We’ve all seen them. Many of us have even clicked on them. But you look at them with a completely different perspective.
They’re the advertisements on the side of Google’s search results, and you want them to be yours. Setting up a Google AdWords account is easy, and getting your ad displayed a few times isn’t terribly hard, either. But to reel in significant new business, you’re going to have to step it up a notch.
1. Vary your keyword types.
Google provides an excellent guide that thoroughly describes the different types of keywords, and what they do for you. Study it. If you have many broad match keywords and very few of the other types, you’ve got a problem.
The more broad match keywords you have, the more your ad will be displayed when it’s irrelevant. Cut down on these, and your ad will only appear when it’s really being searched for. Because your ad will only be seen when it is relevant, your clickthrough rate will gradually improve, thus raising your overall ranking.
2. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
Let’s say you have one ad group. It has all of your keywords, and all of your different advertisements. While this method seems organized and logical, unfortunately it is not the most effective. Google will eventually select your “best” ads, and only display those, regardless of which of your many keywords was searched.
Users need to see that your ad is exactly what they’re looking for in a split second, or they will move on. This means that your ad should have as many of their keywords as possible. For example, if I search “12 megapixel camera,” I’m probably going to click on the ad that says “12 Megapixel Cameras!” rather than “Name Brand Cameras!”
The best way to accomplish this is to have many ad groups, with fewer keywords (maybe including some of those exact match keywords you learned about in tip #1), and ads that closely match the keywords. So instead of a “Cameras” ad group, you would have “12 Megapixel Cameras,” “SLR Cameras,” “Point-and-Shoot Cameras,” etc.
3. Direct users to landing pages.
Just because somebody clicked your ad, it doesn’t mean they’re committed. Now they are at your website, where once again, you must captivate them before their attention span wears thin. Most users could probably be directed to your homepage, but some may want something more specifically targeted to them. Direct different audiences to pages that emphasize the features best suited to their needs. It may even be worth your time to make a special landing page that cannot be reached from anywhere else in your website.
The success of your AdWords campaign is a direct result of how much you put into it. Take time to plan out your ads and ad groups. Research your keywords. Lastly, track the success of your ads and keywords, and update them accordingly.
Follow these guidelines, and with a little luck, the clicks will start pouring in! For more tips, tools, and articles, check out this handy post by Richard Ball.