Getting the most out of Google AdWords.
What is AdWords?
Google AdWords is an advertising service, provided by Google themselves, that allows web masters to place search results on a search engine results page by paying for them. The paid search results will appear at the top or to the side of the search engine results page, and look very similar to the usual organic results. Google Adwords works by auctioning keywords and search terms to the highest bidder on a pay per click basis. Companies can bid for a particular word or term that is relevant to them, and can decide how much they want to pay Google AdWords every time a searcher clicks on your ad, on a daily basis. Paid for advertising can help to raise your online profile, and work alongside other, more organic, marketing and advertising techniques.
What you need to know to structure an AdWords account
Before you embark on an Adwords campaign, it’s helpful to know AdWords account structure best practises.
Strategically structuring your ads has an impact on Quality Score metrics which determines how much creditability Google gives your ad. The search engine determines your Ad Rank and Ad Position so you have to bow down to the search engine’s quality measures.
If you get a low Quality Score, you will get fewer click-throughs and your ads will not perform as well as you need them to. Bottom line: you end up paying more money for less exposure.
A well structured account also makes your campaigns easier to manage and thus increases your productivity; not to mention reducing your stress levels.
In this article we are going to look at the key components to focus on and go through AdWords account structure best practices to ensure you have an air-tight strategy that Google will credit you for.
AdWords components and strategies
There are five key components that make up the structure of your PPC account:
- Ad groups
- Ad copy and format
- Landing pages
There are several ways you can prioritise campaigns; budget, product or other label (perhaps company if you are managing several accounts selling the same product types).
Budget is the most obvious choice because you want to set a budget for each campaign, but if your budget is an even spread use product labels as this makes reporting easier.
Most campaigns will need prioritising into budget sets. If you have a certain product or service that you want to push the most, allocate a higher bid.
The amount you bid will have an impact in the quality scores awarded by Google. Big Brother gives preference to big spenders.
Each campaign is likely to be constructed of ad groups. There is no limit on how many groups you choose, but you don’t want too few as you limit yourself to fewer keywords which could be expensive, and too many groups are difficult to manage.
The number of ad groups you choose at any one time really depends on the amount of products you want to promote and the size of your budget. Even still, five or six ad groups to any one campaign should suffice.
Examples of ad groups: let’s say you own a guitar shop and want to promote a new series of Fenders that have just come in stock.
Your ad campaigns will be titled electric guitars and acoustic guitars. Your ad groups would look something like this:
- Electric Fender Stratocaster
- Electric Fender Elite Telecaster
- Left Handed Electric Fender
- Fender acoustic guitars
- Fender left-handed acoustic guitars
The principle to keep in mind with ad groups is that your budget is going to be spread out over each group, and each group will be assigned keywords which Google value based on consumer behaviour.
The keywords you opt for is the most important decision you have to make in an Adwords campaign. Google assigns a value to each keyword which is calculated on user frequency.
It stands to reason that the most used keywords, the most relevant keywords, are the most expensive so if you have to monitor your budget, choose keywords that are assigned a lower cost per click, but are still relevant to your ad.
Before you select your keywords it helps to understand how Google calculates the Quality Score of your ad – which determines where your ad will be placed and when.
Google determines when and which position an ad will be shown based on your quality score which is determined by:
- Anticipated click-through rate
- The ads click-through performance
- Quality of the ad’s landing page
- Relevant location and performance
- Relevant device and performance
Quality scores change each time your ad appears in search results and the quality score will go up and down based on the performance of the ad and the landing page – in other words, how often end-users click on the ad and the subsequent reaction to your landing page.
Ad copy and format
The copy that appears in your ad should first and foremost be enticing enough for end-users to click on it. Keywords play a big role here, but also giving specifics of the promotion is key to communication.
You only get 25 characters for a headline description and tagline, so line one of the ad should be a CTA (call to action) and end with a full stop, otherwise Google will run your headline into line two. Line two should describe the benefit or promotion.
Including relevant keywords is essential to make sure that your ads are placed in front of the right buyers. Your ads will not show up for search terms specifying Gibson guitars for example.
However, if the end-user types in left-handed electrical guitars, the ad suggestions above for Stratocaster and Telecaster left handed guitars will have a good chance of appearing.
You also have the option to include ad extensions such as location, call, call extensions etc. Ad extensions depend on your target audience and the level of reporting you want to measure in ad words. Of course, you don’t have to include ad extensions if you do not think they are relevant.
