Of all the tools used by digital marketers, Google’s AdWords can be the biggest waste of money. Businesses risk losing their investment – not to mention time – if the ads aren’t properly implemented, which is surprisingly easy to do. Newbies often fail to take the nuanced approach necessary to driving clicks, while veteran marketers unfamiliar with the platform tend to sink money into it and more or less hope it takes care of itself.
However, if handled properly, AdWords can yield highly profitable results. The trick is knowing how to use it, or for the purposes of this article, how not to use it. There are many easy pitfalls to avoid, especially if you’re new to the AdWords game.
(In fact, you should always consult professionals when creating your campaign. Contact us for online marketing services & expert AdWords advice).
Here are some pro tips on mistakes to avoid when organizing your AdWords strategy.
Incorrect use of ad groups
Lack of organization can undermine your entire campaign. Before you click to initiate, make sure you’ve taken the time to segment your ads into different groups. The first thing you want to do is conduct keyword research around what you’re trying to sell. After all, the ad that gets shown should match the keyword getting searched.
For example, an ad that advertises “digital marketing services” may be fine if you’re running a general brand awareness campaign for your internet marketing company. But it’s not targeted enough if you want to sell your services for “banner ad creation” or – why not? – “AdWords expertise”.
Once you’ve settled on the keywords that correspond to the particular service, create separate ad groups (typically 5 – 20 keywords per group is appropriate).
Your ad will live and die on the strength of its copy. Even if you’re offering the perfect product or service for a particular user, he may never realize it if you don’t word your ad correctly. Some brands make the mistake of making the ad overly complicated or worse – not including a simple call to action. You only have 70 characters, so keep your copy clear and concise. It should always include a keyword, and should state a benefit of your service.
Bad Ad example # 1:
What is it about this ad that would entice users to click to learn more about what they offer?
Most of this ad is being wasted by telling the same thing 3 times. The URL appears in the Ad headline and right below, while the headline is the same as the business name, which is also the URL.
In this ad for search term “men’s jeans”, the headline (“Men’s Silver Jeans”), call to action (“Shop Macy’s New Year Sale Now”) and benefit (“15-20% off” and “Free Shipping”) and also showing user ratings for Macy’s brand by adding review extensions while creating the Ad. All stated simply and clearly in this Ad.
Lack of testing
One of the nicest benefits of AdWords is the ability to A/B test your ads. However, one of the biggest mistakes people make is not taking advantage of A/B testing. The platform allows you to set up different versions of the same ad, or rather, multiple ads for the same product or service.
This is where you can get creative. Test out different headlines, descriptions and calls to action to see what performs best. If you’re not getting the results you want, mix it up and tweak. Alter the headline but keep the CTA, change the copy but maintain the visual. You can refine the different aspects of the ad until it succeeds, or kill it if it’s just not working.
Track your different ads, and choose the one that’s delivering the best results (say, 30 – 40 clicks) for your particular objective (highest click-through rate, conversion rate, etc.).
Competitor analysis is critical to any kind of marketing campaign, but for some reason marketers unfamiliar with AdWords tend to overlook this fact. Using Google’s own Keyword Tool, you can enter a competitor’s website to search keyword groups from their ads, as well as checking their websites for impressions and general content. Additionally, sites like SpyFu can provide insight into search rankings and spending for comparable ads.
By gathering this information, you can identify important gaps and opportunities for your AdWords campaign. Also, don’t forget to advertise for your own brand. This may seem like a waste of time, but keep in mind that your competitors are targeting your brand (their PPC ad will show up for organic results for you), so you should advertise for your brand as well.
Not creating a landing page
So you’re running a campaign aimed at clicks (versus impressions) and it’s a success! Users are gleefully clicking on your very well-worded and relevant ads, and they arrive on your… home page?
An integral part of an AdWords campaign that people often overlook is the final, crucial stage. When users click, they should be taken to a specific and appropriate landing page. Whether it’s a page that’s built particularly to the PPC ad, and acts as a guide between the ad and your website, or it’s a specific product or service page on your site, don’t leave users scratching their heads after they click your ad. Make the destination clear, simple and relevant to their needs.