In 2020, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates U.S. consumers spent $99 billion in pet products and services. That’s $3.3 billion more than in 2019 and nearly $10 billion of growth in just 2 years, and we will see it continue to rise. So needless to say, American pet owners have a strong brand loyalty towards their special companions and it is a big market with many products and barriers to entry. Every dollar counts when marketing your pet-related product or service business. Your company might not have the same advertising dollars that a large company like Chewy has at its disposal, but that’s okay!

As a recognized pet marketing agency, we’ve managed effective Google Ads campaigns for large national pet chains as well as smaller, local businesses. Many of the same tactics and strategies work well no matter what your size.

This article will review how to generate a highly effective Google Ads campaign, whether your budget is big or small, to get the same return-on-investment.

Table of Contents:

The Four Key Components to Running a Successful Google Pay-Per-Click Campaign for Your Pet Business

There is a beginning, a middle, but never an end to a Google Ads campaign. The beauty of this form of advertising is that it can be molded and altered to keep up with this always-changing world. It might seem overwhelming, but everything else will fall into place once you know where to start. As long as you follow this strategic structure using these four key components, you’ll develop a successful paid search campaign.

  • Campaign Goal & Measurement
  • Target Audience
  • Search Behavior & Intent
  • User Experience

Pet Marketing Key Component #1: Campaign Goal & Measurement

To get your campaign started, you should first ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your business objective?
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • What is your Key Performance Indicator (KPI)?

Your “business objective” should be whatever goal you’d like to achieve within your business. So, let’s say the owner of Diggity Dawg, a local pet care business in Queens, NY, is firing up a new Google Ads campaign. DD’s objective is to draw new clientele from the local area and highlight new contactless services.

Your “strategy” should include your plan of action to achieve your overall business objective. This may range from basic initiatives like “grow awareness among our target demographic”, but should also include specific actions and tasks like “run a display campaign to increase brand visibility in our region.” So Diggity Dawg’s strategy may be to maximize their outreach within a 3-mile radius of their business and engage local dog owners in conversation about the latest safety model they put in place.

Your KPI should be whichever metric(s) are the most useful in tracking your campaign success. If you’re building awareness, impressions and clicks may be the way to go. If your objective and strategy call for tracking of specific actions online, those actions should be your main KPI. If Diggity Dawg is focused on lead gen — whether that is a phone call or a form filled out on their website, click-to-call (CTC) and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) will be the KPIs they monitor closely.

The most important thing with KPIs is to accurately track them. Bad data results in missed opportunities or wasted ad spend. Tracking can be simple with Google Analytics. If you have an e-commerce site, enabling ecommerce tracking will let you know every dollar and cent spent on your site that came from your ads.

For Diggity Dawg, they install Google Ads call tracking on their site and also make sure to track whenever a form is submitted. This gives them valuable conversion data to carry back into their Google Ads account.

Pro Tip: If they were a brick and mortar store, they could take advantage of some advanced tracking. Google Ads can track someone who entered the physical store location after viewing an ad.

Once the KPIs are defined and the tracking is in place, Diggity Dawg can seamlessly move onto the next step.

Pet Marketing Key Component #2: Target Audience

Next, consider your business’ target audience.

Diggity Dawg wants to run a display campaign and a YouTube campaign on Google. First, they need to make sure they are in front of the right target market. Using Google ads, they try searching “pet care” or “dog walkers,” and the results come back with these affinity audiences:

Google ads affinity audiences indicating Pet Lovers and Dog Lovers for campaign audiences

Affinity audiences are groups of users that have shown a certain interest and passion or “affinity” in a topic area and can be selected as audiences.

Next, they search for “pets” and find there are some in-market audiences that might be of interest. (In-market means someone is actively looking to buy). DD sees the following target market audiences:

Google ads in-market audiences indicating Pet Lovers and Dog Lovers for campaign audiences

When creating the display and YouTube campaigns, DD selects the Dog Food & Supplies audience and the Pet Lover audience to test.

They also build their own “Custom Intent” audience by inputing their own keywords like “dog walker,” “dog walking service,” and other related searches. DD can target anyone who has searched these terms on Google, now targeting them on YouTube, or any site where a Google Display Ad can be shown.

Using Google Ads, you can get that granular in targeting your specific audience. It gives you the flexibility to concentrate on who you want

Lastly, Diggity Dawg also wants to build a Remarketing audience. They can target anyone who has been to the Diggity Dawg website but hasn’t filled out a form for their services. Once these users leave the site, Diggity Dawgs ads will follow them around and remind them of their service and their new safety initiatives.

Pro Tip: These audiences can also be used to modify search campaigns. For instance, when someone uses Google to search for a dog walking related keyword, Diggity Dawg might want to increase bids by 25% if they fall into an in-market audience for Dog Food & Supplies. Conversely, you might want to bid down 25% or more on anyone who falls into the in-market audience for Cat Food & Supplies.

