With this recent article, I intend to clear up some confusion surrounding the concepts around building successful AdWords campaigns. Has your marketing agency or marketing person touted how great your click through rate is and discounted the fact that you still don’t have conversions? I know CTR can be misleading and it’s easy to get excited when you see a high CTR, but this number only shows how popular the ads are to the people seeing them.
At the end of the day, regardless of what size your company is, it needs conversions to stay alive. While it’s true that I can’t guarantee sales, I can definitely stack the deck and get you in front of the people searching for your product or service. Many people build campaigns backwards and quite candidly, I did as well when I started out. I emphasized the keyword list. I know better now. The keyword list is merely the minimum list of terms which you want to be found for. Create the campaign with the headline using 2-3 terms that describe your product or service. This is the theme of the ad. The 2 description lines should naturally, you guessed it, describe the headline. The keywords used in the headline should be broad match modified (BMM) to assure that these terms searched will trigger your ad. Once the campaign has been running for about a week, you can start optimizing by looking at the detail view of the keyword tab. This shows the terms that people are using to trigger your ads. If terms start showing up multiple times, you know that these terms should be used for either an existing or new ad group.
Here are some other guidelines to follow to assure your campaign is built as well as it can be to set it up for success:
Correct Geo Target
- The larger the Geo Area the greater the competition. More competition leads to a higher CPC (Cost Per Click)!
- People outside an Advertisers Geo Area will see their Ads if they are looking in the Geo Area. People inside the area do not need to include a Geo Reference to see the Ads.
- If using “Radius Targeting,” it must be done in the interface, not editor.
- Refrain from going smaller than a 5 Miles Radius, unless in a LARGE metro area.
- I’ve found that targeting by a State’s County is generally not that effective as city or zip code.
- Do not set to a Country that does not read the languages the Campaign is set to.
- Set to times Advertiser is available to answer a call if a desired conversion is a telephone call.
- Most businesses should have ads scheduled to start when their business opens.
- Scheduling is set for only when Advertiser confirms conversion can take place.
- Naturally, E-Commerce is 24 hours, where a ‘brick and mortar’ shop may only do business during the hours of 8am to 5pm. So of course if it’s an online business or conversions can take place 24-7 then by all means, schedule the campaign 24 hours a day. Once you see when the bulk of your conversions take place, adjust the scheduling to run during those times.
- Set ads to accelerated delivery to get as much data as possible for the budget.
- Rotate evenly, Show ads more evenly for at least 90 days, then optimize. This will clearly present which ads the Public likes the most. Then optimize accordingly. If you allow the algorithm to rotate for more clicks from the start then the “results” are artificial.
Ad Extensions/Phone Extensions/Site links/Review Extensions
- Set Local Merchants should have “Google My Business” page and it should be linked to Location Extensions. This will provide the opportunity to show the location along with the ads when it is in the top 3 spots of the search engine results page (SERP).
- Set Call Extension if the company has a phone number regardless if telephone call is a conversion. Make sure to use the Google forwarding number so it can be tracked! Set up a conversion for calls from the website as well.
- Google Forwarding is sold by stating that if the public calls from the Ad without ‘clicking’ on it’ there is no cost per click. Note: if they do “Click to Call” on a mobile, then the standard CPC is applied. Either way the number is not made memorable.
- Site Links where possible. These are extra links for other pages on your website. (Makes Ads larger than standard, offers Cross-Selling, )
Ad Groups -Keywords / Targeting
- All Keywords in an Ad Group have common theme and are in ad text as mentioned earlier.
- While I strongly recommend daily budgets of $100 or more, budgets below $25 should start with two Ad Groups.
- Budgets above $25 get at least three Ad Groups *unless the set Max CPC is being set for more than $10 per click.
- If a suggested Ad Group has a Keyword List with sufficient volume to produce more than 3 Ads, you have enough for two Ad Groups. Create them!
- Minimum of 4-6 Keywords per Ad Group.
- 1 click per keyword per day! All Keywords used MUST show for Traffic Volume on the Google Keyword Placement Tool. If volume can’t be found for any Keywords, refer the Advertiser to the Display System because Search Only campaigns will not work without traffic!
- If traffic cannot be found for an Advertiser’s required Keyword, then you probably shouldn’t use it. I shouldn’t have to explain why.
- No duplicated Keywords regardless of order or Match Type. They will compete against each other and raise your CPC. This is unless of course they are in different geo targeted areas.
- Keywords addressing conversions are favored over static or research keywords.
i.e. [24hr plumbing repair] over [cost of plumbing repair] or [how to repair plumbing leak]. That should be another obvious one but I still run across people going too broad or using non sales or purchasing phrases and then wonder why the campaign isn’t converting (assuming the website has a compelling copy to close the deal).
- When possible, use extensive negatives to limit irrelevant search traffic due to broad match.
- When possible, use Modified Keywords to limit “Broad Base Match Out” relevance. That is using a plus sign in front of the words you want to trigger your ads.
- Stay away from Search & Display Select.
- The cost is typically 30% less than Search campaigns.
- Budgets below $50 start with Three Ad Groups.
- Budgets above $50, you will build to relevancy to Customer’s Audience & Goals.
- Select targeting methods; Keyword, Topic, Interest, Demographics to show Ads where the Advertisers customers would visit.
- No two Ad Groups are set to the same target method. One Ad Group for Topics, etc.
- Clearly Name the Ad Group to clearly indicate method of Targeting.
- Work at matching your list with Google’s recommended stock list at minimum.
- Must have no Keyword conflict with advertising Keywords.
- Use any additional negative Keywords that are client specific or offered by advertiser.
So with this you now have a blueprint to create an AdWords campaign that will convert.