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Transcript: SMART CAMPAIGNS VS SEARCH – How to Create Smart Campaigns
When you head into Google Ads, you may notice an option called Smart Campaigns. Now, Smart Campaigns are what Google Ads formerly called AdWords Express. Essentially, it allows you to build campaigns really quickly with literally just a few clicks that will target campaigns towards your business focused on three objectives, of traffic, phone calls, and store visits. It’s an easy way for people who are new advertisers to get up and running with Google Ads.
The question we’re looking at in this video is, should you be running a campaign with Google Ads Smart Campaigns? In addition to that, should you compare Google Ads Smart Campaigns with the performance of a search campaign and choose a Smart Campaign over search? Now, we’ll take a look at those two key issues in this video, a lot to get through coming up.
Hey, guys, Darren Taylor of the bigmarketer.com here, and my job is to make you a better marketer. Now, if you’re new to this channel, I’m a digital marketing trainer and consultant. I specialize mostly in PPC and SEO, all things search engine. If that sounds up your street, you should consider subscribing to the channel and don’t forget to ring the bell as well. In this video, we are exploring the difference between a Smart Campaign and the Google Ads search campaigns. We’re going to focus really on what Smart Campaigns are and how they work.
Google have a problem. They have a problem, and that’s the product they have is pretty complex, tough to use, and has a lot of features that can really help advertisers grow in scale. What they’ve done is they scaled back their entire system to some very basic options. Now, these options were formerly called AdWords Express, now, they’re called Smart Campaigns.
Essentially, you’re building a campaign by choosing specific types of keyword you want to target and adding those in, and then, letting Google do all of the optimization for you. In fact, Google states, “Smart ads allow you to create text and image ads that show on Google and Google Maps across the web, and take advantage of minimal hands-on management. Furthermore, they also state that research shows that Smart Campaigns are three times better than traditional campaigns at getting ads in front of the right audience.
Now, when you look at those two things from Google, you can start to think why new advertisers would think Smart Campaigns are good. However, I’ve looked at that statement of saying that, “Smart Campaigns are three times more likely to be in front of the right user than their standard campaigns,” I’ve seen no data or no information backing up that claim. That could be one for advertising standards to look into. However, I do think the devil is in the detail. Google say, “the right audience,” getting your ads in front of, “the right audience.”
Now, the right audience to you as an advertiser is more than likely very different to the right audience to Google because, of course, as you know, Google are advocates in using broad match keywords. Google reps will call you, tell you to add broad match traffic to your campaigns. They advocate the use of broad match, but we know, on this channel, that broad match keywords bring a ton of bad traffic. Google’s definition of good traffic and the right users is very different to what should be the right definition of good traffic and good users. That is a fundamental problem with Smart Campaigns.
The question again is, should you be using Smart Campaigns? The answer to this question, for me, may surprise you. Before I go into that, if you like what you’re hearing so far, hit the like button below. The question of the day today is, have you used Smart Campaigns before, and if you have, have you got any results from using them previously? Let me know in the comments before. I reply to pretty much every comment.
It’s clear based on the way Smart Campaigns are set up, they are worse than search campaigns. Now, when you think about a search campaign, you have access to keyword targeting, keyword match types, and being able to maximize your traffic quality by looking at your keyword match types. Now, with Smart Campaigns, the problem is you don’t even choose keywords. What you do is you choose something called keyword themes.
An example is if you’re a plumber and you want to focus on home plumbing or plumbing for people’s homes, then, you would enter that as a keyword theme, and then, Google will go ahead and serve your ads to customers they think match your keyword theme. Then, when you go into the interface of a Smart Campaign, you can enable and disable the specific search terms that are targeted towards that particular keyword theme. You can see the search terms that are generating clicks and impressions towards your campaign, but the problem is you’ve got nothing tangible to optimize with. You don’t know which keywords are driving those phone calls to your Smart Campaign. That becomes a massive problem.
I can already hear you asking me, “Darren, do Smart Campaigns even work? What is the point in running a Smart Campaign?” Well, in actual fact, they can work, and I’ve seen specific examples of these. I’ve had clients come on board who have been running Smart Campaigns previously, and the results can be interesting. Take this example, this is a specifically tough niche to get into. This is an example of a Smart Campaign running in the private healthcare sector in London in the UK. Click costs are usually quite high. Cost per leads are usually pretty high as well because it’s a premium service, but look at the performance of this campaign.
