We hope you enjoy reading the MEANit blog with all the guides and tips. If you want our team to help with your web presence click here

The articles here will give you everything you need to plan, design, develop, market and maintain your website, if you have the time required – Enjoy.

Advertising with Google Ads

Supposedly over 60% of searches by prospective shoppers, result in one of the top three Ads boxes being clicked. It is simple to use Google Ads and just takes some time to set up and then to monitor its performance. You can do the advertising with Google Ads yourself, if you are curious and have the time. Or you can just pay someone to do it. It can be very cost effective if done right. And very expensive if done badly.

Introduction to Advertising with Google Ads

Google Ads, previously known as Google Adwords, is a complex platform. Many people who sign up to Google Ads Manager enter a keyword or key term, accept all the suggestions, and then broad match suggestions from Google. When they add a credit card to the account and add the keywords, they think that enquiries or sales will start coming through the door. In other words, it’s almost like people think if I pay this tax to Google then I will get business. However, that is not the way it works. It is far more complicated than that. If it was that easy any idiot with money would be doing it.

The truth is a lot of people with more money than sense are using Google Ads campaigns poorly. As a result, Google is making a fortune because of the lack of understanding. Also, there are people who are so desperate for sales that all of their money will go into the Google Ads campaigns. Or worse still, they build the campaign on their credit card thinking that they will pay off the credit card when get loads of sales and make loads of money eventually from their Ads campaign. It can, however, be extremely expensive to make mistakes or use this platform poorly.

Either learn how to use it well yourself or pay someone competent to do it for you. There is no simple way of saying, “I’ve got loads of cash, so send me the customers”. Although plenty of companies do use Ads to generate sales this way, many of the sales are not profitable. Some companies even lose money on a sale, in order to increase customer acquisition. They hope that the LTV or Lifetime value of the new customer ensures that they make a profit eventually.

Next Steps when Advertising with Google Ads

Firstly, you can go to Google Ads set up an account and place an advert ‘Campaign’. You will need to set up a Gmail account and use a Credit Card to pay for the costs of all ads clicked. Then add your Campaign content as in –

Websites for Sale 5% off Click here or Call 01 969 6060  www.meanit.ie.

You get 4 lines. 1. Headline 25 characters max (soon to be 30), 2. Description Line 1 35 characters (soon to be 80), Description Line 1 35 characters, and 4. URL or website name www.meanit.ieadvertising with google ads Add extensions to add a line for Location, Sitelinks Call or Social and soon Coupons.

Ideally, you will have a website so that people can click through to a Landing page for more information on specific offers. Failing that, just include the phone number in the short advert. When placing your ad, you get loads of choices to allow you adjust the ad to be seen by your own Target market. You can advertise in Search & Display Networks or in Search only (Google generated search engine results pages or SERPs) or in Network only (Googles network of partner websites where the ads appear). You can advertise to pc computers as in Desktop or mobile as in smartphone or Tablets, in any or all countries, in specific cities or counties, by age, sex, or interest. Start small and work out from there when you get some success.

We could advertise in Letterkenny which is our town or Donegal which is our county and only for website design or whichever keywords we think make sense. We can use the Google Keyword planned in Adwords to see how many people search on average each month for ‘website design’ in Letterkenny or County Donegal. The shorter the term, the more competitive the space will be. So “Web Design” will cost more than  “Web Design Donegal”. And  “Web Design” will get a lot more clicks. So it will cost a lot more. Make sure that if someone living a long way away, will actually want to find your website. Otherwise, the clicks will cost a lot, just to get people who do not want you, due to proximity. Plus your quality score or ad rank will drop, if people click an ad, get to your website and then bounce away again.

Settings when advertising with Google Ads
There is a wealth of settings options available. Like most Google interfaces, the whole platform is complex and not very intuitive. However, you can learn just enough to do what you have to do. Or you can get your head around what you want to achieve and then pay someone competent to manage the settings for you. You can choose to have your ads appear in the search network only or it can also appear in the Display Network, which is where Google ads appear on so many other websites. These partner sites make some cents when an ad is clicked, when it appears in their website. Online newspapers often have these ads appearing. They have high traffic, so if their audience clicks the Google ads, then they get a few cents every time.

