Entrepreneurs on a tight budget, behold “Google AdWords”, a permission marketing, pay-per-click program for online-advertising campaigns. Google provides an inexpensive way to spread the word about your company. The fact that Google accounts for more than 84% of web traffic as per research clearly substantiates the efficiency of running a Google AdWords campaign
This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to structure your AdWords account, how to pick the right keywords, how to write your ads and how to use progress-tracking tools to build effective and successful campaigns.
Creating A Google Adwords Campaign
Google AdWords allows you to create several online campaigns, each consisting of ad groups. Each ad group further consists of keywords that are all related to a similar topic, and can contain as many ads as you want that rotate among your specified keywords. This rotation can be based on clicks, conversion rates or an even distribution of the two.
It is integral to plan your campaigns around your business needs; your product/service offerings, your target customer/market and your budget. It is also wise to divide your campaigns into at least three ad groups for improved manageability.
The campaign should enforce your USP, or unique selling proposition, which focuses on your core strengths and what differentiates your business from your competitors, giving your prospects a compelling reason to choose you.
When it comes to AdWords, there are 3 important reasons you must have a powerful USP:
- It will generate more traffic from qualified prospects and repel unwanted leads
- It will skyrocket your sales conversion rates
- It can eliminate price comparison shopping.
This can be a game changer for your business because you’re no longer seen as a commodity, allowing you to demand higher prices than your competition without hurting your sales.
Setup & Campaign Settings
To get started, Create a Google AdWords account. If you already have a G-mail account, you may activate a Google AdWords account by logging onto www.adwords.google.com, or directly sign up to a Google AdWords account if you don’t. Once in Google AdWords, click on ‘ Create your first campaign.
Firstly, decide on the type of online-campaign you want: Default, Search Network Only, Display Network Only, Display Network Only (Remarketing), Search and Display Networks (Mobile Devices) and Online Videos.
The process is rather simple. However, a lot of the default settings are not in your best interest, so make sure to thoroughly check them before proceeding.
Creating Your Ad
Choosing the type of Ad and positioning
You need to carefully select your ad format and position. You can choose from various types of Ad formats in Google AdWords; text, image, video, banner and local business ads. Before you start, do a detailed research on existing ads and the keywords used on such ads. You may position your ad on the top column (below the search result page), in the search box or in the right panel of the ad column.
Writing a creative text ad
Your aim is to maximize the number of clicks on your ad. Your ad’s text must be clear, specific, and compelling. Furthermore besides basic text and a link, include a business phone number, a map and even more links in your ad.
Components of text ads:
- Headline: As the most important component, the headline must include your keyword because it’s the first thing your prospect will read.
- Description lines 1 and 2: Replicate your USP, the benefits of your service and describe your offer. Of course, remember to include your call to action.
- Display URL: An easily overlooked area of your ads. Instead of just copy-pasting your domain name, use your Display URL to include your offer, call to action, USP or anything else that will differentiate your ads.
Given the limited number of characters for each component (25 for headline and 35+35 for both description lines), make every letter count and use abbreviations whenever possible
Choosing language and location
You will have to specify Geographic locations where you want your add to appear, languages in which your ad will be displayed and websites (called Networks) that are associated with or pertain to your Google ad.
Running A Successful Campaign
To ensure a successful campaign, you need to calculate your maximum cost per click (Max CPC) which is determined by your website conversion rate, profit per customer and target advertising profit-margin. Compare your business’s Max CPC to the estimated keyword CPC (in the Keyword Tool) to see if you can afford to advertise.
Use the following formula to calculate your Max CPC and then compare to the estimated CPC:
Max CPC = (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)
AdWords allows you to pay only when people click on your ads, therefore to make the most of your ad budget, your ads must not only attract qualified prospects but also repel unqualified prospects. This means more traffic, entailing more sales and less wasted money on unqualified traffic, all leading to higher profits for you.
Compelling ads with a high click-through rate (CTR) will boost your AdWords ‘Quality Score‘, which will in turn lower the cost-per-click of your keywords. So basically your ads will directly affect how much you pay per-click for each of your keywords. Well planned ads will lower your costs while lousy ones will raise them.