In that five-day performance window they were running Smart Campaigns, they generated five calls for the cost-per-call of £14, which is pretty good for that particular niche. That’s actually a pretty good performance from the campaign. Now, of course, volumes are pretty low, but overall, that is actually an acceptable and actually a very good cost per lead for that particular niche. We can see Smart Campaigns can actually deliver some results.
You guys know what’s coming next. You know that when I took over the account, I migrated over from Smart Campaigns over to, of course, the main Google Ads products. Of course, you can imagine what happened. Instead of achieving those 5 conversions in 5 days with a cost per conversion of £14, they’re now getting a ton more conversions, a ton more traffic, and the cost per conversion has also come down to just over £8 as well.
These are the differences between a Smart Campaign and a search campaign. You have a lot more options and a lot more levers to pull in a search campaign. All you need to do is make sure you’re either hiring somebody to help you build your search campaigns with all the features and functionality to get the best results, or you learn how to use the full Google Ads product yourself. You’ve got to choose one or the other. You can’t rely on Smart Campaigns to get you the best results. Luckily, you’re in the right place for either. If you need help with your campaigns or training, be sure to hit me up in the comments below.
Now, as I mentioned, you should be using the main Google Ads products. What I’m going to do is walk through how to build a Smart Campaign in the best way possible. Again, I implore you to use the main Google Ads products, but just for those who are curious in nature, I will go through and show you how to set up a Smart Campaign so you can understand how to best target it. Again, please use the main Google Ads product.
I’m going to show you how to set up a Smart Campaign based on this example website. This is a plumbing service website based in the UK, and here is how I will set up a Smart Campaign for this particular advertiser targeting London. I’m in Google Ads, and I’m going to head over to campaigns, and then, click on this blue button to start a new campaign. Now, as I’ve mentioned previously before, I always create a campaign without a specific goal because you can customize it a lot more than you could if directed by Google Ads. I’m going to click that, and the next thing, of course, is to select the Smart Campaign type. When you have a Smart Campaign, you need to choose what you want to target. You either want phone calls to your business, visits to your storefront, or actions on your website.
Now, for this particular plumber, I’m going to target calls to the business because they need to take phone calls in order to take bookings to go out and fix people’s pipes in their homes. I’m going to select calls to your business. I click continue. Which business do you want to advertise? I’ve already done a test one here, but let’s add a new business because we’re going to do the full details. I’m going to give this business a name and add the website as well. The business name is Bob’s Plumbers. The website is here, so I’m going to copy the website address and paste it in here, and then, hit next.
What Google will start to do is understand your website’s target regions as you go along. Where’s your business address? It’s based in London. It’s already decided that because, of course, the business is based in London, as I mentioned. We’ll keep the targeting as it is, but just to expand the targeting, you can actually slide this slider to choose your target area. Say, for example, the business wasn’t based in London and it was based in a different UK city or area, I’d click across on that and remove the area, and then, type in somewhere different, for example, Manchester, United Kingdom, if it was based there. Again, you can adjust and shrink and grow the radius based on how far you want to target within that area.
I’m going to go back to setting it up as London, UK, and the radius I want to keep it to quite a good size to get a good amount of traffic based in my serviceable area. When you think of your business, you need to look at your target area and adjust your radius and location as necessary. I’m going to hit next. This already pulls in a list of potential keyword themes. Remember, I said that it doesn’t work on particularly keywords, it works on what are called keyword themes. When you choose a keyword theme, Google will match the user search to one of these themes, and then, serve your ads to that audience on the search and display networks.
When you look at the website, we can see the services that the plumber does because they’ve got them all along here. We’re going to start to look at which ones work for us, which ones we could potentially add, and which ones are not relevant to what we’re doing. When I hop back to Google Ads, we can see home plumbing is right, commercial plumbing is wrong because it’s not a commercial plumber. There’s not a page for emergency plumbing but they do emergency plumbing, so that could be an option. Plumbing installation, drains and pipe, boiler services, and generic plumber, they all work really well. There’s more suggestions down here, for example, bathroom installation. We saw that on the website up here. We’ve got bathroom installation as a page on the website. That’s another option as well.
