Almost all businesses that have committed to some sort of digital presence have an AdWords account. And that’s just it: most do it because everyone else does it, without having clear goals, structure or strategy.
In this blog post, I will skip the technical stuff of how you set up an AdWords account and jump right to how you best streamline your efforts, because, ultimately, that is what differentiates the experts from the novices in the world of AdWords.
1. Define your goals
I hope you find this point rather obvious, because without having a goal for your efforts you are pretty much working in the blind, regardless of the type of marketing tasks you do. So, assuming you have set a fair few marketing goals already, I want to challenge the one you are currently working towards in your AdWords campaign.
The question is simple: Why are you spending money on AdWords? Is it because you want to create awareness of your business or products? Is it for brand building purposes? To increase your revenue, maybe? Or is it just because you discovered that your competitor does it? All of these answers (except the last one) are fine, and it’s also possible to hit several of them with just one campaign, but defining your ultimate goal is crucial. Your goal will determine what keywords you should use, the type of content that would work best, and how much money you should allocate per campaign.
So, if you can’t answer this question without hesitation, you should revisit your established goals before spending more money on AdWords.
2. Use the right keywords
Keywords are not just keywords. You should know by now that some of them are quite expensive, and others rather cheap. AdWords is a little different from other forms of ad purchasing in the sense that paying the highest price won’t necessarily land you the “best placement.”
The most expensive keywords are those that have A LOT of competition, meaning that they are broad and can apply to a range of different industries. Say, you are a running a business that sells high-end women’s shoes. Spending money on the keyword “shoes” would be both ineffective and expensive. You would be targeting people who are after men’s shoes, and cheap shoes, and a whole bunch of other people outside of your target group. The right keyword for this type of business would be long-tailed one like “Women luxury shoes.”
Not only will you avoid unnecessary competition for your keywords, you will probably also get a higher quality score from Google, which makes it more likely for you to end up on the very top of the page. To determine your quality score, Google scans your ad and landing page to see how relevant they are to the consumers, and, since Google puts the interests of the consumers first, they also favor relevant content.
3. Create great content
Content is important in AdWords. Just because your link appears on the top of the page doesn’t mean people will automatically click on your ad. Most consumers have an inherent skepticism to advertisements because they know they will be asked to spend money at some point. That’s why you need to make sure that the content of your AdWords offers them something valuable. Make sure your message is clear and that you set the right expectations. Luring consumers to your page with an offer that doesn’t exist will not result in conversions, but rather lower the credibility of your business.
Google is strict with the number of characters you can use in your ad. So make sure you get the most out of the space. Write economically and accurately!
4. Track conversions
Although clicks are great and they are definitively better to measure than impressions, they shouldn’t be your primary goal. The best way to define if your campaign was successful is by keeping track of the number of conversions.
Conversions don’t necessarily mean that people have made a purchase. If your goal was to strengthen your brand awareness, you can measure conversion in how many have subscribed to your newsletter or read your blog posts. Maybe you want them to enter a competition or sign up for a webinar. The fact is that clicks don’t mean anything without conversions. That’s why you should always include a CTA when using AdWords.