Get better results from Adword (Pay per click) advertising

Author -  Allan Kent [Guest]

When managing an Adword campaign, here are the key steps we employ to maximise results. If you want to manage Adwords yourselves, these are excellent pointers for you to follow.

  1. Clearly set out the objectives of the exercise - what do you want to achieve?  This could be to build or reinforce brand awareness,  drive sales revenue, or even to generate interest in something people weren’t previously aware of. The more defined you are with what you want to achieve, the better chance of ultimate success.
  2. Put yourself in the Customer’s shoes!  Adwords is all about identifying the 'right' search terms, and as it’s customers you want to attract, what search terms will they really use? Will they use jargon or technical terms that you might use – not necessarily! Do some test searching yourself using ‘customer’ type terms. What comes up? Use some search tools such as for ideas.
  3. Identify and Understand the Purchase Life Cycle - Your potential customers could be at any stage of the purchase life cycle, so it’s important that you use the  keywords  appropriate to the part of the cycle they are in. At the beginning of the cycle for example they will be exploring, seeking information in general and may at this point have very little specific detail to search upon. For example at the beginning of their search someone might start of with the generic term ‘4wd car’, and at the end of the cycle when they are ready to buy might end with ‘ Range Rover Sport’, a very specific model.
  4. Ensuring the search term (Adword) is actually used in the displayed advert - When using a lot of Adwords, it's important to group them into ad groups and create adverts that use copy specific to that ad group. For example you might sell hats. Group all ads for flat caps separately from the base ball cap range. Base ball adverts might be ‘See our range of American Base Ball Caps’ and ‘Walk tall with your New York Yankie Base Ball Cap’. No point using these ads for someone wanting a flat cap!
  5. Landing Pages - Every time someone clicks on the advert, it costs you money! It is important that this money is not wasted, so the page of your website that the advert takes the visitor to MUST be designed to capitalise on the interest the advert has already generated. This is where specific landing pages come in. In the example above for hats, the landing page for baseball caps should quickly show the visitor that he has landed on a page that satisfies his need for information on base ball caps. A separate landing page for flat caps, primarily showing flat caps should be the point of entry for visitors clicking on the flat cap advert.
  6. Cost per Acquisition - Knowing what to bid for each search term or Adword is one of the most important areas of managing an Adword campaign. There are several factors to consider, but probably the most important is to know what each new customer is worth to your business. Using the hat example one last time, if a new customer is likely only to buy one hat from you and you make just $15 profit per hat, then the maximum price you should ever bid for an adword would be naturally $15. In reality it would be much less than this because it’s unlikely that every visitor entering the site from an Adword is going to buy. So you have to work out using averages, how many visitors it takes to sell one hat and then work backwards to work out how much each bid should be capped at.
  7. Testing and Tuning - Some Adwords will work better than others – some adverts will work better than others. Only by constantly testing and tuning will you be able to get the best results. Even when you think you have fine tuned it enough, you still need to continue monitoring as external factors may influence results – for example a change of season, a particular base ball team making it to the finals etc. Ad optimisation is a feature most search engines have and it allows you to write different adverts for the same ad group. The search engine will, after a time, display the better performing one more often.

Although setting up and managing Adword campaigns is relatively straight forward, success comes down to the amount of effort you put into it, especially in the initial research and the testing and tuning. Success is also down to being methodical in your approach, especially concerning the creation of ad groups, and creative in the way the adverts and landing pages are created.

If you've got the time and inclination to manage it yourself, then have a go, though be warned, if not done properly, a substantial amount of advertising spend can quickly be gone through with very little to show for it!

Alternatively, you can speak to us about setting it up and managing it for you. It will generally work out cheaper, and yield better results for you.

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