Google AdWords

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Google dominates 60%+ of online searches. This means that most people search on Google every time they need a service or product like you have to offer. Google AdWords is an intuitive platform that lets you reach those people by placing your ads on search results pages, apps, emails, tons of websites, and more.

Types of AdWords campaigns

When setting up your AdWords campaign, the first step is to select the type of campaign you wish to run.

Your ads will be shown to users based on the campaign type you selected.

Campaign types include:

How to Create a Profitable Campaign

To realize the greatest return on investment (ROI) with Google AdWords, you must regularly review how your campaigns are performing and optimize your conversion rate (CRO). Optimizing AdWords campaigns is a constant practice. In order to maximize your ROI on any Google AdWords campaign, you must understand it and be able to compare its performance with your initial goals for this campaign. Once you have compared a campaign’s actual performance with the pre-defined goals that were set for it, you will be able to refine it and maximize the ROI.

To do this, you will need to use your defined goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Define KPI’s

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are quantitative measurements that show how well a campaign is performing. These will later be compared with your pre-defined goals, to see whether your campaign is meeting expectations.

Because different types of websites have different goals, KPIs differ from one website to another. For instance, an ecommerce website’s KPIs may focus on how many products were sold, how many items people place in their shopping cart, and the average value of a purchase. A content-oriented site’s KPIs may measure how many new users subscribed, how many people have watched a video, or how many ads were clicked on by users.

Depending on what type of website you have, you may find some of these KPIs insightful:

  • Spend: your budget for ads.
  • Quality score: a scorecard from Google for both ads and landings pages that shows how relevant and useful Google thinks these are to people.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions, expressed as a percentage.
  • Conversion rate: the number of leads or sales (conversions) divided by the number of visitors generated through PPC, expressed as a percentage.
  • Conversion rate per ad: each ad’s own conversion rate.
  • Return on ad spend: the ROI of your advertising budget.
  • Cost per lead: how much each quality lead generated by a campaign costs (quality leads are not sales but promising prospects).
  • Profit: revenue less expenses, including advertising and product costs, and overhead.
  • Lifetime value: the value of a customer’s sales over your business’ lifetime.
  • Cost per transaction: the cost incurred per transactions of specific campaigns (e.g. newsletters, AdWords, banners, etc.).
  • Average transaction value: the average value of each individual transaction.
  • Average items in basket: the average number of items purchased in a transaction.

KPIs take the guess work out of managing advertising budgets. Because these are all quantitative measurements, they make comparing different marketing strategies simple. Placing campaigns side-by-side lets everyone see which campaigns are more profitable and which are less profitable. Adjustments can then be made accordingly.

Setting Up Good Ads

Depending on your campaign types, you will be setting up text ads, display ads, video ads, or email ads. Google provides great tools to create your ads with self-explanatory step-by-step instructions to make it happen. There are few components of good campaign. First is to research for good keywords that match your goals. Second is to make sure that the ads’ text (if text or email ads) is relevant to the keywords you are targeting. Third, you want to make sure that the page the users are landing on after clicking your ad, is relevant to what they searched for, and is designed to convert. And lastly, you want to make sure that your goals are setup inside the Google AdWords platform, so you can measure the performance of the ads against your goals.

* Keep in mind that you can divide your campaign to multiple ad-groups, so you can keep the text of an ad, the landing page as relevant as possible to the ads’ text and the searcher intent.

Keyword research

Google provides you a great tool to find the best keywords to use for your ads. It even helps you make your ads more relevant by suggesting ad-groups, which are a collection of related terms. This will make it easier on you to create highly relevant ads with higher Quality Score.

The tool is available inside your AdWords dashboard.

Here is an example:

AdWords Campaign Kayword Planner Tool Example

Essentially each keyword group can have its own ad, to make the text of the ad more relevant to the keywords in that adgroup. However, it is not recommended to just add adgroups without making sure all terms suggested are actually relevant. So take your time to explore with the keyword planner tool before saving to your campaign.

Optimized Landing Pages

Once you have chosen your keywords and set it up into ad-groups, it is time to create your ads. Here we will show an example of creating a text ad. The title and description should be relevant to what the user searched for. There are many ways to do that, one way is with dynamic text that uses the search terms inputted by the user straight in your ad, so it always look relevant to the user. Google also highlights the search term if it matches.

AdWords Campaign Text Ad Tool Example

*Tip: you can include a UTM tag for your final URL so you can identify traffic from your campaigns in external analytics platforms.

The ‘Final URL’ is where you use your landing page. A good landing page should follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Content is relevant to the keywords that are included in the ad-group.
  • The page is conversion centric, and has no highlighted options for the user to navigate outside of the page. Some users do not like not seeing a main navigation on the page, so in these cases, creating a one-pager is a great solution.
  • There must be visible call to action (CTA) above the fold. The CTA should match your type of users. So if you are a local service provider, you will offer a phone number and a contact form above the fold. If you sell a product, you should have product reviews and ‘Buy Now’ button above the fold.
  • The page should be well designed and appealing.
  • You should have some testimonial or reviews that shows credibility.

Here is an example for a good page:

Conversion Optimized Landing Page Example

There are several good tools that help you create great landing pages, just keep in mind that in order to use a landing page in an AdWords campaign, it must be under your own domain. That’s why most of the good landing pages tools will let you integrate your domain via a plugin on your CMS or CNAME settings in your DNS.

