When Should You Use Adwords?The bottom line is that not every advertising platform is right for every business. The first question to ask yourself is, “Is Adwords the best advertising solution for me right now?”. Typically I like to use Adwords for campaigns in which there are potential customers actively searching for a businesses product or service, or targeted content related to the companies offering. For example, “CRM Software” or “Austin, TX Plumbing Services”. The platform is built relatively well for these straightforward targeting opportunities. I’ve found it’s not great for products that are trying to create a new product category or rely heavily on their brand like a new clothing brand for example. To be fair, it can be costly to advertise these types of products in general. But, let’s say you’ve done some research on various advertising platforms and advertising channels, and you feel that Google Adwords is going to be a fit for your strategy. Here is a checklist of the most important tasks you should do to ensure a greater ROI.
1. Get Familiar with Adwords Quality ScoreAdwords quality score is an important metric on a 1 – 10 scale that Adwords uses to measure the relevancy of your campaigns keywords and landing pages. The concept is pretty straightforward. The higher your quality score, the cheaper the cost of clicks and impressions will be. Thus, increasing your ROI. Example Let’s say that you own a website that specializes in shoes, and Bob, a customer, is looking for blue shoes. Wouldn’t it be great if Bob typed “blue shoes” into Google search, saw your ad about blue shoes, clicked it, and then landed on your web page and bought some spiffy new blue shoes? What would happen if, on the other hand, Bob merely saw an ad about “shoes” or “clothes,” especially if he saw it together with a competitor’s ad about “blue shoes”? In the first case, the customer searches and finds exactly what he’s looking for. That’s what we consider a great user experience, and that’s what can earn you a high Quality Score. What’s more, relevant ads tend to earn more clicks, appear in a higher position, and bring you the most success. The remaining tips will help you in building out a campaign the right way to ensure you have the best quality score possible. Learn More
2. Understand the Difference Between Keyword Match TypesGenerally, you want to keep your campaigns as targeted as possible to ensure a good quality score. Using broad match may or may not have a negative impact on your quality score depending on how your campaign is setup. But, as a rule of thumb, it’s best to start off with Phrase or Exact match keywords if you’re inexperienced with Adwords and then build from there. Learn More
3. Publish an Effective Ad
Part of your quality score is how effective your ad copy or design is engaging customers. If customers like your ad and are clicking on it a lot, it only makes sense that Adwords will prioritize your ads over your competitors ads that are not performing as well.Write Great Copy for a better Click-through-rate (CTR):
- Question 1: What do I have to offer?
- Question 2: What do I want to accomplish?
- Question 3: Who are my customers?
4. Separate Display and Search CampaignsSearch and Display campaigns are two entirely different animals. They require different types of ads, ad copy, and optimization settings. More importantly, display ads tend to get poorer click through rates, and when you include these ads with your search ads, it’s possible that your display ads could drag down the quality score of well-performing search ads. The solution is simple. Create campaigns that are directly targeted for search and create campaigns that are directly targeted for display. The mere fact that it’s just more organized and will save you hours of headaches should be reward enough.
