Paid search is one of the most gratifying tools a marketer can use. Contrary to it’s counterpart, organic search, it has the ability to show results and see a return on investment within the first month or two of launching a campaign. One option for paid search, Google AdWords, is a free tool with support and training offered from Google so that businesses, large and small, can find success. Read this short list of considerations before you get started!
- Keywords Selection – Keywords are a critical aspect of your campaign. A limited amount of keywords will leave you with a limited amount of success. When determining keywords, it’s important to consider your products and/or services, but consider them from the perspective of your potential customer. Using internal jargon or acronyms not known to your core audience will leave you behind because you’ll be bidding on words they don’t understand and not using in their searches. If your audience wants a mobile-friendly website and does not know what “responsive design” is, it’s best to consider other long-tail keywords like “mobile-friendly web design” or “websites that adjust to mobile” as well as “responsive design.” Your target market can be broken down into subset audiences, called buyer personas, and through those personas you’ll be able to navigate the mind of your consumer and understand how or why they may search for your product and/or service.
- Campaign Cost – Everyone wants upfront answers about how much it will cost them to run a paid ad campaign. The good news is that you get to decide how much you’re willing to spend. After deciding on a monthly spend, you’ll move into setting a bid amount. Many people initially choose to set a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid. If you’re unsure of where to start, consider how much a conversion is worth to your business. For example, let’s imagine you’re selling hats. Your profit margin for the sale of a hat is $10. If, on average, one in ten customers to your site will purchase a hat and you set your maximum CPC bid at $1.00, you will break even. If you want to make a profit from your products, you will want to set your maximum CPC bid lower than $1.00 in order to make more money on the hats than you’re paying for advertising costs.
- Geographic Targeting – You need to sit down and really consider what geographic areas to target with your campaign. Often, business owners believe that their product can be sold to anyone and anywhere. However, this is NOT a realistic answer. Although, we’re sure that there could be interest in many parts of the country or world for your particular product or service, geographic targeting is a necessity. You would need a hefty budget in order to find success within ALL markets. However, you may find your ROI to be a bust. Setting a target location will also help pre-qualify customers and ensure that they are located within your servicing ability. Consider choosing two or three markets to start in, and work to dominate within those markets before expanding your geographic targeting to other areas.
- Ad Group Segmentation – This is the practice of logically dividing up your keywords into appropriate ad groups. It’s important to keep in mind that the ad groups you create dictate the ads that are served to search users. This means that people who search for “men’s gold watch” aren’t likely to be receptive to an ad that talks about “men’s jewelry.” They are expecting an ad that talks about “men’s gold watches.” While this may seem obvious, we must admit to ourselves that we get caught up creating marketing materials from our angle and not from the consumer’s perspective. We must keep the user’s purpose in mind. Your ad may be broad enough to encompass the keywords within the ad group, but that does not mean your ads will attract traffic for those keywords. It’s important to create enough ad groups and to tailor the written ads for each ad group so that a user will find themselves face-to-face with an ad speaking directly to what they are looking for. Remember, users are looking for ease when searching for information. If another company makes their gold watches easier to find than you do, chances are, they’ll also get the sale before you do.
- Landing Pages – The last thing to consider for your ad campaign is where you’ll be sending your traffic. That’s right. You can’t get away with sending them directly to your homepage anymore. Think about what sort of information that user is looking for and direct them to the appropriate page on your website that describes this product and/or service in more detail. AdWords uses relevance of keywords, written ads, and site content to determine your quality score. Your quality score is a critical aspect to whether or not Google decides to show your ad in user search queries. The higher your quality score, the more likely you are to achieve lower costs and better ad positions. For a better understanding of ad position and ad rank, check out Google’s explanation in their AdWords resources.
Although AdWords doesn’t require a professional, many business owners and campaign managers find themselves wasting money due to inexperience and lack of knowledge. AdWords is a tool that has been made to allow for simple to complex changes and updates, but it’s important to keep in mind that there are many factors affecting your performance that you won’t be able to identify unless you know what to look for. If you find yourself needing help, consider reaching out to trained and educated professionals who have the resources needed to dedicate to your campaigns. We know that time and money are precious resources for your business, so take this list into consideration when choosing which path will bring you the best ROI!