Choosing The Right Keywords
As essentially the guts of your ad campaign, keywords set the tone for the advertising campaign and put the entire process in motion. A keyword is basically any word or short phrase describing a website, topic or page. Choosing the right keywords enables users to find your product or service more quickly.
AdWords provides a tool to ease the keyword selection process: Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool. This Acts as a thesaurus and specifies other phrases that are similar and/or relevant to what your prospects are searching for. Furthermore, it indicates the search-frequency of these phrases, the competitiveness of the keywords and the advertising cost of each keyword. This information helps you determine the most effective keywords for your campaign. Make sure the ‘Advanced options’ are set before you start using the tool to avoid wasting money on irrelevant search phrases.
There are 3 main keyword match types:
- Broad: This is the default match-type and is not recommended. If this type is selected, Google will show your ads to any search phrase it deems relevant to your keyword; meaning your ads will get more impressions, but possibly to irrelevant search phrases that will waste your budget.
- Phrase: This match-type triggers ads if an exact phrase is part of the keyword searched. Phrase matches are much more effective and give you greater control over your ads than broad matches. Simply add quotes around your keyword to to change it to phrase match.
- Exact: As the name implies, Google only displays your ad when the exact keyword is searched. Although it allows you the greatest degree of control, it limits your exposure. Simply add square brackets around your keyword to set your match-type to exact match.
Furthermore, depending on your company’s goals, you can choose between general or specific keywords. If your company specializes in a particular product or field, you may want to use long-tail keywords, that enable you to tailor yourself to that specific need and your target market.
Once keywords are selected, the ‘Traffic estimator tool’ can be used to determine the optimal budget and cost-per-click (CPC) to get the best results from your ad campaign.
Checking Results; Conversion Rates
Conversion tracking is simply a method of measuring sales generated by your AdWord campaign; it helps you identify which keywords and ads are generating sales and which ones are just using up your resources. In other words, it is the key tool for optimizing your campaign once its up and running.
Conversion tracking is pretty straightforward; Just use the built-in Google AdWords conversion tracking tool, (partifuclarly effective if some or all of your sales occur online with an e-commerce shopping cart). To access the tool, simply look for ‘Conversions‘ under ‘Tools and Analysis‘. Once conversion tracking is in place, you can log into Google AdWords and set up your first campaign.
Conversion Tracking basically lets you track whether people clicking on your ad and subsequently visiting your website perform an action that you consider valuable, such as a purchase or sign up. This tool helps provide information to determine the effective of your ads and keywords.
Understanding Statistics To Determine The Success Of Your Campaign
The following features let you track the success-rate of your campaign:
Reports: A variety of reports help measure and monitor your account’s performance. They allow you to identify exactly which search-queries are triggering your ads, which websites generate the highest traffic to your business, and keywords that yield the highest click-through rates. The report center can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Reports’ tab in your AdWords account
Google Analytics: Is a free, hosted web-analytics tool that provides useful data for website and marketing optimization. It basically helps identify how people found your website, their method of exploration and ways to enhance their visitor-experience. This tool can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Analytics’ tab in your AdWordsds account.
Tuning The Campaign For Better Results And Higher Return On Investment
Most campaigns are not profitable from scratch and require continual optimization to remain profitable. Three main areas to improve your AdWords campaign performance include:
- Keyword bids: You need to adjust your bids once you start generating clicks and sales. If despite profitable sales-generation you are unable to achieve the top rank, continue raising your bids. If however, your keywords are not generating sales profitably, then (obviously) you’ll need to either lower your bids or pause the keyword entirely.
- Ad click-through rate: This directly affects your quality score (which in turn determines how much you pay per click). To optimize your CTR, you must test different ads to see which version gets the most clicks.
- Landing page conversion rate: There are various tools that help you test different landing-page versions, but Google Analytics Experiments is recommended for beginners. The tool is easy and free. Simply go to http://analytics.google.com to set up a free account, create experiments to test two different versions of your landing page and compare conversion generation for both.
That’s it! You are on your way to a profitable Google AdWord campaign. Good luck!