last updated 23 July 2021

How to Use Google Ads to Get More Clients

What is Google Ads? What does it cost? How does it work? Why do so many people lose money with Google Ads? And how come it works at all if no-one ever clicks on the ads?

These are some of the most common questions that I get asked by people who are new to using Google Ads or who are thinking of using it for the first time.

The above video is a recording of an interview I did with Louisa van Vessem as part of a Facebook Live event in the LMS Collective Facebook group in September 2020. During the interview  I talked about how Google Ads campaigns can work for small businesses and addressed all the above questions and more besides..

Here are just some of the things you’ll learn from  this video::

  • How Google Ads works and why it’s so great for small businesses

  • What it costs to run a Google Ads campaign

  • Why Google Ads beats Facebook Ads hands-down

  • How to maximise the return on investment from Google Ads by finding cheap keywords?

If you’re wondering how to use Google Ads to get more clients and  grow your business, or if you’re thinking of starting your own Google Ads campaign, then you really must see this session.

A full transcript of the video appears below.

If you'd like to learn the exact steps I use to generate mortgage leads using Google Ads then check out this free training. It's an hour-long masterclass where I'll show you exactly how you can use Google Ads to get ten new mortgage clients in the next ten weeks.

Full Transcript

Louisa: So today, we welcome David into the group. And he's going to be chatting to us all about Google Ads and how they can help your business. And I've already explained to David that we have lots of different types of people in the group, some of business owners or employees, service based, product based, you name it, we've got the right mix. And so David, would you like to introduce yourself? 

David Miles: Yeah. Hi. My name is David, obviously, and I'm a digital marketing consultant. I've been in digital marketing in one form or another for about the last 15 or 16 years. I've in the past had my own agency, which dealt with clients from all sorts of different sectors. But the common thing was, they all wanted to get more business from the web. And for the last five years or so since I sold my share my agency, I've worked as a one man band consultant, working primarily with people in financial services, mortgage brokers, financial advisers, those kind of people, helping them generate leads on their own websites, rather than buying them from other sources or relying on word of mouth. 

Louisa: Fantastic! Sounds very exciting. 

David Miles: Yeah, it's what you know, there's worse things to do.

Louisa: So for those of us who are like myself, and have no idea about Google Ads whatsoever, can you give us a bit of an overview as to what it even means? Yeah, what's the starting point? What is it?

David Miles: Yeah, sure. Well, okay. So even if you've never heard the term Google ads, or actually the other thing, that is an extra point of confusion, it used to be called Google AdWords until two or three years ago, Google rebranded it. But it's exactly the same thing. Yeah. So Google Ads, you're seeing that even if you've never used it, because whenever you search for anything on Google, or pretty much anything, there'll be up to four adverts appearing at the top of the search results, and potentially another three at the bottom of the page as well. And those ads are there because the advertisers have said to Google, that I've given a list of keywords or search terms, basically, I said, if someone types in one of these things, I want my advert to appear. And the advertisers write their own adverts within, you know, the parameters that Google allows. And what makes it different from most traditional forms of advertising, is it's a form of advertising called Pay-Per-Click, or PPC. Yeah, I'd say slowly ‘cause sometimes if I say quickly, people think I'm selling paperclips station again, but as Pay-Per-Click, and it's called that because the advertisers don't pay for their advert to appear, they only pay if someone clicks on their ad, and goes through to their website. So from that point of view, you know, it's in many ways, much lower risk than if you put an advert in the newspaper, or, you know, a massive billboard at the station, or whatever that's gonna cost you, even if no one looks at it, and no one responds to it. Whereas with any form of pay per click advertising, you've removed some of that risk, because if your advert is of no interest to anyone, or you're selling a product nobody wants, you've wasted your time, but not your money.

Louisa: That makes more sense there. So I guess it's a lot more specific, because you can target and aim, like the demographics and all the rest of it. 

