For a lot of businesses, pay per click (PPC) advertising – AKA Google AdWords – is their most successful form of paid advertising, as it brings a comparatively lower cost per acquisition (CPA) than any other channel.
So, if you’re not running an AdWords campaign, you could be missing out on some valuable traffic and limiting your website’s overall conversion rate. What can you do about this? Delegate a portion of your marketing budget to Google AdWords, of course! But, how does this platform work and how can you build a campaign that effectively drives conversions?
We look at how to build your campaign, as well as what all the industry terminology and jargon actually means.
What is Google AdWords?
Let’s start at the beginning. Google AdWords is essentially an online advertising platform. This one platform generates 97 per cent of Google’s total revenue, which is no small feat considering it’s a multi-billion dollar organisation. In it, you can generate ads that will appear when people are searching for relevant products and services. Users will immediately know that the result they’re seeing is an ad, because it will come up with a little ad icon next to the search result. These ads will usually show up at the top and bottom of the search results page after a user has made a specific query. A paid ad will show up when:
- A user searches something on Google – let’s say they’re looking for women’s shoes. Google looks at the AdWords advertiser’s pool and determines whether there will be an auction.
- If Google finds that one or more advertisers are bidding on keywords that are relevant to the search query, an auction is triggered.
In theory, if you’re running an ad for women’s shoes, you should be able to create your ad in the back-end of the AdWords’ platform, select the keywords you want to target, designate your budget and then get your ad showing up on Google!
In reality, it’s a little more complicated. This is because all sorts of things are taken into consideration when determining what ad goes where:
You see, Google’s main goal is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” So when a user searches for women’s shoes, Google won’t show an ad for men’s shoes or children’s clothes, the results it shows will be the best available search result.
Google determines the value of an ad by looking at the ad’s maximum bid (how much the advertiser is willing to pay per click) and the ad’s quality score (which takes into consideration everything from how good the ad’s landing page is on the website to how relevant the keywords and text in the ad are to the search query). Every time someone searches for the term women’s shoes, Google will go through this process and determine which ads it will show and where it will show them.
What does this actually mean? Let’s say you make an ad and allow a budget of $10 per click. Your ad text is pretty relevant, but your landing page looks like it belongs in an infomercial from the ‘80s. Your competitor makes an ad for the same product, only allows a budget of $7 per click, has a highly relevant ad, and has a clean landing page that’s easy to use and has been built with user engagement and conversions in mind. Even though you might be willing to spend more than your competitor, your competitor’s ad will likely appear above yours, as they will have a higher quality score.
As you can see, how much you actually pay for your ad will depend on how good your ad is, how good your website is, how much you’re willing to pay, and what everyone else that’s competing for the same ad space is doing.
If you nail each step of your campaign’s set-up process, your ad could easily become the top-ranked result for your search query, at minimal cost to you. Plus, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. If your campaign doesn’t generate any clicks, you won’t pay a cent.
To ensure you get the results you want, follow our steps below for creating the best possible AdWords campaign.
Step One: Set Your Goals
What are you hoping to achieve by running an AdWords campaign? Do you want to generate a certain number of leads per month? Do you want to sell a certain number of women’s shoes per month? Maybe you want to get more phone calls or newsletter sign-ups… Identifying what you overall goal is during the early stages of your AdWords journey is important, as it will help you set-up and manage a more targeted, effective campaign.
Step Two: Do Your Research
The research stage of your campaign’s set-up will include:
- Keyword research
- Competitor research; and
- Audience research
Through this research, you’ll be able to determine what phrases your potential customers are actually searching. If you’re an online retailer selling shoes to clients across America, you can search for keywords like ‘women’s shoes online’ and find out how many searches there are for that phrase or phrases like it across the country each month.
Your keywords will be the foundation of your campaign, and will comprise of:
- Broad match keywords
- Modified broad match keywords
- Phrase match keywords
- Exact match keywords
Each of these keyword types can be used for different campaigns, however, if we were to look at our women’s shoes example again, broad match keywords will likely be the most effective as this type of keyword typically reaches the largest audience. This is because your ad will be eligible to appear when a user searches any word in your key phrase, in any order. For instance, your ad could appear when someone searches ‘women’s shoes online’, ‘shoes for women’ and so forth.
Your competitor research is also important, as it will help you understand what businesses like yours are doing. What keywords are they targeting? What methods are they using to drive conversions? How are they phrasing their ads? Look at what your competitors are doing well, and what they aren’t, to help you determine the best course of action for your campaign.
Finally, audience research will help you better understand the people you’re targeting. Where are your customers buying from and what devices are they using to search for products online? How old are they? Where do they live? This is all data you should already have readily available from any demographic research you did when building your website and targeting your overall digital marketing strategy. However, it’s important to revisit this research again when selecting your keywords and choosing the ad copy for your AdWords campaign.
Step Three: Build Your Landing Page
When a user clicks on your ad, they will be taken to a specific page on your website. This page should be designed to drive your chosen goal, and should meet user expectations. For instance, it should:
- Load quickly
- Be easy to navigate
- Be visually appealing
- Have relevant content and feature the keywords you’ve been targeting through your campaign; and
- Have clear call to action points (for example, a buy now button)
If possible, it should also contain some form of offer, to entice users to take further action. This might be a 20 per cent off your first purchase offer, or sign up for our newsletter and get a 10 per cent off code.
If your goal is to sell women’s shoes online, your landing page might just be your website’s normal page for women’s shoes. However, if your campaign is advertising a special deal or a particular service, try to use a page that has been created specifically for your campaign.
Step Four: Create Your Ad
Your ad copy should be relevant to the keywords it’s being displayed for, should stand-out from the competition and should reflect the messaging/offer that’s presented on your landing page.
For instance, in the above ad example, the company has chosen to display their reviews, which shows potential customers that they’re a reputable business. The ad also specifically addresses the original query ‘women’s shoes’ and immediately tells consumers that they will get fast delivery, free shipping on certain orders, and that they will have plenty of choice. These are all things that shoe shoppers will be looking for, and they’ve all been addressed in a clear and concise manner.
Your ad copy doesn’t have to look like this, but it is an example of an effective ad that ticks of all Google’s boxes. The main point to remember when crafting your ad copy is that it should address the user’s end goal. The user wants to buy shoes; your ad should show them that that’s exactly what they can do when they click on your ad.
Step Five: Track Conversions
To determine how successful your AdWords campaign is, what’s working, and what isn’t working, you’ll need to track your ad’s conversions. Depending on what your initial goal was, you might be tracking downloads; newsletter sign-ups or even phone calls.
Each of these conversions can be tracked in a different way. For instance, if you want to track how many pairs of shoes were sold via the ad, you can track eCommerce sales in Google Analytics. However, if you want to track phone calls, you can set-up call tracking with a third party provider to see how many of the website calls your business received originated from your paid advertising.
This step is crucial, as it will give you an insight into user habits and allow you to better target your future campaigns.
As you can see, there are a lot of steps involved in creating an AdWords campaign, and a lot of different factors to consider. Your ads will also need to be consistently monitored to make sure they’re performing and are optimised for maximum results. Here at Webfirm, our Google AdWords’ specialists work tirelessly to keep our clients’ campaigns in good shape.
Want to start getting leads from online advertising? Ask us how we can manage your AdWords campaign today!