At the end of the day, let the data be your guide. Select these audiences for observation in your search campaigns, and over time, the data will let you know if they are more or less likely to convert than the average person doing that same search. In this case, Diggity Dawg learns that their CPA for someone in the Dog Food audience is $15 per lead, while an average audience member has a CPA of $27 per lead. DD decides to increase their bids for those Dog Food shoppers to drive more leads at a lower average cost.

Using Google Ads, you can get that granular in targeting your specific audience. It gives you the flexibility to concentrate on who you want to interact with or exclude some from that pool to reduce cost.

Pet Marketing Key Component #3: Search Behavior & Intent

Pet parents search because something triggered the action. They could’ve seen an advertisement on TV, heard about a brand on the radio, saw a billboard while stuck in traffic, or just had a specific task in mind that made them think to Google it. That’s how advertising works.

Once that initial trigger takes place, the moment of truth in search advertising happens. Your goal is to be there when they come to Google and type in that question or keyword. They have a problem or need, and you are the solution.

To do that, it takes research into what people typically search. Use the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool. This tool finds projected search volume, click-through-rate (CTR), and CPC metrics to help you find your ideal keywords.

For example, Cindy is in the market to gift her furbaby pitbull a durable Christmas toy for the holiday, so she searched “super chewer dog toy” on Google.

On the first page, this ad pops up:

BarkBox example of Google Search ad

BarkBox appeared on top of the search results because they built their PPC campaign to land in front of pet owners like Cindy, looking for one of the primary products they sell, dog toys. They catered their messaging directly to her search, not only in the headline but also in the description.

The moment of truth in search advertising happens. Your goal is to be there when they come to Google and type in that question or keyword.

Note: The keyword searched here, and the keyword bought by BarkBox was a “brand” keyword. The searcher knew what they wanted, and BarkBox purchased this keyword because of that. This is someone ready to buy. They intend to purchase. If they were just searching “dog toy” instead, they are more likely in research mode — a very different intent. These more generic keywords are much less likely to convert than the more specific, longer-tail keyword Cindy searched.

Your ads should also contain a call-to-action (CTA) to make your campaign as effective as possible. In our example, BarkBox’s CTA tells its audience to shop now to save 30% on monthly boxes. They even slide in that there is free shipping over $35 and free returns.

By having higher quality ads, such as this one, you can lower your average CPC and get better ad positions at the same time.

Pet Marketing Key Component #4: User Experience

Next, consider where you are sending users who click on your ads. The landing page must deliver the ad copy’s promise since it is one of the elements the ad rank algorithm considers. This also ensures a smooth customer experience, especially if the user is able to achieve their goal quickly and easily as soon as they land on your site.

BarkBox promised to give 30% off the consumer’s monthly super chewer boxes in the ad copy above if they clicked on that ad. Now, they have to ensure their landing page delivers on that promise.

The key to success here is that BarkBox sent Cindy to the exact product page she was seeking. There was no disconnect.

When Cindy clicked on the ad, she redirected to BarkBox’s super chewer landing page so she can shop with ease.

This direct user experience may lead to her signing up with a recurring monthly subscription with BarkBox. An easily accessible landing page could even encourage her to browse the site longer and add more items to her shopping cart.

The key to success here is that BarkBox sent Cindy to the exact product page she was seeking. There was no disconnect. She searched on Google, clicked on an ad relevant to her search, and found a landing page relevant to the ad. No wasted clicks, no getting lost by going to a homepage and having to search again.

Relevancy through this entire process is what you are trying to achieve to win that moment of truth and make that online sale – or whatever action you’re driving customers towards.

Google Ads Pet Marketing Best Practices

By clearly defining KPIs and goals early in the process and then tracking those KPIs well, Diggity Dawg was on the path to success. Now, they could successfully test audiences and targeting ideas that they suspected would result in sales.

BarkBox knows the importance of search intent. They invested in long-tail, brand-related keywords that showed high purchase intent. They also are aware that the most effective sales funnel compels the user with a strong CTA and delivers relevant results. By implementing either (or both) of these practices, you too can be well on your way to building your business and achieving your goals and objectives.

Need pet product marketing or pet care marketing help?

Pet product and services marketing is enormous and growing ever bigger by the day. Although your specific business objectives and marketing strategies may ultimately look vastly different than the few examples we were able to provide, we hope we were able to help you gain some insight to create a highly effective Google Ads campaign whether your budget is big or small.

At the end of the day, we know that digital marketing can be time-consuming and costly if you don’t do it right, so in certain cases, it is simply best to outsource it. Contact the experts. If your pet marketing teams face challenges and need an efficient way to start seeing digital marketing results, contact Zero Company to discuss solutions and assess if it makes sense for your business to hire us. We’d be more than happy to help you find the right marketing path.

Win your target customers. Since 2002, if clients need to reach their target audience at the early stimulus awareness phase or win them at the Zero Moment of Truth, Zero Company Performance Marketing has been helping marketing teams and business leaders earn the trust of their target audiences by defining their complete digital marketing experience. Whether it is paid digital advertising like Google PPC, Social Media, YouTube Ads, Retargeting, and Programmatic or organic activities like Website Design, Content Development, and SEO, we help you win the hearts, minds, and wallet share of your customers.