David Miles: Yeah, I mean, the primary targeting is by the keyword. So you know, if you're, if you're selling like blue apples, then you know, your keyword will be blue apples, and your ad will appear if someone typed that in. But you can also layer that with demographic type targeting. So you can say, for example, I'm willing to pay more for the clicks, if that's if the searcher is a woman in their 60s, you know, or if somebody lives in London rather than Birmingham. But obviously, that will, that will vary depending on what it is that you're that you're promoting. I know I'm sorry about what you're willing to pay, it runs on an auction basis. So each advertiser says what the maximum is that they're willing to pay for each click. And then that is one of the factors that Google uses to decide which ads appear, and in which order. And then if yours is the ad that is clicked, the amount you actually pay is just enough to beat the next person in the auction. So it's a bit like. If you're bidding something on eBay, you know, if you've been £20 or something on eBay, and yours ends up being the highest bid, but the next person was bidding £15, then you're actually paying, you know, £15.10, or whatever. And it's the same, it's the same kind of principle. So you specify the maximum you'll pay, but you'll, you'll very often pay a bit less per click on that, depending on who else is in the auction. 

Louisa: So it's kind of like an ideal amount that you sort of spend on each part, or is that I mean, what's the lowest amount?

David Miles: Yeah, it varies because, well, because like any auction, the more people that are bidding on a particular term, the more that pushes the price up. And, of course, it varies massively from, you know, for one keyword to another, based on how much money there is to be made in my industry. So a key word for something like injury claims compensation, where the lawyers can make lots and lots of money out of that, because they can make lots of money out of it. There'll be quite a high amount. So you could be looking at 15, 20, 25 pounds a click or whatever. Whereas if it's something far less competitive, you might get the clicks for, you know, 20, 30, 50 pence, something like that. 

Louisa: So they really are quite varied then.

David Miles: Yeah. And one of the things to making it work well for your business, is not to go after the really obvious keywords, because they'll have everyone bidding on them and at higher prices, to try and find those less common keywords that all your competitors won't necessarily have thought of, because they'll get lower cost per click. 

Louisa: And well, we've got a few people watching, as Matt says, “How does the return on investment on Google Ads compare to the likes of Facebook ads and other social media advertising?”

David Miles: Good question. Obviously the return on investment will be affected by a lot of things like what it is that you're selling, the product or service, and also how good you are running campaigns on Google or Facebook. But if you assume all of those things are equal. I generally think the return on investment is higher on Google Ads. And the reason for that is, it's actually a very different way of advertising and marketing from Facebook Ads. So if you think about the kind of person who sits down at Google, and searches for something, they've actually taken the first step, they've sat down at Google and said to Google, I'm interested in buying whatever product or service it is, okay? Let's take mortgages as an example, because that's honestly what I spend a lot more time dealing with. So somebody types sits down at Google and types in best remortgages or whatever, they clearly are looking to remortgage their house. So if they click through, there's a good chance they're going to take action. Now on the other hand, someone who sees your advert on Facebook, and people do not go on Facebook, looking to get a mortgage, or looking to get, you know, an accountant or you know, any of those kinds of things. So they've gone on Facebook to look at what their friends are up to, or look at pictures of cats or stalk their ex or everything they're doing. And so your advert is interrupting, for them it’s interruption marketing, right? So that's the first hurdle very over the fact you've gotten over the hurdle of will they even notice your ad or pay any attention. And then if they do, click it, the next hurdle you've got is they've clicked your ad, but they didn't have their mortgage buying hat on at that time. So you've got to shift them from what they were planning to do to what you're doing now. So you've got a lot more hurdles to overcome there. If they do click your ad, there's less likelihood that okay, I'm generalizing here, but there's less likelihood, but they will immediately fill in an inquiry form or make a purchase from your site. So it's more of an awareness raising, you know, what we call top of funnel rather than. And that's why if you aren't doing that, the people who do Facebook Ads and who get a good return from it, generally, they're getting a good return, because they've got systems in place to then follow up those people. So the people who visit their site from a Facebook Ads, they'll do something to get them onto a mailing list, or they'll do something to enable them to retarget them and show them more ads in the future, things like that. So that's, that's why we Google Ads, it tends to be a better return on investment. And you get that return faster than you do with Facebook.

