AdWords is a very useful platform if you want to attract the right audience to your website (you can also read later this week: Why You Need To Advertise Using Google AdWords).
However, the only way to ensure good results when using AdWords is to make sure you follow the best practices.
Here are 10 key points you need to know to make your Google AdWords campaign a success.
1. Set a clear goal
What do you want to accomplish with your AdWords campaign?
If you answered: to improve my positioning in Google, to appear on the first page of Google for my keywords, to increase the number of visitors on my website, or attract leads, then AdWords may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
But if your goals are not related to the above, consider using a different digital media platform that suits your needs better.
2. Segment Appropriately
AdWords’ targeting is critical if you want to attract the exact type of customer that is likely to purchase your product or hire you.
You should also be clear about where you want your ads to appear: the locations, websites, devices and platforms they’ll appear on, and in what languages.
Be sure to select a specific area on the map and set a perimeter that you consider appropriate for your ad. You might even select certain areas within your locations of choice that just don’t seem right for your product or service.
And don’t forget that mobile devices are more popular than computers and laptops when it comes to surfing the web. Because of that, I recommend you to be sure all your ads can appear on mobile devices.
3. Select the correct keywords
Selecting keywords for your business is the first step you’ll take when building your campaigns in Google AdWords.
The main factor to consider when choosing keywords is to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal consumer.
Ask yourself what keywords you’d look for if you wanted the product or service you offer.
They’re not going to search your company name. So how would you talk about what you offer in colloquial terms? What language would you use?
The AdWords Keyword Planner will help give you ideas about what keywords might be relevant to your business, and will highlight the average number of monthly searches and how much competition there is for each keyword.
4. Add negative keywords
Imagine you have a luxury car dealership. One of your keywords (or keyphrases) might be “Luxury Cars in Mexico City”.
You’d want to attract people interested in luxury cars, right? Great, but if a bride wants to arrive at her wedding in a luxurious car and searches “luxury car rental in Mexico City”, your advertisement might appear and she would probably click on it.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean she will buy anything. And if she doesn’t, you’ve just used up one of your clicks.
What can you do to prevent that from happening? It’s very easy: Add negative keywords or keyphrases that won’t display your ads when searched for.
That way, you won’t waste your ad budget on clicks that will never turn into a sales opportunity for your business.
So, what kind of non-relevant searches might trigger your ads? Add them as negative keywords.
5. Select the match type
In addition to negative keywords, selecting a match type for your keywords will help you further filter out unwanted traffic.
Selecting a match type can help you define keyword groups more effectively and increase your return on investment.
There are three match types in AdWords:
Broad match: Here, your ad might appear slightly differently in the search results. This is the AdWords default option, but that does not mean that you should choose this option.
For example, if one of your keywords is “luxury cars,” the ad could also appear when someone searches for “cars” or “cars of the year”. But users who aren’t potential customers for your business might search on these keywords.
Accurate match: With this match type, the ad only appears when the user types in “luxury cars”, in that order (with no fewer or extra words).
For obvious reasons, this match type generates less traffic, but that traffic is of better quality. It’s qualified traffic. So you’ll increase your conversions.
Phrase match: This match type has the ad appear when someone writes a phrase that contains the keyword, even if the keywords appear in a different order or are accompanied by other words. For example, a user looking for “new and luxury car sales in Mexico City” will be able to see ads related to the keyword “luxury cars” and could be a quality potential customer.
6. Create different ad groups
A common mistake people make when using Google AdWords for the first time is to assign all keywords to the same ad.
The right way to manage a campaign in AdWords is to do the opposite, and assign different ads to each keyword.
Also, try creating several ad groups so the keywords in the ad groups are organized according to the different products or services they advertise, or at least group them by variation.
7. Optimize your ads so they’re really effective
What do I mean by really effective ads?
Ads that are eye-catching, and actually generate clicks and conversions.
First, let’s get down to basics: All AdWords ads are made up of the following sections: the title, the ad description, and the website URL.
For your ads to get the best results, make sure to implement best practice for each of the following:
The Title Of The Advertisement
As they are the first thing the user sees on a page they are very important. So use your keywords in the title. Then use your imagination to work on the title, making sure you don’t go over the maximum number of characters (yes, like on Twitter!).
The Ad Description
In the ad description, re-mention your keywords to increase the ad relevance score.
Users are more likely to click on an ad when they include the keywords they are looking for.
Don’t forget to clearly communicate the added value or unique aspects of your product, or how it compares to what the competition’s offering. Use an emotional value rather than a rational one.
It is also advisable to highlight the offer and add a call to action (CTA). Use imperative verbs, like save, buy, call, reserve, get, etc.
The Ad URL
Where it says “Destination URL”, you’ll add your website page address. Your ad will send the user to that page.
Since there are very long URLs out there, AdWords can create a different URL, which will only be visible to the user. This is called the “visible URL“.
8. Include ad extensions
You can also add additional extensions to your ads. The most popular include:
- Ad extensions: These let you add more information for your potential customers at no additional cost.
- Location Extensions: These add your company contact data.
- Sitelink Extensions: These show the user websites that may be of interest to them.
- Call extensions: These include a phone number.
- Social extensions: These add social recommendations to your ads or website.
You can include all the extensions you want—after all, Google will choose which to show in the search engine results according to the ones that show a higher CTR.
9. Optimize your landing page
Google AdWords can send potential customers to your website, but if your website isn’t optimized to generate sales or conversions, that potential customer might not find what they’re looking for and will click away in search of what really interests them.
According to best practice, ads should lead to a specialized landing page, that should, preferably, be different from your traditional homepage.
The recommendations for creating landing pages include:
- Making the title of the AdWords ad and the landing page title the same.
- Ensuring that the landing page’s CTA stands out clearly from the rest of the page. That way, prospects will know how and where to carry out the desired action.
- Keeping your landing page simple and concise. You want the user to feel comfortable, not bombarded with information.
- Communicating the added value of your product in a creative and original way.
- Adding the most relevant information to the top half of the page.
- Including a form that leads to a thank you page when it’s completed (find out how to create the best thank you page here).
10. Measure, analyze and optimize your campaigns
What is not measured, cannot be improved.
Use a tracking code or tag to measure the number of conversions* your campaigns generate, so you can calculate their return on investment.
If you track which keywords customers use and those they haven’t used, you can deactivate them so you’re left with those that generate sales.
*Conversions represent any action that you are interested a user makes on your website. Examples include filling out a form, making a purchase, subscribing, downloading content, etc.
My final word of advice: if you’d like your digital strategy to be well integrated, don’t settle on AdWords as your only means of driving traffic to your website.
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So what about you? Do you know of any other ways to optimize AdWords campaigns? If so, share it with our community in the comments section below.