Find Google Ads Search Volume

MIT Presentation (part 2 of 8): Find Google Ads Search Volume for Your Prospects

Determine whether your prospect volume on Google Ads will be too small… or too large! Learn the tools to use to predict Google Ads search volume and how to target the right size advertising market for your business.

Want to see the full presentation instead?  Click here: “5 Ways to Test & Optimize Your Business Model with Google Ads”

This presentation was delivered by Prometheus PPC founder, Andrew Percey, on MIT campus in Cambridge, MA, on January 24, 2019, as part of “The Startup Code 2019” marketing seminar, which he organizes and co-hosts with serial entrepreneur Kenny Goodman.  The attendees were MIT alumni, faculty, grad students and other members of the MIT community.

While this presentation includes specific advice for startups, the advanced strategies & tactics described can be used by any business that is looking to refine or troubleshoot their business model and marketing plan.

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Transcript of Presentation (part 2 of 8)

Find Google Ads Search Volume for Your Prospects

So five things I’m going to talk about. Number one, how you can use Google ads to learn how many people are actually searching for your product or service or one like yours. What they actually search for, because it might be different than you expect. Which of your marketing messages can effectively engage prospects, we can test that. We can test which of your offers resonate. What are you offering once they get to your website? And which of those end up getting to a conversion? And finally, and very importantly, in a competitive market, how can you stand out? And there are a lot of great tools to help you do this as well.

Method #1: Learn Your Available Prospect Volume with Google Ads

So first, let’s look at the online prospect volume. And the key question here is, is your target market large enough? That’s one big thing you’ve got to take care of early on in a startup. A great quote from Gabrielle Weinberg: “Almost every failed startup has a product, what failed startups don’t have are enough customers.” So let’s test this early on and make sure you can have enough customers.

Google, as you might expect, has a fantastic tool for this. It’s called the Google Ads Keyword Planner. And here’s a snapshot of the type of data you can get from this tool. I put in at the top there, again, one term, robot vacuum, and this is just some of the data that’s possible. Average monthly searches, that’s primarily what we’re going to be looking at here. So it’s telling you that across the United States, every month, about 90,000 people put in the term robot vacuum into the Google search box. It shows you the level of competition, kind of on a qualitative scale and a numerical scale, as well as giving you a sense of what you might pay for an ad click if you’re going after these keywords.

But what we’re focusing on right now is the volume. And this is decent, this is 90,000 searches a month for the term robot vacuum. To think about what that can mean, let’s just round it up to 100,000. If you have a 100,000 searches a month, and you’re showing ads on those searches, and you get a click through rate of about 5%. So the people who see your ad, about 5% click through and of those about 2% buy your robot vacuum. And these are fairly typical numbers. You end up with 100 sales for the month. So if your business plan calls for 100 sales a month, then you need to generate at least 100,000 ad impressions per month to do that. And this is giving you a sense that yeah, we can actually do that for this product.

Now what if your product idea wasn’t that broad? What if as an MIT engineer you said, you know what, we can make this smaller, right? That’s what we want to do, make a smaller robot vacuum and sell that. And we can put in those terms to Google ads as well. By the way, at the bottom, these are all ideas that Google automatically generates for you just to give you more information. II typed in the searches at the top, and this is what came back. And this is kind of an “oops” because the online market for small robot vacuums is much, much smaller. It’s only about .3%. of the full robot vacuum market. This is very important information to know up front, if you’re expecting to turn this into a big business.

What can you do if the market is too small for your business model? What do you do? You have a few choices, you can build the market, you can go out there and educate people across the country why they need a smaller robot vacuum. That’s very, very expensive to do. You can find a big partner who can do that for you. But often you have to give up some control if you want to go that route.

Or you decide, you know what, we need to go back a little bit and see if we need to plan something a little bit different here, because it’s just not going to work out the way we thought it would. So this early type of upfront research can really help find market size problems early on.  Again, almost every failed startup has a product, what failed startups don’t have are enough customers – make sure that’s not your startup.

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Andrew Percey

Andrew founded Prometheus PPC in 2012 and has helped grow over 100 businesses through Google Ads advertising. He holds two engineering degrees from M.I.T. and has 8 U.S. patents from his years in Silicon Valley. Andrew hosts marketing seminars at M.I.T. for current and future startup founders.

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