Google Ads For SaaS Businesses: Everything You Need To Know In 30 Minutes Or Less

On this episode of the podcast, Dean Denny shares the exciting benefits of using Google Ads for SaaS businesses. He dives into the power of reaching targeted audiences through platforms like Search, Display, and Video campaigns. He emphasizes the cost-effectiveness and tracking capabilities of Google Ads, as well as advanced bidding strategies like CPC and automated bidding. He also highlights the importance of conversion tracking, remarketing, and conversion rate optimization for maximizing results. With optimization techniques such as AB testing, clear call-to-action, and unique value propositions, businesses can achieve better performance. Dean stresses the significance of analyzing trends, audience insights, and negative keyword lists to improve ROI, and the importance of continuous testing and staying informed on Google Ads changes for business growth.


[00:02:41] Maximize growth with Google ads.

[00:04:54] Cost-effective pay per click advertising for SaaS businesses. Target keywords, demographics, and interests effectively.

[00:10:54] Google ads offers CPC and CPA bidding. Automated bidding strategies optimize for conversions. Remarketing and conversion rate optimization are key for success.

[00:18:07] Optimize landing pages, ads, and keywords.

[00:22:56] Establish ROI metrics, optimize campaigns, track conversions.

Lessons Learned from the Podcast

  1. Understanding Google Ads Fundamentals: Google Ads offers immense reach and visibility, making it a powerful tool for SaaS businesses. Leveraging Google Ads allows you to target potential customers actively searching for solutions, maximizing growth and return on investment.

  2. Effective Targeting Strategies: Utilize precise targeting methods such as keyword targeting, demographic targeting, and interest/behavior targeting to ensure your ads reach the most relevant audience. Understanding customer intent and developing keyword lists aligned with their needs is essential.

  3. Bidding Strategies and Optimization: Familiarize yourself with bidding strategies such as CPC (Cost Per Click), CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), and automated bidding. Continuously optimize your campaigns based on performance metrics, conversion tracking, and ROI calculations to maximize efficiency.

  4. Advanced Tactics: Remarketing and Conversion Optimization: Implement advanced tactics like remarketing to re-engage with potential customers who have shown interest in your product. Focus on conversion rate optimization, ensuring clear and compelling landing pages aligned with ad messaging.

  5. Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation: Stay updated with Google Ads platform changes and trends. Regularly analyze performance insights, conduct A/B testing, refine targeting strategies, and optimize campaigns to improve efficiency and ROI over time.

This is Open Source Growth, Australia’s number one SaaS marketing podcast hosted by me, Dean Denny, founder and director of Owendenny Digital. Get ready to deep dive into a world of direct response advertising. Unlock the mysteries of digital marketing, master the art of copywriting and drive massive revenue growth with cutting edge customer acquisition strategies, from product led growth to sales led growth. We’ve got it all covered, and that’s not all.

Join us as we sit down with some of the brightest minds in our industries, founders, CMOs who’ve been where you are and have made it to the other side with stories to tell and wisdom to share.

We’re not just about the strategies in the how to’s, we’re here to fuel your drive with a heavy dose of motivation because in the world of SaaS, it’s not about knowing the path. It’s about charging down with all you’ve got. Whether you’re looking to double, triple, or even 10X your SaaS company this year, Open Source Growth is your ticket to the big leagues.

So plug in, turn up the volume, and let’s get your SaaS rocketing to new heights. Because here it’s not just growth. It’s exponential growth served with a side of fun and a sprinkle of the extraordinary.

Welcome to Open Source Growth. Let the adventure begin.

It’s Dean here! Welcome to Open Source Growth.

And in today’s episode, I’m going to give you everything you need to know about Google ads and growing your SaaS business in 30 minutes or less.

So let’s just get straight into it. So, It’s 2024, and if you’re a SaaS business, You will constantly face the challenge of standing out.

In the crowded online marketplace, commanding attention, driving traffic to your website and driving people into free trials or demos for your business.

Now Google ads, as you can imagine, is an incredible platform for you and your business because it drives people who are actively looking for your products and services are your software company in any given market. And it enables you to tap into the people who are already looking for a solution to drive them to your solution. To essentially help them on their way and achieve their customer goals.