Landing Page when advertising with Google Ads
It is a good idea to create a landing page on your website to allow you see when Google Ads bring paid traffic to your website, if that is possible for you to do. Sometimes, you will have more than one page, which makes it a bit more challenging, but it is not usually a big deal either. Have a dedicated landing page for each campaign, rather than just having people click and land on your home page, which is harder to measure and track. Add the landing page url such as https://meanit.ie/google-ads-landing-page/ in to Settings in your Ads Campaign. You can set the url in the ad to look like something else. In our case it is set to https://meanit.ie/Wordpress/websites

You can set locations for this ad, so we have a Campaign called Donegal and we set the location to just County Donegal. This campaign is to track how we do with only potential Donegal clients. We can create a different Campaign for Dublin or one for Derry or Sligo or we could go Ireland. When you set locations be realistic about how far away you can travel or whether people 400 kilometres will actually deal with you.

Price Per Click and Budget
You can set the max price or cost per Click CPC, but Google will tell you how much that ad will cost per click to be ranked on the first page or best spots on page 1 – it is an Auction. Forget about being number 1, try being number 3 for a while and work your way up as you see how much it will cost you. You can set a Daily budget or Lifetime budget for the advert. The lower you set the Click maximum the less chance of being seen (impressions). You can set your max CPC for each keyword or key term. Google will give you the lowest price it takes to win each auction.

You need to create the Keywords list – these are the words, that which when searched, will make your ad appear. We would use phrases like “Web Design Letterkenny” or  “Web Design Donegal” or “Website Support service” rather than single words like “web” or even short terms like “web design” which would be very competitive. So we choose donegal+website+design to create a term. Google will even suggest Keywords based on your advert, so by all means use any that make good sense and ignore the ones that do not.

Initially keep it pretty tight to find out what works. You can also add Labels to help group or filter your ads. You can select as many Keywords or Key terms as you like and likewise set as many Negative keywords or terms as you like too. Use obvious ones such as jobs so that you do not have unwanted attention from jobseekers.

Choosing the right keywords is crucial to receiving insights. If you fail to chose terms that people actually search, then you will, as a result, fail to receive views and “clicks”. In the end, the better the keyword, the more business you will attract.

You can choose to have ads seen by age, so 18-24 or 25-34 up to 65+ which might be handy if you are targeting a specific age group.

Google owns Youtube so you can have your ads run there as well as in Search. Plus you can have your ads seen anywhere that Google Ads appear in its Network, such as online news outlets etc.

You can set a goal, so in our case it is more website visits, but it could be to get signups or telephone calls.

Time and Date
You can set your ads to run for specific times of the day such as 8.00 am to 8.00 pm in our case and particular days of the week and run within certain date parameters. This is useful if you are running an ad for Christmas or Monday to Friday only. You may choose to have ads stopped when you are away on holidays or when the office is closed.

You may choose to be seen on Desktop, Tablet or Mobile or all three. If your website was not responsive, you might choose not to be found by mobile users. Likewise your website may not deliver well on tablet, so you might decide to exclude tablet users. Google uses Cookies on Desktop and Maids on mobile devices. Mobile Ad Identifies are the cookies of the mobile device world.

When you log in to your Google account you can visit your Adwords page and see how your Campaigns are going. The number of times the ad appeared , the number of times it was clicked and what it is all costing per click and in total. Allow one or two hours to get it all set up the first time. Then review it hourly the first day and daily for a few days then once a week. This ensures you are not spending needlessly. People who get any of the settings wrong regularly get a nasty surprise on their credit card statement when they find they spent hundreds or thousands of Euros. Just because their settings were incorrect.

Google Ads Performance Planner
Performance Planner is a tool that lets you create plans for your advertising spend, and see how changes to campaigns might affect key metrics and overall performance. Using Performance Planner, you can:
– See forecasts for your campaigns.
– Explore outcomes by adjusting campaign settings.
– Understand opportunities in seasonal periods.
– Manage budgets across accounts and campaigns.
For more details see HERE.

