Google Ads For Tradies: The Ultimate Guide.

Google Ads is one of the most efficient ways to get leads for your tradie business. Target your service area and only pay when people actually visit your website.

Are you already running Google Ads for your tradie business, or are you considering setting up an account?

Google Ads is one of the most efficient ways to get leads for your tradie business. Target your service area and only pay when people actually visit your website.

Compared to more traditional ways of advertising it’s far better targeted, as you only show your ad when people are actively searching for your service. This reduces unnecessary marketing spend and makes it more likely that people will contact you.

This is the ultimate guide to tradie advertising on Google.

About this guide

This article is divided into two sections. The first section will provide instructions on how to create a Google Ads campaign with the correct structure to begin optimising. The second section will provide tips and tricks for ongoing optimisation of the account, which will help to increase conversions while staying within budget.

About me: My name is Jeroen and I’m the founder of Vazooky Digital, a Google Ads agency in Sydney, Australia. Running Google Ads campaigns for my clients is what I do for a living. In this article, I will describe the steps that I typically follow to set up high-converting Google Ads campaigns for my clients.

Google Ads for tradies: an introduction

First, let’s start with a quick introduction to Google Ads.

Google Ads is Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform, formerly known as Google AdWords. By using Google Ads you can reach potential customers on Google Search and the Google Display Network.

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. It is an online advertising model that lets advertisers pay only when an ad is clicked. Google Ads is one of the most common platforms that use the PPC method. However, many other online advertising platforms are using the same method.

How can Google Ads help your tradie business?

Google Ads uses a disguised auction model.

Each advertiser can put in a bid on how much they are maximum willing to pay for a click on a particular keyword. Based on a complicated algorithm (which takes into account multiple factors like the bid and relevancy) Google decides the ad ranking of each advertiser.

How Google Ads works step 2

1. Search

Potential clients visit Google to search for a local plumber.

How Google Ads works step 1

2. Find

Your ad is shown on Google and they click to visit your website.

3. Convert

They provide you with all the lead details you need to follow up with them.

Now, let’s dig into some tips to get more results out of your campaign.


Setting up your tradie Google Ads campaign

  • Structuring your Google Ads account for tradies
  • Get started with your first Google Ads tradie keywords
  • Setting up an ad testing structure for your tradie business
  • Tweaking the campaign settings
  • Tracking your conversions

2. Structuring your Google Ads account for tradies

When it comes to your Google Ads account, think of it as a folder structure. Your keywords and ads are the foundation of your campaign, but the way you organize them in your campaigns and ad groups can help you optimize your campaigns in the future.

There is no limit to the number of ad groups and campaigns you can add, so make sure to create plenty. This will allow you to write more relevant ad copies for each ad group and gain more control over when Google triggers your keywords, resulting in a win-win situation.

Google Ads account structure explained.

2. Get started with your first Google Ads tradie keywords

Crafting a successful keyword list is essential for your campaigns. To ensure your keywords are performing optimally, the structure of your account should be built around them.

For more information on how to create a powerful keyword list, check out our full article. But here’s the gist:

Make sure to add as many relevant keywords to each ad group, including plurals, different match types, and even misspellings.

Google Ads’ Keyword Tool is a great resource to use when building your keyword list.

Screenshot of Google Ads keyword planner tool.

3. Setting up an ad testing structure for your tradie business

To ensure that your ad campaigns are appealing to potential customers, it is essential to test and optimise the ad copy. This will help you determine which ad copy works best for each ad group.

Screenshot of how to use the keyword insertion in Google Ads.

Link your ads to the most specific landing pages on your site. If needed, consider creating new landing pages.

By testing and optimising the ad copy’s you can find out which ad copy is the best for which ad group.

Start with adding at least 2 ad copies per ad group so that you start testing straight away.

4. Tweaking the campaign settings

Unfortunately, the standard settings of Google Ads are not always the best to use for your campaigns. Before you launch your campaigns you will need to double-check these and make some changes here and there.

To be on the safe side, I would recommend starting off with the settings that work the best. You can always change and open things up at a later stage.

Please note, that these settings really depend on the type of tradie business that you’re running. You might want to adjust this based on your product, service or market. In general, these settings will eliminate traffic that is less likely to convert.

  • Check that Campaign Type is set to Search Network Only
  • Disable search partners
  • Set mobile bid adjustments to -100%
  • Set ad rotation to Rotate indefinitely
  • Set language targeting to the appropriate language
  • Set location targeting to the appropriate location

Again, it depens on your business but this should give you some guidance.

