Google AdWords is a powerful marketing medium that connects your business with potential customers looking for your products or services.
What makes this platform so effective is the targeting capabilities it offers. With a few changes you can easily target specific regions and reach mobile users more effectively. Even with a limited marketing budget, you can drive great results from your campaigns.
But simply starting a campaign and loading keywords into it is no guarantee that it will generate immediate results. In fact, taking this approach could quickly burn through your budget without nothing to show for.
Here we look at some of the most effective strategies to maximise your online advertising efforts with Google AdWords advertising.
1. Establish a Clear Goal
Even before getting started with AdWords, you should have a clear goal in mind.
Some examples might include:
- Increasing sales of a new product line
- Completing a lead form for your services
- Generating more sign ups for a company newsletter
By identifying an objective right from the start, you greatly increase your chance of success. It also helps you create more focused ads and landing pages that push those goals even further. So take some time first to identify what you want to achieve with AdWords so you can better measure the results.
2. Narrow Down Your Keywords
One mistake that many business owners make is targeting keywords that are too broad.
If your store sells digital cameras, your first instinct may be to bid on “digital cameras” or even “cameras” to gain as much as traffic as possible. The problem though is that it is impossible to understand the intention behind those search so conversions tend to be low as a result. But a search for “Canon EOS 5D digital camera” is far more specific and more likely to result in a purchase.
So focus your efforts on targeting long tail keywords to get more value out of your marketing budget. Note that all keywords are set to Broad Match by default so you may need to change this to Phrase or Exact Match.
3. Organise Keywords Into Groups
Relevance is key at every step.
Ads are typically created for each ad group which is why it is essential to organise keywords into themed groups. Grouping related keywords together allows you to write targeted ads. Relevant ads that match a user’s search query ultimately translates to better campaign performance.
Here is an example from Google that illustrates structured ad groups:
Of course, each of those keywords can also be made into a separate ad group (e.g. flavours of ice cream, etc.). Ideally, it is best to keep ad groups below 20 keywords or less. Any more than that could reduce the effectiveness of your campaigns.
4. Use Negative Keywords
In some cases, you may want to exclude certain keywords from triggering your ads. For example, someone using the phrase “free” in their search may not be ready to make a purchase just yet. Likewise, you wouldn’t want your ads to trigger for irrelevant terms as those would translate to wasted clicks.
Negative keywords let you exclude certain terms from triggering your ads.
This feature is incredibly useful and results in much better targeting. Adding negative keywords can also help boost the Quality Scores of your campaigns. To find out what search terms are triggering your ads, simply view the Search Term Report. The report is not only useful to see what keywords are generating results, but also for building out a negative keyword list.
5. Use Geotargeting
Geotargeting is an advanced feature that lets you target specific regions. This feature is particularly useful for small businesses that only cater to customers in a certain. At the top of one of your campaign pages, simply click on the Edit link next to the Targeting and you will see the following:
Then enter in a city to target or exclude from your campaign. You can even have your ads display within a certain radius by clicking on the Advanced search link. Use geotargeting to increase the effectiveness of your online advertising efforts.
6. Incorporate Ad Extensions
Ad Extensions are an advanced feature that improves the visibility of your ads. One example is the Sitelink Extension which adds additional links to your ads in the search results:
Here is another ad with the Call Extension which lets mobile users call a business directly:
Using Ad Extensions can boost your click through rates and result in more sales. But note that certain requirements (e.g. minimum Ad Rank) must be met before these extensions can be displayed.
7. Split Test Your Ads
Most business owners simply create one ad for each ad group and let them run.
A much better approach is to create a second ad with a minor change such as in the headline, body, or display URL. The idea is to let the two ads run simultaneously and then compare the results after sufficient data has been collected. Then the ad with the higher click through rate remains while the other drops. Split testing your ads is incredibly valuable and can dramatically boost the results of your AdWords campaign.
8. Set Up Call Tracking
Not all sales take place over the web. Some customers feel more comfortable with calling a business directly and confirming their purchase that way. But for whatever reason, phone calls are often one metric that goes unreported. With AdWords, you can easily track calls to your business and even conversions.
From your account, click on the Tools links at the top and click on Conversions. Then click the red +Conversion button and choose the option to track phone calls.
Simply follow the rest of the steps to start tracking phone calls to your business.
9. Build Optimised Landing Pages
Many businesses make the mistake of sending traffic to their homepage. A better approach is to create a targeted landing page for each ad group. An optimised landing page that matches the user’s search query and the ad is far more likely to convert than a generic landing page. And it is also more likely to result in a higher Quality Score.
So build out optimised landing pages to maximise your paid traffic efforts.
10. Optimise For Mobile Devices
The importance of mobile cannot be stressed enough. Your site needs to be mobile friendly or you risk visitors quickly bouncing out without even looking at your offer. Responsive design is Google’s recommended solution which means that the site automatically adjusts to fit all screen resolutions.
Remember to also and loading times of your site.
Drive measurable results with Google AdWords advertising. But before getting started with a new campaign, implement each of these tips as described here to maximise your online marketing efforts.