If you haven’t thought about Google Adwords and what it can do for your business by now, you are missing out. While everyone strives to rank high on search engine results pages, Google Adwords, or pay per click advertising, is a viable option to bridge the gap between high organic rank and paid rank. But, how does it work? How do start? What is the cost? Let’s take a look at the basics and four tips for managing your Google Adwords.
How Does Google Adwords Work?
Google Adwords is simple. When a user loads a Google search, they are greeted with the most relevant search result based on the original search term. This is how traditional organic search engine results pages work, but Adwords includes two key differences. These include bidding and quality score. These two items act in tandem to provide you with an ad rank. The equation is simple:
BID x Quality Score = Ad Rank
As an advertiser on Google, you decide the terms you want to rank for, how much you want to spend per click, and wrap it up with ads that compliment your search terms and landing page. What does this mean for you and your competitors?
Rank based on quality score
Just because you are willing to pay more for an ad, does not necessarily mean you will always rank first. In 2002, Larry Page was checking search terms to see the type of ad he found. Noticing common searches were yielding poor returns in the Adwords system, he sought after a solution. He printed the results page, indicated which ads were incorrect, put it on the bulletin board in the kitchen, and left for the weekend. The following Monday, he was provided a solution, an “ad relevancy score”, which would alter the Adwords system for good (source, and a darn good read). This simple task achieved by great minds fighting for the same purpose is what allows Google Adwords to have that “even playing field” opportunity.
If a user keys in “Nike SB shoes” and is met with four ads, two containing Nike SB shoes, and two without, the two containing the term will rank higher. Between the two, the one with the higher quality score and proper bid strategy will rank in the top spot. The end goal is to return users the best search results, organically or paid, and in turn, benefit the company who receives the traffic. So, how are you going to achieve the same success?
Whether you are running Google Adwords or just getting interested in pay per click advertising, these tips will help you build on your success, fix your issues, or give you the confidence to get started on a path to high traffic and better customer conversions.
Improve Your Quality Score
Think about a time when you Googled something simple and click through more than one or two pages. Why? Was the first one not satisfying your query? Did it not have the right information? Odds are the content was just not relevant to your search, and that is a BIG problem. Your quality score directly impacts your bottom line as you will pay more for ad rank than competitors with that of high scores. When you check your Google Adwords account health, you can review your Quality Score metrics by clicking Keywords > Modify Columns > Quality Score and choose from the data you would like to view. Be sure to click Save columns for later use. This data will allow you to see where you need to improve.
Common areas to help improve your rank:
- Make sure keywords are grouped in the proper ad group
- Make sure keywords appear in the ad copy
- Use two (2) or three (3) ads per ad group to allow for different keyword match and testing
- Make the landing page URL and content is relevant to the ad group and ad copy
- Increase your landing page load to with small images and cleaner code
- That last one might sound a bit more advance, but platforms like Kicks Digital
- Marketing allows websites to run faster that original sites with condensed code, caching, and image adjustments.
Now that you’ve optimized the account and landing page, let’s get to tracking your Google Adwords.
Leverage conversion tracking with landing pages
One of our biggest customer complaints we hear is the inability to track where their leads are coming from. When we build websites, we always include a simple page template that allows our customers to copy a page and turn it into a simple and effective landing page. This is not the case for many people as they do not have a grasp on the digital footprint. You will want to leverage the use of properly formatted landing pages in order to provide the highest opportunity for conversions.
A proper landing page should include:
- Proper CTA for form conversions or call conversions\
- Dedicated content and imagery for the specific product or service
- Keywords found in your ad group and ad
- Proper tracking codes
- Next steps once the customer fills a form
If you take the time to prepare your content and design for your landing page, make sure you go all in. The more data you have, the greater the ability to determine potential areas for growth and ROI.
Use Ad Extensions to gain more traffic
Go to Google and key in any term. You may find some ads look a little different than others. Some are shorter, some are longer, and some have more links and text. This is due to that advertiser’s ability to use “Ad Extensions” to gain more visibility into their products or services and create seamless customer interactions. The extensions allow users to click-to-call, map for directions, see review snippets, view prices, and click to other pages (landing pages of course).
Say you have multiple services that are somewhat similar, like carpet cleaning and house cleaning, but you own a company that does all sorts of house cleaning. You can include site extensions on an ad about house cleaning that include carpet, upholstery, floor, and whatever relevant service might benefit the potential customer. This can increase the odds that they will elect for more services or find the proper service they might have been looking for in the first place.
Most commonly used Ad Extensions are:
- Sitelink Extensions
- Call Extensions
- Location Extensions
- Callout Extensions
- Price Extensions
- Structured Snippet Extensions
Once your extensions are active, you can specify which ones will take mobile preference to provide the potential customer with the best option when they search. For instance, mapping or calling from a mobile phone makes more sense than on a desktop. Be smart and set these up logically.
DDIY – Don’t Do It Yourself
Most of the Google Adwords accounts that we take over have been mismanaged or underutilized. Google Adwords offers a lot of opportunities, but unless you have the adequate amount of time to dedicate to your account, you will miss out on potential customers and conversions. Think about it in the terms of real time availability. Sure, you might have big dreams of a successful company, but you lack the knowledge and resources to effectively execute an Adwords campaign. I am not saying you are not capable, but let’s be real, saying and doing are two completely different actions. Companies like Kicks Digital Marketing exist to help you maximize your efforts in an obtainable way that benefits your bottom line by not sinking your budget in management costs. Looking for a dedicated Google Partner, like Kicks Digital will provide you piece-of-mind while you do what you do best, sell your brand.
Remember this checklist when it comes to Adwords:
- Account and campaign set up
- Ad group selections
- Keyword research
- Ad copy development
- Landing page development
- Bid monitoring and adjustment
- Ongoing account optimization
- On-site content and design optimization
If this sounds like a lot, it’s because it is, but success is a click away. Where will you rank when the customers start searching?