Everyone is funneling a portion of their marketing budget into on-line advertising, and the most popular recipient of these funds is Google AdWords. But before plunging ahead with your new paid search campaign, take heed. There are a few simple techniques that will maximize your ROI.
To be effective with Google AdWords, you must first understand how it works. When a users submits a search on Google, the search engine returns two types of results: organic results that no one has paid for appear on the left side of the results page, and sponsored links that advertisers have paid for appear in the right-hand column.
Through Google AdWords, advertisers participate in an automated auction and bid on search terms. The higher the advertiser bids on a keyword, the higher in the rankings the ad appears and the more likely Web searchers will see it. Advertisers pay only if someone clicks on their advertisement; if nobody clicks on the ad, the cost is zero. Of course, a higher ranking means more visibility, but an ad does not have to appear at the top of the rankings for prospects to see it. As a savvy marketer, your objective is to obtain highest quality clicks at the lowest cost per click.
The following steps will help you achieve your goal:
- Define the goal of your on-line advertising efforts. Close direct sales on your Web site? Capture sales leads that you can follow-up and make the sale?
- Brainstorm to find an initial list of keywords that match your product or service
- Ensure your Web site is eye-catching and well-organized. Include "landing pages" that focus specifically on the products or services you are advertising.
- Sign up for Google AdWords and set up multiple campaigns to enable you to test different copy, targeting, languages, etc.
- Write a clear, concise ad. You only have 25-character title to get a user’s attention and a 70-character ad to get people interested enough to click on your ad.
Once your ads are running, be sure to track the conversion rate of your campaigns and make full use of Google Analytics. You should:
- Analyze your results and make adjustments to your ads, budget, and bids as needed
- Try something different: write another advertisement that takes a dramatically different approach. Remove any ads that are not producing results.
- Improve your Web site to increase your conversion rate
By continually making slight changes and testing different approaches (See previous Marketing Matters post, "Do You Split Test?"), you can maximize your success with Google AdWords and dramatically increase your bottom line.