Everybody knows they need to be using digital marketing to take their business to the next level. The problem is that most people don’t even know where to start. Often, they will immediately gravitate to search engine optimization (SEO). While SEO is important, it is only part of a profitable digital marketing strategy. Paid search engine advertising is an often overlooked part of this strategy. If you aren’t advertising on Google, then you are leaving money on the table. In this article we’re going to show you how you’ve been missing out on well qualified leads.
What is Google AdWords?
AdWords is paid advertising on the Google search engine. When you search for a product or service, typically the first few results that come up are paid advertisements. Most people only read the top few results, so the higher you appear on the page the more likely you are to get traffic. Best of all, these ads are billed on a pay per click basis. You don’t pay when the ad is displayed, only when it is clicked.
Why Should You Use AdWords?
There are a number of good reasons! AdWords is a great complement to your current advertising efforts, in almost all cases. Here are the top reasons you need to be using AdWords.
AdWords gives you measurable results. When you blast a radio commercial, it’s hard to tell if you are getting phone calls because of the radio ad or because of word of mouth advertising. With AdWords you know where your traffic is coming from, so you can make data driven decisions.
AdWords is flexible. Whether you want to build brand awareness or drive people into your sales funnel, you can leverage the power of the Google search engine. You have the ability to bring in consumers at all stages of the buying process. Best of all, you can turn it on and off or change tactics and see results almost instantly.
AdWords is faster than SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is something every business should be doing. However, SEO takes months to see results. If you make changes, again it takes months to know what effect that had. With AdWords you have data almost instantly. Getting to the top of the rankings with SEO takes months, with AdWords it takes minutes.
AdWords lets you control cost. You set a daily limit on your advertising expenditure. You can literally spend as much or as little as you want. You can even tune spending by time of day, or day of week, so that you are aligning your advertising efforts with the search habits of your target market.
AdWords can give you an advantage. If your competitors are relying only on SEO to drive traffic to their website, you can instantly climb above them in search rankings. This gives you a huge advantage when competing for traffic. If they’re already using AdWords then you especially need to be doing it; you can’t compete if you don’t show up.
AdWords can help dial in your SEO. Since SEO takes months to generate results, what happens if you target the wrong keywords? That’s right, it takes months of waiting only to discover you made a mistake. With AdWords you can quickly get data on what people are actually searching for, so you can construct an organic search campaign that will generate highly converting traffic.
How Does It Work?
Marketers construct a campaign around keywords. Keywords are words that relate the text a person types in the search box to the marketers ads. For instance, if you type “where to buy a used car in Phoenix” in the Google search box, Google may match up the words “used car”, “buy”, and “Phoenix” to AdWords marketing campaigns. Those are the keywords. Based on how the marketers constructed the campaign, the ads that target those keywords ranked and displayed on the results page.
Keywords come in many different types. They range from very broad, to exact match. Broad searches give Google maximum flexibility in deciding when to display your advertisement. Exact matches give Google no flexibility in when to display ads. A smart campaign will use a combination of both types, as well as the variations in between.
When you set up your campaign, you target certain keywords that you think relate to your audience’s search query. You also specify the maximum bid you are willing to pay for a click on the ad related to those keywords. You may end up paying less (you often do), but you will never pay more.
How To Construct A Profitable AdWords Campaign
Avoid overusing broad match keywords. If you sell used cars in Phoenix, you don’t want to get clicks from people looking for information on how to fix their car. Each click costs you money, and if the person doesn’t convert to a sale you’re just wasting your money. To construct a profitable AdWords campaign you must be very selective in your use of broad match keywords.
Use plenty of negative keywords. Not only can you specify which words you want to include, you can specify words to exclude. In the used car sales example, the campaign manager would want to exclude keywords like “new”, “how to”, “do it yourself” so that way people looking for new cars, or instructional videos on fixing their cars won’t see the ad and be tempted to click through.
Take full control of everything. Google gives the option of letting them decide which advertisements to show. You want to avoid this because you want to know which advertisements generate the highest quality and quantity of leads. The only way to do this is to randomly rotate through the ads and look at the data for each of them. This takes more time, but yields much better results in the long run. Campaign managers who don’t know what they are doing will often rely on Google to decide which ads to show, which drives up cost for the business.
Create a separate campaign for every good or service you sell. If you sell a variety of products or services, you don’t want overlap between them. This is because if someone is searching for used Toyotas and your campaign shows them an ad that takes them to used Chevrolets, they aren’t going to buy. Not only that, but you have wasted a click. To construct a profitable AdWords campaign you have to invest the time to set up separate advertisements for each product or service. This helps keep conversions high and cost low.
Don’t use the Google partner network. Google has a number of partner websites that can display advertisements. Many people will mistakenly think that more exposure is better, and will opt to display on both Google and their partner network. This can result in poorly qualified traffic clicking on your links, driving up your costs, and not leading to conversions. It’s best to stick with Google as it generates the highest quality traffic. Exceptions exist, but those are on a case by case basis.
Set up phone extensions. If your business relies on phone calls from customers to generate leads, then you can and should include a phone link in your ad. This is especially true if people are going to be searching on their phones. For instance, a plumber that offers emergency services is going to want to use this option as people are going to want to call and talk to someone right away.
Invest in third party tools. Google doesn’t let you track ad performance over time. You have to use third party software for that. Google also doesn’t let you know what your competitors are up to. Fortunately, there are paid 3rd party applications for that. They will help you to take your marketing efforts to that next level.