5. Utilize Smart ConversionsA key metric for any business is conversions – when you get a user to do what you want them to do. The great thing Smart Goals allows you to do is to set a cost per acquisition (CPA) rather than just optimizing for cost per click (CPC). For example, if you sell shoes for $100 and your margin on those shoes is $50, you may be willing to pay $25 to acquire a sale for your shoes. Smart Goals measures other advertisers performance that have opted to share their data with Adwords and then provide you insights as to what they believe will convert based on their machine learning. Setting up Smart Goals can be a bit tricky to get right, but it will ensure you are actually converting customers and not just throwing money out the window. How to Setup Smart Conversions
6. Optimize Your Mobile BidCurrently, in Adwords, you can set your web click bids separate from your mobile bids as a percentage of your whole bid. Go ahead and look at your mobile and web conversions and see what makes sense for you. For some users, it may make sense to turn mobile bids off totally. Poor mobile conversions may happen when people are making large purchases, or the signup process for your service is lengthy. Under “Mobile bid adjustment” in the edit panel, enter a value from -90% through +300%, inclusive. You can also enter -100% to opt out of mobile for the selected campaigns or ad groups. Being able to optimize by device type is just another tool to help you hone in on an optimal conversion rate across devices. Multi-device optimization is getting more and more important as your customers become more comfortable making their purchase decisions on mobile and tablet devices. Learn More
7. Check The Actual Keywords Customers Are Using to Find Your Search AdsDid you know that you can see the actual keywords people are using to click your ads? I think this is probably the most underutilized tool in Adwords. Unlike the main keywords report, the Search Terms report let’s you see the exact keywords people are using when clicking your ads. By reviewing this report you can get insights into new negative keywords and adjustments for your keyword match types to ensure people are finding your business in the exact manner, you desire. For example, let’s say that your new “hip” shoe company is running a campaign with the broad match term “shoes”. You may find that 20 people have clicked on your ad when searching for “how to replace horse shoes?” Ouch! We don’t want people clicking our ads that are searching for horse shoes. Its awesome they found your company and everything, but you only sell shoes for humans. Now you know to add “horse” as a negative keyword and you just saved yourself hundreds of dollars a month.
8. Segment Your Ad Groups to Boost RelevancyWe’ve already talked about Adwords quality score and the importance of making your campaigns as relevant as possible. By segmenting your campaigns into some different ad groups based on your keywords, you will be able to boost the quality score of your campaign. Some larger and more advanced users will even break out each keyword into an ad group. This technique simply allows you to optimize your ads, keywords, bids and landing pages so there super relevant. Personally, I don’t think you need to break out each keyword into an ad group. Especially if you’re using dynamic keywords. But you should have some sort of logical segmenting. For example, you don’t want to include “Nike Shoe” keywords in the same ad group as “Adidas Shoes”. Those ads are most likely going to go to different landing pages. Maybe you don’t offer specific shoes that you want to include as negative keywords for each keyword segment. You wouldn’t be able to do this if those keyword segments are combined into one ad group. Each campaign is different, so I can’t provide you with exact instruction. You’ll have to decide what segmenting strategy works best for you. I like to lay out the architecture and taxonomy of a campaign on paper first, so I know how to build the campaign from the start. Learn More
9. Design targeted Mobile Friendly Landing PagesOK. This has less to do with Adwords and more about what to do after someone has clicked your ad. Mobile search is officially a way of life for consumers – 80% of people don’t leave home without their mobile device and 61% of smartphone owners perform searches from their device every single day. In fact, consumers are now spending over 15 hours per week researching from their smartphones. If you don’t already have a responsive website, then try to use a platform like Unbounce to build your landing pages. It comes with a lot of great built-in tools like email marketing integration, split testing, analytics and dynamic keyword insertion. In general, you should have a landing page for each customer segment and ad group. Strategic landing page setup will ensure that your ads regarding “blue shoes” goes to a page with only “blue shoes” or that your “Women’s Nike Shoe” ads go to a page with only women’s Nike shoes. This relevancy is not only huge for your quality score but huge for conversion. Giving a user the most streamlined path possible to a purchase is ideal to get them to buy your products. The golden rule very much applies to conversions. Treat users how you would want to be treated. Nobody wants to click a “Nike Shoes” ad and go to a page with Nike, Adidas, and Reebok shoes altogether. If your user wanted Adidas, they would have searched for Adidas.
10. Add Negative KeywordsNegative keywords will keep your ads from showing when users use those terms. For example, if you sell premium shoes, you probably want to include “cheap” or “affordable” as negative keywords in your campaign. It’s important to note that you can add negative keywords at the campaign or ad groups level. With negative keywords, you can:
- Prevent your ad from showing to people searching for or visiting websites about things you don’t offer.
- Show your ads to people who are more likely to click them.
- Reduce costs by excluding keywords where you might be spending money but not getting a return.