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P.P.C. What type of contextual advertising is suitable for solving your problems?

Alya Gorelykova
CMO of Sprava Agency
Google Ads
17 Min read
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What is contextual advertising

Contextual advertising is the very ads (text, graphics, video) that are shown to users in accordance with their search queries, interests, or even behavior on the Internet.

Contextual advertising is shown in search engines (Google), on various websites, in mobile applications. In fact, by the term "contextual advertising" people mean the main feature that the main service for advertising on the Internet have - Google Ads.

What are the types of contextual advertising

Campaigns in Google ADS are based on your goals and determine the format and location of your ads. Below are the different types of campaigns that will help your business achieve the results you want.

You can find more details in Google Help.

Search Network Advertising

Advertisements in Google search.

Such ads occupy places above and below organic results, are necessarily marked as ads and match the specified search query.

search results of advertising on request “laser hair removal Kyiv”

They are labeled "Advertising" on search results pages and may be labeled "Ads by Google" on partner sites. Such ads often show extensions - additional information about the company, address or phone number, prices, quick links to go to the site, etc.

Expanded text ads. are visible in search results. They have three title fields (up to 30 characters each) and two description fields of 90 characters each. The first two headings are required. The third field can be used as a title, or you can simply include more text in your ad. Headings are displayed next to each other and are separated by a vertical bar ("|").

An example of setting up contextual advertising in SPRAVA company

On devices with small screens, the second heading may wrap to the next line. The third title appears more frequently on widescreen mobile devices.

This type of campaign is intended for users with formed demand who understand what product or service they are looking for and are interested in information about such a product right now.

On devices with small screens, the second heading may wrap to the next line. The third title appears more frequently on widescreen mobile devices.

This type of campaign is intended for users with formed demand who understand what product or service they are looking for and are interested in information about such a product right now.

Benefits of Google Search Ads:

  • works with already formed demand
  • shown to those users who are interested in this offer now
  • the opportunity to reveal the benefits of your offer in the ad
  • clear target audience

Search ads should be used if:

  • there is a formed demand for your product or service (in search engines, users are looking for your product)
  • the regional nature of such demand is clear
  • you have a portrait of your potential buyer
  • your site is ready to be visited by such potential buyers

Shopping ads

One of the types of advertising in Google search is advertisements - this is an ad with information about a product that contains its image, name and price, as well as a link to your store. Product data is stored in the associated Google Merchant Center account.

The benefits of Shopping ads are the same as search ads:

  • a potential buyer sees not just a text ad, but also: a photo, description, price of the product, a link to the product page on your website
  • each product is presented in a separate ad
  • a potential buyer gets acquainted with your product on the google website, before going to your online store
  • the cost of one click for such an ad is usually lower than the cost of clicking on a simple search ad

Shopping ads are used if:

  • you sell physical goods (for example, shopping ads cannot be used to sell services)
  • your site meets Google's requirements for such ads (on-line payment is set up, delivery, return and warranty conditions are specified, etc.), you can read more about the rules here;
  • it is technically possible to generate a feed - a template file with all the information about the online store, its structure and products.

Shopping ads appear in Google Shopping search results. Users will see detailed information about your products and services without clicking on the links.

Use Shopping ads to promote the products you sell, drive traffic to your physical and online stores, and attract customers.

Benefits of shopping campaigns

More promising clients. By providing product information directly in your ads, you can attract more users to your site who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Let's say Maria enters the search term "aquarium" into Google. Shopping ads may appear on the results page. She immediately sees photos of aquariums and their prices, which helps her make a choice. Thus, when Maria clicks on the ad, she has a fairly clear idea of the product. She went further down the conversion path than many other website visitors.

Ease of controls. The system chooses which search queries to show Shopping ads based on the product attributes you set in the Merchant Center data feed, not keywords. You can view your store's inventory right in Google Ads, create product groups, and set bids for them.

Wider coverage. In the search results, the user may see several of your shopping ads, as well as text ads, if they match the query. This allows you to double the reach of potential buyers.

Extensive reporting capabilities. You can view ad performance statistics at any level of detail. For example, to see how many clicks an ad for a particular brand in your inventory received, simply filter the list. You do not need to create separate product groups for this. You can also view market competition data for specific product ads, and the Bid Simulator and impression share can help you identify opportunities to optimize your campaigns.

Where are your ads shown?

Shopping ads may appear on the following resources:

Shopping Tab in Google Search

Shopping tab in Google Search (selected countries).

Google search partner sites (if you enabled them in your campaign settings).

