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.
Welcome back to this beautiful blog after a long hiatus we are back with more compelling reads on Gamification in 2013.
I have chosen to start the year by talking about “gamification” which I feel well play a big and important role in the innovation of technology this year. Particularly when talking about Apps, Social Media and Social Marketing.
Firms like LinkedIn have introduced some elements of gamification into their product to encourage and simplify some for its functions.
Gamification has been defined as the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts – (Kevin Werback University of Pennsylvania) Gamification typically involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging (Bunchball, http://www.bunchball.com/blog)
Gamification is being used by the likes of Banks, Call centres, and even your local council to help in areas such as recycling, and healthcare.
With evermore non- gaming organisations like banks, retailers, and software design firms increasingly using gamification strategies in their Social Marketing campaign it only follows that 2013 will bring more innovation in this area of technology.
4Square who is harnessing this technology of behalf of merchants it represents is bound to be a game changer this year. Google, Facebook and Microsoft – with the introduction of Windows 8 to the market- for me will be the big innovators.
Just as one begins to get familiar with recent changes to our favourite social media platforms, up comes another change. Are these changes really for the better or even necessary or just change for the sake of it. Facebook now has the Timeline for personal and corporate pages, The new LIKE settings and much more. This must make it difficult for various social media account managers and consultants to get a handle on, as the changes are coming thick and fast.
Is this all in a bid to stay relevant or increase numbers of users, or is the competition between , Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the rest now down to changes in user experience. Am not quite sure yet, but all these changes are making me lose interest. Just in case you don’t know what your new Facebook measurements are 851 x 315px for the cover photo, profile photos are 180 x 180px while the Apps are 111 x 74px anything else makes the graphic look smaller with a white boarder. Photos now have a maximum measurement of 404 x 404px while the highlights and Milestones graphic are 843 x 403. Some related changes and helpful hints on Facebook’s new changes http://bit.ly/xeQ7Mu
Missed the whole gNigeria events last week g|Nigeria 2012 http://sg.sg/wTamrK but one can see how Google is trying its best to get a foot hold in Africa’s most populous country. With a population of close to 160 million individuals, The Nigerian market is an attractive prospect for any multinational. With companies like Samsung, Google, Nokia, IBM, Ericsson, LG all jockeying for position in this Sub-Saharan nation. Nigeria is on the vanguard of a technology explosion in Africa. With the ICT sector growing at a very fast rate and both State and Federal Government making ICT the next holy grail. There are now over 4 million Nigerian Facebook users compared to just over a 1 million in 2010.
And finally it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you (for those of you who don’t know already) that the days of the the Encyclopaedia Britannica are over. After 244 year the famous general knowledge encyclopaedia will stop going to press. The name evokes the memory of door to door salesmen for those of you old enough to remember. But with competition from Wikipedia the online free encyclopaedia sales have been in decline. Only 4000 of the 8000 copies of the 2010 edition where sold. It is a shame as it provided us with accurate facts and figure as opposed to Wikipedia which is said to content at least 4 mistakes per entry. Wel this is a classic case of video killing the radio star. Till next week.