Optimise your Google Adwords campaigns from the start
The marketing/advertising landscape has changed. That’s a fact! Gone are the days of heavy reliance on old school traditional marketing like TV, billboards and radio.
Now is the time for AdWords, Pre-Roll Video, Retargeting, Email Marketing and just about anything else that involves a screen and an internet connection. One of the most powerful forms of advertising to your target market involves being present when they search for your product or service.
With marketing & advertising dollars being squeezed within an inch of their lives, it’s never been more important to ensure that your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaigns are setup optimally from the start in order to give them the best chance of succeeding and ensuring that your marketing goals are met.
AdWords is kind of like Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction. Nice looking, seemingly harmless and clearly wants what’s best for you, right? Wrong!
AdWords is a proverbial ‘Bunny Boiler’ in waiting – if you don’t set it up correctly you’ll come home one day without a family pet, or in this case, very little return on investment – Talk about a great analogy 😉
So here are my TOP 5 SEM tips you need to know in order to get the best out of your marketing dollar:
Conversion Tracking Setup
There are so many metrics that can be tracked within Google AdWords, but none…. I repeat, NONE are more important than conversion tracking.
Conversions are essentially any preferred action that you’d like a customer to take when on your website. It could be a purchase, email sign-up, callback request, or even a PDF download.
It’s easy enough to generate a conversion tracking code, however ensuring that it is implemented correctly is paramount, if you want to monitor the success of your campaigns.
If your customers or prospects are lead to a “Thank-You” page once an enquiry or purchase is made, the code should be placed on this page and this page only. If the code was placed on all pages for example then every page visited would be considered a conversion in Google’s eyes. Which would clearly throw out your metrics and jeopardise your decision making abilities.
If you don’t have a ‘Thank You’ page (you may have a pop-up message once a button is clicked or some other implementation), then the application becomes a little more in-depth and you’d be best to touch base with your developer for this project.
Alternatively, you could start to track all conversions via Google Tag Manager which is a FREE and AWESOME tool, that enables you to track virtually all of your online activity in one place and over time will reduce/remove your need to continually hit up your developer for code/tracking implementations. Long story short, get your Google AdWords conversion codes in place correctly and immediately.
Keyword Match Types
Many people think that the most important thing for your AdWords campaign, is selecting relevant keywords. This is true, but equally as important is the keyword match type selected.
There are 3 types of keyword match types – Broad, Phrase and Exact. Depending on which match type you select, will determine how much money you spend and how many search queries your ads appear for.
Let’s say, you sell new iphones for example. If you were to use an Exact match on the keyword “iphones for sale” then your ad would only appear for people who search for that EXACT term. If you bid on the same keyword with a Phrase match type then your ads would appear for someone that could be searching for “second hand iphones for sale”, which clearly is not relevant for you.
The most dangerous match type is Broad matched keywords as the keywords you bid on can essentially appear for any of the individual keywords in that query.
So, using the same example, if you were to Broad match the keywords “iphones for sale” you could theoretically appear when someone is searching “iphone apps”, which again is irrelevant, or even more broader search for “sale”, “clothes sale” etc. Ensuring the correct match type is selected goes a very long way to limiting wasted spend and getting the right kind of traffic and customers to your site.
Our recommendation is that you always start your campaigns with an EXACT matched keyword type to ensure that wasted spend is limited and the only the most specific keywords relevant to you are selected.
As your campaign progresses and more learning’s are obtained you can look to build out your campaigns with PHRASE matched and BROAD matched varieties.
Continually Building Out Negative Keywords List
Negative keywords, serve a very important purpose by helping limit your ads appearing for irrelevant searches.
So, let’s say you sell men’s shoes online, anyone searching for “women’s shoes” are not relevant to you.
Therefore, you would want to add “women’s” and “women” as a negative keyword so that your ads do not appear for these searches.
You should then routinely check your AdWords ‘Search Terms’ report to show the actual keywords that your ads are appearing for.
This is the best way to identify irrelevant keywords that you are appearing for and can add to your growing negatives keywords list.
Multiple Ad Variations
In digital marketing/advertising you should always be trying to get better results over a set period of time. But how do you know what works definitively without applying some standard A/B testing?
With every Ad Group you create there should be at least 2 ad variations within it, but no more then 4 as it could potentially take a long time for you to obtain some statistically relevant data in order to make decisions.
By creating multiple ad sets, over time you will be able to determine what kind of ad copy is both most relevant and appealing to your target customer. Once you’ve determined a clear winner, (based on conversions NOT impressions or clicks) you then pause the worst performing ad and create a new ad to compete against the current champion.
This practice should be mandatory for the duration of your time whilst advertising on Google AdWords.
Sending Traffic To the Right Destination
If you asked someone for directions to the local car dealership and they sent you to a motorcycle store how would you feel? I’d be pretty frustrated (apart from looking really cool sitting on the back of a Harley), but I digress.
The same principles apply for online activity. If someone is searching for “mens shoes online” and you send them to either a super busy homepage or even the men’s t-shirts page then you’re just causing friction between you and your potential client and more often than not, they’ll leave your site without taking a desired action.
Sending your visitors to the most relevant page helps to create a seamless transition from search to discovery and will almost certainly improve your conversion rates.
Furthermore, one of the ranking factors that Google has in place to determine the relevance of your ads is the, “Landing Page Experience” of the consumer.
So if you send this traffic to the ‘mens shoes’ page, Google will see this as highly relevant to the searchers needs which will assist you in gaining a higher ad position, this can potentially mean more sales, repeat purchases, email sign-ups and so on.
Other Things to Consider About SEM
These are just 5 essential tips for best practice Search Engine Marketing, but truth be told there are a multitude of these. I mean, we haven’t even touched on quality scores, AdWords settings, remarketing lists, display advertising, bid adjustments, cost-per-acquisition targets, lost impression share – you get the gist.
Remember, great Search Engine Marketing is about getting the best outcome for your business for the lowest price possible. Whilst still providing a great user experience for your customer, so try to keep that in mind when setting up your accounts and campaigns.
Paid Media Manager
Author Bio: Dan Young is the Paid Media Manager and ultimate office legend at Melbourne based digital media agency, BizWisdom. In his many years in digital marketing, he has acquired in-depth knowledge of AdWords, Bing Ads, and several other platforms. He has managed accounts across a range of sectors with a specialisation in legal, not for profit and ecommerce. Dan is a thought leader when it comes to campaigns designed to drive quality leads and conversions, regularly contributes to BizWisdoms’ blog and also loves all things sport.