Louisa: It's all new, like. Matt's coming fast and furiously with questions: “Is there a way of bypassing the adblock extensions in browsers?”

David Miles: So as an advertiser, I assume you mean they're not that I'm aware of. So if someone has got an ad blocker, which is effectively working in blocking Google Ads from showing them is certainly not any way of making your ads show up, even when no one else is. There are people who use ad blockers equally. If I talked to a roomful of people, if I can guarantee by now if we were doing this in the old fashioned way, in an actual room for the people, somebody would have stuck their hand up by now and said, that's all very well, but I never click on the ads. But some people who go out of their way not to click on the ads because I don't know why they're too clever to be taken in by advertising. The fact is, there's enough people who do click on them. The last figures I saw for this are actually pulling out nine years ago. Now Google, we're making something like 50 odd billion pounds a year from Google ads. Because they can only do that if someone's clicking on them. So even if you're not clicking, or even if the guy is down the road, it's got an ad blocker. There's enough other people out there who are clicking on it to make it work. 

Louisa: No, that's cool. Matt said he's gonna stay quiet now. Feel free to keep asking your questions. 

David Miles: I suppose his next question was going to be I never click on the ads.

Louisa: Probably. Okay, so you've mentioned the kind of ad words that are more generic and harder, because in terms of like, the way the auction works, I really like the analogy of eBay and thinking of it in that kind of mindset that really helps. But how do you go about doing all this? Like, is it something like say, someone like me could kind of just guess on what to do when it comes to thinking about what to do? Or do you need to remember, a company used to work for they would speak to Google, and they had like a campaign management, all the rest of it? But you know, can anyone do it? Do you have to do your research, you go to YouTube? Do you hire someone like you? What do you do? 

David Miles: Well, in terms of coming up with the keywords specifically, then yes, anyone can do it. So yes, there are tools that will tell you, but actually, my preferred way of doing it. And this is what I've run training on Google as is what I'd find encouraging the people on training to do as well, is rather than relying on the tools, try and actually use your own imagination, and your own kind of lateral thinking, and whatever. And it's basically putting yourselves in the shoes of your potential customer. And, and that's  always hard for any business owner or any marketer, because you know, if you work in a particular job or a particular business, you get engrossed in that. And, you know, and you think in a particular way, so maybe, you know, if you're struggling to think how your client would think, talk to some actual clients, or, you know, talk to some friends or whatever, who and say, if you were looking at, you know what I do for a living? We're looking for this, what would you type into Google. And there's a story that often tells a really good example. Years ago, I was running a Google Ads campaign for a company, a firm of solicitors, who specialised in what they in the industry called medical negligence or clinical negligence. So basically, you know, someone's been to hospital, had an operation, it's gone wrong, and they want to claim compensation for it. And like any kind of personal injury stuff, because we talk to everyone about that, when any kind of personal injury stuff, the cost per click is massive. I sort of before I started talking to me, solicitors, I've never actually heard the term medical negligence or clinical negligence, obviously, I, you know, I could work out what it meant, but it's not, it wasn't in my vocabulary. I thought, well, therefore, it's probably not in the vocabulary of their typical potential client. And as, okay, so put yourself in their shoes, you're sitting at home, you're off work, because you know, you've had this operation go wrong, or you've been misdiagnosed, or whatever it is, what do you want to do? What's the outcome you're looking for? Because people don't buy services, they buy outcomes. Yeah. And so I did a little bit of research on the idea that I'd had and then I set up the ads for it with this new keyword. And it worked a treat, we cut the cost per click for around £20 down to £4, and that keyword was to sue the NHS. And always remember, ‘cause when I told the guy I was dealing with at the law firm, you know, I've tested this miss it. He's it all. I don't know, if we want to be, you know, some actors that set out sort of, you know, cheapens what we do a bit or, you know, I don't want to know, okay, but that is actually what you do, though, isn't it? Do you sue the NHS? And he's, oh, yeah, we do. But, you know, and I said, Well, it's, you know, it's £4 a click, rather than 20. He said, “Oh God, run with it!” And, you know, and we did, and we had analyticals, we typed the whole thing together. So not only was it the key word that we made sure, but in the advert, it said something like, you know, “if you want to sue the NHS, we can help.” And so of course, again, when all these other adverts are talking stuffy language about negligence of blardy blar. And suddenly, you've got this advert that stands out, as you know, talking about the layman's language. People were attracted to that. So are these guys, we want to level with these guys. They may never speak the same language we do. Obviously, after one other advertisers caught onto it, but for a good few months, we had a definite, definite lead on them just by putting ourselves in the client's shoes, which is not a new marketing concept. You know, it's, it's what people, what good advertisers and marketers have been doing for God knows how long.

