As an online marketing platform, AdWords really can deliver fantastic results, but far too often businesses assume that it is like waving a magic, instant wand, where you spend a few pounds and the enquiries never end.
As you can imagine, AdWords and Pay Per Click in general is not like that, in fact, no marketing platform is like that, so when it comes to getting your campaign right, it takes time, effort and a lot of hard work.
So, here are 10 things you need to know before you start your PPC campaign.
Results Are Generally Not Instant
There is a common misconception that AdWords works like a tap, where you turn it on and the results just flow in, but, to be quite open, this is generally not the case. There are occasions where a campaign just hits the mark and works straight away, but in most cases you need to work it, tweak it and nurture it, to really get the best results from a long term point of view. If results don’t happen from day one, do not get disheartened as it just means you need to spend more time or give it some time to really bed in and start delivering.
You Need A Realistic Budget
Starting with £30 and expecting to get a wealth of sales and enquiries is just not realistic, as AdWords costs money, so you need a realistic budget depending on your industry. For example, if you work in finance and want to get mortgage leads, expect to need a massive budget, and whilst not every industry will cost a fortune, you need to make sure that you are willing to put enough money into making your campaign work, as you need enough for a few months and enough to get the right level of traffic to judge just how effective your campaign is.
Your Landing Page Is So Important
A great AdWords campaign needs a solid landing page. This landing page needs to take the user on the journey that you started with your advert and it needs to make sure that it makes sense, is easy to take an action and offers them a simple and easy route to converting, or doing what they want to do. For example, if you want them to buy blue trainers, and your campaign leads them to your red trainers, then this is the wrong place to send them. So, make sure your landing page is a fully conversion optimised and offers the right calls to action, as without a decent landing page, your campaign is sure to flop.
You Need To Use The Right Keyword Match
Google AdWords offers Broad Match, Broad Match Modified, Phrase Match and Exact Match, which are basically levels of how AdWords uses your keywords to serve to the right people. For example, exact match will only display your advert if they type exactly into Google one of your keywords you are bidding on, whereas Broad Match will often be very generous and you can end up appearing for quite a few things. I normally advise to start with Exact, then if the traffic is not there drop down to Phrase, but once you do make the move, make sure your list of negative keywords is in place and updated.
The Long Game, Not The Short
One point to truly understand with AdWords is that you must be in it for the long term, as very rarely does a short-term campaign deliver the best results, as you need to really work and drive your campaign forward, learning from both the good and bad. Think of AdWords as a long-term marketing platform, that when you get it right can deliver a fantastic ROI and you can then adapt as your business, service or products moves forward.
Choose The Right Campaign Setting
When it comes to choosing a PPC campaign, it is important that you choose the right one, as there are a few different ways you can go. If you have an ecommerce website then a Google Shopping campaign is a must, and if you have some videos then you should be trying some YouTube paid advertising as well. I always tend to avoid using Display unless you have the time to micro manage placements, as if you let your campaign just go anywhere then it can generate poor traffic that will not convert. Spend some time learning about the different options and then choose the right one for you.
Monitor Results, Then Tweak
Do not set up a campaign, see that it is getting clicks and then leave it until you get a bill through, as AdWords needs work as we mention, so you need to check your results, look at the stats and then make decisions about how you can improve things. If you are getting no sales, you need to investigate why, as there are so many reasons why the campaign might not be working that you need to be on top of it, so that you do not waste money and that you work the campaign to generate results.
Keep An Eye On Your Search Terms
Keep an eye on the search terms that people are hitting your website with via Google AdWords, as this is the only way to make sure you keep on top of negative keywords and therefore remove them from your campaign. The search term report shows exactly how people have found your website and you need to use this and look at the keywords to make sure that they are not only the right ones, but that you are removing the rubbish which is costing you money and not generating any results.
Use Schedules Where You Can
Ad schedules are a fantastic way of making your budget stretch further and your campaign more effective, as for most B2B campaigns you only want them running during weekdays and for most B2C campaigns you can look at turning your adverts off in the small hours of the morning. Either way, if you use conversion tracking and see what times of day you get the best results, you can then also put an ad schedule in place to be more effective at these times, and reduce your adverts showing at the times that just generate no results for your business.
Conversion Tracking Is A Must
We see so many campaigns that are not utilising conversion tracking, and therefore, you can never really judge just how effective it is. Plus, with conversion tracking, you can use enhanced bidding where the system works out where your sales are coming from and then serves more of the same, as if you find the winning formula, it makes sense to keep using it. Either way, conversion tracking is a must, so make sure you get this installed and also back it up with Google Analytics goals as well, as if you know what works, you do more of it, and if you know what is failing to work, you can spend more time making it better.