Product and text ads can be shown together so that the user sees information about all the products that match his request. This helps the client make a choice before going to the site, and you - to attract a prospective buyer.

example of displaying a block of contextual advertising in search results

Google Search (next to search results, but separate from text ads) and Google Images

Google Display Network

The Google Display Network, which includes YouTube, Gmail, and Google Recommendations.

Display ads and advertising on the Google Display Network

Ads are shown not in search results, but on the pages of Google partner sites, including Gmail and Youtube, in accordance with the interests of a particular Internet user and his search history.

Ads can be text (consisting of only words), image (banners with images), multimedia (banners with animation), and video.

The peculiarity of this type of advertising is the flexibility of setting the audience to which we will show such an advertisement:

  • we can use “similar audiences” - audiences that are similar to your website visitors, you can read more about similar audiences here;
  • use of remarketing lists (audiences of Internet users who have already visited your site or a specific page of the site).

In addition, you can choose where to show your ads:

  • If you select a display by topic and keywords, then based on these data, sites that are most suitable for displaying your ad will be automatically selected
  • you can choose where to show your ads by choosing the platforms for displaying
  • you can also use remarketing, gather potential buyers into groups and show them your ads on the sites visited by members of such a group

Surely you have noticed: once you ask Google which residential complex is good for buying an apartment in Kyiv, and on various sites you will see ads with such offers.

Display Network ads are visible to 90% of users and reach more than two million sites and apps. Ads are shown alongside content that is related to your company or customer interests.

Benefits of Google Display Ads

  • ease of launch - you do not need to involve a designer, Google ADS capabilities are often enough;
  • you can choose where and to whom to show your ads;
  • display ads are great for brand promotion and demand generation.

Type of business they are suitable for. Display network campaigns are suitable for informing about a product, increasing reach, generating interest in a brand, and upselling. Campaigns on the Google Display Network help build brand awareness and engagement, and drive sales. If you want to expand your online reach and reach users with special interests, choose a Display Network campaign. Such campaigns are suitable for online stores, cafes and restaurants, and sports complexes.

Not suitable types of business. Display campaigns are not suitable for those types of businesses where a product or service is needed right now and there is no time to make a decision. For example: taxi search, tow truck services.

Video advertising

You can use video ad formats such as In-Stream, Video Discovery, Non-skippable In-Stream, Out-Stream, and Intro Ads. Video Discovery ads can only appear on YouTube.

In-stream ads appear before, after, and during video playback on YouTube and on Display Network websites, games, and apps. In addition, they can be displayed on other sites that have built-in YouTube players. The user can skip the ad 5 seconds after the start.

Video Discovery ads are only shown on YouTube while searching and browsing content. The appearance of such ads depends on the sizes and formats supported by the publisher's resources. If the user clicks on the video icon, it will be shown on the channel page or YouTube watch page.

Out-Stream ads are shown on partner sites. This format was developed specifically for mobile devices, so that users can start video playback with the touch of a finger. Out-stream ads help build brand awareness through a wide reach of resources.

Non-skippable in-stream ads allow you to show the entire ad message. Their duration should not exceed 15 seconds, as users cannot stop browsing.

YouTube ad example

Splash ads are short videos that allow you to increase your reach and build brand awareness. Such an announcement lasts a maximum of 6 seconds, the user cannot skip it.

Benefits of a Google Video Campaign

Works since launch. Search campaigns start working the moment you launch them. Immediately after the launch, your ads are shown to interested users, users click on your ads and become buyers.

Fast result. Asking yourself which is better - contextual advertising or SEO, is not entirely correct: these are different jobs, and they sometimes have radically different principles. If you need sales “yesterday”, then you need to launch advertising campaigns.

The speed of the result is one of the critical differences between CA and SEO: if search engine optimization involves a delayed result, then from CA ads you get visits, calls and sales immediately. In order to please the search engines, the site needs not only relevant content, but also the elimination of technical errors, improving usability, creating an authoritative link profile, developing high behavioral indicators, and so on - all this takes time to do.

Of course, there are special requirements for CA ads, and developing campaigns also requires knowledge and effort to set them up competently and effectively (otherwise the money will simply fly into the pipe), but launching a campaign is faster than making the site comprehensively attractive to search engines.

Transparency and clarity of payment. You always know what you pay for (for traffic, for clicks, for impressions), and the payments are absolutely transparent. You know the rate, you know the cost per click, you choose the traffic you want to receive from the ad, and you allocate the amount for the advertising budget.

