Sometimes an old way of operations can be adapted to a new era because it’s simple and easy.
What does this have to do with Google Adwords? It’s simple. The fight for people’s attention in the search engine is brutal. You aren’t just competing for attention; you are competing for clicks and business.
While you can play the SEO game, it’s a long-term strategy that builds upon itself over time. There are multiple moving parts involved if you really want organic search to comprise a large portion of your marketing efforts.
Once you understand the essentials to building an effective campaign, Google Adwords is your Fast Pass to increasing awareness and generating revenue from prospects.
But, I have to caution you from the get-go: You can’t dive into Google Adwords blind. To truly benefit from the platform, you have to acknowledge and implement five foolproof setup and optimization techniques.
Google Adwords does not function like Facebook Ads Manager. As you setup a Google Adwords campaign, you’ll want to consider your business goals and website hierarchy. Categorize your campaigns and ad groups based on the top-level webpages on your site.
For example, if you are a limousine company that offers proms, weddings, and nights out on the town, you’d like to create a retail campaign. Under the campaign level, you’d develop three ad groups around the three services you provide (i.e. proms, weddings, and nights out).
From there, you choose keywords specific to each of those services and ad groups so your ads are highly relevant and boost your quality score...more on that below.
And make sure you include 12 keywords or less in each ad group. Less is more, my friends.
NOTE: This is just one way of setting up your Google Adwords account. There is another way where you can build individual campaigns for series and divide the ad groups based on different keyword match types. It’s about building a clean structure you are comfortable with.
The types of keywords and match types you select for your Adwords campaigns affect performance, competition, cost per click, conversion bids, and ad text and ad group structure. So, yeah, it’s kind of important. There are four different types of match types:
• Broad Match: Your ad reaches a wide audience, but it may appear under irrelevant searches. For example, let’s say your keyword is jfk cab service. Your ads will show up for anyone who searches for jfk or cabs or taxis or services — all searches not consistent with your business and its offerings.
To counteract showing up under irrelevant searches, add enough negative search terms so your ad doesn’t show up for the irrelevant searches.
• Modified Broad Match: Your ad reaches a wide audience, but it appears under more relevant keywords. Include a + sign in front of the keywords to indicate a modified broad match type. If I use the keyword +red +dress, my ad will show up for anyone who searches with the following phrases…“Where can I buy a red dress?” “Can I wear a dress that is red to the prom?” The order your keywords are arranged doesn’t matter. Simply add keywords you want the searcher to type.
• Phrase Match: Your ad reaches a smaller audience, but it appears only when someone searches for the exact keyword “phrase.” Order is important with this match type. For example, let’s say your keyword is “yellow shoes.” Your ad will show up ONLY for people who type in the same order. “Where can I buy yellow shoes?”
• Exact Match: Your ad reaches a smaller audience, but it appears ONLY to those who type the exact keywords you include and nothing more or less. To spend less money, use exact match keywords because the searcher in these instances knows exactly what he or she wants. For example, if my keyword is buy iPhoneX, the ad shows up ONLY if the user types buy iPhone X.
Broad match keywords are tricky because although they get your ad in front of a variety of searches, those searchers likely won’t click through to your landing page if the ad copy doesn’t relate to their initial search.
If you are using broad match keywords, replace them with broad match modifiers (a +sign in front of the keywords), phrase, or exact match so your ad only shows to relevant audiences who are looking for your specific service offering. This ensures you aren’t wasting your money and marketing fuel.
Bonus Recommendation: Don’t be a traffic addict. Hitting the search engine pipe will feel good for a while, but the blow to your pocketbook won’t be fun down the road.
So, please do not underestimate long-tail keywords. These are longer phrases with descriptive terms that typically have lower competition and cost less to target than short tail keywords. You might even see higher conversion rates than you get on competitive and costly short-tail keywords.
Your landing page is arguably the most important piece of the Google Adwords puzzle. If the content on that page doesn’t align with the keywords you are targeting, you’ll receive a low quality score on your ads.
This action sparks a Domino effect where you’ll start seeing the cost of your ads skyrocket and the click-thru rate plummet. In other words, a good landing page means a high quality score. A high quality score means more exposure and lower cost.
Optimize your landing pages by…
• Writing about subject matter that matches your keyword selection.
• Employing principles of design to enhance usability and readability of the page.
Because Google Adwords shows your ads based on their performance in the platform’s auction system, you must choose a bidding strategy. With paid search advertising, you are paying to play in the digital marketing sandbox.
There are several bidding strategy options, but I suggest starting with Manual CPC bidding. As part of the strategy, you get to control and determine the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click. Other strategies select the amount for you, but this leads to higher costs more often than not.
Until you have analyzed the results of a Manual CPC bidding strategy, you should avoid exploring the other methods. Use Manual CPC bidding as a starting point, then you can change your strategy in later iterations of your campaign as you become more comfortable with the process.
Now, naturally I saved the best for last here. The final concept I believe you need to know to master Google Adwords is keyword branding. This involves creating a campaign around your company using keywords exclusive to your brand.
For example, setup an XYZ Limo Company campaign with keywords like “XYZ Limo Company.” Use branded keywords like the one I mentioned so you don’t miss out on an audience that knows your company and is searching for you.
Google Adwords is an insanely effective tool for improving sales through marketing. But making mistakes in the setup and structure of your account turns your Fast Pass into a full blown traffic jam.
Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University (www.LimoGrowth.com), Inbound Marketing Agents (www.inboundmarketingagents.com), and 23 additional startups, including Silver Oak Transportation of Nashville, Tenn. As a successful former operator and active advocate for the industry, Bill continues to invest into educating and training operators on how to grow, manage and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at [email protected] For more columns and blog posts by Bill Faeth, click here.
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