Simple Tips for Google Adwords Success

Paid search is a great way to drive traffic to specific products or services on your site, or for those search terms that are too popular to compete on organically. However, as a small or medium business, you may feel that you don’t have the budget to compete for paid placements or you may think Adwords are too complicated to set up effectively. Neither of those is the case. With a little planning and the following tips, you can create a successful Adwords campaign that drives qualified traffic to your website, without breaking the bank.

  1. Choose the right keywords

    • Use Google’s Keyword Tool to search for terms related to your business. In general, you want to select the terms that get the most possible traffic with the least possible competition, however:
    • Avoid generic keywords and choose long-tail search phrases of 3 or more words instead. Something like “information technology” may drive a lot of traffic, but it won’t be very well qualified and may cost you a lot of clicks that don’t result in conversions. On the other hand “information technology services Vancouver” will generate less traffic but searchers are more likely to be interested in your products.
    • Add branded keywords that include your company or product names to ensure that you turn up when searchers look for them. Even if you have first-page ranking for your brand name, studies indicate that running ads for your brand alongside your organic results can generate up to 50% more traffic.
  2. Consider your ad copy carefully

    • Search for your keywords in Google and see what your competitors have said in their ads. Then, make sure your ads sound better.
    • Include your keywords in your ad copy so that searchers know the ad is relevant to their search. Make sure that you include the details from your long tail phrases so that searchers know your company offers exactly what they are looking for.
    • Ensure that your ad copy is closely related to the content on your landing page, which should be the exact webpage for the product or service advertised, not your homepage or a generic products page. If searchers don’t find what they’re looking for as soon as they land on your website, chances are they’ll hit the “back” button.
  3. Structure your campaigns effectively

    • Create separate ad groups for each related set of keywords, rather than one big group for all your different ads. By keeping each ad group tightly themed, you ensure that your ads are only shown to searchers who are looking for that particular product or service.
    • Divide your ads into separate campaign groups for each subset of products or services so you can dedicate some of your budget to each. This way, more popular searches don’t eat up your all your ad dollars. This is especially important if some of your less popular search terms are high-converting.
  4. Refine your campaign settings

    • Use negative keywords to weed out searches that aren’t related to your business. For example, if you only offer IT services and don’t sell hardware, you’d want to exclude hardware terms so that you don’t turn up in those search results.
    • Use geotargeting to display your ads only to people in your area. You can target by city, postal code, or radius to ensure you only advertise to people near your business.
    • Schedule your ads to run only at the times of day they would be most effective. For example, you can run ads only during your business hours or run specific campaigns to drive traffic during slow periods.
    • Set higher bids on exact matches to your search terms. Someone looking for your exact long tail keyword is a more qualified lead, so you want to ensure your ad appears for those searches.
    • Consider targeting lower ad positions. While the top spot generally gets the most traffic, searchers who click on the lower positions have likely read through all the ads and are more likely to be a qualified lead, as opposed to the searcher who just clicks the top result without looking.
  5. Use your analytics to improve your campaigns

    • Don’t just set it and forget it. Review your ad performance regularly to see what ads are delivering traffic and which aren’t.
    • Cut underperforming ads and dedicate more money to those that do well, and adjust your ad copy and targeting based on those ads that work for you.
    • Connect your Adwords with your Google Analytics and set up conversion tracking to find out which ads not only drive traffic, but sales and engagements. Ads that drive a lot of traffic but not many conversions should be adjusted or cancelled.

By setting up your campaigns properly, you ensure that your ads deliver the most qualified traffic so you can spend less on search advertising. Monitoring and refining them ensures that you don’t waste clicks on ads that don’t work, and helps you fine-tune your campaign to make it more effective. By spending a little more time on your Adwords, you can compete with your larger competitors and drive leads to your site that turn into sales.

Have questions about your paid search campaign? Feel free to contact us or post them to the comments below.