Getting Started with Google Adwords

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Google adwords is a highly effective way of getting customers to visit your website, but the results vary greatly depending on how well you set up and manage your campaigns. During these challenging times, it’s important to limit your advertising to products and services that will generate sales for you immediately. And if you are selling products and haven’t yet switched to online purchasing, delivery and click-and-collect, it’s worth investing in this before you start a paid marketing campaign. Our primer gets you started on the right path to maximise your ROI from this important online marketing channel

Before you even start advertising on google, make sure to manage your expectations. Businesses make on average $2 for every $1 of adword spend so your profit margin needs to work within those estimates – or you need to do better than average, can upsell to increase your average order value or you can convert customers into repeat buyers without paying for their business again. Google ads will therefore work best for you if your website is easy-to-use and you have great customer service.

Here are our tips if you’re starting out or need to increase your google ads’ effectiveness:

  1. If you’re creating a new account, take advantage of the generous codes on offer: typically you can get £75 free for your first £25 spend but check you’ll meet the requirements before you sign up – work with the google ads team to make sure.
  2. Do keyword research to make sure you are targeting the search terms of how people actually search for your offering. Remember to be as specific as possible (while ensuring reasonable traffic estimates), and avoid broad terms that could result in you acquiring visitors who are searching for something related but very different. Use SpyFu to discover your competitors’ best performing keywords for organic results and paid ads: simply put their web address in the search box to get the results.
  3. Use expert mode to gain the full benefits of google ads.
  4. Make sure your google quality score for each ad is high: this is in a large part determined by how specific and relevant the ad and the landing page are to each other. The lower the score, the more you’ll pay for your clicks than competitors with high scores.
  5. Build great, targetted landing pages to get high quality scores and include:
    • Relevant, catchy headline
    • Relevant meta tags
    • Positive solutions for your customers’ needs
    • Highly visible, affirmative call to Action (buy now, callback button)
    • Social proof of the quality of your offering is advised (testimonials, reviews, awards)

Target mobile ads where the competition is significantly lower but  traffic is growing rapidly

  1. Test different landing page designs to see which have the highest conversion rates and use tools such as google analytics to track how visitors respond to content, and where they go once they have landed on your page. Test colours, buttons and layouts – they can all have a significant effect on conversions
  2. Go mobile: if you have a responsive site, make sure to advertise on mobiles. We’d advise setting up mobile-specific ads, with shorter headlines and taking advantage of the click-to-call option which makes conversion much more likely. There’s less competition in mobile currently, so this is definitely worth wrapping your head around before the competition catches up
  3. Test timings: see when you have the highest conversion rates and advertise more when your audience is more likely to convert. Click on your ad and then the dimensions tab to set these parameters
  4. Use remarketing to recapture a captive audience: if you segment further and target those who spent longer on your site, your conversion rates will be even higher
  5. Google product ads are a very important channel for product sales – this is a whole topic in itself which we’ll be covering next month – make sure your prices are competitive and your descriptions and prices are up-to-date. Quality score and keyword placement are also crucial here.
  6. Use extensions to make your ad stand out more – phone numbers, image extensions, site links, reviews and call outs are all important.
  7. If you are providing a service, make sure to exclude locations that you can’t service.
  8. Keep a close eye on the search terms you appear for – and add irrelevant terms to the negative keywords list on a regular basis.
  9. Make several versions of your ads to see which performs best.
  10. Get to grips with match types: we don’t recommend broad match for ads, but prefer to bid higher on exact matches and use lower bids for phrase matches.

Use google analytics to track everything – and modify your ads according to what it reveals

Google adwords provides a simple way to market to customers directly – but if you don’t set it up correctly then it may not be profitable for you to use this marketing channel. Long-term we recommend building up a loyal customer base through email capture and social media, but google adwords will remain a key marketing tool for online advertisers so work on getting your landing pages optimised and your quality score up to beat the competition! Make sure to use google analytics to track everything – and modify your ads according to what it reveals. And test, test, test – never sit on your laurels because your online competition won’t!

Any tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!


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