Efficiency mark. The Google AdWords advertising system has detailed statistics for all campaigns, as well as the Google Analytics system, which allows you to analyze the results of campaigns up to the user's request and the site from which the product or service was purchased. For example, if the goal of the campaign is "Call" (the user who clicked on the ad should call you), then the analytics will show how many such targeted visits were made (or how many users called the number indicated on the site):

Tracking Campaign Goals in Google Analytics

You can evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns not only by economic, but also by behavioral indicators - for example, CTR, thanks to which you can understand which ads users like the most and from which advertising platforms they most often go to your site.

Wide coverage. Contextual advertising is advertising for a determined and interested audience, which, it would seem, should reduce coverage, but due to the versatility of the sites where ads are placed (Google Display Network), you can attract users not only from search results.

Target audience selection. As an advertiser, you yourself determine who and where to show ads. There are a lot of filters in the CA setup and management systems that help to bring the target audience closer to 100%. For example, you can always indicate the city where the user should be from, his age, the language in which the request is entered, and even the type of device.

There are also cons

Relatively expensive. In the search network, the first 4 positions are occupied by contextual advertising, then comes organic search results (shareware). The block with contextual advertising has the highest percentage of clickability, since it is higher and most attractive to the user (ads with extensions - descriptions for quick links can be shown in the 1st position, and soon there will be stencils in which will be shown ads with pictures, prices, etc.).

But high rates cost a pretty penny: you have to pay for each click, and in some highly competitive topics, the cost of a click is very high.

Difficult to set up and need regular maintenance. Yes, campaigns can be set up and run by one person - a contextual advertising specialist, and he does not need programmers, optimizers and copywriters. But this does not mean that setting up the CA is easy. Because working on an advertising campaign includes:

  1. developing a strategy (how to distribute requests among campaigns, how many and what campaigns will be, create a display schedule);
  2. collecting a semantic core, grouping requests and selecting negative keywords to cut off inappropriate traffic;
  3. writing selling headlines and texts, affixing utm-tags, clarifications, etc.;
  4. uploading campaigns to your account and setting up, adding bid adjustments;
  5. campaign management (analysis of campaign statistics, daily bid adjustments, adding negative keywords, removing ineffective phrases from campaigns, adding new phrases, deleting ineffective sites).

High competition in some areas. There are a number of topics where there are much more competitors than in others (for example, accounting and legal services, flower business). Moreover, add the fact that the CPC is formed according to the results of the auction and the first position is occupied by an ad, for which the advertiser pays the maximum bid for a click. Therefore, a lot of competitors means not only extremely high requirements for the quality and relevance of ads, but also high bids and CPCs.

Short term. This is the payoff for instant launch and quick results. As soon as the button is turned off, as soon as the budget runs out, the campaign stops working.

For such a tool as contextual advertising, the advantages and disadvantages are equally important, since even one plus may be enough to agree to the maintenance, and one minus to refuse and order SEO in return.

Contextual advertising will be useful in almost every area of ​​business and services. If you are selling something, you know exactly how potential customers can search for your product or service - then you can use Pay Per Click advertising as an effective tool to increase sales

What influences the position of each particular advertisement?

In fact, customers are interested in this: does the creativity, competence and expertise of a contextual advertising specialist affect the position? After all, the higher the ad is shown, the greater the chance that it will go to the site.

Depending on the competition in the niche, Google allocates for context from 1 to 4 places at the beginning of the search results page and from 1 to 3 at its end. The position of your ad is determined by a number of factors that are taken into account when setting up an advertising campaign. The most important of them are the relevance and attractiveness of the ad to the user and the search query, higher cost per click than competitors, and the quality of the page where the ad leads to: ad-relevant content, whether the landing page is optimized, page loading speed, etc.

Here are a few factors that affect your ad's position in the SERPs:

Search system

Google talks about six factors influencing ad rank:

  • the cost per click that you are willing to pay for an impression for this query
  • ad quality
  • landing page quality
  • ad rating
  • competition that exists in the auction for a given query
  • search and display conditions
  • choice of used extensions and ad format

The skill and experience of a contextual advertising specialist affects:

  • price of one visit to the site
  • the number of received transitions from the search engine to the site
  • the quality of the audience that comes to the site from the search engine
  • number of sales from the site
  • cost per sale

Landing page quality affects:

  • the cost of one transition to such a page from a search engine
  • the number of sales on this page you can get a checklist of what should be on your landing page here

Not obvious: the search engine optimization of a landing page affects the effectiveness of your advertising channels, since Google takes this parameter into account when assessing the quality of landing pages. You can see what you need to pay attention to when optimizing here.

Alya Gorelykova
CMO of Sprava Agency
Google Ads
17 Min read
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