Google Adwords – The Quickest Route To New Customers
Google is many things, but the key to Google’s big buck share stock price is the effectiveness of its algorithm for search results and the effectiveness of their pay per click advertising.
Pay per clicks ads at the surest and quickest way to gain visibility online, and have new customers find you.
You can be visible online in a day or less, versus days to months for other techniques.
The program itself is very easy to learn, and Google often will front you a significant amount of free advertising to help you get started.
They will even do all the work for you.
But. and it’s a big but, you cannot expect Google employees to optimize your campaign to your advantage rather than Googles.
Google Adwords Pivot Points
- Ad Text
- Split Testing
- Ad Groups
One strong point of Google Adwords is the ability to pinpoint your market area. If you business draws most of your customers from Minneapolis proper, you can limit you ads to just the city or even to individual zip codes within the city.
Or you can advertise the five state area, nationally or internationally.
This local scope is what makes Google Adwords as successful as it is. If you service people from a 5 mile radius of your business, you can advertise just to those people.
And remember, you only pay when someone from within your target market actually is looking for you and clicks on your ad.
Compared to other forms of mass advertising, this is rifle shot accuracy.
Google Keywords That Matter
Most Businesses have a pretty good idea of what their dominate keywords are, or at least they seem to think so. But practical experience has taught me that they are often Off a little.
Two things in particular mess up many businesses when selecting keywords. The first is jargon. A locksmith might assume everyone will know to search for “Lockouts” when people lock themselves out of their car, home or office.
What people actually search for are terms like, “open my car” or “locked keys in car” and countless other variations.
Selecting proper keywords is tantamount to mind reading. Understanding what an “ignorant” prospect might search for when they don’t know what they want.
Thankfully, there are tools and techniques that can help in that process. But in the final analysis it is an art that takes some time in grade to master.
The second big downfall is distinguishing between information keywords and commercial intent keywords.
When a prospect searches for “Furnace Trouble Shooting” they may well be looking for “how to” information as opposed to when they search for Emergency Furnace Repair.
Sometimes it’s not completely clear whether a word is primarily used by information seekers or action takers.
Google Adwords Ad Text – The Gotcha Point
The purpose of your adwords campaign is to get someone to click on your ad and go to your landing page. It’s on your landing page that you want to sell them on using your services or buying your goods.
Writing good ads is like writing poetry, in that you have a very limited number of characters and lines with which to work.
The key to success with ads is to once again think of yourself as a mind reader. This time you have already mind read a keyword the subject is searching. Now you need to take it to the next step.
In general, I like to use the keyword in the search in the title of my ads, to cement the mental congruity of the searcher. If they searched for “asbestos removal Minneapolis,” I want the title and/or the body of my ad to contain those same words.
First Google bolds the similar words in the results which helps them stand out, and second, if they are searching for ‘Asbestos Removal’ and your ad says ‘asbestos removal’ they can be pretty sure they are in the right place, as opposed to an ad that might say, Enviromental Services.
There are other tricks to the trade as well. For example, in the first line after the headline, I recommend trying to include a benefit more than features.
Such as, “Get Warm Toes – In-floor Heating Specialist”
The warm toes appeal, and may encourage more clicks. But always – always, you need to monitor and test your ads to see what works and what doesn’t in your marketplace and niche.
Google Adwords Makes Split Testing Easy
As I said above, you must always test your ads. And Google makes it easy.
For every campaign, I recommend you write two different ads. You can easily watch which of the ads gets the highest click through rate (CTR) in the adwords dashboard.
Once you have enough traffic, you can see which version out performed and then delete the one that did poorest. You then write a new second ad, and try to do better than the first.
By consistently doing this over time, you will eventually discover the most productive ad copy.
As a general rule, Start by testing the headline and keeping the body of your ad the same. Once you have a well performing title work on the body of the ad.
Depending on the amount of traffic, this can be a long term proposition lasting many months and even years. But it is a discipline that will dramatically increase number of clicks you get and actually decrease the cost per click.
Google Adwords Ad Groups
The organization of an Adwords Campaign can affect the ease of management of the campaign and have a direct affect on your overall cost per clicks.
As a general rule, I recommend many highly targeted ad groups when setting up the structure of your Adwords campaings.
For a heating and cooling contractor, I may have a Furnace Campaign, a Boiler Campaign and an Air Conditioning and maybe even an AC Campagin.
Within each of those broad topics, I will examine my main keywords and organize them tightly into small groups that could have the same title in the text ads as described above.
This is a finer structure that most people do, but has at least two benefits.
First, it is easier to write highly converting ads because the ad title is congruent.
Second, as a result of the adwords title being congruent you will get a better CTR and Google rewards you with a lower cost per click.
Now it takes a bit longer to set a campaign up this way, but the long term results will pay for the one time effort in short order.
Bidding Strategy for Google Adwords
How much should you bid for your keywords? In the final analysis, it depends upon what that click is worth to you. That depends upon not only the cost of the click but the success of your landing page to convert that click into a customer and the value of their eventual transaction to your business.
There are keywords that may just plain be too costly because they don’t convert into enough new business. While this is a critical component of setting up and managing a Google Adwords campaign, it is a topic that requires individual attention and analysis.
However, assuming that we are dealing with appropriate and profitable keywords, the recommended strategy I share most often is this.
Pay attention to Average position of your ad. This information is available on the Adwords dashboard. I aim most of my clients to land in the 2.0 to 4.0 position.
The higher your bid the higher you ad placement. I tend to stay away from trying to be number 1, although I have had clients for whom that was their stated preference.
You actual placement will vary, as Google seems to want to give everyone who bids a reasonable amount at least some occasional higher visibility. The amount of the bid to be in a position will be influenced no only by what you bid for a keyword, but by changes other people make to their bids.
Sometimes the bid prices at the end of the month are cheaper because some businesses will set a max budget for a month and allow it to be fully spent before the month is over. Sometime new bidders enter the market or old ones may drop a keyword or two.
This target range, gives me a rationale to set bids that result in ads appearing occasionally at the top of the page and/or at the top of the right hand column where they are most likely to be seen.
Google Adwords Results Depend on the Landing Page
Google adwords are an easy to get started, and highly effective way to attract new customers. But their role is not to sell customers. It is to drive them to a landing page of your design that will cause them to do business with you.
The most effective adwords pay per click campaign will fail, if the landing page to which they are sent fails in its role.
As a general rule, I want the landing pages for different campaigns and even different ad groups to directly reflect that same initial keyword the customer typed into their computer.
So, for example, If I were doing a campaign for a plumber, I would have the landing page for someone who searched for ‘Fix My Water Heater” not go to Joe the Plumbers home page necessarily, but rather to an interior page specifically dealing with Water Heater Replacement. And I would have Joe have a different page for Sump Pumps and Leaky pipes as well.
This need not be a hugely expensive proposition.
The key message for now though is this. If you are going to pay for someone to click on an ad to take them to a web page, make sure you optimize that web page to take the prospect on the next step of their ultimate journey to becoming a valuable new customer or client.
By Earl Netwal, the Micro Business Specialist and Minneapolis Internet Marketing Consultant. For help in assessing your existing adwords campaign, or in setting up a new campaign from scratch contact Earl at enetwal @ gmail.com or call 612-408-9924 for additional information