There’s a good reason that Google AdWords is popular with online marketers: It provides a highly effective means of driving new prospects to a company’s website and converting them into customers. Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords.
But it’s also easy to spend a lot and get very little from an AdWords campaign. Here are some suggestions to help you get the highest return possible on your investment.
Use Negative Keywords
Many marketers focus entirely on the keywords that prime prospects are most likely to use in their Google searches. But you can hone your AdWords campaigns by excluding common terms that don’t fit your products or services.
For example, if you sell photography equipment for consumers but not professionals, you want your ads to be served in response to searches for “photography gear” but not for “professional photography gear.” To accomplish this, sign into your Adwords account and select the campaign or ad group you want to modify. Select the “Keywords” tab, and scroll down past the main keywords table to the negative keywords section. Click on the “+” to open up this area. In this example, you’d add the word “professional.”
Also on the “Keywords” tab you can select “Details” and look at all the search terms that found your campaign or ad group to determine any keywords you can exclude.
Advertise on Your Own Brand Name
Even if your company already ranks highly in Google’s organic search results for your brand name, there are two important advantages to paying to advertise it on AdWords:
- Advertising your own brand name prevents the competition from doing so — and offering their own products and services to your prospects and existing customers.
- Bidding the highest for your brand name virtually guarantees that people who search for your name, and who are therefore most likely to convert into paying customers, see your search results (both organic and paid) at the very top of their results page.
Direct People to Deep Links on Your Website
Your website’s home page may be great, but you’ll get more conversions when you send searchers to information that’s specifically aimed at the keywords through which they found you.
People feel more comfortable and spend more time on web pages that provide direct matches to the ad links they’ve clicked, such as a “snow shovels” page instead of a “hardware store” page. One reason: It satisfies their immediate interest without demanding time and effort to find the “snow shovels” on the hardware store’s larger site.
In general, you’ll get better AdWords results when you link to highly specific web pages that reflect and enhance exactly what each campaign offers.
Keep Testing Your Ad Copy
With consumers and markets changing constantly, testing new ads against old ones should be a regular part of your campaign-management efforts. Start by trying two variations on your most successful headline. Next, keep the headline the same, but use different pitches and calls to action.
Vary just one element for each test, and give each variation enough time to garner at least a hundred views. Any fewer won’t provide significant proof of its improved or weakened effectiveness at generating click-throughs or conversions. When one variation outpaces another, replace the weaker performer with another variation.
You also can test whole AdWords campaigns that support your most effective web pages. For example, build a campaign that links to whatever page on your site already generates the highest rate of conversions. Over time, continual testing in these ways will nearly always produce significantly better AdWords performance.
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