5 Tips to Building an Effective Google Adwords Campaign
A recent whitepaper from the search engine optimization and marketing firm MoreVisibility, 10 Critical Elements to a Successful Google Adwords Campaign, provides tips for multichannel merchants to help them realize the full potential, and profitability, of a properly managed Google Adwords account. Here are five pointers to take away from the report.
1. Keep your campaigns and ad groups tightly themed. Keep your campaigns and ad groups as relevant to your business as possible. Without tightly themed ad groups, you run the risk of Google not being able to determine the context of your groups, the whitepaper cautions. This results in Google misinterpreting what you represent or want to represent within your key phrases. Tightly themed ad groups also benefit ad copy, helping to focus it on one message that can be effectively conveyed to each phrase or subject matter within that group.
2. Take advantage of free analytics and conversion tracking from Google. To identify the performance of each keyword and its cost per conversion within the Adwords interface, set up conversion tracking. This capability is helpful to optimize poorly performing words or make bidding decisions. This is only a start, however. Google doesn’t provide enough information to make informed decisions regarding keeping or removing terms. A full suite analytics program is needed to do this accurately, as well as understand what your Web visitors are doing on the site, the whitepaper advises. Google analytics supports all marketing efforts, including other channels and search engines.
3. Monitor and improve your quality score. The quality score metric can greatly impact your visibility and ad costs on Google. Every keyword is assigned a quality score, which relates back to the relevancy of your ad copy and landing page for this term. The quality score is comprised of several factors, including clickthrough rate, relevance of the keyword to its ad group, landing page quality, history of the account’s performance, and other relevance factors. This score directly affects your status on that word (active or paused), as well as minimum bid price and position (on a per keyword basis). Landing page load time is a recently added metric to this score, so if you use redirects or have a flash or image-heavy page, it could negatively impact your score, the whitepaper says. There’s a separate column in the Adwords interface for each term; rating are displayed as good, OK, poor, etc.
4. Long-tail keywords — broad isn’t always better. The more traffic and volume isn’t necessarily better. Generic keywords or phrases typically have increased competition and are more costly. They tend to generate less qualified visitors who are researching or early in the buying cycle, therefore less likely to convert on the first visit or in the near future, if at all. Expand your keyword list with longer phrases to pre-qualify the searcher and capture them at a later stage of the buying cycle. Incorporate a mix of short- and long-tail terms to maximize opportunities and leverage budgets to determine where the best return on investment is achieved, the whitepaper advises. Use Google’s keyword research tool to access data that provides the search terms, their search volume and the competitiveness of the terms.
5. Determine whether Adword campaign options work for you. These options can benefit your online advertising efforts and save you money, the whitepaper notes. However, they aren’t useful in all accounts or campaigns, so implement them where appropriate. They include:
* Geographic targeting — market to users in your local area or expand to specific areas/states of the country. If certain parts of your business can only be serviced or delivered in specific areas, those keywords or ad groups should be broken into a separate campaign, so the offerings can be targeted appropriately for them.
* Day parting/ ad scheduler — this option is particularly effective if you have a good idea when your customers are searching for you, or if you drive visitors to a phone number and aren’t available 24/7. If you’re trying to maximize budget and have an idea of traffic patterns for your business, this should be considered. Remember other time zones, so you don‘t exclude any qualified visitors by shutting down too early.
* Budget delivery — choose a staggered delivery throughout the day for even distribution over each 24-hour period or accelerated delivery. Accelerated delivery serves ads until the budget is reached, regardless of how quickly that may occur. Be careful with this option, however, as it may deplete your budget from people searching late at night/early morning. Consider this option if you’re running a timed promotion or offline marketing effort to achieve maximum exposure when you need it most.
If you can’t find your ads, your budget may not be big enough to support what you’ve included in your Adwords campaigns. Google recommends daily budget amounts based on what exists in the campaign and its pricing/search volume. It also tells you exactly how much of the market share (for your search terms) you’re missing, given the current budget parameters.
To read the entire whitepaper, go to http://www.morevisibility.com/whitepaper/2008/Ten-Essentials-for-Google-Adwords-Campaigns.pdf .