You’re excited about how your business is growing. More and more people are becoming aware of your company and brand. You want to continue to advertise your business and its products. You’ve heard great things about Google Adwords and think it’s a good next step to grow your business.
Before you fully get in over your head with Google AdWords, though, you need to make sure your business is really ready for this kind of pay-per-click campaign. Google Adwords, after all, isn’t a magic bullet for marketing success, and a poorly planned and ran AdWords campaign can easily lead to disaster.
It isn’t beneficial for a company to immediately dive into an AdWords campaign simply because other companies talk about how profitable it can be. To get the most benefit from using Google Adwords, you should have these elements in place:
1. Customer Demand
The first ingredient is customer demand. If your customers are not searching for your product or service in Google, then, obviously, AdWords search advertising is not going to work for you. So, before you get too excited about creating your first campaign, you need to verify there is, in fact, search volume for what you’re going to offer.
The tool to use is the Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool. Besides showing the amount of traffic for any given keyword, its advanced options can also show you how competitive a word is, the amount of local monthly searches, relevant alternative phrases, and the cost per click of the keyword.
When coming up with or settling on keywords, ask yourself if the keywords are actually being searched for enough on Google to justify your efforts. This can also help you determine the intent of the user and if you can afford the CPC of the keyword.
2. Marketing Budget
After doing some research and narrowing down your target keywords, calculate your maximum cost per click (CPC) you’re willing to spend. The more competitive a keyword is, the more you’ll have to spend (or bid) on it. Don’t just go after keywords that are competitive, target ones you can afford and which will most likely give you profitable results.
You don’t necessarily want to push your budget. For example, if you’re maximum CPC is $5, you’re more likely to make a profit by using a keyword that costs $4 instead of $5.
To get an idea of what your maximum CPC should be, you’ll need to assign numbers to your website conversion rate, your advertising profit margin, and the profit per customer.
There is a handy formula from Kissmetrics that can help you calculate your maximum CPC. It goes like this:
Max CPC = (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)
3. Understanding of the Competition
If you really want to crush the keyword game, you have start with those high-volume keywords, but you should also know what keywords your competitors are using.
There are several tools that can help you spy on your competitors, like one that is aptly named KeywordSpy. This tool collects and provides information on your competitors’
past activities, including the top keywords used and how long they have been using each keyword. If you see someone using a certain set of words for a long time, you can take it as an indication that that keyword has been successful for them, which means you should consider similar terms.
You can even look up a competitor’s past advertising and marketing copy and material that feature their top performing keywords and then export all the necessary information into your AdWords account.
4. A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and a Deal Too Good to Pass Up
There are millions of websites out there promoting all sorts of brands, products and services. Any kind of digital marketing, including the utilization of a Google AdWords campaign will be useless if your brand merely blends into the noisy background. You need to offer products and services that are unique and will separate you from the competition.
If you don’t yet have a USP, you can look to your company’s strengths, get insights from your current customers and look for opportunities your competitors have missed. A strong USP will catch people’s attention and drive more traffic to your site which will lead to more conversions and sales.
In addition to a strong USP, you need to have an offer that customers and potential customers won’t be able to resist. Coming up with an irresistible offer may seem fun and easy, but it can be harder than it looks. After all, every advertiser is seasoned in creating attention-grabbing offer ads.
What are the characteristics of a powerful irresistible ad? Well, they must offer value to the potential buyer, they must be believable, they don’t involve risk, and there is a clear call to action.
5. Outstanding Ads (and the ability to create them regularly)
When you use AdWords, you pay each time someone clicks on your ads. With that in mind, you need to create ads that not only lead to clicks to your website, but you only want high-quality prospects who are likely to convert into sales to click on your ads. This means you need to create eye-catching ads that speak to a specific audience.
In Google AdWords, the goal is to increase sales through more visibility and more clicks. The amount of clicks you get can even have an effect on the costs of your ads, because it contributes to the overall Quality Score.
In other words, it pays to create exceptional, well-thought out ads.
The text of an AdWords ad is very limited, so you need to be quick to the point and only feature the most important information (in an interesting way). The standard elements of these ads include a headline, a two-line description and a display URL. You’re only given 25 characters for the headline and 35 characters for a description. Make them count.
6. Dedicated Landing Pages
If you’re new to internet marketing, you may naturally think you want the homepage of your website to rank for all your top keywords, and you may even want to send all the traffic from your PPC ads there, too.
This is a common mistake that can easily derail the effectiveness of your AdWords campaign.
When you create an ad in AdWords, make sure it goes to its own dedicated page on your website (not the homepage). You want the user to have a pleasant experience on your site so they make a purchase. Dumping them on your homepage and leaving it up to them to navigate your site to find the item they’re interested in will lead to high, costly bounce rates.
Instead, create a dedicated, destination page to link the ad to. Take the time to create a page that is relevant to the text in the ad and makes it extremely easy for the visitor to take the next action.
7. The Ability to Track and Measure Results
Before you make your ads on Google AdWords “live,” you should understand how to track the results of each of your advertising campaigns. If you don’t set up tracking, you’ll lose insightful data that can drastically improve your efforts. You will also be unable to identify weaknesses in the campaign and make necessary changes and improvements.
In Google AdWords, campaign tracking is found in Conversion Tracking. You’ll have to make sure this is set up and activated before your ads are deployed.
To set up Conversion Tracking, you must define what a successful conversion is for your company and its advertising objectives. Simply click on the + Conversion button and enter your conversion definition. A piece of code will be generated. This string of code will then need to be installed on the last page of the conversion funnel. For many companies, this is a “thank you” page.
So, Is This The Time To Get Started?
A Google AdWords campaign is an effective method for your business to increase sales and be successful. Always remember, though, just as a well-planned and timed advertising campaign can benefit your company, a poorly planned AdWords campaign can hurt your company.
It is best to familiarize yourself with the Google AdWords platform and be sure to have the abovementioned components in place before making your ads “live.”
Working with Google AdWords can be intimidating, confusing, frustrating and time-consuming, but you can determine if you’re ready to jump in based on the above criteria. Of course, if you still aren’t sure, you can always discuss your options with an experienced company.
Are you already running an AdWords campaign? Are you sure it’s fully optimized? Download this checklist and find out.