So in this episode, I’m going to dive into everything you need to know about using Google ads to grow your SaaS. From setting up your first campaign to advanced optimization techniques. I’m going to cover all the key strategies to help you maximize growth and improve your return on investment from your Google ads campaign in 30 minutes or less. So let’s just get straight into it.

Google ads, as you can imagine, generally refers to the advertising.

When you search something in Google and when you see your results page, the top three placements our ads because companies like yours are paying to rank for particular keyword search terms who wish to essentially drive traffic of those users who have what we call search intent to their website, to get them to participate in their products or services.

Now, Google ads has like this real three-pronged effect. And this is why it’s such an absolute game changer for most SaaS businesses. Number one, the reach and the visibility you get from Google ads is immense. It’s immediate and it’s the world’s largest search engine, meaning that there are more people looking for software solutions on. That search engine, being a Google ads. Then anywhere else on the planet.

Youtube, Dock Go, being nothing comes close to the Google platform when it comes to people, looking for answers to help them. Google ads because of its unique approach of targeting. Key words, which is different to say Facebook where you target either interests or audiences or demographics or locations enables you to have a very precise means of targeting people based on their keyword, alongside their location ,alongside the device that they’re searching fromand more. To ensure that all your ads are shown to the relevant audience. And what’s really powerful about Google ads too, is that depending on the niche you’re in, and again, there’s a real big caveat. We’re here really depends on the niche you’re in is quite cost effective. It’s not like that. You have to go about dropping $10,000 on a billboard every month and you can’t track the performance with pay-per-click advertising. SaaS businesses only pay when someone clicks on their ad.

So it’s quite cost effective. If you’ve got a campaign and you’re targeting some really obscure keywords, maybe it might be like dog washing company operations software. Hypothetically. There may only be a hundred clicks that you could generate at any given month, and you may be only paying 30 cents per click.

And just so you play, you want to go out on a limb and say, oh I want to see if we can acquire customers who are dog washing studios or sell ons. You only are paying when people are clicking on the ad. So at the end of the day, it’s very cost-effective. You can dial it up or dial it back to generate the results that you want when you start using some general metrics. So not only with Google ads that it focus on those ads that you see on those search engine results pages.

Google has a suite of platforms and the big three. Search, which are the ones that you, everyone knows, loves, which are again, what do you see at the top of the Google search engines results page. We have display campaigns, which are essentially remarketing campaigns, which can be text-based. They can also be image based and they’re quite powerful. That’s on what we call the Google display network. We’re not going to go too much into that today, but again, that is something that you can explore.

And what Google also offers is a video campaigns also known as their YouTube ads platform which enables you to engage with potential customers with compelling video content about your platform. And it’s really ideal to run YouTube ads when it comes to explaining complex products, because you have a longer form approach to tell your story again. Don’t really want to go too much into this one today, but it is worth mentioning.

Now, when it comes to targeting your audience, where do you start?

The beautiful thing about Google ads is that it all comes down to the keywords. What are people actively searching in your market that you can help them out with. Now, when it comes to grouping your keywords, there’s many different ways you can look at it. Now, one of the things that we love to use inside of our marketing agency is what we call the UPSYD framework.

U P S Y for yellow D for door. So it’s like unaware of a problem, aware solution, aware your solution, where, and deal and offer aware. Now. Google ads is really powerful when it comes to that stages of customer awareness of people that know they have a problem or they’re looking for solutions.

So for instance, you may have a problem. How do I track where all my cust, where do I track all my leads? And essentially. That is a problem statement or a problem question. Which you can then go about targeting Google ads with so you can really focus on that problem. Solution style dynamic ad. But you can also focus on ads, which are more around the solution.

So just say you have a dog salon operations software. You may be able to target things like dog, dog wash, dog wash software, dog opera, dog cell on studio software. pet business, operation software in Melbourne. There’s some many different ways you can go about targeting people and it can come down to commercial intent, transactional intent, information intent, or navigational intent. When it comes to developing out those keyword lists, though I’d strongly urge you to investigate a tool like SEM rush and a hatred. The refs to go about building this out, but most importantly, through developing your right ideal customer profile avatars. You’ll have an understanding of what people are looking for.