Goals Setup

Most chances your goals are to generate leads or sales from your campaigns. Leads will usually be generated via a contact form submission or a phone call. No matter what your goals are, you want to make sure you set up proper tracking for these goals, so you can measure the performances of your campaigns. You can either set up your goals straight inside AdWords, or in Google Analytics, and then import your goals from Analytics to AdWords.

Within AdWords, just go on the top right menu and choose “Conversions”, AdWords will then take you step by step on how to set these up:

AdWords Goals Conversions Setup Example

Automated Rules

Want to schedule ads while you’re sleeping? Pause ads with a low clickthrough rate? Boost your bids so they stay on the first page? Automated rules can do this for you. Automated rules can save you time by operating across your account based on criteria you specify.

Common ways to use automated rules

  • Automated rules allow you to schedule your ads to appear at specific times of the day.
  • Use automated rules to adjust bids depending on time of day, seasonal factors or other dynamic conditions.
  • Control your budget and costs by showing ads only at the times you choose.

AdWords Campaign Automated Rules Example

There are few rules we apply for every campaign we work on, a couple of these rules are below. We want to make sure at least once a day that all our keywords have enough bids to show on first page, and then a few times a day, to make sure the bids are meeting the top of page settings. Of course, as long as it makes sense to the campaign’s goals and budget.

Raise bids to ensure ads show on the first page (Search Network only)

You can use automated rules to raise the bids of your keywords to the recommended first page bid, and run this rule on a daily basis. However, be sure to specify a maximum bid, and also add a requirement that the keyword status is “Below first page bid” so that you’re only changing bids of keywords that aren’t already showing on the first page. In addition, you might want to only raise bids for keywords that have a good Quality Score (for example, Quality Score >= 6), so as not to bid up keywords that need to be optimized. To create this rule:

  1. Click All campaigns in the left panel of your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Keywords tab.
  3. Click the Automate button, and select “Raise bids to first page CPC when…” from the drop-down. Note that the “Max. bid” and “Below first page bid” boxes will be automatically checked.
  4. In the “Apply to” section, choose All but removed keywords in all campaigns
  5. In the Requirements section, choose Quality score >=6.
  6. Set the frequency to Daily using data from Previous day.
  7. Name and save your rule.

Another rule we like to run right after we bring all keywords to page 1, is to get those keywords to the top of the page.

Raise bids to the recommended top of page bid (Search Network only)

You can use an automated rule with top of page bid estimates to raise the bids of your keywords to the recommended top of page bid, and run this rule on a daily basis too (or even few times a day). Note: Be sure to specify a maximum bid. In addition, you might also want to only raise bids for keywords that have a good Quality Score. To create this rule:

  1. Click All campaigns in the left panel of your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Keywords tab.
  3. Click the Automate button, and select “Raise bids to top of page CPC when…” from the drop-down.
  4. In the “Apply to” section, choose All but removed keywords in all campaigns
  5. In the Requirements section, choose Quality score >=6.
  6. Set the frequency to Daily using data from Previous day.
  7. Name and save your rule.

There are many more types of rules and you can run them as many time troughout the day, week, or month. Here are some more examples from Google. Once you’ve created rules, make sure to monitor their performance frequently and refine them to get the desired results.

Remarketing

As you already know, remarketing, or retargeting, is the a type of campaign that lets you show up wherever anyone who already visited your site is surfing the internet. Many companies love this feature because it allows them to stay in the back of the mind of those people who already expressed interest, but might not ready to make a transaction. It is a great conversion tool for longer decision making transactions, and brand name recognition.

Even if you are not sure if you want to run a retargeting campaign right away, it is still a good idea to place the retargeting code on your website, because in case where you don’t generate too many visits to your site every day, it might take time to establish a usable retargeting list. You can target people who visited your site during the last 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days.

To set up the lists of users you want to re-target, go to “Shared Libraries” on the right top menu, and choose “Audience Manager”:

AdWords Campaign Remarketing Example

Once you have at least one eligible list, you can setup a regular campaign and choose to have it served to your list only.

A/B Split Test

If you are using an app like Instapage or Unbounce then you should have a very simple to use A/B split testing feature handy within the app’s dashboard. If you want to use a page that is on your site, or are using a simple HTML page, Google provides a great tool called Google Optimize. All you need to do is add a simple code to the <head> section of the page you want to use, and install Optimize extension to your Chrome browser. From there it is very simple to use, and is incredible.

You can clone your pages and set as many variants as you want:

AdWords Campaign AB Split Test Example

And you can also make any edits you want for text and visuals on your existing pages:

AdWords Campaign AB Split Test Example 2

And lastly, check the results of your A/B split test by checking out the report tab:

AdWords Campaign AB Split Test Report Example

You might find that your variant is performing better then your original page.

Measure Performances

At the end of your predefined period (usually a week, month, or quarter) you should analyze your performance in the Google AdWords reporting dashboard and compare it to industry standards and your initial goals. On an ongoing basis you can also compare the latest performance to the previous time period, to make sure you are improving over time.

AdWords Campaign Performance Report Example

Additional Opportunities

Other then improving your KPIs like higher CTR, higher conversion rates, better quality scores etc, you should also check out the opportunities Google has for you in the “Opportunities” tab. Often these are very easy to implement and should help you generate more leads.

AdWords Campaign Opportunities Example

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into setting up a good campaign, and optimizing it for improved performance over time.

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