How to Use Google Custom PPC Ads to Make Money

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A few weeks ago I was talking with one of my favorite PPC marketers about new trends we were seeing with AdWords.  While everyone’s been busy talking about Custom Audiences for re-marketing and display, he’s been focusing on the other tools like Custom Ads.

Although he couldn’t give a lot of details about the results, we went over what he had been doing and did a brainstorm for new ways to use them specific to his and my own clients.  Although my campaigns haven’t launched yet, I’m in love with the idea that you can target and focus your ads to specific queries and for specific needs without having to create a million ads.

So what is the Adwords Custom Ads tool and how can you use it?  If you want to know how to set it up, Google does an awesome job explaining it on this post.  If you want to know how to implement campaigns for your business, check out the section most relevant for you below.

Side note: Before I give some examples, the basic rundown is that it works by using dynamic inserts.  i.e. you need to be cautious of character counts.  For example, you can use inventory levels, prices, deals/discounts and anything else you want to add to your feed, but if any of the combinations go over the character limit, your ad won’t work.  

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How to Use Custom PPC Ads

  1. Brick and Mortar (Local Businesses)
  2. Ecommerce Shops
  3. Leads or Service Providers

Brick and Mortar (Local Businesses)

This is really cool for retail and brick and mortar stores.  Because you can add locations, product quantities and countdowns in real time, you can bring in foot traffic looking for specific products, offer local deals and even test different types of offers for different local markets.  Here are a few options.

  • Bring foot traffic into your store – By adding your product inventory and using the product names in your ads, you can now run ads for people who need a product in a hurry.  Suppose it’s the holidays and there’s no time left to shop.  You have 5 blue widgets in stock so someone searches “where can I find a blue widget?”.Now your ad will have the insert to let the shopper know that you have 5 left and you’re local to them.  If you want to go a step further and you have geotargeting set up, you can add the city or location name as a column and an insert and now show product inventory by location to the ad.
  • Add a deal with a time stamp (sense of urgency) – If you have a day where there is a lot more traffic on your site, but the store is down, or you notice more people are outside your location, but not coming in, try using the countdown and deal inserts.Now as people are searching where they can find a great lunch, for a last minute gift, or even a specific ingredient for a recipe, you can have the dynamic inserts show that you have the solution they need, it’s on sale and they have XY minutes or hours left to get to you before you close or the sale ends.
  • Restaurants with breakfast, lunch and dinner or signature dishes – By using the dynamic inserts you can show off what you’re featured dish for each meal is.  You can also display what time breakfast, lunch or your early bird ends, and you can run ads saying you still have XY time to get here before XY meal ends (this is especially good for cities where brunch is popular, tourists oversleep and want breakfast or seniors want the specials during slower hours).  You can also do dynamic inserts to show off specific featured meals for people looking for your signature dish.

Ecommerce Shops

This is one group who can benefit a lot from Google’s custom ads.  They can help you move product quickly and do custom deals and offers in real time based on products and days, without creating a million different ads.

  • Hour long sales – By using the countdown feature as an insert and combining with with specific products or categories in another field, your ads will now show sales in real time as people search for products and services.  You only need to load the ads to the adgroups (brand trademarks or product specific), include the countdown insert and the sale ad will start showing with how long the person has left to get the deal.  This could be a great tool for holiday shoppers or when you really need to move inventory and know that people are in a hurry or respond well to a sense of urgency in messaging.
  • Sales by product name & quantity – By adding columns for % off and a column with the product name you can now have the insert to show blue widgets at 30% off and red widgets at 20% off or free shipping.  You could do this with different ads in different ad groups, but you’ll spend a ton of time trying to do this.  Custom Ads also lets you change based on queries and keywords so you also don’t have to break your adgroups into more targeted and smaller ones saving you more time so you can focus on other aspects of your campaigns.Simply update the feed one time and then set up your ad to have the top line be product name and the sale for the dynamic inserts. Now upload one of these ads for each of your adgroups or use the cross campaign settings (I haven’t done this yet but Google has a guide for it) and your ad will automatically update so you don’t have to create a unique sales ad for each one.

Leads or Service Providers

Regardless what your service is, you can drive quality leads and offer custom deals in real time by using Google’s Custom PPC Ads. Because you can add custom columns to your feed (yes you’ll need to create a feed), you can add dynamic inserts into the ads to make them even more relevant.

  • Deal by Service – To show a discount by a service, simply create a column for deals and a column for services.  Now as the ad is triggered, you can use the dynamic insert to show a service and specific offer without having to create the ads for each individual adgroup.
  • Problem & Solution (by query) – This is one that can be really cool.  If you help repair broken copper pipes, you can now do inserts for the specific issue like fix a insert problem here and the service which can be insert service name.  If you want to go further, you can add another column to your feed for deals and have it combined with the service and issue combinations.  By basing this off of your margins and demand (seasonal or in general) you may be able to bring in more leads and offer unique deals or discounts by problem.

Those are only a few of the ways that you can mix and match items from your product feed to create highly targeted and extremely relevant ads for your new potential customers.  The ads can help move product quickly, drive foot traffic into your store and let you show customized ads for almost any service or product you offer.  You can even have them customized to the search query without having to create a million ads and based off of your margin for each product so you can create more unique deals and ads in real time.

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