Louisa: Absolutely, because I know whenever I have conversations with people about creating content, social media. And it's like, they kind of have that tunnel vision of, you know what they're doing, and they're talking about it all. And it's like, “No, you've got to put yourself in the other person's shoes.” You know, they'll post something because it's what they like, but actually, it doesn't talk or say anything to the reader or the audience. It's just you and you can't base stuff on your own opinions, you have to think wider. 

David Miles: Yeah, and particularly with social media where people aren't looking to be sold to, they're looking to get information and they want value. You know, and with that kind of thing, I always, I always say to my clients, if you're trying to come up with ideas for, you know, whether it's a Facebook post or blog post, or you know, a PDF, you're going to give away whatever it is, think about what are the problems and challenges your kind of client has, and how you can sell them. So I've got, because of the sector, I work mainly, and I've got clients who, who are mortgage brokers, we're trying to attract people who are looking to move house. You don't want to create content for them about how exciting all the different types of mortgages are or how hard it is to get a mortgage at the moment ‘cause no one's lending. What you want to create is content that says, here are 10 tips on how to sell your house faster, because that's what keeps our home mover awake at night, is there a chain gonna fall apart. Or, you know, are we gonna sell their house quick enough to get into the one they really want. So content around that.

Louisa: Problem solving just, rather than just talking to people I see, for example, lots of virtual assistants creating pace, and it says, like, four hours for like, X amount of hours, like, and, yeah. And that means nothing to me, because I don't actually know what it is that you're going to do. You need to actually sow those seeds, and you need to kind of create that storytelling to kind of make, Okay, that sounds really good. This is what they can do for me. Whereas if you just say this is my offer. 

David Miles: Well, yeah, exactly. So yes, I mean, that kind of example, off the top of my head, if I was talking to a VA who wanted to do, you know, some kind of social media blog post, I was like, wait, what's the big challenge your potential clients have? It's probably, but they're running their own business. They're rushed off their feet, they never get any time to spend with their friends or their family. They're feeling guilty about the fact they're working 10 hours a day, and they're missing the kids growing up and all that kind of stuff. Yeah. So I've created 10 ways to improve your time management or work more efficiently. Nine of those tips will have nothing to do with having a VA and one of them would be about having a VA. Obviously, this tip is of interest to you. Give me a call, because I can talk to you about that. You make all the other things, things that you can't possibly sell them yourself, because then it stops it being a sales pitch. It’s like adding value and being useful.

Louisa: Well, it's like my soon-to-be four year old son, I give him options  based on what I want them to be, but they sounded appealing to him. And it's like you almost manipulate the conversation a little bit in the game but, it's sowing the seeds and making him think okay, oh, yeah, that's like my idea now. So yeah, I'm buying into it, which I said, Go and do this.

David Miles: I can see a book about parenting by manipulation. I think it could be a bestseller.

Louisa: Anyway, we've got a question from Jen. “If you're just starting out a few collabs, what would you suggest is a good starting budget? I know this is kind of like asking, how long is a piece of string?” 