Google Ads Guides

Google have a short introduction guide at Google ads guide https://ads.google.com/home/resources/how-to-setup-googleads-a-checklist/
When you are ready, follow these instructions https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6366720?hl=en

They have a few help videos too at https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/2375497?hl=en

You can get the full Google Ads guide here  http://www.google.ie/ads/#subid=ie-en-ha-aw-bkhp0~19263677815

Tip: Remember to see Google Places or Google My Business to get seen in Google Search it is FREE and make sure that your website is well optimised to get found see https://meanit.ie/digital-marketing-tips/what-is-seo 

Google changes mobile advert structure:

It was always going to be just a matter of time before we find out what Google intended to do with all the white space in the SERPs which appeared early in 2016. They have been playing about with local search to improve the results. Now that they think they know what they are doing they are soon to offer us the benefits. This will allow advertisers pay for promoted pins on maps, so you can be seen in results. Advertisers will be able to use Google maps to advertise. Also we can pay to have our result highlighted on the page. And the text in Adwords will be more prominent with the 25 character headline being upped to 30 characters. The description will have 80 characters in a block instead of 35 spaced over several lines.

Amazingly, tests have proven that giving more information to people increases the likelihood of a click through. Of course, that will result in less results on the page at least until Google moves to a single scrolling page rather than multiple individual 10 result pages – personal prediction only.

Mobile Pricing

It also looks as if Google is going to increase the price of mobile advertising which is growing much faster than desktop and will continue to do so. Location related mobile searches are on the increase and partly because Google are making them so much better and relevant. As long as your telephone provider indicates to Google your precise location then your search experience should be improving all the time for local suppliers. Advertisers will have the option to add coupons or special offers in the results page. Book now button will probably be available in the new look to help advertisers see that Google Adwords is working for them.

Be aware that advertisers will no longer be able to manually enter a URL in the advertisement, but rather Google will take it from the final link to ensure that what you advertise is what people get when they click. More control for Google, better protection for searchers – maybe.Advertisers will be allowed to select the device type they want to promote their advertisement in, whether that is smartphone or tablet. Because of these changes it is critical that all businesses ensure that their Google My Business details are filled in correctly and completely. Mobile changes everything. This is now a mobile first world.

PPC Pay Per Click

PPC Pay Per Click is Googles title for its internet advertising used to get traffic to your site. Advertisers pay Google, when the advert is clicked. Every click is a cost – so get the wording right. As Advertisers you bid on each keyword phrase that they want. Put your keywords or important terms in “inverted commas” “web design ireland” to get people searching for that term or one that contains those words. To be laser specific use [square brackets] to focus on people searching for exactly that term [Web Design Ireland]. The description should be something like Best Web Design Ireland. The url link shoul

d contain that term as should the landing page. Use Social Media at the top of your funnel and PPC to targeted sectors of your audience.

“PPC is like going to the shop and buying some food to eat for the week.

SEO is like planting a garden. Gardening takes much more work and waiting, but in the end, it is cheaper. But if you’re hungry (i.e you need sales and money now), then go to the shop, don’t plant a garden”





Changes to Broad Match Modifier
At the beginning of 2021, Google announced that it would be simplifying match types. To accomplish this, Google is combining the control of phrase match with the expanded reach of broad match modifier. What does this mean? In late July, you will no longer be permitted to generate BMM (Broad Match Modifier) keywords using +keyword notation. Any existing BMM keywords will be updated to utilise the new phrase matching behavior. Meanwhile, you will be permitted to edit the bid or status of your BMM keywords, but must transition to phrase match if you wish to edit the keyword text. Ultimately, these changes will create a more user friendly experience.

