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How to grow your SaaS with Google Ads? (2022)

We discuss how you can run Google Ads for your SaaS growth, its benefits, and how useful and practical running Google Ads is for SaaS founders.

In this article, we discuss how Google Ads can help you grow your SaaS.
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Note: SaaSwrites is a curated growth marketing hub and resource built to help SaaS founders grow their products. We sincerely thank all our experts for their constant value addition to this world.
Updated on: 06/09/2022

What are Google Ads?

Here’s a quick definition from Wikipedia on Google Ads:
Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google, where advertisers bid to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users. It can place ads both in the results of search engines like Google Search and on non-search websites, mobile apps, and videos.
In short, Google ads let you bid on keywords.
You can create ads for keywords and they appear on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, hence the name pay-per-click (PPC).

Why does your SaaS need Google ads?

Google ads are perfect for a Buyer's Search Intent.
You can find your customers when they are looking for a product like yours.
SEO and Google ads are so underrated. One of my SaaS clients is getting 14000 visitors every month on their website by making comparison pages and blogs that work. Just need to make everything else work so that payments also happen. Short term? Ads Long term? SEO ~ Unnati Bagga
For example, when someone searches for “ads management tool”, look how the ads pop out for the entire brand hero section:
notion image
Notice how Namecheap has utilized 80% of the SERP for their Ads manager service.

How can Google ads help your SaaS with growth?

  • Your target audience is looking for your product in Google search
  • Google ads get you to the top of the search placement
  • You can get there quickly rather than taking months/years to organically rank this
On Facebook or TikTok, your product can "die". With Google Ads, if people are actively searching for your product, it will act as an evergreen sales channel! Manual CPC
246,000,000 people use Google in the US. Don't sleep on the POWER of Google Ads. You don't need: > Facebook Pixels > Unique Tik Tok videos > Instagram Influencers promoting Just Google Shopping + Search ads. Get buyer intent traffic straight to your store. ~ Jake

How to run Google Ads?

  • Google Ads is a bidding system.
  • Every time someone clicks on your ad, the Bid is charged
  • If you bid $1, your Cost-per-Click (CPC) will be ~$1 (could be lower if low competition)
At the beginning of a Google Ads campaign is to determine what goals you want to accomplish; - Sales - Leads - Website Visits - Product And Brand Awareness and Reach - or App Promotion. ~ Molly Youngblood

Start with Targeting:

  1. Start with Keywords
    1. You might want to start to target with Long Tail Keywords (more specific)
    2. You will start to win bids at a cheaper price
    3. You will be able to target more relevant customers (specific)
  1. Add your Geography (country, city, region)
  1. Understand the Device (phone vs tablet)

Setup your ads

  1. Track Clickthrough Rate (CTR): how many ppl how are shown your ad actually click on it
    1. The higher your CTR, the better
    2. The average is around 2% but will vary depending on the niche you're in
  1. Test everything!

Optimize to scale your ads

  1. Once Set Up & Running Efficiently...
    1. You have a Funnel in place
    2. The longer you run the ad, the easier it becomes to optimize the ad
    3. This leads to higher LTV of your customer
    4. How to understand your funnel?
      1. Ads Impressions: This is helping you with brand awareness
      2. Click-Through Rate (CTR): The people clicking your ads. First engagement and touchpoint with your customer
      3. Conversion Rate: People who are buying or converting. This is an immediate Return on Investment (ROI)
      4. Lifetime Value (LTV): Your customer is now on a recurring subscription and is a repeat customer. This will give you a long-term ROI.
      5. Customer Sentiment: This is mostly linked to referral marketing where your customers are giving you word of mouth.

Terms associated with Google Ads

There are some terms in Google Ads that can help you understand the ads better:
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Product & Offer Enhancement
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Search Market Availability
  • Avatar Analysis
  • Analytics
  • Tag Manager
  • Merchant Center
  • Data Feed
  • Shopify Tracking
Then PPC begins...

How some SaaS products have won big with Google Ads

Here’s how Collin Schmelebeck made a SaaS client $104,000 in 5 days with only $1,900 ad spend
I took over this account in mid-Feb but due to the complex business structure...
I wasn't able to fully lock in my campaigns until about 2 weeks ago as this company was vastly
overspending on keywords & irrelevant search terms
Here is how I fixed it:
  1. Complete Account Audit:
    1. business offers
    2. competitor analysis
    3. google property overhauls (Analytics/Tag/Ads)
  1. Created Accurate Offline Conversion Tracking
    1. with HubSpot we were able to track the 6+ month sales funnel properly
    2. attributes directly to our campaigns
  1. Google Ads Account Restructure
    1. poor planning leads to poor performance...this was the case here
    2. too many campaigns going after too many offers
    3. simplified the account from 15 campaigns to 3
    4. updated the ad copy to reflect keyword themes
    5. added 1000+ negative keywords w/ lists
    6. removed unprofitable keywords over the last 90-180 days (cross-referenced with attribution)
  1. Strategy Moving Forward
    1. bid very aggressively (CPCs $100-200) to get more demos in the door
    2. allow their sales team to close deals

Takeaway:

Use Google ads to:
  1. Scale a market that is validated
  1. Scale when you have achieved product-market fit
  1. Validate a SaaS idea with CTR
Why Google Ads? Facebook requires buying profiles, BMs, Pages, Professional Content & Agency Accounts just to get started. And, You WILL Get BANNED! Most platforms require a $1,000-$5,000 budget to see any results. On Google, we can effectively test with $50 per product. ~ Manual CPC
  1. Create product awareness (some brands bid for competitor's keywords, which we do not recommend)
  1. Create traffic for a keyword your target customers are already looking for
  1. Google Ads currently does not have a great repo
Final one:
"Facebook ads are cool, but Google ads are goated" Jackson Blackledge