Google AdWords –The right Management can make the difference
Whether you’re running a small online business from your home, or managing a national company, you’ve no doubt heard about experiences many people have had with Google’s ‘Pay-per-click’ advertising platform, AdWords.
If not, some quick Google searches will quickly tell you that this method of advertising can either be a money pit for your business that eats up thousands of dollars with little return, or the golden ticket your business needs to see it grow & prosper.
Below are some tips to help ensure that rather than waste your precious time and money, your next attempt at running an AdWords campaign is as effective as possible.
Utilise the help of a Search expert. Unlike many traditional forms of advertising, AdWords cannot simply be launched and forgotten, In fact this is the mistake many people make when running a campaign. Your campaign must be carefully constructed, then monitored, analysed, and optimised on almost daily basis. And while you’ll be able to run a basic campaign yourself, performance will be optimal when you’ve got an experienced professional doing the work for you – think of your AdWords campaign like your car. Sure you’re able to pick up a book and perform a basic service by yourself, but it takes a professional to spot the real problems that may end up costing you big money later on down the track.
Track absolutely everything! The beauty of AdWords is that with the right set up, you’re able to track almost everything. From the amount of traffic you’re generating for your website, to the search terms people are using to find your advert, all the way to which search terms have resulted in a sale on your website. This information is a necessity in ensuring your campaign is running at its highest potential. So ensure that AdWords’ built in ‘Conversion Tracking’ software has been installed onto your website before running any activity. This will allow you to quickly see which keywords you should be spending money on, and which keywords are performing poorly and therefore should be removed from your campaign.
Qualify your traffic at the advert level. As you’re paying for each click on your Google ads, it’s extremely important to ensure that every click on your ad has potential of making a sale/enquiry. This can be done in a number of ways, including:
- Make sure your adverts are very clear in conveying what you want visitors to do once they’ve entered your site. Whether it’s to buy one of your products or enquire about a service, make sure your ad creative is crystal clear in telling people exactly what you’re offering.
- If you’re advertising a service, always mention your service area in your adverts. This will prevent people from outside your service area clicking on your ad and therefore wasting your advertising budget. Google does allow you to target your audience by location; however there can be issues with this occasionally so using locations in your adverts will ensure your traffic is as qualified as possible.
- Mention pricing. This will ensure that the people clicking on your advert (and therefore consuming your advertising spend) are happy with your price before being sent to your website, and are therefore more likely to convert into a sale. Some advertisers will try and steer away from this when their prices – especially when their prices are above that of their competitors, but to ensure your conversion rate is as high as possible it’s best to make sure your site visitors are happy with your price before they click your ad. If your prices are higher than some of your competitors, it’s also a good idea to use incentives in your adverts to show added value (e.g. free delivery, special deals etc.).
Work on your ‘Click-Through-Rate (CTR)’ – and don’t stop…ever! AdWords is designed in a way that incentivises advertisers to make adverts as appealing as possible. It does this using a measurement called “quality score”, which gives your keywords a rating between 1 and 10. The higher your quality score, the lower your click costs (aka ‘Cost-Per-Click’ or ‘CPC’) will be and therefore the better your campaign performance will be. The strongest variable in increasing quality score is your ‘Click-Through-Rate’ (or simply CTR), which is calculated by using the formula ‘advert clicks / number of searches’. Therefore, you must do everything you can to improve your CTR and never stop working to improve it. Ensure your adverts are highly relevant to your services/products; make your advert stand out in any way possible via the use of special deals, incentives, etc. and make sure your keyword list is targeted to the products/services you offer.
Make use of AdWords’ transparent reporting functions. AdWords has a range of reporting functions that allow you to see exactly what your campaign is doing. Here are a few of our favourites.
- Search Query Reports. This report shows you exactly what people are typing into Google to find your ads, and the importance of this information is massive. If you’re running a campaign to sell cars, you might have the keyword “buy cars” within your campaign. Because of AdWords’ broad targeting function, Search Query reports might show you that you’re wasting a lot of money on searches made by people using “buy toy cars”. You’ll then be able to add the word “toy” as a negative term within your campaign to ensure your adverts no longer appear when someone makes a search containing this word.
- Location reports. This report allows you to break down your clicks & conversions by city. Information like this is extremely helpful in improving conversion rates for your campaign. For example, if you’re running an Australia-wide campaign and see that Brisbane traffic isn’t converting for you, simply disable your ads from showing in Brisbane!
- Hour of day reporting. This level of reporting can be very useful, especially for services such as emergency plumbing where most people will be looking for a company at a particular time of day.
NEGATIVE keywords. The key to any conversion-focus AdWords campaign is negative keywords. Negative keywords allow you to stop your adverts for appearing for unwanted searches relating to your services or products. If you’re running an ecommerce site, add negative keywords such as “courses”, “training”, “jobs”, “free”, etc. you can also use your search query report to find high volume but low converting search queries and set these as negatives.
Hopefully with these tips, you’re ready to start work on your own AdWords campaign and start generating that positive ROI. To summarise:
- Invest in the help of an expert. They’ll find the holes in your campaign’s leaky (and money filled) pipes!
- Ensure you’re tracking everything, right down to your on-site conversions!
- Qualify your traffic at the advert level. Make sure the people clicking your ads are as likely to convert as possible!
- Constantly work on improving your ‘CTR’. The better your CTR, the less you’ll pay for traffic. This is key in getting the edge on your competitors!
- Utilise all of the AdWords reporting tools. The more you know about your traffic, the easier it’ll be to target the right people.
- Make use of negative keywords. Only show your ads to people who are likely to result in a conversion on your site!