045: Google Ads: How to get started with Mike Rhodes author of the number 1 Google Ads book

by April Buencamino-dy

Mike is the co-author of the world’s best-selling Google Ads book – “The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads”, now in it’s 6 the edition, and which if you don’t have it on the bookshelf, or on your kindle – you can’t really call yourself a Google Ads expert in my opinion… He’s also the CEO and founder of one of Australia’s largest independent Google agencies – the award-winning WebSavvy and normally speaks at events around the world including Traffic and Conversion Summit.

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What got Mike into Google Ads?

Mike’s passion is in helping businesses grow. 

In 2004, Mike saw Perry Marshall speaking in Australia about Google Ads. He got fascinated with the concept of showing ads to people searching for exactly what you have to sell, paying only if the consumer was interested to click.

He went back to his Mastermind, told the group about the concept, and one person offered to give Mike half his company to implement the strategy with him. With the success of their venture, Mike started testing and tweaking the machine and found that what he did was actually working. 

He began doing it for other people, helping them grow their business as well as trying to teach them how it works. But 9 times out of 10, he realized businesses only wanted to be helped but didn’t necessarily want to be taught the system.

It was from this that his agency WebSavvy was born 15 years ago, with the goal of making businesses profitable through Google Ads. 

Getting started with Google Ads

Mike says you must remember that Google Ads is just a tool. While using it before was relatively easy, it’s now a little more complicated, so he suggests getting somebody who knows what they’re doing to set it up for you. 

Have it set up in a way that’s profitable to you, and test it.

The 2 Sides to Google

  1. Search Network – refers to typing in a search and see results as well as ads
  2. Display Network – refers to 2 million websites and a million apps where ads are shown to users; also interruption marketing

Google’s belief is that advertising done well should add value and should be useful. This comes down to targeting who you’re trying to show your ads to. 

Google Ads Campaigns

There are several ways to strategize with Google Ads:

  1. Brand Campaign – make it easy for people to find you. You’re not creating new demand by running ads for your own name, but you’re ensuring when people go searching for you, they can find you.
  2. Shopping campaign – where your target customers are hanging out. While this is more difficult to do, Mike urges retailers to try this with the help of an agency.
  3. Remarketing campaign – targeted at people who have been to your site but did not purchase on their first visit.

Setting Expectations with Google Ads

Google Ads is a process of collecting data. It takes time and/or money, or oftentimes both. The more data you get out of it, the more you can optimise and improve on your strategy.

You have to manage your expectations, have the proper mindset, and be willing to fail because it’s not going to be successful on its first week.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with Google Ads today – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

You have to have a mindset of experimentation. You’re going to be wrong, often, and that’s ok as long as you learn from it. Also, set realistic expectations.

Mike also talks about visualizing a pyramid when talking about the basics. 

  1. Bottom layer: Bidding – the machines are doing most of that for you these days
  2. Middle layer: Targeting – between you and the machine
  3. Top layer: Messaging – a bit more human and a bit less machine

Wrap the whole thing in data because you’re going to be a data analyst as well. This will be complicated so best to do it with an agency.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve Google Ads performance?

Automate as much of the mundane stuff as you possibly can. 

Optimising is really analysis, and analysis involves asking questions. Build reports that automate the collection and visualization of that data and turn into useful information.

If someone listening wants to learn more about Google Ads is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

Mike has a free resource which is his Google Ads Fundamental Course

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in Google Ads?

Data is the huge thing that is changing. You have to get good data to optimize your campaign. The machine is doing most of the work these days so it’s critical to feed the right data into it.

Interview Links

Mike on Social media:

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