5 Ways to Ensure That Your Money Is Well Spent – Google AdWords

Google isn’t hurting for money. With something close to 97% of their revenue coming from pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, a big reason for this comes from how costly Google AdWords can get. Below is an infographic from WordStream that breaks down the most expensive keywords in Google Adwords advertising.

Keep in mind that these keywords are expensive in part because the related industries are high-value and/or highly competitive. Not all keywords are as expensive as these.

Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google, does an excellent job of breaking down how Google’s AdWords Auction works. Though he simplifies the process it’s easy enough to understand where the process might become a little more complicated or expensive.

So what does it take to have a successful AdWords Campaign? It is possible to have a very successful campaign without Apple’s budget. Take a look at these 5 steps you will want to utilize after you’ve made your free account.

  1. Set your goals. A Google AdWords campaign can only be subjectively successful without goals to measure against. Make these goals specific and reasonable. Just because you want to raise your website traffic by 100% doesn’t mean that will happen (Unless of course your viewership thus far includes one person).
  2. Use Google Display Network and/or Google Search Network to determine where you want to be seen.
  3. Assign a Paid Search budget, and decide on a bidding strategy that aligns with your overall budget, and enable you to meet conversion goals. You will need to discuss with a client what their needs, wants, and expectations are as part of step 1 and often this translates into to a budget ballpark. I encourage showing clients the numbers and past success stories to get them to buy into the Adwords ‘way’ and maybe earn yourself a higher budget.
    • 3 types of Bidding Strategies:
      • CPM: (Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions) implement this strategy when trying to increase brand awareness and build brand equity, and are less conversion focused.
      • CPC: (Cost-Per-Click) Client wanting to increase conversions via clicks? This bidding strategy might be for them because it is likely to drive the most traffic to their site or landing pages.
      • CPA: (Cost-Per-Action) With this strategy you can measure direct actions that lead to conversions.
  4. Select a Content Strategy, ad type, format, extensions, and additional features that will enable you to reach your buyer personas.
    • What is your Keyword Strategy? Broad, Phrase, or Exact Match? One of my favorite piece of advice from Google’s Study Guide is to optimize common misspellings and plural forms (called Keyword Variations) of your brand name or product to increase ‘clicks’. Visit this page for a refresher on keyword strategy options.
    • What types of ads are you going to display? Text, Image, Video, or Mobile App ads? Different Ad formats offer different conversion advantages, and therefore should be selected based on what your specific goals are for the campaign. This might range from from increasing brand awareness to driving qualified leads. Have you considered extensions? Think about site-link, app, call and review extensions (see infographic for an example, but their are many more types.) Also, click here for 5 great examples of effective ad extensions. Remember, Ad Quality is one of the determinants of the Ad Ranking, and therefore should be high quality. If they aren’t up to par you should inform the client, and offer potential remedies.
    • Where do you want your ad to be seen, and by whom? You can set your campaigns to only reach specific geographic areas, demographic profiles, language preferences, and select devices to push your ads to ensure the intended audience gets exposure through targeting efforts.
    • Will you engage in remarking? Remarking is a type of sub-campaign option that allows you to target visitors who have previously searched for your offerings but didn’t complete the macro conversion. Remarking aims to recapture the consumers attention, and convert them through exposing them to ads on the Display Network sites.
  5. Launch & monitor Performance in Real-Time to make necessary changes for maximum effectiveness.
    Where are your ‘clicks’ coming from? (Referral Source) Where are the ‘clicks’ going once they arrive on your site? (Destination URL). Awareness of these two connections will help you determine which Landing Pages to improve and understand visitor behavior while on site.

    • What device are the ‘clicks’ using? (Allows for Ad optimization for specific device platforms)
      Look for Time of Day/Hour for ‘click’ patterns. This may help you to optimize your bidding budget for times when you are most likely to have the greatest reach leading to increased conversions. Check out this PPCHero Article about understanding these effects.Adwords is fairly intuitive to reaching the right audience, at the right time, but you will need to specify that Adwords can do this.
    • Monitor your Search Terms Report for frequently used keywords that you should optimize or to discontinue using certain keywords if they are proving ineffective in converting traffic. This report might also offer insight into which negative keywords to add to your campaign to funnel out unqualified leads.
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