How to get the most out of Google Adwords marketing
When you are considering your digital marketing strategy, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising appears to be a great tool for increasing the number of visitors to your site without too much effort. The only obvious drawback being the amount of money you can spend in such a short time.
Creating a successful PPC marketing campaign is not always easy. It should involve time and patience to monitor your keywords diligently, analysing the results and adjusting the adverts accordingly on a regular basis. It is very tempting when you first start out to set-up a campaign and then let it sit there collecting clicks without returning to it. This can lead to wasting lots of money on clicks that come from people who aren’t really interested in your products or services.
It is important you apply a systematic approach to your campaign, starting slowly and gradually adding more elements as you get to grips with the platform and start seeing some success. Our suggested approach is detailed below.
Begin by creating a Google Adwords account and setting up your first campaign.
Choose your campaign type as Search Network Only as this will only show your ads on the search network and remove it from the content network. The content network displays ads on Google partner sites to people who are browsing sites rather than searching for specific terms.
In the Devices option, select All to display your ads on every device available. Once you are comfortable with the campaign, you can begin to differentiate ads to different devices.
Set the target location depending on the type of business you are. For companies who are more suited to local customers, such as independent retail outlets or trade services, select your target location as your local town/city or county, depending on your customer reach. If your business is more product based and it doesn’t matter where your customers are from, select as greater area as possible, or just choose All.
For the bidding options, select manual bidding to give you greater control over individual ads and keywords and set the budget to what you can afford. A tip here is to actually set the budget to something more than you can afford initially, as this will help you get a better click-through-rate (CTR) which will, in turn, improve your quality score. You can then lower your budget later on.
Organise your ads
This is where you need to get organised as potentially you will have multiple ads working across many keywords. It is sensible to create a number of ad groups containing 3 or 4 ads each. The ad groups should reflect your different products or services. This was you can have different ads for each one, and likewise, different keywords.
The adverts you create in each ad group should be different so that you can test which ones work best.Try alternative headings and copy. Google will automatically rotate the ads.
Getting the content right
Prepare your website landing pages to go hand-in-hand with your adverts. You may also create pages which aren’t necessarily within the flow of your website; they are made specifically for your advert. This way you are able to tailor the page to suit the ad perfectly. Your adverts needs to reflect the landing page as much as it possibly can. That means using keywords found in your website copy in the advert heading and text, as well as the keyword list. It is also recommended to use a call-to-action in the landing page, e.g. Buy now, get a quote etc. and also include this in your advert.
When creating your keyword list, be specific and use more than one word. Make use of the available match types – broad, phrase and exact. The following example illustrates the difference between them. If your keyword is ‘stylish shoes for men’, you can expect your ad to appear on search results with these searches:
Broad – stylish shoes, black shoes, comfy shoes, men’s shoes, stylish men, men’s stylish shoes (i.e. any keyword containing those words)
Phrase – brown stylish shoes for men, stylish shoes for men and women (i.e. words before and/or after keyword)
Exact – stylish shoes for men (i.e. the exact keyword only)
A good tip is to avoid having keywords which are popular and therefore expensive. If you create a large keyword list containing more specific words relevant to your business, they will individually have a lower search volume, but collectively can reach a greater search volume than the more expensive keywords.
It is also good practice to create a list of negative keywords – words that are not relevant to your business, but may be connected to other keywords which are. Google will then remove your ad form any searches containing these negative keywords. You can create this list at the bottom of the page on the Keywords tab.
This is probably the most important part of any campaign. Getting it right can allow your ads to appear higher up the listings, be shown more frequently and cost you less. It can make or break a campaign. Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s a long process of trial and error before you hit the right formula. The tips I have outlined above will put you in good stead to achieve good ratings in the three quality score categories:
Expected click-through rate (the historical click-through-rate of the keyword and ad)
Ad relevance (the keywords used in heading and copy of the ad)
Landing page experience (the keywords, call-to-action, page navigation, load speed)
A quality score of 7 is good. Above 7 is excellent but difficult to achieve. Below 7 means you need to work on the ad.
Adjusting your campaign
You need to keep an eye on all the ads, keywords and quality scores across your ad groups. Some will work and others won’t so it’s worth testing, changing, testing again. The more you adjust your campaign, the more likely you’ll lower your CPC and get more customers.
Once your campaign has been running for a week or so you will be able to view a list of keyword phrases that searches have typed in and consequently clicked on your ad. This list can be found within the Keywords tab, Details menu – Search Terms – All. This list will almost certainly contain phrases which are not relevant to your business. Make a note of the non-relevant words which are causing wasted clicks, then add them to your negative keyword list.
As mentioned in the initial setup, you can allow campaigns to to run on all devices, just mobile, or just desktop. Mobile users tend to interact with ads in different ways (they may respond to different messages, offers, keywords and calls-to-action). For this reason, it’s a good idea to run a separate mobile-only adwords campaign as, according to Google, they get an ‘extra 11% click through when it’s run and optimized separately.’ This means also creating mobile-only landing pages and mobile-only adverts.
Measuring success – goal conversions
Your campaign can only be considered a success if you manage to convert clicks into customers. Part of the digital marketing strategy for your business should include tracing where customers come from. This can be achieved by setting goals relevant to your website. For example, when someone buys a product, or completes an contact form.
In the Tools menu, there is a option called Conversions. From there you can create new conversions or import them from Google Analytics. This is a great way of tracking how your ads are performing and whether they are really sending visitors to the right place in order to increase your return on investment.
You may have noticed whilst searching that some companies have Google adverts appearing in the top position even though they are placed very high in organic search. This is an excellent idea as it shows (and in some cases, fools) consumers who is the market leader and the dominant force in their industry. You may also trust an advert more if you also see it in the organic search.
Make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your website and that it is linked to Adwords. This way, you can see more stats in both applications and import/export data between them. The option to link accounts is in the Analytics Admin section.