What other software are they looking at? What other things that they purchasing in? What are the conversations they’re having with their friends and family and their vendors about what do they do? What they don’t like, what do they hate, et cetera, et cetera. So if you understand what their general conversation is you more than likely going to get it right when it comes to developing at your keyword. Lists, which you can target from. So that’s one way of building out those lists and also determining a way in which you can place your ads in front of people who are actively looking for you and your products and services.

Now there’s also demographic. Targeting way you can focus on people on a particular age group, a particular gender. A particular income and more too, so you can reach the demographic.

That’s most likely to convert now. Is this always the best way when you’re playing with small budgets? Definitely not. But if you’re playing with bigger budgets, save your spending over the $50,000 a month. This is where this can come really handy and for more complex. Google ads strategies. Now there’s also what they call interest and behavior targeting, where you can target people based on the websites they frequent and what style of websites and what interests they have, which could align with your software business to like, Hey, this is quite possible.

So again, these are more complex, a more sophisticated bidding approaches other than keyword targeting. And it’s worthwhile playing with this. If you’ve got a more long. Form slash a massive investment in PPC. You can play here in these realms, but when you get started, not necessarily the best thing to do.

Now let’s talk about the essentials or bidding strategies, because I know bidding strategies get spoken about all the fricking time.

When it comes to Google ads. Are you doing more automated bidding? Are you doing manual bidding? Are you doing super your suit? Like it’s really crazy. And from my understanding, And from my experience as a Google partner, there’s really only three things you can look at.

There’s you’re either bidding on clicks, you’re bidding on acquisition, or you’re letting Google do its thing with an automated bidding strategy. So you can bid. For what they consider CPC or manual CPC, which enables you to track how much you spend per click. Because at the end of the day, that’s how Google gets paid. It’s for every click that they could generate for you. That’s what you get paid for. And again, you determine the budget as to how much you want to spend. So you can go about pushing the cost of your clicks up or down. If you want more traffic, you’d be bidding higher. If you’re wanting less traffic, you’d be bidding lower. And then again, you can look at your ROI. Whether it comes from your revenue reporting or your CRM to see how these are things that performing. So again, that’s one thing you can go about exploring.

The next thing you can go about exploring and this is a more sophisticated strategy, which is CPA bidding or cost per acquisition bidding, which focuses only on conversions. Pain. When a user takes a specific action, like signing up for a free trial or booking a demo or calling your company. These are really powerful. And this is what can be a semi-automated bidding strategy which enables Google to do its best to suggest rate the results that you want. And then finally there are automated bidding strategies that uses Google’s AI in a full gas kind of way to optimize for conversions or conversion value.

And this is great for maximizing the results with less manual management. For instance, just say, you want to transition your campaign from maximum clicks, which is an automated bidding strategy to say maximum conversions, which is another automated bidding strategy. That enables Google to be like, okay, cool.

All we’re trying to do is generate as many leads as possible for this person. Now, in order for this to work, though, you do need to have the conversion data in built. So it’s absolutely critical that you get your conversion tracking setup. So well from the start.Then you’re able to track all that information and then feed it back to Google so then you can go about getting better and better results as things go on.

One of the things that I do like about HubSpot in this sense is that HubSpot plugs in pretty well with your Google ads campaign, or can often take care of a lot of this for you. I’d still urge you to go about getting a professional team like us to go about establishing your conversion tracking stack for your, have a go at this on your own. But again really crucial get this happening. And that’s, what’s really going to give you the edge when it comes to making things working

Now, these are like the basic ins and outs that you need to know when it comes to the Google ads platform itself. But what if you want to go be on the basics? Let’s talk about some advanced strategies. That’s really powerful.

