5 easy wins with Google Adwords

Google Adwords – the pay per click (PPC) system – is great search engine marketing option that’s applicable for anyone trying to make it online. It can be a helpful bridging technique to be used before your organic SEO kicks in, and when used properly can become the centre of your paid-for marketing ongoing.

Here are five easily implemented things that I’ve found in my years of using the Adwords system that might help turn a slumbering campaign into a success.

1) Look at the competition. Avoid what they’re doing

It’s incredible how many people on Google run virtually the same copy ads. When you’ve got a clutch of them appearing side by side they just become invisible to the reader, and there’s little if anything to encourage a click.

Even if you’re offering exactly the same product with no discernable difference or USP to your competitors you need to make your ad stand out from the crowd somehow. Try using alternative headlines and trigger words. You haven’t got much room to play with so these become more important than ever.

2) Be specific and relevant with your landing pages

Most PPC ads send you through to a homepage when you click on them, but the functionality is available to use any page on your website as a landing destination.

Google’s over-arching aim is to provide a positive user experience by giving people what they’re searching for as quickly as possible, and you can do this by designating specific landing pages for different ads that send people right where they want to be on your site. When someone is presented with the information they’re looking for without the need to click around and search even more for it then they’re more likely to act with a purchase or contact.

It’s not just a hokey ‘ethos’-style thing either, the relevance of your landing page directly impacts on your campaign Quality Score, a technical rating that helps to determine the position of your ad overall in searches.

3) Use the ad scheduler function

If you’re targeting a market with a single time-zone then it’s well worth using Google’s ad scheduler function. Depending on what you’re selling, there’s likely to be a clear ‘golden time’ when customers are more inclined to make a purchase. This might be between the hours of 12:00 and 14:00 when most workers are online in their lunch break. It might be 17:30 to 21:30 when people are at home and using the internet recreationally.

Setting your ads to run only during these hours front-loads your daily budget into the optimum window of opportunity.

4) Use the keyword suggestion tool

Another brilliant in-built tool with Google’s Adwords system is the keyword suggestion function, which can sometimes throw up some winning ideas that would otherwise have potentially never arisen. While some of the suggestions can be amusingly off-topic it’s more than worth looking at for the occasional gems it reveals. I’ve had keyterms from this tool end up being the biggest lead generators in several PPC campaigns.

5) Trial and error is your friend

One of the best things about Adwords is how flexible it is. You can spend what you like, turn it off and on whenever you like and run hundreds of ads or just one. The useable benefit of this flexibility is that you can find out what works and what doesn’t quite quickly, and you’re not really worse off for trying.

Why not use the first few days of a campaign testing out some alternate approaches – with variations of keywords, ad groups, ad copy, targeting, ad scheduling – and see what happens. You’re likely to get a really refined campaign as a result.

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