The best thing about search engine advertising is that anybody can do it. The worst thing about search engine advertising is that anybody can do it.
Whilst it is relatively straightforward to set up a Google Adwords account and begin your first Pay Per Click campaign, it doesn’t mean your campaign will be configured to perform as efficiently as it should. In fact, I often find that clients have a PPC campaign running but due to the default settings of their Google Adwords account or bad configuration, they are wasting a large proportion of their budget on poor quality traffic. Great for Google, not so good for your marketing budget. So how do you remove those holes in the bucket that is your advertising budget?
If you’re about to begin your first Google PPC campaign or you’re managing one currently; take a look at the following tips to help you increase the chances of success and reduce waste.
1. Integrate your Google accounts.
Google provides a suite of useful tools for website owners and whilst you may be tempted to jump straight into using Google Adwords, you should be aware of the others.
Google Analytics is probably the default traffic analytics tool for many websites. It allows a webmaster to view where traffic is coming from, on what device, what they do whilst they’re on the website and whether they purchase or complete any goals, amongst many other things. However the crux is, if you integrate your Adwords and Analytics accounts it will allow you to see what the traffic from your Google Adwords campaign is doing on your website. This will give you the ability to cut out the waste and spend more money on the areas that are performing.
Another useful tool is Google’s Search Console. Its Search Appearance report will give you an insight into keywords or phrases your site is already ranking for, the number of impressions, position and click through rate. This information is going to be helpful when determining which keywords you may wish to target, or even not need to target within your Google Adwords campaign.
2. Establish a campaign structure
Adword accounts that have no or little campaign structure, makes working through different product, service, city, regional or seasonal campaigns quite difficult. Even if you split the campaigns up to mirror your marketing plan or budget, that’s a start.
3. No campaign landing page or an awful landing page
If you’re going to be paying for traffic, you are going to want to increase the possibility of them doing something of value to your business. Optimised landing pages built specifically for the purpose of the campaign will help convert that paid for visitor into a lead or a customer.
There are two approaches to landing pages, a bespoke landing page and an integrated landing page. A bespoke landing page will be optimised purely to generate a lead, sale or data transfer for the PPC campaign. Whilst the integrated landing page will be part of the existing website and due to the styling may be less efficient.
Whichever approach you take, ensure that the content is relevant to the PPC campaign you are going to create. If a visitor has clicked on a PPC ad for an iPhone 7, they expect to see related content. If they don’t they will leave quickly, wasting your money and increasing your bounce rate.
Landing pages sometimes have a reduced navigation, to steer traffic down certain paths. This is another consideration you may wish to make.
4. Set ad targeting
When devising your campaign you will be able to select for your ad to appear in the search network and / or the display network. If you are going to do both, I would advise you create specific ad groups for both; making it easier for you to dial in to what’s working.
If you’re looking at the search network you can refine your targeting by keyword, location, device or audience (RLSA). This is probably the most effective method for you to choose, particularly if it is your first campaign. If your targeting is set up correctly, you will be efficiently hitting those people looking for your products or services.
If you’re not sure about how to conduct keyword research, how to configure your keyword match types or how to use negative keywords, get in touch. Getting your campaigns targeted correctly from the start will help your budget go further and help you win more customers.
The display network allows you to tap into a group of more than 2 million websites that display Google Ads. Using this method your ads will appear in specific contexts such as “outdoor pursuits” to targeted audiences such as “people looking for cars” in specific locations. Now, it’s worth noting that the display network has received a lot of criticism for not being as effective as its search counterpart. However the two networks have two different approaches and purposes. Display is more for awareness and branding. Which takes me back to my original point of splitting ad campaigns for search and display, because the two should be used for different objectives.
5. Write ad copy… and lots of it!
Unlike traditional advertising where you can spend days, if not weeks critiquing ad copy for a run of press campaign, digital advertising is slightly different. What’s great about PPC advertising is that you can analyse in real time the effectiveness or your ads (and your ad targeting choices too). With this in mind, you don’t have to limit yourself to one piece of copy. Multivariant testing will help you discover what your audience wants to engage with. Helping you optimise your campaign so you get more bang for your buck.
6. Don’t set it and forget it
Once you’ve got your Adwords campaign up and running, remember to frequently review the performance of your campaign. Take a look at the different ad sets and keywords to see which are working well. If you are using broad match keywords it’s important to analyse the search terms that have created click throughs, you may not want some of the search terms in your campaign and therefore you should make them a negative keyword to avoid future waste.
This is where having your website’s Google Analytics associated with your Adwords account really pays off as it enables you to not only see what’s driving traffic, but what that traffic is doing on your site. So what could be a low volume keyword, could also be supplying you with high converting traffic. Obviously you want more of this, but without this insight, you may dismiss the keyword altogether.
If you’re looking for assistance with your Google or Bing PPC campaign, get in touch to see how I can help you save money on your advertising campaigns whilst also generating more customers.