Who’s easiest to sell a hammer to? Is it the guy who happens to drive past a billboard with your hammer on it? Or is it the guy who walks up to you and asks where they can buy a hammer?
AdWords is the tool that allows you to sell to the latter. This makes it pretty obvious why the ROI of PPC can be so incredibly high, especially considering that you only pay for the ads when a user actually clicks on them.
Despite all of this, a surprising number of businesses aren’t using AdWords in a way that effectively accomplishes this. Instead, they’re using it like a billboard on the freeway.
Here’s how to use AdWords the way it was meant to be used, and to boost your ROI into the stratosphere.
1. Split Campaigns and Ad Groups
It’s always a little shocking to learn that a business hasn’t divided up its ads into campaigns and groups. All too often, an internet marketer will merely collect a list of tangentially related keywords, create a single ad, and try to funnel all of the traffic from these keywords onto the same landing page.
There is something to be said for how easy it is to do this, but effective marketing is rarely easy. Here’s the right way to do it:
– Segment Campaigns By Topic – Divide up your keywords into broad topics so that you can approach each of them separately. This way you don’t end up trying to sell a hammer to somebody who is trying to by nails.
– Segment Ad Groups By Buying Cycle – You’ll need to do a lot of split testing to figure this part out, but the ideal ad groups are segmented by where the customer is in the buying cycle. The earlier they are in the buying cycle, the more you should aim to get social shares, subscriptions, comments, and links than to get direct sales.
2. Get Extremely Specific
Ideally, you should have a different landing page for every single user intent. In some cases, different keywords could indicate the exact same user intent, but the overlap is typically small. Once you have divided up your ads and landing pages by stage in the buying cycle as well as the product they are interested in, you’ll find that there are rarely more than three keywords that should lead to the same landing page.
3. Use the Keywords in the Ads
If they keyword appears in the ad, it appears in bold text that is more likely to catch the reader’s eye. Of course, this only matters if the user clicks on the ad and it takes them to a landing page containing exactly what they expect to see.
There are exceptions to this. If every ad you see when you search for your keyword has a bolded keyword, sometimes you can actually make your ad stand out more by not using the keyword. As always, test effectiveness.
4. Champion Vs Challenger Format
Always test your ads using a champion versus a challenger format. Whatever ad is performing best, use it the most often. Create a challenger ad that changes just one thing to see if it performs better. Make sure you get statistically significant results before you decide on a new champion ad.
Do the same for landing pages. Test sending users from the same ad to two different landing pages, each tailor made for a different stage of the buying cycle, to see which has the highest conversion rate. Once you have this nailed down, you can start testing two different versions of the same landing page.
5. Stay Updated
Keep yourself educated about the latest developments by Google AdWords. They are always introducing new options and capabilities, and you can miss out if you don’t follow the subject closely.
Stick to these five rules and you should outperform most of your competitors. Are you using these strategies? What has worked for you?
Brian is considered one of Australia’s leading experts in all things SEO. As well as providing SEO services, Brian now provides Google Adwords training to his local Sydney clients. When he’s not busy with SEO, he enjoys surfing and mountain climbing.