For Google ads experts and companies who are looking to really push Google ads beyond the limits. Now. The first things we were speaking about, believe it or not. That was really the inside of Google ads. I want to talk now about not only advanced strategies inside of Google ads, but I also want to talk about the things that we really get to completely geed up at Owendenny Digital which is where you actually driving the traffic to. Because at the end of the day, nearly anyone can write a pretty good Google ads, ad copy and get a campaign up and going and whipped up and driving it. But if you’re driving it to a dog shit landing page, nothing is going to convert.

So let’s unpack some of the more advanced things that you can be doing to get your Google ads campaign to freaking saw online.

So let’s just start off with something which I freaking love, recommend absolutely everybody and it’s the power of remarketing. What you need to do in order to get the business who don’t convert to re-engage with your brand. So why would you be doing remarketing?

First things first, it increases your conversion rates. When you’re targeting users, who’ve already been on your website, who’ve already shown interest. What that will do is actually drive the hottest traffic that you have inside of your entire marketing funnel back to your website. To go about signing up to that free trial or to booking that demo. It’s a freaking amazing thing that you can do.

The other powerful thing about remarketing is it increases this thing, what we call brand recall, which is a fancy way for saying, do users remember your brand? And it keeps your brand top of mind, encourages them to come back to your website when the making decisions does all sorts of amazing stuff. And the cool part about remarketing, especially when you’re using display ads, or even if you do something really tricky where you run your ads to get people to your website via Google, but then you do remarketing on social enables you to create tailored ads based on the user’s previous interactions, ensuring that the messaging is super relevant and super persuasive.

So for instance, just say, they’ve been on a page. Which is a particular niche feature of your dog wash software which is about booking a calendar feature within your dog wash software. Basically what’s freaking amazing here is then you can go about targeting people all over the internet, whether it be on the Google display network or the Facebook ads audience network. With content around how easy it is to book people into your workflow.

So then you can essentially have dogs coming in left, front, and center and booking appointments and getting haircuts all day long. So you can do some really powerful things for remarketing. And I totally recommend you go about doing it.

Now, when it comes to remarketing, that’s one side of this, but the thing that really gets overseen all the freaking time is the conversion rate optimization for your software company and the key thing.

And I’m going to say the most important thing here that you need to get is the landing page. If this landing page, isn’t clear, it’s not aligned with your ads messaging. It doesn’t have a great user experience. It doesn’t have a really solid transformation. It really paints what your software does in a really clear, succinct way.

So people go, oh shit, no wonder. I want my app to be engaging. XY.Zed app for my business. It’s game over. It’s freaking toast. So you really need to ensure that. So you’ve got to have an insanely good landing page to ensure that when you drive traffic to your website, there’s no conversion bleed points the click off to other websites or other pages on your website, because it’s going to just not encourage the user to do anything of value at that point.

So again, you need to ensure that your landing pages are optimized to generate the conversion event that you want, whether it’s free trials, phone calls, booked calls, demos purchases, like whatever the hell it has to be. It needs to be doing that.

Then you’ve got AB testing. Now, AB testing is a more advanced thing where we go about testing different elements of your ads at different elements of the landing pages to find out what works best over time. If you’re spending big money here, the AB test makes sense. Or if you’re spending not so much money, but you’ve got long amounts of time to test particular tests for that’s.

Okay. We can do that here. The big things that you want to go about testing with an AB test are themes that scream, not the things that whisper. So headlines, videos, whatever happens above the fold. They’re like the main three things that you need to see on your landing pages and test them over a period of time to go about driving your customer acquisition costs down. Now, one of the key things about ensuring that your landing pages are good and your ads are good.

Not only to ensure that you’ve got congruency between your ads and your landing pages, but to ensure you’ve got a really clear call to action, which makes. Sense. It has to be compelling. It guides the users on what’s going to happen next. And it’s. It’s just like super crucial for conversions. Now. Finally what’s actually, no, it’s not so fun.

And they’ve got a couple more things to Mount and talk to you about today. What’s really key here as well, is that you need to then think about, okay we’ll get the landing page optimized. How do we really ensure that these ad copies are good? Now. When it comes to these ad copies. You’d need to ensure it’s compelling.

