads, don’t leave your location set on “People in, regularly in, or who’ve shown interest in” your targeted locations.
“People who’ve shown interest in…” is the one setting Google tends to recommend. It might seem intuitive, but it can actually display your ads to people that aren’t in your target location. You may end up spending to deliver ads to areas you didn’t mean to, and which ultimately won’t reach your ideal customers.
Instead, it’s best to change your default location targeting to “People in or regularly in” your targeted locations.
This removes the “…or who’ve shown interest in…” condition, and it will ensure that your targets are users who actually live close to your authorized local dealers and contractors.
2. Not Dynamically Adjusting Your Keyword Strategy
Let’s assume you’ve selected a range of keywords relevant to your brand and products, and you’ve used Keyword Planner forecasts to predict how your chosen terms might perform.
This is a great start, and a great keyword strategy for Google ads means making adjustments as your campaign rolls along. One of the things you’ll have to do is remove keywords that are proven to be irrelevant or ineffective for your ads as the data comes in.
To stay on top of this, review your search term report shortly after you launch, and keep reviewing it periodically. This will show you what search terms are leading to your ads being displayed in real-world search scenarios. Look for terms that are irrelevant to your brand and products, and mark them as “negative” keywords.
Doing this will prevent your ad spend from being diluted with keywords that don’t truly matter to your best prospects, while also calibrating your ads for a much tighter product-market fit.
According to HubSpot, more than 60% of marketers said their customer acquisition cost has increased over a recent 3-year span. Ballooning costs can be avoided by removing ad spend from faulty keyword targeting!
3. Not Finding the Right Audience Targeting
Once you’ve gotten your keywords settled, you also have to consider the audience your ads will be shown to. This requires lots of experimentation.
For one, Google will allow you to use website visitors on your remarketing lists as well as “similar segments” to target the right people. However, many other options are available. You’ll want to have as many layers of relevant audiences as you can, so you can analyze exactly who is coming across your ads.
Building materials manufacturers might, for example, target homeowners in need of repairs, those who are taking on DIY home improvement projects, or those who are searching for estimates for new home additions or renovations.
On the other hand, B2B audiences are more difficult. Some manufacturers have found success by choosing “industrial” and “construction” audiences, along with groups made up of business professionals. In any case, the key is being willing to try different audiences and combinations of targeted groups in order to find the right mix.
According to WordStream, average Google Ads click-through rates (CTRs) range from 4.21% for the Home & Home Improvement industry to 5.34% for businesses in the Industrial and Commercial category. A building materials manufacturer that hits those CTRs is right on target, but you’ll want to make sure that the people clicking are your likely customers. This will improve with consistent trial and error in selecting layered audiences.
4. Not Optimizing for Conversions by Leveraging Google Analytics
Naturally, most experienced advertisers use Google Analytics to watch and measure the performance of their Google Ads campaigns. Both platforms work hand-in-hand, as you might expect.
It’s an easy oversight not to use it, however. Make sure you’re actually reviewing your campaign’s metrics in Google Analytics to know what actions to take next.
One thing to examine is where the very first clicks on your ads are landing. Ensure that users are landing on the right page, so that you’re not misdirecting valuable ad traffic to a non-functioning or non-converting part of your site.
In addition, you’ll want to ensure that conversions are set up properly in Google Analytics. You can define certain actions that users take, such as filling out a form on your website, as a conversion.
If you get this right, you’ll have several important advantages when it comes to optimizing your campaigns. You’ll be able to…
- Properly attribute new leads and sales activity to your ads
- Bid defined amounts of ad spend on the conversions that matter to your business
- Create remarketing audiences and show ads to users who failed to convert before
By defining conversions in Google Analytics, you can also combine the data from your Google Ads with other third-party marketing tools to better track user paths towards the point of conversion to see which marketing channels have the most impact.
Optimizing conversions is an important aspect of running online ad campaigns, and many businesses neglect it. According to stats gathered by Startup Bonsai, companies spend only $1 on conversion rate optimization for every $92 they spend on customer acquisition. This means there’s an opportunity to be smarter about this opportunity than competing building materials brands.
By taking the time to set up conversions properly in Google Analytics, the data you gather will soon enable you to increase your ad spend on what’s working to make your Google Ads even more successful.
For Google Ads Success, Master the Basics and Test New Features
Building materials manufacturers who want to compete in the digital age would be well-served by learning the Google Ads platform inside and out. Avoid the 4 mistakes discussed above by using them as your “configuration checklist” when building and monitoring early results from your Google Ads campaigns.
After that, there’s another challenge: the ever-changing nature of Google Ads. Google is constantly innovating and releasing new advertising options, and it can be difficult to keep up.
For that reason, stay open-minded and keep experimenting. Allocate a bit of your ad budget towards exploring new features. Play with the controls and try to understand the best use cases for new options. You might unexpectedly catapult your lead and conversion counts to new heights — and hone in on some new techniques long before your competitors get the chance.
The bottom line? If you combine a solid grasp of the fundamentals with a willingness to try new things, you’ll be well-prepared to win in Google Ads.
If you want to drive traffic to a high-converting dealer or contractor locator to help convert more Google Ads leads into loyal customers, you’ll also want to give the Bullseye Locations software a try.
Schedule your demo today to see how Bullseye fits into your online advertising efforts and learn how using it can take your results to the next level!