Using Google AdWords Successfully

Are your AdWords campaigns working as hard as they could be? Or maybe you know you could be getting more leads and higher conversions if you made the right changes?

A well-executed AdWords campaign can be one of the best ways to increase leads, conversions, and revenue. Your services or products will appear in the ideal spot—at the top of the first page of the search results.

But many businesses forget that they're paying for each click from their ads. And that means that a poorly managed AdWords campaign could actually cost you money.

There are a number of things you need to consider if you're aiming to create a successful campaign. Read on to learn the top AdWords tips to improve your campaigns and increase your leads.

1. Finding A Relevant Landing Page Requires Testing

Remember: you’re not trying to get an impression or a click on ad. Those are nice. But what you're really trying to get is a sale, lead, donation, subscription, or some other type of conversion. Your landing page needs to convert your leads into paying customers. Experiment with different types of landing pages. One option is to create unique landing pages that are only used for AdWords. Another option is to use page that already exist on your website. Despite what some will try to tell you, there aren’t any right or wrong answers for what kind of landing page will work for your visitors and for your business. The only way you’ll ever find out what kind of landing page will help you get conversions is through continual testing and experimentation.

2. Negative Keywords, Keyword Match Types, and Keyword Adjustments

When you first setup an AdWords campaign, you will select what words you want to bid on. This is the first step of the process so that AdWords knows where to show your ad. When you specify a keyword, there are four match types you can choose from:

  • Broad match. This is the default match type and it will match anything related to the word you specify, including related phrases that don’t include those specific words. This can be a good match type to start with, especially if you are uncertain about what kinds of words your customers might use to describe your product.
  • Broad match modified. This match type lets you get a bit more specific than broad match by requiring Google include certain words. That way, you can start to narrow down exactly where your ad shows.
  • Phrase match. This match type is more restrictive and means that your ad will only appear when somebody searches for a particular group of words.
  • Exact match. This is the most restrictive of all and means that your ads will only appear when somebody searches for this exact word.

You also have a negative match type. With negative keywords, you can specify the keywords that aren't a good fit for your service or product. This means your ads won't show on searches that don't match your potential customers' intent.

With AdWords, you can’t just “set it and forget it” when it comes to your keyword selection. Continually adjust the match types and review what words you are bidding on to get the best performance.

3. Google Grants for Nonprofits

Are you a non-profit? If so, check out Google Grants for Nonprofit organizations. Google grants your organization a budget for your ads—that way, you can run AdWords to spread the word about your non-profit, even if you couldn’t otherwise afford to use paid marketing techniques. Do note that there are some limits and restrictions on Google Grant AdWords campaigns that don’t exist for others, such as limits on how much you can bid for each person clicking to your website.

As well, if you do use Google Grants, keep in mind that relevancy and quality matter for nonprofits who participate in the Google AdWords grant program. In June 2017, Google implemented a quality filter on Ad Grants in the Google Search ads auction. This was in response to studies that showing grant campaigns were disproportionately lower quality than non-grant campaigns. In a statement about this, Google said, “If your ads are of relatively low quality, the quality filter will prevent your ads from participating in the auction, no matter how high you raise your bid.”

4. Use Your Data!

One of the most appealing features of Google AdWords is the data usage and analytics it provides. You can also integrate AdWords and Analytics to get even more data. Along with looking at impressions and clicks, you can also track how many conversions result from customers clicking on (or viewing) an ad. Google AdWords is also working on more ways to visually represent data. This means an increase in charts and graphs to represent the success of ads. This will make the data even more valuable and actionable going forward.

5. Ad Content & Extensions

Be sure to fill out all of the available information fields for your ads. These include the headlines, paths, and description. The goal is to concisely explain your value proposition and convince qualified leads to click. Be sure that the ad content is related to the content of the landing page—nothing is worse than clicking on ad and not finding what you expected.

Along with the ad text itself, you want to use ad extensions. These can give you a great performance boost for your ads by giving people even more information about what it is your website is offering. The best ad extension options include:

  • Review extensions
  • Structured snippets
  • Callout extensions
  • Sitelinks extensions

Finally, within you ad text, always include a call to action. If you tell your audience what you'd like them to do, they're likely to do it. This might include getting them to call, click to your website to learn more, visiting your store, or more.

6. Geo Targeting

It's often a good idea to focus your campaign on specific geographic locations. For any physical business, you’ll want to review where your customers are located and target to this region. However, even if you sell digital services or products, it makes sense to see where your engagement is coming from and prioritize your AdWords budget in these areas. Of course, you want to watch for the reverse as well—if you get a ton of traffic from one region but never get any customers from that region, excluding that location might actually boost your performance.

7. Mobile Optimization

There are now more searches on mobile devices than desktop computers. Your campaign must be optimized for these leads. Check your stats and see if mobile is driving a significant amount of your traffic or conversions. If so, targeting mobile more specifically might be advantageous.

As you begin targeting mobile, remember Google AdWords provides performance data that is specific to each device: smartphone, tablet, and desktop. Using this data, you can better manage ads and write ads that are specifically designed for a particular device—after all, what people do on their phone might not be the same thing they want to do on a desktop computer. So, change your ads accordingly by device.

8. Stand out

People are constantly barraged by companies trying to sell us things online (and offline). If you want to increase traffic and conversions, you need to stand out from the crowd. Instead of following what your competitors are doing with their ads, try to be unique.

Google AdWords was once compiled mostly of text-based but now AdWords offers a variety of other ways to advertise. One of the most interesting formats is YouTube video ads, which offer a unique way of sharing your story with customers. As part of standing out, be sure you explore these other formats to see if there are ways they can help your business.

Ready to Get Started?

As you can see, there are many different things you may need to consider to make your AdWords campaigns more successful. If this is unfamiliar territory, we're here to help you keep up with the changing world of digital marketing. If you'd like help, please get in touch today to learn how we can help manage your AdWords campaigns and get you better results.