David Miles: I was going to ask back, how long is that piece of string you've got there? It will vary a lot depending on your sector. Because obviously, as we said, in some sectors, the cost per click is quite high. In others, it's quite low. Also, it depends on you know, the profit margins in the product or service you're selling. Because it’s supposed you're selling a high ticket service of some sort, where, you know, you typically charge your client, say, £1,000. And, and you make £500 profit on that, for example. If you go out with an initial test budget on Google Ads of £250, that's not enough to test for that kind of thing, because you might spend your whole £250 and get nothing. Yeah, it doesn't mean it hasn't worked. Because it might be if you've spent another £100, you've got that £1,000 client who made 500 profit and yesterday spent 350. So it will vary depending on that. I mean, if I'm asked about a sort of ballpark, I say don't start with less than 500 a month.The more important thing is, don't try and tell if you've got a small budget initially and that's fine, it will work with a small initial budget. Don't try and advertise on too many different terms all at once. So for example, it take the extreme if you've got an e commerce website selling 100 different products, and you only want to start off with £500 a month, fine, but just pick two or three products to test with that £500 budget and pick ones where you know you've got a decent profit margin and there's not loads of other people selling the same thing. Or, you know, if you are if you're a VA, then just pick one type of client and just, you know, just run a campaign for his virtual assistant for dentists, or something that you already have a specialism in and several clients in, because that will make your test budget go further, rather than trying to spread it so thinly, that it's not got a chance of working.

Louisa: And would you say there's like a minimum with like the test period of time, you should try it for like, say, a minimum of three months to see what works, what doesn't work before you kind of start to refine it? 

David Miles: Again, it depends a bit on your sales cycle, you say. So, you know, with the kind of stuff that I do, it typically can be, you know, five to six months before somebody first sees one of my adverts somewhere ready to actually sign on the dotted line and work with me. You know, I would have to test that for a lot longer before I can say for sure it worked or didn't work. Yeah, at the other end of the spectrum, if you are someone who if you're selling pens, you know, whether it's a £1 biro or something, and it's not a big purchasing decision, you're going to know pretty quickly whether your ads are working or not. 

Louisa: That makes sense. Matt is back with his techie questions. “There used to be rumors of PPC affecting search rankings, any truth in this?”

David Miles: Not any sort of actual published definite truth or any admission from Google, but it affects it. I mean, what we're talking about here, I'm assuming, is that there have been rumors over the years that if you advertise on Google, it will also help your organic rankings as well. I've never seen any direct evidence of that myself. And also, it's counterintuitive, because if Google has got someone who is paying them money every month to run Google Ads, why would Google reward them for that by pushing them up the organic rankings, because then there's more chance that the person will stop advertising because they're now high on the organic rankings.

Where there is a definite correlation, though, is that if you are already on page one of Google in the organic search results for whatever search term it is. Very often, that's the point at which people think I will stop running Google Ads. Now, that's either a mistake, because if you carry on running Google Ads in that situation, you're going to be on Google Page one twice. Well, once in the ads, and once in the organics, more, john, someone's going to click you. But also, if your Google Ads is working and giving a positive return on investment, why would you stop? You know, if for every £5 you spend on Google Ads, you get £10 back? Why would you not keep finding new five pound notes to feed that machine with? The really interesting one, basically, there's a lot of psychology and how people behave online. And that's the bit that personally, I find the most interesting is, it's been shown that if you are if you are in the Google Ads results, and to be organics, there'll be a lot of people who see you in the Google Ads results, they don't click on you there, because they're still scanning down the page or one of those, I don't click on the ads people. And then they keep scanning the page, and they see you in the organics. Now that means that's now the second time they've seen you in the space of a few seconds. So, subconsciously it was a reinforcement effect there. It increases the chance that they're going to click on that organic result. And it has been shown that in those kinds of scenarios, when people stop advertising on Google, it also reduces the number of clicks they get on that organic result as well. 

Louisa: So that makes sense as well, because it's almost like I mean, we were just chatting briefly about LinkedIn before we went live and talking about content creation because people just want those quick results overnight. And it's almost like I often say where people will post lots, and then they stop because they become busy. And then it's like, okay, they lose a client or something happens, the project ends, and they return to LinkedIn, and they expect the same amount of support and interest to be the same. Even though you haven't touched it for like two or three months. It's like, it's not gonna happen. You need to be consistent. 

