One of the more significant tools you can use to advertise coffee online is paid search, or what most people think of as "Google Ads".
This article will walk you through the quick and essential points you would need to know before considering advertising through this channel.
Note, to make use of paid search ads you'll typically need a website to direct traffic / customers to. Most of this article assumes you would be selling coffee through your own website but of course you can also direct customers to purchase your coffee through a marketplace like Amazon.
Paid Search is the term used to describe Google Ads, but it also includes search engines other than Google. You can advertise on other search websites, like Bing or DuckDuckGo, the same way you would through Google.
That said, Google Ads is a digital advertising platform that can be used to promote their Coffee products on Google Search, YouTube and other "Google" websites. Search engines like Bing, will likely have fewer online platforms you can place ads on outside of just "Bing.com", for instance, but they essentially work the same way.
To illustrate simply, the image below if considered a paid search ad:
Everything within the Purple box is considered an ad.
Now that you know what paid search ads are, the rest of this guide will walk through all the elements of a paid search advertising campaign that you will need to be aware of.
Google Ads, like all paid search, is based first and foremost on keyword targeting.
You decide what search terms you want to appear for, and then tell Google (or Bing etc..) you are willing to pay to appear prominently in on their website for those specific searches.
So for instance, you may decide "when someone searches for espresso coffee, I want my ad to show up." In this case, your keyword will be 'espresso coffee'.
There is a nuance to keep in mind. If, you instance, you wanted to show up for 'espresso coffee', but you also want to show up just for 'espresso', then your keyword would be 'espresso'. Targeting that single keyword would mean you show up for both 'espresso' and 'espresso coffee'.
If you're selling coffee online, a search advertising campaign would likely be built on keywords like the following:
buy coffee beans
buy coffee online
buy coffee beans online
buy coffee as a gift
buy coffee accessories online
buy a coffee
buy coffee beans in bulk
buy coffee bags
buy coffee beans wholesale
buy coffee beans to roast
buy coffee bean grinder
buy coffee bulk
..and so on
Next, you have the ads themselves.
Google Ads provides an interface you can use to craft your own ad copy.
The ad copy needs to fit into fairly restrictive character limitations, so these are typically short, to the point ads, just by design.
The interface you would use to create the ads looks as follows:
Crafting compelling ad copy is both an art and science. Some general best practices include:
1. Above all, the ads need to include something in the messaging that corresponds closely to the keyword that you are targeting. If the searcher searched for 'espresso coffee', than the first priority is to make sure the ad they see has the words 'espresso coffee' within.
2. Your customer will not be spending any more time than they need reading your ad copy. It needs to be quick and to the point, telling them what they need to know. Typically this means letting them know you have a product that meets their needs, letting them know it is quickly and easily available to order online, and calling out any major selling point.
3. A compelling "call to action" should be included at the end of your messaging. The searcher needs to be invited to take a specific action AFTER they've understood what you are selling. Things like "Shop Now", "Get it Online", "Order Online" all make it clear to the potential customer that they can click on the ad and get their needs met through that channel.
Google (and Bing) Ads specifically allow you to create a different kind of ad, referred to as a "Shopping Ad". Those are the ads that show both an image and price.
Everything within the Purple box is considered a Shopping Ad.
Shopping Ads are advantageous as they are more visual, and are very much designed for retail.
They operate very differently "behind the scenes" from regular ads, in that they are setup through something known as a "merchant feed". A "merchant feed" is a database (something as simple as an Excel file) that contains all your product information, pricing, links to corresponding images, and inventory.
Although they are executed differently than regular ads (and are in fact a little more complicated to setup) they are really worth mentioning here as they absolutely lend themselves well to online coffee retailers.
Bidding is basically where Google, Bing, and other search platforms make money on their ads.
When you "target" a keyword, you are really "bidding" on it. This means you are telling Google that you are willing to pay $X for a single click on your ad if it shows up alongside the keyword you specified.
Of course you are not the only retailer who wants to show their ad, especially for keywords like 'espresso coffee'.
Google decides, based on what all the other retailers are also willing to bid, if they will show your ad.
If you bid high enough, your ad will show very often in very high positions.
If you don't bid high enough, your ad might not show often or it may show in lower positions (meaning if multiple ads show, yours won't be the first in order).
If you bid MUCH too low, then your ad may just never show up.
You only pay when someone clicks, but bidding is where you will see the biggest impact to your advertising costs and ROI.
If you bid too low, you won't be charged much but you will lose out on clicks and sales.
If you bid too high, you will drive a lot of traffic and (hopefully) sales by showing up freqently and prominently, but you may end up spending more on your advertising budget then you should.
Three ads in ordered positions. The ad in postion "1" bid highest.
To recap, the three basic elements of a paid search ads campaign are:
3. More Ads (Shopping, in this case).
There's additional refinements and tactics that can employed across each of these faucets. For instance there are a lot of tools that can help to discover keywords to target. Moreover Google provides options to automate bidding, so that depending on your goals you can let Google decide when to bid higher or lower according to the keyword, the location of the searcher, the previous purchase history etc.. But for the most part the work to setup and maintain your search advertising will run along all the elements outlined in this article.