Google’s Guide for Adapting to these Changes:

– Utilise the “remove redundant keywords” recommendation

– Evaluate performance and make budget shifts when necessary

– Routinely check your recommendations page

– Consider combining broad match with Smart Bidding

New Smart Bidding Features

Smart bidding already generates good results, but Google has decided to make it even easier by adding several new features to the function. With these new features you will be able to:

  • See additional insights with top signals for target ROAs – drive your performance and maximize conversion values
  • Administer seasonality adjustments at the manager level – automatically set bids at auction times to optimize campaign performance
  • Execute maximize conversion value bidding with recommendations
  • Anticipate performance with Target Impression Share Simulators – learn how target bid and budget changes affect performance

Increased Control of Where your Ads Run

In mid-April 2021, Google announced its plan to implement a new feature that will help advertisers feature their ads strictly alongside content that lines up with their campaign. Googles advertiser controls allow users to decide where their ads appear, the format of their ads, and the audience they wish to reach through their ads. The update to these controls also allow advertisers to protect their ads from running in conjunction with unrelated content. The controls permit users to block certain websites, content, or topics from their ad campaign – significantly driving your ads’ performance. Google also announced the introduction of dynamic exclusion lists, which will allow advertisers to schedule automatic updates when new web pages or domains are added, simplifying the process of maintaining specific ads.

Google notes that it is important to review its AdSense program policies to avoid creating unsupported content in your ads.

Image Extensions

In 2020, Google announced its introduction of image extensions and now, in 2021, they are available globally. Today, consumers prefer a more visual experience when browsing services and products online. Image extensions accommodates this preference, allowing advertisers to create more visually captivating ads. Advertisers are given the ability to adds relevant photos of their products and services to their ads, so visitors can visualize what they are actually selling and advertising. Recent results have revealed that advertisers see a 10% increase in click-through rate with ads that feature image extensions, demonstrating its effectiveness. Google also introduced a feature called dynamic image extensions that automatically chooses the most relevant images from your ads’ landing page and attaches them to your ad. For the best results and to see an increase in insights, it is recommended that you utilise image extensions and dynamic image extensions together.

Google also allows you place your advert in other peoples websites, sites that are deemed to be related to your target market. Those sites get a small fee for every click, a share of the income. They are referred to as Affiliates. You can follow your visitors around and re-market to people who visited your website or who already clicked on one of your adverts in PPC.

 What is SEO ? | SEO Costs | Google Adword Planner

Never use Google Ads unless…..

You can lose a fortune on Ads, unless you do a bit of planning and observe some rules or tips. You should only pay when someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website. If you do use Ads and increase the number of visitors to your website, but the visitors do not convert to customers, then you need to focus on the content of your website, before investing any more in Ads. You can test conversion rate with 100 visitors per day or week as easy as with 1000.

Things to consider:

1. You have Maximum Bid set
2. You have a Maximum Budget set
3. You have targeted the geographical area you cover
4. You have targeted the demographic you want
5. You have the text written to attract client you want
6. You have the text written to attract client you do not want
7. Get the keywords right – do the research
8. Use multiple ads as in one for each product or service
9. Each Ad should have copy that relates to that one single product or service
10. Ensure conversion in your website from visitors
11. Use the correct Match, Broad Match or Exact Match or Phrase
12. Do use Negative Keywords to avoid some unwanted attention
13. Do Bid on your own Brand, as someone else will do it otherwise
14. Check your Ad position and how it looks
15. Link back to an appropriate landing page

Do the Keyword research first, then craft your advert which should bring a visitor to a landing page specific to that advert. Once you launch this advert through your account, monitor how it works for you and then continue to tweak it to make it better. You will use tracking code to monitor visitors and to re-market to them.

Google provides all the online training you could want HERE and you can watch free videos on Youtube or you can outsource to a suitable agency. Set up your account here.

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 40 ‘Professional Services Businesses‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 40 in 2022?


Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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Lets start with a meeting, then we can write up a digital strategy or plan, to ensure we set some agreed goals or targets for us to deliver for you.

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A Web Presence Checklist, for the senior partner

12 things to oversee the web presence for your legal practice

LinkedIn including company profile page and personal profile for you and all employees. Post some articles about your services, giving some useful advice, sharing insights or sharing industry news. Connect with logical potentially good connections. No sales pitch, just hello with a short line to make the connection, like swopping a business card at a networking event. Read our Linkedin Guide.