David Miles: So many people aren't, because either they expect instant results. And when they haven't landed a million pound client in a week of doing this stuff. They give up. We just get busy. I mean, I'm getting to later on today, I'm going to be recording a short video review of someone's website, and it’s a recruitment consultant. One of the things I'm going to be saying in that video is, I can pretty much guarantee I know what your New Year's resolutions are, every year. Every year, your New Year's resolution is to blog. When you look back at his blog, every January, there's three or four blog posts, and then nothing till August, where there's not one post there will probably be when he's quiet in the summer, and then three more in January. That's not it doesn't work like that. 

Louisa: And that happens with so many people, doesn't it? They have the best intentions and they're like this is gonna happen, you know, I'm, I'm ready to go COVID I'm going back to work and my kids have gone back to school and when I focus on this, and then what will happen is we'll just let it drift off. Jen said thank you for the response. “Can you explain what the Google quality score is? What is the Google quality score?”

David Miles: We're getting very techie now. You obviously feel the audience is sufficiently warmed up now. Right? If the problem is what we're doing on Zoom, you can't see the confused faces if this. If this is too much to say, right. You'll have to react for the audience and look, look really confused, because this is going wrong. So quality score.I talked to anyone about the fact that it's an auction, and basically, you know, the, the more someone bids, the higher up, they'll appear, you know. It's not actually as simple as that. It was in the very early days of pay per click advertising. And I'm when I say the early days, I'm talking pre Google, because Google were not the first to do this. Like most things, they came along, after everyone else had tried it by launching it as a search engine in the late 90s, 98, I think. They launched Google Ads in 2000. I think maybe it didn't come to the UK till 2001. But it's about them. But prior to them, there were people like my Yahoo was still around, you know, I know all the other search engines like Ours, AltaVista.

But, you know, certainly Yahoo, we're doing pay per click advertising before Google, before Google existed. And the way that it worked, there was very simply the more you bid, the higher up, you'll appear. Now that Google came along, they thought that that's too simplistic. And also, it means that basically, the big companies will always outperform the small businesses because I've got deeper pockets, it also means that actually, you could get to the top of the ads, just by having lots of money, even if your advert was rubbish. And you know and wasn't relevant to what people were searching for. Well, and also, he opened it up to let's say for example, you're on an internet site, and that injury lawyer works. I'm in an industry where it's £20 a click, and I don't want to pay £20. I could bid on something that is really popular at the same time as a craze, like I know, fidget spinners. Then as the injury lawyer, I could bid on the keyword fidget spinners, and have my advert appear. And it's not at all relevant to that search term. But some people will click it anyway, because it's there. And I might pick up some business from that now, but I'm already paying, you know, a pound a click or whatever. Now Google clued in what that happening because a bit kind of cheating the system, but also it means then people will say that Google search results are rubbish, because I searched for a fidget spinner when I got an injury lawyer. So they introduced this concept of quality. So what they do is every keyword in your account that you're bidding on, is given a quality score from one to 10, with 10 being the best. And what Google does to decide which ads to show, and in which order, it uses a combination of how much you're bidding, and what your quality score.If you and I have both virtual assistants, and we're both bidding on that keyword as a virtual assistant for dentists, you might maybe you're bidding £2 and I’m bidding £1. If I've got a quality score of say, 10. And you've got a quality score of two, even though you're bidding more than me, I'll probably appear higher up than you will. So that's why Google Ads can actually work for small businesses, because it's not just about who's got the most money. It's about who puts the most effort into developing a good quality score. How to get a good quality score? Well, the main factors in it are, how relevant is your advert to the keyword? If I'm the reason I might have a better quality score in that example is maybe my keep my advert says “virtual assistant for dental practices or for dentists.” Whereas yours just says, “virtual assistant.” I've made my adverts specific. I mean, I need lots of different adverts, but that's fine. You can have lots of different ads. And you can say to Google, I want this ad to go with these keywords and this ad to go with these ones. Also, the other thing that affects the quality score is what the click through rate of your ad is, in other words, how often it gets clicked, versus how often it shows the more popular your ad is, the more its quality score is. So again, if I'm saying number three in the ads, but my ad is really well written, and has lots of benefits in it and talks about the outcomes or uses the customer language rather, or anything like that. If I get a higher click through rate than the guy's at number one, that will increase my quality score and I could actually move up and overtake them. Then the third major thing is how relevant your landing page on your website is. Again, using that VA for dentists example. To do the job properly, I would want to make sure that I sent people to a landing page on my site that purely talked about the VA services I provided for dentists who had dentist case studies. So basically you're being rewarded at every step of the way, for giving the searcher what they're actually looking for. If people want to know the actual math behind all that, there is a quite an in depth article about it on my website, they can go and go and look at having trouble sleeping or whatever. But that's the kind of high level overview of it. But the big takeaway from it is, it's not just about who's got the most money, because Google has to from Google's point of view, they have to strike a balance. Certainly, if they could take the easy route, just go, we'll just sell to the highest bidder. That's not a long term strategy, because then their search results become crap. Then people stop using Google, and then they start not making any money. So they've got to balance the interests of their pocket, versus the interest of the searcher and the interest of the advertiser and try to keep more in balance. And that's basically what the quality score system does.

