Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great way for small businesses to start generating leads instantly. One of the major players in PPC advertising is Google AdWords. For most businesses, Google AdWords is a great method to generate new leads but if you aren’t careful, it can become a money pit with a low ROI. Google AdWords, like all PPC advertising, is not a “setup and walk away” kind of program. It requires weekly testing, monitoring and general ongoing maintenance to be successful. Here are some best practices in building a successful Google AdWords campaign.
Organization is key. Lumping all of your keywords, ads and landing pages together in one ad group will guarantee a poor performing campaign. Think of your campaigns and ad groups as buckets of “like-minded” information. You want to keep similar keywords together with ads that contain the same keywords. That way when people search for your keywords, they will see ads specific to their search term. Take the time to set up an organized structure for your account. You will not only see better results but you will also have an easier time keeping track of the results.
Find the right keywords. Try the free Google Keyword Tool when building your lists of keywords. This easy-to-use tool is perfect for researching new phrases, gauging the competition and determining keyword traffic. Try finding keyword phrases that have high traffic and low competition to avoid a high-price bidding war with your competitors. Instead, maximize your budget by going after less competitive phrases.
Don’t be afraid to branch out. If you already have a high SEO ranking for a keyword phrase on your website then don’t spend money on PPC for the same phrase. More than likely people searching for that phrase will click on your organic listing instead of the paid listing anyways. Instead, try some new niche phrases to target. A niche phrase is a more specific keyword with less overall searches but so specific that only your ideal customer will be searching for it. PPC advertising can be a great way to test out new keyword phrases and see if you are attracting the ideal customer. Another way to use Google AdWords is to attain traffic for keywords that you currently have a low organic ranking. For instance, your business shows up on page 10 when people search for “dog training” but with AdWords you can target this phrase and bid to be placed on page 1. SEO takes much time, but PPC provides you with an effective way to gain exposure for keywords that might take years to rank for organically.
Spring clean your way to success. Don’t be afraid to delete an ad group, keyword or ad that isn’t performing. It is very difficult to successfully monitor results if you have hundreds of paused or non-performing keywords. Before you do a mass cleaning, we recommend making a copy of your account. That way you have your historical information and you can quickly re-implement old campaigns if necessary. Download the free AdWords Editor to help you make copy your account, make bulk changes and much more.
Change things up. PPC advertising is a fluid system where competition, traffic and searches change daily. To be successful, you need to be responsive and willing to change. There are indicators in your account to help you decide what needs changing. For instance, if you are getting high traffic but low click rates, maybe you need better content in your ads to encourage more clicks. A couple ways to improve clicks is by adding targeted keywords to the ad copy, offering a new incentive, or changing the wording. Another area to watch out for is a scenario in which you are getting a lot of impressions but few clicks. You might have keywords that are too broad and are showing up for unrelated searches. Try adding more negative keywords to tailor the search results, or refine your keywords so they are phrase or exact match only. To see what people are searching on that brings up your ads, click on the tab labeled “Keywords” in your account and choose “See All” in “See Search Terms.” This will pull up a list of keywords people typed in to find your ad. Add unrelated search keywords to your Negative Keyword list so you don’t turn up again for these search results. Monitoring keyword performance is the trickiest part of being successful. These are just a few tips, but if you need any help contact Bop Design for more assistance.
Closing the deal. Don’t waste your money and time finding the perfect keywords and ad copy only to point a clicker to your homepage. You paid good money for that lead. Now you must give them a call-to-action or an incentive to “close the deal” and entice them to send you their information. You can do this by offering a white paper, demo, recorded webinar, etc. To further optimize your landing page we recommend including keywords from your campaign, including copy from your ad and include testimonials to prove you are trust-worthy.