Lastly, make sure you follow Google’s Ad Approval Guidelines. You do not want to get an ad that is disapproved as it will delay the launch and you will have to go through the whole set up process again.
Furthermore, disapproved ads will affect the Quality Score and negatively impact on the ads performance and placement.
The words you choose in your ad may depend on the length of your sales cycle, and the stage in the buyers journey your ad is geared towards.
Ideally your ads should be pointing towards the buying end of the journey, but there is nothing wrong stoking up interest at the early stages – just don’t put as much budget into raising awareness.
However, what you should keep in mind is that for items that do have a long purchasing path, it takes people around five or six times to see your brand or product before it sticks in the mind and typically takes up to two months for people to make a buying decision.
We won’t go into how to structure your landing page here as that is an article in its own making, and there are plenty of great resources on the web that will explain how to create a great landing page.
What you do need to bear in mind in terms of structuring your ad in Adwords is that you are limited to 35 characters in which to put your url – so make sure the landing page does not exceed the amount of characters.
Your landing page should also be consistent with the keywords in the ad. Therefore, if you do have different ad categories that target specific users, i.e left handed guitars, you need an appropriate landing page for each ad group.
Using Adwords account structure best practises means you will target the right audience and increases your chances of performing well in accordance with Google’s Quality Score metrics.
7 Tips For Your Low-budget PPC Campaign
When working with a low budget, getting the best ROI for your PPC campaign is essential. Let’s take a look at how you can maximise your campaign results.
What is PPC?
PPC, or Pay Per Click, is a type of internet advertising that directs search traffic to individual websites. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC, as it allows any website to bid for placement within a search engine results page based on keywords and daily budget restrictions. Essentially, PPC advertising is a way of “buying” visitors to your website, and is the opposite of organic search traffic. Google displays PPC adverts in the form of a sponsored link. These look very much like organic listings, making it hard for visitors to spot which results are paid for and which are received based on key word relevance alone.
Running a successful PPC campaign can be quite challenging. As a small business, you will typically have a lower budget available compared to larger companies. With limited resources, you have to be very specific in setting up and running your PPC campaign. This means you have to optimise your campaign as much as possible to get the best results and compete against bigger competitors.
1. Focus on your best products or services
When you’re wondering where to start, think about your most popular products and services. Choose the ones with the highest profit margin or the best conversion rate on your website. If you’re not sure what to choose, start with a combination of one or more products or services. Try to stay away from promoting everything you sell at once.
2. Understand where your ads will be shown
When you use Google AdWords, there are a few specific locations where your ads will be shown. First, they will be shown on Google’s Search Network. This refers to the search engine results pages that visitors will see when they search for a specific product or service.
The display network will show your ads across Google’s Display Network. This generally refers to image ads. Finally, you can also choose to have your products displayed in Google’s shopping campaigns. They will be displayed as single products within the Shopping tab of Google.
You can choose where you want your ads to be displayed, whether it’s a single location or a combination of all three. You can even divide your campaigns to each focus on a specific display location.
3. Focus on specific users with geo-targeting
Within your PPC campaign, you have the ability to geographically target specific users in a region or area. This means you can focus on visitors you believe are likely to become customers. This is very helpful if you run a physical store and want to focus on local customers to boost sales.
4. Make use of exact match keywords
If you stick to exact match and phrase keywords, you’ll limit the number of overall clicks and impressions that your ads will attract. This will help to maximise your budget. it will also increase the possibility of your service or product matching up exactly with what a visitor is searching for.
By choosing the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your ads, you’ll boost your conversion rates and help to stretch your available advertising budget.
5. Keep your ads simple
When you get started with your PPC campaign, stick to simple text ads. Make sure that it contains your keywords and match it with an ad group that will improve your relevancy. When you write the text for your ads, consider the descriptive headline – what do you want to sell?
Make sure that your description shows why you are better than your competition, and what users should do when they click. This is a great way to promote your products and services with effective text ads.
6. Track your conversions
A great benefit of using PPC campaigns is that you can track every click and everything you spend. This makes it easy to monitor money spent and calculate your ROI. Regardless of the platform you use, tracking should always be part of any PPC campaign.