4. Tracking your conversions

Before launching your PPC campaigns, make sure you set up conversion tracking to monitor leads and sales. This is the most important data to use when optimising your campaigns, as it allows you to track all of your results, such as impressions, clicks, spend, and conversions. All other data is automatically pulled into the dashboard.


Tips & optimisation of your tradie Google Ads campaign

  • Test your ad copies
  • Use geo-targeting
  • Track phone call leads
  • Use negative keywords
  • Build a dedicated PPC landing page
  • Focus on highly relevant search queries
  • “Be” local
  • Use ad extensions

1. Test your ad copies

Testing and optimising bits and pieces of your PPC campaign is the backbone for success.

Your ad is often the only thing from your PPC account that’s visible to the customer, and a great starting point to start A/B testing and optimising your campaign.

Ad testing is an ongoing process. Make sure you’re not just testing, but also improving your campaigns. If you keep testing 2 totally different ads you’re just testing.

Ideally, you keep the best performing parts of your ad and start testing smaller components of your ad instead. You can start with testing 2 completely different ads for a while and, once you have your best-performing, move into testing smaller parts of your ads.

Header image of how to improve your Google Ads ad copy article.

2. Use geo-targeting

Don’t waste any of your budget on people that are located outside your service area. Google Ads gives you the option to target very specific locations.

You can either use radius targeting (where you draw a circle around your business address), put in each of the suburbs individually, or use postcodes for this. It depends on your business which option you want to use.

Screenshot of radius targeting in Google Ads.

3. Track phone call leads

Getting conversion data in your campaigns is critical to understanding what is working. You can use this data to optimise your campaigns going forward.

If phone calls are important for your business you can set up phone call tracking within Google Ads. This will allow you to see which keywords and ads are giving you leads.

Australia is one of the countries in which Google offers call-forwarding numbers.

By adding an extra piece of code to your site, Google will swap the phone number that is displayed on your site to a Google forwarding number for all Google Ads visitors. Once potential customers call this number it will instantly be forwarded to your original phone number.

Additionally, you can also set up a call extension to show a phone number directly in the ad.

Image of phone calls being tracked in Google Ads.

4. Use negative keywords

Negative keywords will prevent your ad from being triggered. It’s very important that you build a large negative keyword list, especially if you’re using a lot of broad match and negative keywords.

Google Ads negative keywords explained

By adding this as a negative keyword list to your campaigns, people who include this in their search query won’t see your ad.

This will help you focus on clicks that will give you actual potential customers.

5. Build a dedicated PPC landing page

Even if your site looks great, you might want to consider building a PPC dedicated landing page.

As you will be paying quite a bit for a click, you want to make sure your conversion rate is as high as possible.

This means you want to build a landing page that is focused on one goal: generating leads.

It’s fine if people want to browse around your site, however they can do this once they gave you their details as well.

An ideal landing page would have a relevant headline and sub-headline, a short contact form with call-to-action and some basic details about your product or service. This should contain unique selling points (USP’s), testimonials, a short description of how it works etc.

Use the less-is-more principle for these pages. The more information you add, the bigger the change that people don’t fill in the form.

6. Focus on highly relevant keywords

Now, forget about the generic keywords that first come to mind. These keywords often get more impressions and clicks. However, the conversion rate of these keywords is often low. Also, there are more competitors which means a higher cost per click.

Long tail of Google Ads keywords.

It’s better to focus on the long-tail keywords. These keywords will get typed into Google less often. However, they tend to attract better quality visitors. Which means a higher conversion rate on your site.

7. “Be” local

You probably don’t have a marketing budget like some of the “big guys”, so you’ll have to be smart. By emphasising the fact that you’re a local business you can beat them on your turf.

Nobody knows your area as well as you. 

So make your ad copies and keyword list as local and specific as you can. Mention the suburbs you serve in your headlines, description lines and even your ad extensions!

No big company with a fancy office in the CBD will be able to compete with this.

8. Use ad extensions

Ad extensions are free. They will give your ad more real estate in the search engine. This will increase the likelihood of people clicking your ad.

Maybe not all ad extensions are applicable to your business. However, ad extensions like the sitelinks extensions and callout extensions will be useful for every business.

Ad extensions will also have a positive impact on your campaign’s Quality Score, so it’s really a no-brainer to add them to your campaigns.