Helping Mid-Tier Advertisers Create Profits With Paid Ads
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How Paid Search is Just Like Chipotle

It’s 11:30am and your grumbling tummy is screaming at you to go to lunch already. You grab a buddy and your BOGO coupon, and look up the nearest chipotle (“chipotle near me” has a quarter million searches/month on Google). Right on! You’ve successfully beat the lunch crowd and walk right on up to the counter lined with Chipotle employees ready to jump on every response you make. Don’t mess up!


Burrito, bowl, or tacos?

Within paid media, you also have 3 options: Paid Search, Paid Social, or Display. The right mix of these channels will look different for every business, just like your Chipotle order will look different than the person in line behind you. If the goal is to build your brand and increase awareness, then you’d probably want to dive into paid social or display. If your focus is to drive leads and sell products, then paid search is a better end of the funnel channel. Order yourself a big burrito bowl and let’s dissect it as if it were paid search.


Brown rice or white rice?

It’s time to build the foundation of your campaign on Google’s advertising platform, AdWords. Let’s start with the rice. The brown rice is your brand campaign and the white rice is your non-brand campaign. You’re going to want to load up with both, cuz Chipotle don’t charge extra 4 dat. In the brand campaign, you will bid on keywords where people are specifically looking for your brand or your products by name (ex: “Rip Curl Wetsuit”). Bidding on your brand is considered best practice because it enables you to dominate the top of the results page and guards that territory from competitors who might also be bidding on your branded terms.

In the non-brand campaign, this is where you can capture people searching for the kind of products or services you offer, but with no specific brand in mind (ex: “Black Wetsuit”). Being present when someone is actively looking for something you sell, is an opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.

Wait! don’t forget about the side tortilla for your burrito bowl! The last campaign you should build out in your AdWords account is a remarketing campaign. Setting up a simple remarketing campaign will serve ads to people who have already visited your website. Staying visible after someone leaves your website is a good reminder for them to come back, reconsider, and complete the action you wanted them to in the first place. These ads won’t show up on Google’s typical search results but instead across other websites on the internet that have opted into their huge network of partner sites.

Once all three of these campaigns are made, it’s time to indulge with the beans and create some ad groups.


Pinto or black beans?

Just like your two options of beans, you have two different options when it comes to structuring your ad groups; and there are pros and cons to each. An ad group is a sub section of your campaign that contains one or more ads which target a shared set of keywords. Ad groups enable you to get more granular within your campaign by serving the most relevant ads to the most appropriate searches.

The first option is to create three different ad groups for the three different match types (exact match, phrase match, and broad match). The benefit of doing it this way is so you can easily set your highest bids for queries that exactly match your keyword (exact match), and lower bids for search terms that might not be as qualified (broad match). Its also good to see how the match types are performing compared to one another at a quick glance. If your broad match ad group isn’t performing well because it’s showing for too many irrelevant searches, you can lower your bids or even pause the ad group all together with one click. The downside of doing it this way is that it can add some time to your management of the account with the increased complexity.

The second option, better for smaller budgets and management efforts, is to put all match types into the same ad group. The main benefit here is that there is less ad groups to create and optimize. The con is that you can’t serve different ads to the different match types. With exact match, you have a pretty good idea of the searchers intent, but with broad match, you should be serving a more general ad message that will make sense for all the different searches it brings in.


Choice of meat?

At this point, there is a line out the door and you’re feeling the pressure as you glance down at the overwhelming amount of meat choices thinking “what the heck is barbacoa?”. The Chipotle employee needs you to make a damn decision already. Just like your choice of meat can make or break your burrito, your choice of keywords will make or break your search campaign, so don’t rush your decision here.

Start by using Google’s handy dandy keyword planner to get some keyword ideas flowing. This tool lets you see search volumes and helps you get a quick gage on how much you’ll need to bid for your ad to even show up. Once you have a solid list, step back and really think about the intent of the searcher. You want to be as targeted as possible, especially if dealing with a smaller budget.

Let’s use Speaqua, a company that makes small waterproof speakers, as an example. Long tail keywords like waterproof bluetooth speaker for shower (110 searches/month) or stand up paddle board speaker (40 searches/month) will perform significantly better than head terms like bluetooth speaker (246,000 searches/month). If Speaqua bids on these long tail terms that have a more specific user intent, their ads will only show to people who are interested in their unique type of speaker. On the other hand, people searching more generally for bluetooth speakers could have an entirely different product in mind than the ones Speaqua offers. An additional benefit of bidding on long tail terms is that CPC’s (cost per click) are usually cheaper, because there is less competition. Just like the chicken is a little bit cheaper than the steak, some keywords are cheaper than others.


“Guacamole is extra”

WE ALL KNOW IT’S EXTRA! … But you gotta load up with that green goodness. Your buddy with you chose to pass though because he claims that he doesn’t like the texture… whatever that means. You’re now questioning your friendship but you actually scored because with your BOGO coupon, Chipotle only charges you for the cheaper of the 2 orders. The tie in here is that Google offers some sweet promotions too, so you will start advertising with them. Odds are you are using a website development platform like Wix, Shopify, or WordPress, all of which offer a $100 AdWords credit. Take advantage of it! You might be surprised how far that little $ can go.


If you follow the same process with your AdWords account as you do your Chipotle order, you’ll be getting the biggest bang for your buck. Google and Chipotle will both happily take your money if you let them, so it’s up to you to be informed and implement these same tactics.