And the way we do that is ensuring that we’re focusing on the benefits. I either transformation. How are you improving the problems in the user’s life? Like how are you giving that? Oh, wow. My life is so much better. The more you just list features. The more you talk about yourself and no one wants to hear about you. They want to know about how you can help them remember WWI, FM.

It’s literally the most listened to radio station on the planet. Why? Because it’s called what’s in it for me, FM, if you know what I’m saying? So get that right. Now I can get that done. You want to ensure that you can embed some form of emotional triggers into your ads. So incorporate those emotions that make your ad relatable. Make them persuasive and ensure that they drive action. And then finally ensure that your value prop is crystal clear.

And I really want to say that you need to clearly articulate the unique value that you and your software company bring to the marketplace. And how do you set yourself apart from those competitors?

Now step four from the advanced tactics are utilizing some high level keyword research to refine your targeting and increasing your relevance.

I did say at the start that as a basic thing, you should at least use like the Google keyword planner. And if you can’t afford to spend the money on SCM rush and IHF reps. But what you also want to consider is what are your competitors doing? What are they spending money on? How can you understand and uncover the targeting that they’re using?

So you can identify unique opportunities for you and your own strategy. And that’s going to make a massive difference. When you get to a more advanced level, you start focusing on longer tail keywords, longer phrases, things that are more specific. So you can capture leads with even greater intent than before. Instead of choosing a keyword, which may just be like marketing, CRM marketing software, it might be. And dog wash CRM marketing software, or CRM marketing pricing CRM marketing reviews, go deep on those longer tail keywords so you can increase the intent.

And when you’ve got really high intent and you’ve got really the spark searches and very cool Gruin matches between the search and the landing page. He had some insane results with Google essence and very low cost. Customer acquisition costs whilst having extreme. Customer lifetime value. That’s a recipe for scale, by the way.

And then finally, and this is what the power of working with a world-class agency like Owendenny Digital is that you need that continuous optimization. I regularly update and refine your keyword list. Constantly evaluate your bidding strategies and then constantly improve your on your performance status so you can ensure that you’re increasing your relevancy and your efficiency at every step.

Now. Once you start going through obviously the basic steps and then you were advanced steps. What can you do in terms of like, how do you measure success? First things first. You need to set up conversion tracking now at the start of this call and parts of this call. It’s a podcast. The thing is at the beginning, you need to ensure you got your conversion tracking set up properly. You need a Google tag manager, google analytics, you need to track your conversions from Google ads. Not just importing your tracking from your Google analytics and then importing that into Google ads.

That’s a last case scenario. Google ads and Google outer lakes aren’t best friends. They’re relatives, but they’re not best friends. So you need to go about tracking your conversion tracking. Using the Google ads, conversions tags. And not just Google analytics. So first things first, you need to get that established, right?

When it comes to setting up your conversion tracking, the next thing you need to do is then determine what does the ROI look like for you and your campaign. So if you can establish some form of ROI calculation . If I’m spending $2,000 on Google ads and I want to make, say $5,000. What sort of metrics do I need to hit?

How much do I need to be paying per lead? How many dollars do I need to be paying per demo? How many leads do I need to generate, et cetera, et cetera. And then you can start to figure out exactly what your metrics must be. When to go and when to say no to running and spending more money with big alphabet. The second thing you want to consider as well is how do you go about optimizing the campaigns to ensure what’s driving conversion?

So when you’re looking at your ads, you don’t just want to go spend willy nilly. You want to see, okay, cool. Cause we’ve set up the conversion tracking. We know how much we’re spending. We knowing how many conversions you’ve got and we know how many phone calls this is turning into. That’s fantastic.

So once you’ve got all that, you can then properly allocate your budgets. Now, when it comes to conversion tracking as well, we do strongly recommend that we use something like a CRM to manage this as well. We’re massive advocates for HubSpot. Why? It’s dead simple. With HubSpot, you can essentially track all of the contacts and all the booked calls that come through your Google ads campaigns in a very integrated way. So if you do have HubSpot, if you do run Google ads, campaigns, that is the shit that you need to do is freaking amazing.

