10 tips to help create a successful Google Adwords campaign

28-05-2014

Just creating an ad that is catchy, adding a link to your site and forgetting about it is no longer enough. Unfortunately, this would ring a bell in the minds of many website owners, who don't really use Google Adwords to its full potential.

At the most basic level you should be checking your ads and then split testing them across a multitude of landing pages. So if you're keen to learn more, be sure to check out the 10 basic tips below to help you on your Adwords journey.

Tip no. 1: Update your list of negative keywords

Most people don't know this but negative keywords are one of the most effective tools that can be used to improve your campaign stats. Prior to starting any new campaign, you should go through all the potential keywords and then decide which will work best for your campaign. Reviewing your negative keyword list on a regular basis is a must, remove the ones that are not delivering results and add new ones to improve conversions.

Tip no. 2: Use the image ad creator

Most Australians have never even tried using the 'Image ad creator', but the potential it offers is incredible. One of the best things about the image creator is that it beats creating .swf files in Adobe Flash. The system allows people to build media rich advertising in a number of different pixel dimensions with just a few clicks. You can add a description, headline and then a call to action, followed by creating many variations of the ad prior to posting.

To create an add click on the green + New Add button this will display the network ad group that you currently have. Then you can click on the "Image Ad" and everything is ready to go.

Tip no. 3: Test advertisements and landing pages on a regular basis

To improve your ad's performance you should test what will work best on a fairly regular basis. For instance, if you have been experiencing a low conversation of around 0.5% then create a copy, then tweak the page slightly. You should make the changes one at a time so that you're able to find out exactly what changes are working for you.

The other thing you'll want to do in order to improve conversions and drive up your ROI (Rate of Return) is to pause all other ads except for the top 3 best performing ones. Then you can write a few new ad copies and test against the top three best for a period of time. However, experts are somewhat divided when it comes to ad optimisation with some thinking that the top performing ads are ones that have the highest CTR (Click Through Rate), but the conversion is mainly driven by the quality of a landing page while others seem to think it's a combo of both ad text and the landing page.

If your budget is over $20K every day, it is best to optimise your advertising for CTR and then split test your landing pages. This is mainly because calculating CTR conversions, impressions and your conversion rate every hour can cost you a lot of money. However, businesses with smaller budgets are advised to optimise ads mainly based on its conversion rate. Plus, split testing landing pages will help to determine what is working the best for a particular campaign. Landing pages are important because these can help to boost your overall quality score while at the same time reduce your cost per click while improving visitor's experience. That said high quality landing pages offer a very low bounce rate which is a huge factor in increasing ROI.

Tip no. 4: Analyze your conversation rate by the hour and day

Think about the fact that every business in Australia has a few profitable or unprofitable hours of the day. For instance, an online store selling clothes may find that any time after 12am is unprofitable. Online businesses targeting an international audience may find that Australian mornings and afternoons are particularly unprofitable while midnight is profitable. Use the keywords segments and ad reports, and compare them to the click report. You can also segment the report for particular times of the day. This data can be exported to Excel where it is filtered down to exactly when your ads receive the most clicks. Then you can adjust your bid scheduling accordingly or find out which time of the day can be deducted from the schedule.

Tip no. 5: Refusing to bid on your brand

Many businesses decide not to bid on their own brand name. Their assumption is that since they rank well already, so there is no point of advertising it. But that is just a one dimensional way to look at things. On the other side of things if you are not advertising your own brand then other companies will take advantage of this. Your brand name will be used as part of their ad group and as a result will target your visitors. Even though you will rank no. 1 for the term organically but your competitors will be listed directly above you.

For instance, Even the famous computer manufacturer Dell advertises for the phrase "Dell Computers" or "Dell Laptops" despite ranking no. 1 for the term. So, it pays to bid the highest for your brand since people searching for your business will likely convert.

Tip no. 6: Not knowing your client's life time value or CLTV

Did you recently sit down and calculate the CLTV (Customer Lifetime Value) for all your customers? If you have not done this yet then there is no way to know how much you may be spending on AdWords' for every acquisition.

If your CLTV was $10 for instance, this means that you've been earning $10 on average over the entire lifetime of doing business with your clients. So, if you were currently paying $6 for every acquisition then you're still making a $4 profit per customer. But if you had a $4 CLTV and were spending $6 or $10 for an acquisition then you're spending more than you should and will soon go out of business.

The biggest mistake made by many startup businesses in particular is that they do not know their CLTV and so they have no idea what a good CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) is. If clients stick with you for six months on average and you get paid $30 per month, then your CLTV is $180. So, you're doing OK if your CPA is around $100. Naturally every industry is different, so your CLTV will primarily depend on your competition, what you're selling and where you are in the business cycle.

To help you gain a basic understanding, have a play around with this Customer Lifetime Value Calculator.

Customer Lifetime Value Tool

Tip no. 7: Evaluate your performance for every device and then optimise your bid based on your margins

You should check your reports for performance by device for every ad group. This analysis on a regular basis will allow you to keep your campaigns running efficiently across every device you're targeting. You should also integrate Google Analytics since it's an excellent way to compare desktop and mobile users, plus you'll get enough data to properly tailor your overall communication strategy.

Tip no. 8: Understand who your competitors are

Another mistake that many new businesses make is not understanding who they are competing against. Knowing your ad competitors i.e. what keywords they are using, how their landing pages are tailored and what their key selling points are can be valuable. You will want to put yourself in the shoes of your customers to see which is the most interesting ad, then once you click on the ad, look closely at their landing page and how it communicates with the customer, then compare this to your own. This will help you figure out exactly what can be done to improve upon your own landing pages. Consider if you need a cleaner look, better design, more testimonials, authority links or security factors.

Scan through your competitors' advertising copy to learn what they are doing better. Then take what you've learnt and apply it to your own landing pages. Create new landing pages to split them against existing ones to see which one improves your conversion rate.

Tip no. 9: Try to use AdWords Editor

Do you currently have many ads and keywords that require optimisation but do not have enough time in the day to do it? The Google AdWords Editor is not exactly a feature built into AdWords but it is a great tool to make changes to your accounts in bulk. The problem is that many advertisers simply do not know this tool exists.

The editor allows people to make offline changes to their account, which is then later uploaded. Some of the best features include filtering and the search function. Then there are advanced functions like changing bids and sharing the changes with people who are working for you on the account. The editor can be mastered in just one day and can be downloaded directly from Google.

Tip no. 10: Diagnose your Keywords

Are the keywords you using actually pulling from the right search terms or are there other keywords within your account that is competing against others? The keyword diagnosis tool enables you to check the health of all your keywords, and will tell if your keywords have been showing up and if not then why not?

The tool is very effective at eliminating internal competition between the keywords you are using to ensure that your efforts pull up the right search ads for all the right search terms.

Conclusion

The majority of businesses today take advantage of social media and PPC advertising such as Google Adwords to get the word out about their business. However, increasing competition and often low upfront advertising budgets mean that your advertising needs to be as targeted and lean as possible. This requires a deep understanding of the various factors that influence or even spur on conversions. It is also important that you log every change you make to your advertising campaign, ad copy and graphics so that you know exactly what worked, then the same principle can be applied across other products, and services you may be offering.

Local businesses today are under increasing pressure to be able to market their businesses effectively online. The biggest reason why local businesses need to invest heavily in local search is the fact that almost 80% of all the clients they receive will be either people who use a mobile phone to find their business or have found out about them online.

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