Google is constantly tinkering with its algorithms for search and paid Google advertising. With the world’s brightest people in the industry all clamouring to work at Google within the famed Googleplex, each users experience online is designed to be seamless and efficient. You can rest assured that people who know what they’re about are doing their upmost to keep it this way. It’s important to keep this in mind when you venture into the world of Google AdWords. If you aid Google with their mission, which is to provide the world’s information accurately and efficiently to all, they will reward you for it.
So you’ve decided to give AdWords a go. Here are a few tips and some advice to help you on your way. Firstly, in regards to the placement of your Google AdWords ads, you need to see the following as two different strands;
- The first is the placement of your ads in regards to where they are shown in Google Search Results pages. When a user types in a search query in Google’s search bar, the results page will appear in mere seconds, likely with hundreds of thousands ‘relevant’ results. Now, you have two ways of appearing on that first page of results. The first will come about after a lengthy, costly and patient Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign. SEO is an ‘organic’ way of climbing the search results ladder. (*Tip: I say costly here because due to the amount of time and effort required to perform a successful SEO campaign, you will likely need to pay a professional to look after it for you). The second option you have is investing in Google AdWords. This allows an ad you have created to appear on that first page of results given that the search query entered by a user matches the keywords for your ads. Google AdWords ads appear as the top three results when a search query results page appears. The results under the top thee AdWords ads are the top organic (SEO) rankings. You will also have a column of ads to the right of the organic search results. Google ads average traffic share by page position sees page 1 at 91.5%, page 2 at 4.8% and, page 3 at 1.1% (Lee, 2013). The placement of these ads comes down to several key points:
- Your ‘Quality Score’ – this tells Google how relevant your ads are to the search query. This is done through ‘keywords’.
- Your daily budget – this will help you to determine your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) which is how many people click on your ads determined through your keywords, which will in turn determine your Cost-Per-Click (CPC), which is what you will pay each time a user clicks on your ad.
The calculations that Google then performs goes as follows:
CPC x Quality Score = Ad Rank
Ad Rank is what determines where your ad is placed. It may sound complicated, but to make it a fair practice for all involved, introducing such an algorithm takes away any bias.
- The second strand looks at Google AdWords feature ‘Remarketing’. This feature allows your ‘remarketed’ ads to essentially follow users around the internet. How does it do this? The ad will ‘attach’ itself to users who have visited your site but didn’t convert into a lead or a sale. This way, while the user continues to search the web after they have left your site, they’ll still be exposed to your advertising.
Once you have signed up to Google AdWords, there are an array of features to help you get the most Return-On-Investment (ROI). Each feature within AdWords works better for some businesses more than others simply due to the nature and industry of these businesses. Remarketing, as explained above for example, is known to work well for sites selling products. Call Forwarding Extension works extremely well for tracking phone calls from your website (which depending on your business type, a phone call to your business can be counted as a conversion), and then there is something like Google Tag Manager, which will work for any business type. The essential element for any business owner is determining what your goals are when it comes to Google AdWords. As a logical step from this, that means understanding your customer. Once you have definitive guidelines and goals in place, you’ll be able to match them with the most relevant and beneficial AdWords features suited to your business. To go over every feature within AdWords would mean taking you through hours upon hours of information. The best way is to research the Google AdWords site. Read up on their blogs and articles, look at recent updates and even research what features are known to suit your industry best.
When it comes to the ad copy you place within your ads, your number one priority is to make sure the copy is relevant. Remember, relevant ads help improve your Quality Score. To ensure your copy is relevant, focus on your keywords. Now that you know who you are customers are (based on when you were determining you goals), you can think about terms or ‘keywords’ users might use as a search query, and thus activate your AdWords ad. You can even think of a combination of these keywords and tailor your ads to suit a multitude of search terms. Next, think of how best to match these keywords with your Unique Selling Point (USP). Are you an exclusive reseller? Do you offer free shipping? Now match your USP with a Call-to-Action. Creating good copy is not rocket science – put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
Of course, when you’re spending your hard earned cash on advertising, you want to see a ROI. How can you ensure your ROI with Google AdWords? Again, it comes back to working on your Quality Score. You’ll also need to properly track your conversions if you want to accurately measure your ROI. Now when it comes to tracking your keywords, you’ll want to create a keyword bidding strategy to make sure you’re paying what you should for the position you desire. To begin your journey into the land of Google AdWords, there will be a level of experimentation required to find what suits you.
Now all of the above is good and well, but remember, when someone clicks on your AdWords ad it will lead the user to your website. Now if the mention of your website sets off ringing alarm bells then you have a problem. Your website is the equivalent of your business shop front in the real world. People will make a judgement on your business within seconds entirely based on the layout and design of your website, so it’s something you want to get right. Does your website look slick, clean and easy to navigate? Or is it cluttered and slow? Your AdWords ads are designed to get consumers to your site. Once they are there, your website needs to do the rest (convert)!