Google has created the most effective, targeted, easily measurable forms of marketing & advertising in history. With Google AdWords you can reach millions in seconds, and get in front of an appropriate audience and sell your goods or services to visitors throughout the world.
But, in order to harness the power (and it is powerful) of this incredible system and maximize your results while minimizing your spend there are a number of simple steps you should take.
Whether you are new to AdWords or a seasoned AdWords veteran there are five simple mistakes I see in client accounts again and again. Avoid the mistakes, increase click through rates, decrease average cost per click and increase conversions!
Secret #1: Split Up Your Campaigns & Ad Groups
Stop bundling all of your keywords into one campaign and one ad group.
Time and time again I see client accounts with one campaign, one ad group, and 100+ key-terms with only one ad. Google’s structure is hierarchical, allowing easy, precise management of your keyterms. Campaigns allow you to manage a number of Ad Groups, and ad groups allow you to manage the specific ads for a particular set of key terms.
I usually break down my accounts as follows: The Campaign is usually a base keyword say “cups” and the ad groups within “cups” have variations on that key term “red cups,” “plastic cups,” etc. Besides being more organized and allowing you to more easily view the performance of different terms, splitting up your campaigns and ad groups this way will allow you to create extremely specific ads.
If you are guilty of lumping all of your ads and keyterms together in one group don’t worry, it may be to your advantage. Although organization is helpful, it can sometimes be hard to figure out how to initially organize an account. You don’t always know if a term or set of terms will be extremely popular and should have it’s own campaign and specific ad groups. what is google adwords
If your campaign(s) has been running for any period of time you can leverage the history of your terms in creating and organizing your new campaign and ad groups. Analyze the number of impressions for each term and base your campaigns off the most popular sets.
For example an account I recently adjusted had a lot of impressions for “medicaid attorney.” I broke this term out, pulling it into it’s own ad group underneath the “Medicaid” campaign. I then proceeded to create like groups underneath the “Medicaid” campaign with variations on attorney or Medicaid. When I was done with the account the “Medicaid” campaign had a large number of ad groups within it, all pertaining to (or including the term) Medicaid.
Once you are finished organizing, your accounts should look something like this:
Medicaid (Campaign) > Medicaid Attorney (Adgroup) > Medicaid Attorney (keyterm) > Best Medicaid Attorney
Medicaid (Campaign) > Medicaid Lawyer (Adgroup) > Medicaid Lawyer (keyterm) > Best Medicaid Lawyer
Secret #2: Create Extremely Specific Ads, Match Your Ads to Your Terms
Splitting up your campaigns and ad groups is necessary to create extremely specific ads and to match those ads to your terms. Secret #1 allows you to properly manage and manipulate your account (providing an upgrade path for more terms), but Secret #2 will get more people to actually click!
The beauty of AdWords is its specificity. You can target an ad regarding “Lightning Bug Jars,” to only run when a user visits a site with the terms “Lightning Bug Jars”, or when a user types “Lightning Bug Jars” into a search query on Google’s network. Google has leveraged this specificity, creating a giant advertising network that is destroying old advertising networks and mediums.
The problem with creating a television ad isn’t so much the cost of the production of the ad (which it can cost a great deal) or in the cost of the actual spot (which can also be very expensive), but in the fact that the ad will be seen by an untargeted mass. Your advertisement for a new teen fashion will be seen by an elderly Grandmother, who although hip in her own right, has no interest in pink hot pants with the word “juicy” smeared across the posterior.
Leverage Google’s specificity!
To run a successful AdWords account you must take advantage of Google’s specificity. At first it might seem daunting (and it will take some time and creativity), but split up your campaigns, ad groups and keyterms as much as you can (see Secret #1) and then make sure to make your ads as specific as possible.
Once you have broken up your campaigns and ad groups into key term specific groups the benefits will become immediately noticeable. Where before you were limited to one set of ads for a huge number of unlike keyterms, now you can target specific ads for specific keyterms. Writing ads will become easier.
Many of my ad groups contain only two or three terms, for example an account I was updating today had an ad group called “Estate Planning Attorney” with the following two terms: estate planning attorney, estate planning attorneys. I have another ad group called “Estate Planning Lawyer” with like variations. This will mean you may have a LOT more ad groups and campaigns to monitor and manage, but the results will be well worth your time and effort.
Secret #3: Use Your Keyword In Your Ad (sometimes)
Have you ever typed a search query into Google and realized that the term(s) you searched for appears bolded in Google’s display results. Try it, go search for chocolate:
You’ll notice that the word chocolate is bolded everywhere it appears, including the AdWords ads!