Facebook – keep it a basic entry for the practice just to turn up in Facebook in search or get reviews. You could use it to get reviews from people who spend a lot of time on this platform. Or use Facebook to advertise your services, if it is right for your target market.

Website focusing on the services that you want to specialise in, the ones that make you the most margin and that you are happiest to deliver. Bear in mind that you can offer services that you do not personally have to deliver, but make you margin. You do not have to deliver you do not necessarily have to be involved in the process whatsoever. Who is responsible for your SEO Search Engine Optimisation? Read our Guide.

Include SSL – This is the little padlock that appears on the top left corner, to indicate the site is safe. This is not just for eCommerce websites.

Google Business Profile – Have you got one? Is your Google Business Profile profile populated, as in photos, service details, opening hours, blog items, reviews. Independent Google Reviews are fuel for your practice. Get as many as you can. Remember to reply to every single one of them. These are happy clients or people who are in need of attention. Read our Guide.

NAP – Include nap NAP everywhere that you write your address, search Google to see where you appear and ensure the NAP is exactly the same everywhere, including the Eircode.
Do any Google search of your name in an ‘Incognito window’ to see what people see on their computer when they do a search of your company. Whilst you’re there also do a search for solicitors in your town or area. Also do a search for the legal services that you want to promote in your area. Such as conveyancing in Dundalk or conveyancing solicitors in Dundalk.

Recruitment – Your website can also be used for finding new team members, rather than going through the expense of recruitment agencies. This tactic would generally be known as being a part of your overall content marketing strategy. This is where are you create content on your website that will attract people who are looking for certain things. Whether that be a specific legal service or a job in a legal practice that looks attractive to them.

Google Page Insights is a tool that is free and will give you an idea of the speed of your website. Google gives a lot of weight to a fast loading website, especially on a mobile view. Websites are being measured by Google more and more for their mobile view as a key metric.

Google analytics is also free and will give you an idea of the number of people travelling to your website visiting your website on a monthly basis. Use the overview to see how many people visit your website on a monthly basis to see if it’s going up or down. Google Analytics is a great tool but having a high numbers visit your website does not guarantee a conversion to a customer. In order to get conversions you continually need to add content and optimise content and compete with whoever your competitors are. A very simple search for a legal practice in your area will show you who is ranking number 1, 2 or 3. These are the competitors or people you’re competing with, so you need to be better than them. Read our Guide.

Google – With Google Ads you can spend a fortune easily. So if you want to use this platform, get to understand it or engage a specialist. It can be very useful in the short term or to use whilst you are working on your website and SEO. Read our Google Ads Guide.

Conversion. However, bear in mind even if you are number one and you get click through so people visit your website when they land on a page on your website. You have to work on the content in order to get them to convert from visitor to customer. This is your user experience as in UX through your User Interface referred to as the UI.

Reports – Ensure someone is producing a monthly report to measure the numbers. As Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”. Ensure you get a Google Analytics report. And ideally have a report created, so that you can see the numbers at a glance.

As a senior partner you do not need to do all of this work. This is not what you’re qualified to do and could be way below your paygrade. Unless you engage someone who can deliver a high return in the long term and needs to be well compensated in the short term. Get a proper Digital Marketing Plan drawn up.

However, somebody has to do the work. It would be good if you could use some of these tools to see if the person, practice manager or web agency is doing a good job with your investment.
The bottom line is the practice should be kept busy. And ideally be able to recruit enough staff to deliver services. As a senior partner if you allocate a half hour every month to review these basic reports, you will then be in a position to see what is being done on your behalf.

Read the monthly reports from your Digital marketer. And if needs be, have a conversation about what needs to be improved. The Digital marketer will need a budget to do the search engine optimisation or create graphics for the website. And possibly doing advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook or anywhere where your potential customers are hanging out. Without sounding like an ambulance chaser you can have your content found when people do a search for chiropractor or osteopath or bad back or medical negligence. Get ahead of the curve.

How much time, hassle and money would it save you to have any and all advertising done online through your own website by a competent specialist agency?
Also posted here.

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