Google AdWords is something most all of us have probably heard of, however many people spend more money than they have to, or misspend money because their campaigns aren't properly optimized.
The system is simple enough: choose a demographic, set either a cost-per-click or impression based bidding system, create your ad, and then track and optimize keyword efficiency. Before we get started, let's look at a few things to consider. Google AdWords is a very real way to get traffic to your site, you want that traffic not only to be highly targeted, but also coming to a page where a conversion can be made. Most people use Google AdWords to direct search traffic for specific keywords to their website in order to increase the chance that customers will purchase their products. Given the fact that you're either paying for the number of impressions you receive, or the number of clicks you receive, it's to your benefit to capture only the highest quality traffic. A well designed AdWords campaign can bring in 3x the revenue of your investment. For example, if you spend one hundred dollars and receive around 100 clicks linking a customer to a 300 dollar product, it only takes one conversion (buying your product) from those clicks to make you 300 dollars. Of course this is ideal, and isn't always the case, but nevertheless, it's very possible if your site and your campaign are properly optimized.
1. Specificity is vital – Choose demographic factors very carefully.
Google will prompt you for a number of preferences – the most important ones are covered here.
You need to decide if you will show this ad on mobile devices or not. To decide this you should think about your customers. Will they be making purchases, or needing to access the material you're promoting via their mobile device? Or will they be more likely to convert when using a desktop or laptop. I've found the latter is true for most online purchases, for that reason sticking with the second is a good option. This helps prevent clicks that won't convert, and thus saves you money.
Second, the geographical location of your ad is obviously very important. If you're promoting a local conference that only people form your particular state would attend, there's absolutely no sense in advertising nation wide, after all, any clicks you get outside of that particular state won't contribute to gaining attendees. Likewise, don't market a coffee shop in Manhattan to search inquiries in LA. Language is equally important, make it the same as your target customer. Choosing to allow your ad to be displayed on Google's affiliate networks can be beneficial or unnecessary, but basically understand that other search partners, like YouTube etc will be allowed to feature your ad.
2. Choosing a proper budget is essential to your campaign's success.
Google asks you to set a daily budget. You can change this later, so put in a fitting number, perhaps $ 25.00 per day, and then once you put in your keywords you can figure out what the maximum bid and typical click through rate will be based on the amount you've opted to spend per day. Then, re-configure appropriately if necessary. You can also pay per thousand impressions. This may be useful to you, but if you're a beginner, starting off in the typical CPC style may be best suited to those still learning.
As with any new type of marketing, you will want to revise and tweak your settings to see what works best for you and your business as time goes on. Google asks about position preference and delivery method. Typically a position preference that only shows your ads when they're in the top three places is good, but not required. Delivery method is dependent upon your daily budget. If you use accelerated delivery your ads will be shown all the time/more often, but this could cause your budget to run out earlier in the day. Conversely, if you have a lower budget, choosing standard (default), is a good idea because it will attempt to evenly distribute your ad's showing throughout the day until your budget is up.
3. Keyword optimization is more important in AdWords than anything else.
Start by researching what keywords are bringing traffic to your competitors websites. For the sake of example, we will talk about an arbitrary company name, "Hotel Garden Works ". This is a made up company, a landscaping firm only for hotels. They work on major overhauls, initial construction and design for hotel landscaping projects.
Examples: Good vs. Bad Keywords
Bad: landscaping, gardening, sprinkler installation, outdoor lighting, pool landscaping, grass seeding etc.
While all of these are things the company does, none of them will capture significant traffic (too popular of search terms), nor will they be valuable traffic once people follow ads for the company based on these keywords. These terms are used by typical people most likely for home and gardening inquires. After they click a link to Hotel Garden Works, they will realize it's only a landscaping company only for hotels, click off, and you've just lost money on that click.
Good: hotel landscaping orange county, hotel pool installation and design, gate control and security for hotels, hotel garden maintenance, roof design for hotels, hotel gardening
Notice there are two things at play above, 1) the use of hotel to distinguish out proper traffic from stray searches, and 2) a geographic factor if there are location restrictions. If you offer hotel gardening services in LA, OC, and San Diego, include those cities in keyword clusters. This will help make your traffic even more targeted.
4. Create multiple ads and determine which are the best performing.
This is something that isn't always obvious to beginners using Google AdWords. You will create an ad that you think will have the text that will be most likely to be clicked upon. It's strongly encouraged to create multiple ads with different text elements that are the same, and others that are different. Then you can see which title, description, and link in the right combination works best. Often what the person setting up the ad thinks will get the most clicks isn't the combination of title and description that actually does. This is a way of safeguarding against this and creating the best quality ad.
Using the right strategies, and fine tuning them after your first run through has given you data will make you more successful with each subsequent campaign. Good luck!
Michael Costigan speaks to teens and adults about effective communication so that they may make better informed decisions together. Read more about Michael here.