This subtle bolding has a huge impact on drawing people’s attention to your ad. The impact becomes more noticeable when you have multiple word key terms like “milk chocolate” or “dark chocolate.” Any words that are in the query will be bolded in your ad. So, as often as possible, and when it makes logical sense and is appropriate, include the key term in your ad, the extra visibility from the bolding should help tremendously.
Beyond the physical bolding, including the key terms in your ads also has a psychological impact on the user. By connecting the term with an ad you help connect the ad to the visitor. They are searching for that term anyway, help them realize your sites potential and relevance by including it in the ad. The effect is stronger (or more visible) when someone is searching on Google (or one of their search partner networks). Someone types in chocolate, sees your ad (with the word chocolate bolded) and clicks.
In Google’s content network (where the ad is based on the content of the AdSense site the ads are on) the effect is subtler. The user may be reading a paragraph or article with the word chocolate embedded in the content somewhere and then sees an ad for chocolate. Although not as in your face, it still has a powerful connection effect.
The bolding also occurs if your domain includes one of your keyterms.
If you are in a very competitive industry, and you have seen a lot of impressions, but relatively few clicks do a quick search for the terms you are already bidding on (or are considering bidding on). If you notice all or most of the ads are including the key terms in their ads or titles (for the bolding effect) don’t include your key term in your ad or your title. Try to differentiate your ad. Make it stand out by bolding (or not bolding) it when appropriate.
Secret #4: Create Multiple Ads & Monitor Those Ads
Google allows you to create a number of ads within each ad group. Once you’ve organized your AdWords account properly and have ads that correspond directly to the set of keywords within an ad group, create multiple ads.
Google tracks and reports a myriad of statistics on each ad (most of them probably already familiar to you through keywords). The information Google reveals includes the following:
Percent Served is the number of times that particular ad was shown in relation to the other ads in the ad group. For example say I had an ad group setup with two ads. The keyterms in this ad group were able to attain 100 total impressions. My first ad has a percent served number of 46%, my second ad has a percent served number of 54%. Therefore, my first ad was shown 46% of the time or 46 times (based on the 100 impressions 100 x 46%). The second ad was shown 54 times (100 x 54%).
Clicks in the ad variations tab reveals the number of clicks that particular ad received.
Impr. or impressions is the number of times that ad was seen by searchers or those viewing your ad on the content network.
CTR or click through rate is the number of click divided by the number of impressions (clicks/impressions). This is a very important number. The higher the click through rate the more you (and Google) can assume that users found this ad or term relevant to a particular set of keyterms. Better more targeted ads and keyterms receive higher click through rates.n
Cost is the overall spend designated to or spent with a particular ad.
Conv. Rate or conversion rate, the number of people who contacted you, or took the steps you consider a conversion divided by the number of clicks.
Cost/Conv. or cost per conversion, is your total spend divided by the number of conversions.
Gaining a familiarity with the above terms, what they mean and how they relate to your particular account, terms, and ads, is vital to success in AdWords. There are no hard and fast rules for a successful account; there is not a default average click through rate, or conversion rate. What might be phenomenal performance for a high-end business consultant can totally destroy a reseller of specialty key chains.
In order to properly analyze your ad performance you must create multiple ads. I would suggest 2 or 3 ads to begin with. At first your ads will be rotated consistently, but eventually one will typically outshine the other(s) as being more effective in garnering clicks. In this respect Google will proactively monitor your ads, eventually showing the most effective ad most often. This is a great, effective, features of AdWords. It ensures that your most effective ad is also the one most shone. But, you must continue to tweak your ads! Try to compare the success of the one ad to the failure of another, what are your users responding to? Was your title well written with a catchy phrase or format? Redo the body of your ad. Was the body of your ad enticing with a great call to action? Redo the title of your ad. Eventually this A to B to C testing will lead to huge gains in click through rate and overall account performance.
Finally, if you are looking for inspiration you can always “market research” a competitor’s ad. See what seems to work on other advertisers’ ads and use them as a spring board to your own ad success. Do their ads entice you? Would you click?
Secret #5: Stay Up-To-Date, Use Google’s Help Resources
One of the best things about Google AdWords is that it is constantly evolving. New features including mobile ads, image ads, video ads, keyword tools etc. are added all the time allowing advertisers to reach a broader network of targeted visitors. New tools allow laser targeting and precise measurement. But, one of the worst things about Google AdWords is that it is constantly evolving. AdWords, like many other Google services is tweaked, revised and added to at an alarming pace, a pace that can sometime be hard to keep up with. Arm yourself with the tools you’ll need to stay current on all of the latest revisions and tools.