Give Your Google AdWords Campaign the Spring Clean it Needs

adwords 2We survived it. February marked the coldest month on record in Toronto. And it wasn’t just Canadians living through a record-breaking cold spell, as residents of Connecticut can attest to.

Luckily, spring has finally arrived. And with spring, comes spring cleaning. This brutal winter has left homes across North America broken and battered. Home owners are rushing to replace the shingles on their roofs or fix cracks in their home’s foundations.

With this “fix-up” mindset top-of-mind, what better time is there to fix your business’s Google AdWords campaign?

Internet marketers know that Google AdWords is one of the most effective methods to drive traffic to their websites. It’s also a very effective way to fill-up your “prospect pipeline”. But perhaps you haven’t got great results from Google AdWords. Some questions whether their AdWords campaign is deepening Google’s pockets at the expense of their own.

As the PPC experts at Kissmetrics so eloquently put it, “A poorly managed campaign can cost more than it brings in, but a well-managed campaign can keep your store or company in business. It all comes down to how much you know about AdWords and how smartly you can manage your campaigns.”

With this quote in mind, the aim of this post is to help you increase the ROI on your AdWords campaign. Here’s 10 tips to help you do so.

10 Ways to Improve Your Google AdWords Campaign

Adwords 11. Make sure conversion tracking is set-up properly

    • First, get access to your company’s Google Analytics (“GA”) account
    • Second, work with your colleagues to determine the definition of a conversion
    • This could be when a form is filled out, an e-commerce purchase made, a pdf downloaded, or a video watched.
    • Create goals in GA which reflect your definition of a conversion. Import these goals into your Google Adwords account.
    • If you can, assign a value to each conversion (for example, a form filled out might be worth $100 to your organisation). This will help you to measure the success of your Adwords campaign.

2. Regularly add negative keywords

    • Regularly review which search terms are triggering your ads and subsequently leading to your ad being clicked on.
    • Identify which search terms are not relevant to your organization.
    • Add these as negative keywords to your AdWords campaign.

3. Make sure your landing pages follow best practices

  • Do you have a dedicated landing page or each product or service you are advertising on Adwords?
    • If not, you may be able to easily create one using your content management system.
  • Do you have one, very clear call-to-action (“CTA”)?
  • Does each landing page incorporate the keywords that are triggering your ad?
    • This will improve the quality score in Google AdWords, thus lowering your cost of advertising.
  • Do you have a form on each landing page, where prospects can provide their details?
    • Is the form prominent on the page?
  • Could you reduce the number of fields on your form? Having too many could discourage people from signing up.
  • Are you offering something for free in exchange for people’s details?
  • Does the content of the page reflect the writing of the ad?
  • Does the landing page look clean? Is there plenty of white space, only a few images and a few clear messages?
  • Have you kept the web copy short and focussed on achieving the CTA?

4. Have Google review your campaign and suggest improvements

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  • There are dedicated representatives at Google that are happy to look at your AdWords campaign and suggest improvements. Call one now at 1 866-246-6453.
  • Typically, your Google representative will suggest improvements about your bidding, ad extensions and ad copy strategy. Don’t expect them to be experts on your business or industry.

5. Put more focus on ROI

    • ROI can be evaluated by answering either of these questions;
  1. On average, does one lead generate more net profit than I’m spending on acquiring that lead?
    1. net profit from a lead = (% leads that become customers) x (avg. net profit from a customer).
    2. If cost per lead < avg. net profit from a lead, ROI is positive, and your company should invest more heavily in AdWords.
  1. Am I acquiring leads from Adwords more cheaply than my sales force can acquire them?
    1. Cost of a sales lead = (sales hours to acquire 1 lead) x (total cost per hour to employ a salesperson)
    2. If cost of acquiring a marketing lead < cost of acquiring a sales lead, resources should be reallocated from sales to marketing.
    3. If the other way around, the AdWords campaign should be turned off.

6. Make sure your keyword match types are appropriate

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    • In choosing keywords for an AdWords campaign, there is always a trade-off between relevancy and impressions.
    • More relevant keywords generally have fewer impressions, meaning your ad shows up less, and it’s more difficult to get leads.
    • Broad match keywords will get you plenty of impressions, but relevancy suffers. Your ad will likely show up for some irrelevant keywords.
      • The way to combat this is by being extremely diligent with negative keywords.
    • Exact match terms ([ ]) will get you very few impressions, but they will show your ad to a highly relevant audience.
      • To get enough impressions using exact match, you need to identify hundreds of keywords to be used in the campaign. This can be time consuming.
    • Broad modifiers (+) and phrase match (“”) give you a nice balance of relevancy and impressions

7. Create ad extensions

    • Ad extensions are a type of ad format that show extra information (“extending” from your text ads) about your business.
      • Some can be added manually and others are automated.
    • All ad extensions help your ad become bigger, and “take up more real estate” in google’s search engine results page (SERPs). This makes prospects more likely to click on the ad.
    • There are 4 types of ad extensions that we need to be concerned about:
  1. Sitelink extensions
    • These are links to other parts of your website that feature below your ad e.g “Our Team”, “Testimonials” etc.
  2. Call extensions
    • Call extensions allow your business telephone number to show up in the ad, so people can quickly reach out to you.
  3. Callout extensions
    • Add descriptive text to your ad to help people learn more about what you have to offer. E.g. “50% off all MX Routers”
  4. Location extensions
    • This allows your business address to appear on your ad.

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8. Refine your geo-targeting

    • If, for example, your business offers services in all of Canada, but your main markets are Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, it would better to start with targeting just these 3 markets. This is particularly important if you have a small budget.

9. Try new ad copy

    • Once you’ve built up a big enough sample size to determine whether your ads are effective or not get rid of the poorly performing ones (based on your click-through-rate and number of conversions).
    • Replace a poorly performing ad with a new one, which employs new copy.

10. Set-up “search remarketing”

    • Search remarketing allows you to show your ad very prominently to people that have already visited your website.
      • You do so by increasing how much you bid for these people. I usually go for a 15% bid adjustment on the ads.
    • So for example, I’ve set up my company’s AdWords campaign such that every time someone has recently visited our website types in “outsourced marketing” in Google, our ad is the first or second ad shown.

What tactics do you use to optimise your Google AdWords campaign?

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