When you go through your website, you need to look at the services you provide and then select the right ones for your business based on what’s on your website. If it’s not on the website, then, you shouldn’t really advertise it because, of course, there’s going to be a disconnect between the users’ search and what they see on your website. Once you’ve chosen the right suggestions, you can also add themes yourself. Instead of using the ones down here, you can go ahead and add ones that you want to use yourself and see if there’s any volume for those particular terms.
Say, for example, I wanted to go with a different plumbing term, for example, boiler installation. That’s coming up there. Boiler installation is another keyword we could add to the campaign. You’ve got two options in this section, you can either add the keyword here or select it from the suggestions down here. I’m going to hit next. We’re nearly there with the campaign set up because it’s a very simple campaign type. The last thing we need to do really is look at the ads.
Of course, it says, “Let’s write your ad.” It’s already adding a headline and description to my advert for me based on, I guess, generic information within Google Ads, matching it to my type of service. It knows I’m a plumber. It’s added two descriptions here and three headlines for me already. You can go ahead and edit this advert if you need to. I’m going to keep this one generic, and then, I’m going to write another advert, which I’ll write myself. I’ll keep the generic one they’ve created for me, and I’ll write another ad myself right now.
I’ve written another text ad. We’ve got the one that Google have suggested. I’m going to test against what I’ve written myself. We’ve got the two ads running in an A/B test. You could write another advert, but generally, I like to do an A/B test as opposed to an ABC test because you get the data a lot quicker and can make quicker decisions based on the performance as well.
We’ve got our two text ads in place. We’ve got our clicks to our website landing on our main website home page. You can select a different part of your website as well in terms of the web address. For example, if I create a Smart Campaign and want it to land on the boiler installation page, then I’ll simply select that URL, copy and paste it, and then, drop it in here instead. I’m going to keep it generic. I can paste that in as an example and have it go there, but I’m going to keep it generic and have it go to the home page as well because the campaign is targeting lots of different types of plumbing and the user can select the right type based on the menu on the website.
Ultimately, when you create a Smart Campaign, it would make sense to segment it by the different types of services you provide as an option. If you do boiler installation as a plumber or leak detection or whatever your services are when you look at your business, you need to decide which services will fit best for you. That’s basically the whole set up complete. When I hit next, then, you need to choose your phone number. It’s already pulled in from my website already, from previous call extensions on the account. If not, you literally copy and paste your phone number from your website into this section. You choose your country code as well, which is really important because, of course, a lot of these adverts will be clicked to call on mobile devices.
It’s in place. It’s ready to go. We’ve got it for United Kingdom. The telephone number on the website is in place. Then, you hit next, and then, you’ve got to choose your budget. Google Ads has already determined how much search volume is available based on my keyword categories I’ve chosen. Based on that, it gives your three options, a low ball, low-tier, a medium-tier, which always says it’s recommended for you, it always defaults to the medium option, and then, a high-tier, if you want to spend more money. It gives you a breakdown of your estimated reach and clicks per month, which gives you a bit of insight into what you should or shouldn’t be spending or what you could spend.
If you don’t like these three options and you want to spend a fixed amount, you could enter your own budget as well and you can use this slider to do that. Typical competitor budget range is highlighted as well. If you go below that, it’s saying that you might not get noticeable results. That’s subjective because, of course, it’s scalable. If you spend less on Google Ads, then, you should get less, if you spend more to a point, when you hit that curve, you should be able to get more results as a result. Choose your own budget if you want to.
For this example, I’m going to leave it as the default recommended for you. Then, you hit next, and then, it gives you a full review of everything you’ve selected for your campaign. Your location targeting, it gives you an opportunity just to make sure you’ve got everything in place, your phone calls and you’re ready to receive verified phone calls. It’s got your keyword themes, your budget, your location, your adverts, and you’re ready to go.
When you hit next, that is the complete setup process of a Smart Campaign. You get taken back towards your main account. It takes you to your campaign. This is the overview screen for your Smart Campaigns. As you start to receive data, these areas will populate, and you’ll be able to see what your campaign is doing and the kinds of results it’s getting as well. That is, in a nutshell, how to create a Smart Campaign. Again, as I mentioned, please, use the main Google Ads campaigns for search when you can because Smart Campaigns will provide worse results as demonstrated in this whole video.
If you like this video, please, leave a like below. My question of the day was, let me know if you’ve used Smart Campaigns before and if you’ve got any kind of successful results from using them. More important than that, please, don’t forget to subscribe. Check out the other content across my channel, and I’ll see you guys on my next video.