Now. When you start looking into that, you probably want to pay a deeper layer. Because you’ve got conversion tracking, you figuring out ROI using HubSpot and you starting to see contacts coming through.

This is all great. But then how do I really understand what’s going to be happening in the next three, six to 12 months? It’s pretty simple. You need to go deep and look at your performance insights. You need to look at your trends analysis and you need to understand your audience insights. Why?

First things first with your performance enzymes, you can then go about looking into which ads keywords and targeting options are performing better. So you can, okay these things perform really well for our brand. You can then look at your trends. What happened over the last three months, six months, 12 months, three years.

So you can understand what’s happening over time. That’s affecting your campaign performance and can guide strategic adjustments. And then finally your audience insights. See Who’s converting. Why are they converting? And what can you do to ensure that you can generate some more targeted marketing efforts, which can just get you more results?

It’s pretty, pretty simple. Once you’re doing all this analysis. It’s no good. Just like sledding it, sit there and think, oh, I can’t do anything now. No, you can’t. This is when you get into it. This is when you go about implementing new strategies to improve your return on advertising spend or your ROI and reducing the wasted spend because you will, through this process, find campaigns that are performing. So this is the time when you really go deep on your negative keyword list. Add negative keywords on a monthly basis, prevent ads from showing to people who are totally irrelevant and reduce your ad spend.

So then. Reducing your wasted spend. So you can then go put more money back into those performing campaigns. What’s another really cool expert feature here is scheduling your ads to run at the right time. Now, this isn’t so much. A problem with software companies. But I do know that this is really powerful when it comes to say you’re all like a pizza shop and you’re only open from say midday through to 8:00 PM.

You don’t want to be running ads at eight o’clock because he can’t take orders. So that’s something that I would say is really interesting. I would go about leaning into ad scheduling and see what you can do if you’ve got so customer support and stuff like that, they’re doing around the clock.

Yeah, fine. But sometimes you may just want to run the ads whilst your team is in the building. Just a thought. And then finally, there’s this thing, what they call the quality score improvement. This is a metric that you can evaluate with Google and optimizing for the Google’s quality score. It can reduce the cost per click, which can improve the ad positioning.

And then more importantly, And more enticingly enhance your overall ROI. Now. There’s a lot here and things change and things move all the time. So I think it’s really crucial to ensure the Google ads. You are like staying and keeping up to date with all of Google’s updates. And the best way to do that is ensuring that your sign up like the Google partners newsletter, or any of the Google newsletters that come through. There is courses which Google make available for free for good people like yourself to get started on this. There are always changes in this platform like all media buying platforms. For some reason, the platform has just don’t want things to stay the same for the next five years. They are constantly doing things and they’re doing things and doing things, but. Apart from trying to listen to a guru like myself or one of the other people that you’ve probably listened to on a podcast.

I really do want to encourage you just to be testing and experimenting with this platform all the freaking time. Get into it. Haven’t been a fun. Look what these new. Bidding strategies or platforms and these new placements can provide for you because at the end of the day, the more tweaking you do, the more unique opportunities you may be able to uncover.

And if you can uncover a really good, unique opportunity, your business could explode. So guys that is everything you need to know. About Google ads and helping your SaaS business succeed in 2024.

If you want anything else from me, if you want to book a call with us at Owendenny Digital see how we can leverage everything you’re doing in your Google ads campaign and take your campaign from one X to save five X in 2024.

We are just a click away. All we need to do is to jump into the show notes and click the book of meeting now link. I’m not entirely sure what the CTA. It is. Oh, it should be. The marketing person should know that, but anyway, it will be there, but you know what, if you are looking to grow your SaaS business in 2024, 2025 and the rest. Hit us up. We’re Australia’s number one, SaaS marketing agency. For a reason, jump into the job notes, click any of those links, book a call with me and we’ll get to helping you and your business succeed in 2024.

I hope this has been massive. And may you have your best year yet? I’ll talk to you soon, bye bye!


Connect with Dean Denny, host of Open Source Growth and Director at Owendenny Digital

Owendenny Digital, Australia’s #1 SaaS Marketing Agency


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