Running a Successful Google Ad Campaign
There is no doubt that Google AdWords is one of the most impressive success stories in tech history, and it’s largely responsible for Google’s $600 billion-plus valuation. Running a successful Google Ad campaign requires intelligent work. You can’t simply throw money at Google and expect to get leads. Instead, you need to do your homework and leverage the targeting (and other) tools the AdWords platform puts at your disposal. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot on AdWords to get a lot out of the pay-per-click advertising. But even if you have a small daily budget, you want to make sure your money is not being wasted — or at least try to ensure that the right people are clicking on your AdWords campaigns.
- Understand What AdWords Is For. Before investing a dime into an AdWords campaign, it’s important to understand its strengths and weaknesses. While AdWords is excellent for highly targeted, measurable and rapid results that lend well to lead and sales generation, on the other hand, AdWords requires a significant and ongoing investment, and every impression or click is paid for. It is typically not a cost-effective tool for brand awareness. When designing your campaign, keep the platform’s strengths and weaknesses in mind, and save brand awareness for your other marketing efforts.
- Have a clear goal.
The most important part of any search engine marketing (SEM) campaign is to have a clear goal in mind. The point of almost any AdWords campaign should be to grow sales, as opposed to merely generating brand awareness. With that in mind, you need to know what specific action you are trying to get your target market to perform. Is it completing a lead form? Calling an 800 number? Making an online purchase? Before you go live with your campaign, make sure you’ve identified that goal and know how you’ll measure the results.
- Keep your target customer in mind when writing your ads.
That is, make sure your ads follow the AIDAS of advertising. Your ads should attract the (A)ttention of your audience, raise customer (I)nterest, convince customers that they (D)esire your product, lead customers towards taking (A)ction (include a call-to-action) and provide (S)atisfaction if they end up choosing your website.
- Don’t mislead customers.
Don’t mislead your audience! Make sure that each ad group is entirely relevant for the landing page you’re promoting and that it’s only being displayed for relevant queries.
- Use negative keywords.
Always remember to include negative keyword targeting Negative keywords are keywords related to other keywords in the campaign that are not related to what is being advertised. This further qualifies the ads within a campaign, ensuring ads do not show to users who would not find them relevant anyway. Negative keywords help to streamline your ad, presenting it on more relevant search result pages. This drives better quality traffic and leads to your landing pages, while also improving your Google AdWords Quality Score.
- Target your ads.
Implement all three types of keyword targeting — exact match, phrase match, broad match — into your targeting strategy. Bid the most for exact match keywords and the least for broad match keywords. Separate ad groups by keyword type, in addition to category, to keep the campaign well-organized. You can also target ads according to type of website. And you can target prospects by certain Web behavior, like often visited websites that are relevant to your business.
- Don’t ignore mobile users.
Ensure that you are using mobile-preferred ads within your enhanced campaigns. This allows for customized message and mobile specific calls-to-action (CTAs) that will speak directly to your mobile users.
- Always be testing.
Once you identify your AdWords campaign goal/action, plan various tests to try to maximize your outcome. These tests should span the entire funnel, beginning with identification of keywords to bid on and which ad copy to use, to the design of the landing page and any follow-on email marketing campaigns. Test, test and then test again. You can only guess what might work best, as it’s impossible to predict exactly what your targeted market will consider as being most appealing and trustworthy. Sometimes one single word can make all the difference.”
- Implement conversion tracking.
Being able to see what keywords are triggering a sale or a lead is huge in bid management and optimizing the account to increase ROI. Setting up conversion tracking is critical. For your business a conversion may be a purchase, a sign-up or a lead. It is the action or actions that you want your visitors to take on the website. Without proper tracking in place, you cannot trace and promote the successful keywords, ads or keyword themes.
In addition, if you don’t have conversion tracking code on your website, you can’t know which keywords or text ads are effective and ones are bad to pause. Some actions you can do with Google Analytics, but as an advertiser, you need to know what happened after a user clicks on your ad. Did he purchase your product? If yes, which keyword/text ad/ad group/campaign triggered the conversion. By this way, you will know which part of your campaign worth to bid on.
- Monitor and tweak your campaigns.
AdWords settings can be adjusted throughout the duration of each campaign. Take advantage of the opportunity to make changes while the campaign is running. Make search term reports your best friend. Your search term report can help you identify low click-through rates, higher cost-per-click keywords, decreased time on site and a host of other issues that can negatively affect your bottom line. Using the search term report, you can then clear out keywords that have become obsolete or are low performers- and replace them with new keywords that will hopefully perform better.
- Use Google’s Remarketing feature.
Don’t neglect Google’s Remarketing option. As long as you’ve configured it correctly in Google Analytics, Smart Lists leverages Google’s big data capabilities to track who has visited your website by any means (including AdWords campaigns), and identifies who is statistically most likely to convert. Google then pushes that data back into AdWords for you to use in your AdWords campaigns for remarketing. It’s a powerful tool that not many people know about or have talked about for making the most of your ad dollars.
- Set up your Adwords campaign with a proper plan.
Many people create their Adwords campaign themselves without a proper plan and lack of knowledge about how to set up a successful campaign, which leads to many problems of their Adwords account. Use descriptive names for your campaigns and ad groups based on product category or campaign network (display network and search network). Make sure one campaign targeting only one product category. One ad group only targets one product/service with a group of keyword theme. Also, an ad group should contain no more than 4 text ads.
13. Optimizing for Cost Per Click (CPC).
For obvious reasons, your CPC is extremely important to your bottom line. Each individual keyword will have a unique CPC and conversion rate. This gives each keyword a varying effective CPC. Depending on the cost of goods sold, the range can be wide, and it will be up to you to calculate this number.
A few ways to optimize for a targeted CPC range include:
- Lower max bid. If you want to lower your CPC, lower your max bid.
- Improve ad copy.Review your ads and optimize your ad copy to improve keyword relevancy.
- Create more targeted ad groups.Taking ad optimization a step further, you can segregate targeted keywords into specific ad groups.
- Target less competitive keywords.More competitive keywords typically have higher CPCs. With a little research, you can find lower-funnel keywords with less competition and a lower CPC.
- Optimize landing pages.Part of the Ad Rank equation includes the relevancy of the landing page. With a better-optimized landing page, you can lower your CPC.
When you put all these steps together, you’ll find that you have a hot and highly effective Google Ad campaign running.