The Google AdWords platform is a great tool for businesses of all sizes – whether you’re a startup, a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) or even an industry behemoth such as Amazon or Google to find potential customers (via keyword targeting), bring them to your website and close a sale (or newsletter conversion, etc depending on your call to action).
Larger and more established businesses often have extra funds to put into advertising and marketing so they can afford to lose some money before understanding the intricacies of the AdWords platform. Startups and SMEs on the other hand need to put their best ppc management forward when they enter the online marketing domain to ensure a swift and decisive success to their advertising efforts.
Here are some first steps & tips to Optimize AdWords and Improve Campaign PPC Management
Call to Action (CTA)
The Call to Action should be abundantly clear to the viewers of your Ad – Every click counts against your AdWords budget so optimize every part of the Ad experience as much as you can. The CTA should be exceedingly evident on your Ad as well as on your website (obviously the CTA on both should be the same or very similar). Don’t run Ads that tell your potential customers to visit your website only to have a CTA for calling your phone on the website; if the aim is to have customers call you, use call extensions (more on this later) instead.
To Summarize – Use a CTA and make sure it’s the same across all the mediums – Google Ad text, website content and AdWords keyword targeting (more on this later). According to me, CTA is one of the most important aspects of AdWords campaign optimization.
This is one of the most important aspects of your website after a visitor lands on it. What is your call to action and how does your sales funnel convey that message? – Don’t assume the visitor knows or understands what next steps of action they are supposed to take – gently lead them to the water while tracking their every step (via Google Analytics) so you know where they went astray and can use the information to fix the shortcomings of your sales funnel for the next set of visitors.
Customized Website Landing Pages for all Ad Variations
If you post an Ad for t-shirts, make sure the website landing page is about t-shirts and not the website home page or for jeans and so forth – don’t mislead your potential customers. There’s nothing worse than losing money from an Ad click in addition to annoying the customer for being misleading in your Ad description. The aim is to be as specific and efficient as possible.
If you are running 3 different Ad variations for a specific service in 3 different cities, make sure all the Ads have different landing pages with specific text/content pertaining to and mentioning the specific city from each Ad variation. If all 3 Ads point to the same landing page, your conversions will be a lot less as would be the case with 3 different cities being targeted.
This is one of the most important aspects of ppc management – select the best keywords for your specific product. If you want customers to make a purchase or at the very least target those interested in making a purchase, then you want to target keywords and keyword variations such as “product (for example, nike air jordans)” + “purchase/buy/order online, etc”, + “size”. If you are targeting software as a service (SAAS), then perhaps you want to target keywords that describe your product or services offering. Use the Google Keyword Planner to choose the best keywords for your specific industry or niche.
Try to avoid using keywords that are typically being used to find information as opposed to booking an appointment or purchasing something (depending on what your product or service is). For instance: if you’re a travel agency targeting travelers for a tour of the pyramids of Egypt, it might not be very efficient to target keywords such as “Pyramids of Egypt” without including words such as “tour/travel/packages”, etc as a typical user searching for “Pyramids of Egypt” is simply looking for information about the Pyramids of Egypt and is not necessarily interested in traveling to one of the last remaining wonders of the Ancient World.
These are some more pointers that can make or break an Ad campaign and are crucial for AdWords campaign optimization
Only display your Ads when a typical customer would be searching for your product or service. i.e. don’t display your Ads as odd hours such as 3am in your time zone if you don’t think your typical customers would be awake and looking for the solution, instead increase the frequency of your Ads at times when the most customers are looking for your product or service, or when you’ve had the highest clickthrough rates on your Ads. You can choose to run an Ad for a few days to gather some data on when your Ad typically shows up, when it gets clicked on, etc but definitely optimize this for best results down the road.
Choosing an entire country or even multiple countries sounds great on paper in terms of higher Ad visibility and even Ad impressions but before you do that, you should be asking yourself if it’s going to be useful for consumers in that region/regions.
On the AdWords platform, there are options to arrow down to individual cities, regions and even postal codes so make use of those settings to be specific in your Ad targeting.
This setting is under “Locations – Targeted locations”
Multiple Ad Variations
Run multiple Ad variations to understand what works best for your Ad clickthrough rate (CTR – percentage of users who are shown your Ad divided by the number who click it) and sales conversions. It’s recommended to have at least 3-4 Ad variations to get some solid data.
Optimized Ad Rotations
Once you have gathered some data on the multiple Ad variations, Google can automatically run the most optimum Ad for you unless you specifically want to run a different variant.
Show your audience as many choices as possible for individualized tastes and preferences as you can offer on your Ads. If you have 4 different variations of your product, provide sitelinks to all 4 on your display Ad.
Track your conversions with Google for helpful tips and suggestions from Google and also to know how useful your Ads actually are for your product or service.
If you have a system in place to receive phone enquires, do make use of call extensions to provide it as an option to potential customers. In this case, calling your business is the Call to Action (CTA).
Targeting Search Partners
You can choose to enable your Ads with Search Partners to reach more customers.
Optimized Ad Rotation
This setting displays your best performing Ads and can be optimized for clicks or conversions.
Accelerated Ad Delivery
This increases the frequency of your Ads. This is extremely useful for time sensitive offers for one. If you’re a business offering special deals during breakfast or lunch hours, this will help you gain more visibility during the beginning of the day. It will also exhaust your budget faster, maybe even in a few hours depending on how large your Ad budget is, and how expensive and competitive your keywords are so be warned. If you’re a restaurant that only serves dinner on the other hand, you may not get the visibility you need on AdWords during the latter half of the day when potential customers are trying to find you due to your budget being exhausted during the first half of the day (unless you have a monster budget or keyword competition is low).
Google Analytics + Google Search Console Integration
Set these up for advanced analytics and statistics on the origin of your visitors, their behavior on the website and how they progress through the sales funnel, in addition to a lot of other valuable data.
Responsive Image Ads
Drive higher conversions with responsive image Ads in your display network that compel relevant audiences to click on your Ad.
If ever in doubt, you can always use ppc management services so professionals can help you run and manage your AdWords campaigns.