7. Make decisions driven by data
Since you will now have the ability to track your sales leads, be sure to use this data to influence your decision making in terms of your advertising. With the right data, you can make better decisions; this can be changing your ad copy, improving your geographical focus, or choosing different keywords. Data is always available everywhere within your PPC campaigns – use it to your benefit.
With these tips, you’ll be able to not only set up but also improve your PPC campaigns over time. You can make the most out of your available budget and keep on improving and tweaking your campaigns.
5 PPC Campaign Mistakes To Avoid
If you want your message to instantly appear in search results, you’ll need to start a Pay-Per-Click campaign to show your advert when a searcher searches for a keyword you choose to target.
PPC campaigns require a strategy, management and consistent testing. Selecting prime keywords, setting your ads and leaving Google to do the rest are failure tactics. And if you are new to PPC, you are more likely to make mistakes.
So in order to make sure your budget goes furthest and works hardest, avoid…
1. …attracting clicks from browsers, not buyers
Every time somebody clicks in your ad, it costs you money. So you want to attract buyers, not browsers. The keywords you choose and the information you use in your ads should therefore focus on user intent.
If your ad copy does not make it clear what consumers can expect to find at the other side of the link, you are more likely to attract curious customers. And they are not always ready to buy.
You can improve your cost to conversion rate by eliminating worthless traffic. There are several ways to do this.
Google upgraded AdWords with ad extensions that enable PPC managers to give ads more structure. Marketers now have multiple options to enhance the information in ads and target a specific audience.
Using longtail keywords that relate to your product will focus on user intent. Also update the negative keywords field in your AdWords dashboard so that your ads are not matched with keywords that are not specifically relevant to your offer.
2. …using generic keywords
The competition for generic keywords is high, which means commercial search terms are expensive. Keywords are priced in relation to how popular they are.
To avoid falling into the trap of overspending on the most used commercial keywords, dedicate your PPC ads to a specific audience and select appropriate keywords they are likely to use as a search term.
Choosing the right keywords for your ads is a challenge within itself, but by assessing Google Analytics you can pull a set of keywords your customers are using to find your content.
3. …fixating on CPL
Although logic suggests cost-per-lead (CPL) is a good indicator of whether your ads are performing well, if you become obsessed with this metric, you may as well feed bank notes to the ducks.
Use CPL to determine which keywords are driving traffic for the lowest cost, which search terms show your ads and which copy is most effective. But beware of becoming fixated on CPL as a measure of success. It is a vanity metric and can be misleading.
PPC managers that are new to AdWords can often think that generating leads is a good sign the ads are working. Whereas this is partly true, if the leads are low quality and customers are not converting the metric means nothing.
The only measure you should fixate on is cost-per-conversion. If your ads are attracting plenty of leads, but customers are not converting, refocus your bids and keywords and amend the copy on your landing page and product pages.
4. …placing low bids
When you are watching your wallet, it sounds counter-intuitive to bid high, but expensive keywords drive more traffic.
Although the best practice is to find the right balance between costs and keyword popularity, placing bids that are too low mean click-through-rate (CTR) is also low. And you need clicks to improve your ad campaign.
Without clicks, it is harder to work out which keywords, ad copy and landing pages are performing. If you place low bids and receive low CTR, you are will waste money on underperforming ads.
Marketers have to be brave and aggressive in their first PPC campaign. There is no need to be gung-ho, but the best strategy is to start with high bids and gradually reduce them when you have analytical data you can use to fine tune your ad campaign.
Once you establish your ads convert to sales you can place lower bids which are more profitable.
5. …wimping out on split testing
Always test your copy. Yes, we know this is standard marketing practice, but because of the costs it is more important to A/B test PPC campaigns than any other form of advertising.
But of course, once you know which keywords, ad copy and landing pages do work, PPC becomes much more profitable.
You don’t have to go to additional expense creating several landing pages, but don’t be afraid to change the copy and call-to-action from one week to the next. Once you have a winner you can relax.
Before we leave, a word of advice. Go into your first PPC campaign with an open mind and a realistic attitude. You may be lucky and strike it rich first time, but the maiden voyage is typically to test the waters and discover which ads work and which ads don’t.
We’re here to help
Nailing an AdWords campaign is your route to more exposure and traffic and it’s important to know what particular details will get your paid search campaigns noticed. For an expert opinion, get in touch with our team at The Content Works – we can help get your campaign on track whether big or small. Give us a call on 0207 305 55 99 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to us about how we can help you.