Louisa: What's the difference between a CPM, CPC, and CPV bid in? Firstly, what are those abbreviations mean?

David Miles: CPC is the one we've been talking about, all the way up to now, Cost Per Click. That's where you're paying each time your ad is clicked, rather than anything else. Within certain parts of Google, because Google Ads isn't just about ads appearing at the top of the Google search results. Google Ads also drive something called the Display Network, which is where you see ads on third party websites.You might be browsing your local newspapers website, and you'll see ads. They're powered by Google, because Google owns YouTube, Google Ads also drives all the advertising on YouTube as well. So, CPC is your cost per click. CPV is Cost Per View. That applies when you're doing video advertising on YouTube, you are the ads that appear at the start, or in the middle of a thing you actually want to watch. CPM, that's an age old expression from the you know, the pre digital days, Cost Per Mil. That's a cost per 1000 impressions. So that is where if you want to, you can display ads, pay for the impressions, your ad gets run the clicks, it's not normally what I recommend doing, it's normally something you'd only really do if you're just going after brand awareness. Ads because most of the clients I work with are smaller businesses who brand awareness as a bit of a luxury item for them. They're more interested in actual sales. So from what you've said about your audience here, I would imagine that CPM probably wouldn't be something they'd be advised to be doing. 

Louisa: Now, it makes sense. “Which sectors do you think can benefit most from this form of marketing?”

David Miles: It can really work for any sector, because people will look on Google for absolutely anything. I would say there are sectors where it's more difficult. It's more difficult in the e-commerce world, for example, because you've got a lot of different products to advertise, the margins are generally smaller, your competition is going to be, you know, people like Tesco or Amazon, you know, whatever. It's easier, I think, in the service based sectors. But, I've seen it work for people. I remember, when I used to run public training courses, and we'd have like, you know, 10 or 20, people come on a Google Ads course, and they're all from different businesses. I've literally trained, you know, everything from breweries,  accountants, estate agents, someone who had a website selling bondage equipment. That was what was found in the keyboard brainstorming session when I put them into pairs to do that. So anything really.

Louisa: With this thing about brainstorming, that's probably a good thing when someone's first starting to think about the keywords of Nelson's different tools for is to almost do a brainstorm session as well. What are those kinds of keywords? What is it that attracts people to them? Just to get themselves thinking?

David Miles: And really focus on trying to make it the more specific ones. If you say to a roomful of people, right, you're thinking you're going on holiday what you're going to Google for, they'll probably say cheap holidays or cheap flights. That’s probably the first thing they'll search for but they won't book a holiday at that point or they're very unlikely to because they're at that early research phase in the keyword funnel. The clever advertiser would say, right let's you know leave it to the likes of God what travel agents are still around but Thomas Cook are they still around now? Anyway, let's leave it to the big travel agents to bid on things that aren't cheap holidays. But as a small advertiser, I'm going to wait until the person has worked out what kind of holiday they want. And I'm going to bid on a cheap holiday in madore. doin, yeah. And there'll only be a smaller number of searches for that. But the people who do search for it are far more likely to be buyers, and the person who searches for cheap holidays. And you can get down below the search issue, because obviously, if you're selling g holidays in the middle, there's lots of other kinds of specific holidays you're selling. There are different keywords between them. Though each one only gets us more episodes between them, you'll still get a decent search volume, but you're probably paying less for each click, and you're getting a warmer prospect coming to your website. The reason a lot of people have a bad view of Google Ads is very often because they've rushed in and done it themselves and followed all of Google's very helpful setup wizard. And Google's very helpful setup wizard. With all its nice, easy default settings will normally put more money in Google's pocket than in yours. So I'm not saying by any stretch of the imagination that everyone needs to go out and engage someone like me or go work for an agency. But at the very least, do a bit of reading up and a bit of learning before you rush in. You know, there are. In fact, if you do nothing else, go to my website and download my free guide to setting up your first Google Ads campaign because at least that will stop you making the most horrendous errors. 

Louisa: Now it sounds like it's a very good blog and lots of useful information on your website as well. What are the absolute no-no's of Google Ads? 

David Miles: If someone else wants to audit their Google Ads account, then I would say I can normally guarantee what the five errors are I'm going to say in every account if they're kind of just made up themselves. Firstly, their targeting will be off. In other words, they will be bidding on things like cheap holidays, rather than the more specific details. Yeah, they won't have a conversion tracking setup, that's a big thing. You can't improve what you can't measure as that, you know, As the old saying goes, and the things within Google as you can measure, you can actually if you set up the conversion tracking, you can see which keywords bring your sales or leads and which ones don't, which adverts do and don't and when obviously you can start pumping more money into the ones that work and turning off the ones that don't. But without conversion tracking, you can't you can't do any of that. Also, badly written adverts, you know adverts or just follow facts and features rather than rather than benefits. Then, the other big thing is not having your website sorted first. That's probably a lot that's not directly a Google Ads mistake. It's a really copier, it will have a big effect on it. You wouldn't if you had a shop on the high street where you hadn't finished putting up all the shelves, or there was rubbish strewn all over the floor. You'd be ill advised to at that point, start running advertising campaigns to send people to your shop. People do that with Google ads .Facebook Ads through a website that's just never going to convert. Getting people from Google Ads to guide you to your website is the relatively easy bit. The hard bit is making that website. Get them to take the desired action. 

Louisa: It all needs to flow nicely. It's not going to pull together. I guess that makes perfect sense. In the meantime, how and where can people find you? 

David Miles: Well, the website is the PPC machine code in the UK. You can find me on Twitter at David miles. I'm on LinkedIn, the Google AdWords guy on there. If there are any, any people listening in financial services, mortgage brokers, ifas, whatever. I have a private Facebook group just for you guys, with lots of tips and advice on improving your marketing and that's at 

Louisa: Awesome. Well, maybe after this, you can email and leave all the details and then I can kind of add them to the comment section. But thank you so much isn't like there are any more questions, but I think we've covered quite a lot. It's been really really, really interesting. So thank you so much for your time today. 

David Miles: Well, thanks for having me.

Louisa:  And as I say if you send me the information, I can add it. I know lots of people are planning to watch this on replay and say thank you so much.


  • "One of the things to making it work well for your business, is not to go after the really obvious keywords, because they'll have everyone bidding on them and at higher prices, to try and find those less common keywords that all your competitors won't necessarily have thought of, because they'll get lower cost per click."
  • "At the other end of the spectrum, if you are someone who if you're selling pens, you know, whether it's a £1 biro or something, and it's not a big purchasing decision, you're going to know pretty quickly whether your ads are working or not."
  • "Why would Google reward them for that by pushing them up the organic rankings, because then there's more chance that the person will stop advertising because they're now high on the organic rankings, where there is a definite correlation."
  • "So they introduced this concept of quality. So what they do is every keyword in your account that you're bidding on, is given a quality score from one to 10, with 10 being the best. And what Google does to decide which ads to show, and in which order, it uses a combination of how much you're bidding, and what your quality score."

Want to learn how you can use Google Ads to get ten new mortgage clients in the next ten weeks?

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

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