Google Adwords is like a casino. The house aways wins, but if you know the rules you can still walk away with cash in your pocket.
Admit you’re doing it wrong.
It’s complicated, purposefully complex, and takes years to master. The first step towards mastery is admitting that you know nothing. As soon as we have this out of the way we can begin building up our knowledge again from the start.
“You know nothing Jon Snow”
Poor Keyword Selection
Never pick just one keyword, and always use negative keywords. The wider you can cast your net with location and industry-specific keywords, the more traffic you will be able to drive to your site. Negative keywords are how you keep the non-relevant traffic from clicking on your ads. For instance, try searching the term ‘lawyer’ for whatever town you are in. I’m willing to bet a slice of New York pizza that you got results for both local lawyers, lawyer job listings, and some completely irrelevant sites that are only tangentially related to lawyers. Negative keywords tell google what NOT to show your ads on. So if you were a site about local lawyers, you could bid on the keyword ‘lawyer’ and then use the negative keyword ‘lawyer jobs’ to ensure that your ad was not displayed for those looking for jobs and only displayed for those people specifically looking for practicing lawyers.
To use a fishing metaphor, only using one keyword is like only having one fishing line in the water. You might catch something, but the odds are much better with multiple poles; and using negative keywords is like catching a dogfish when you were trying to catch a salmon- you may have caught something, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll be eating dinner tonight.
Poor Bidding Strategies & Copy
The keyword planner tool will help you to determine the average cost per click for your campaign, but what it doesn’t do is tell you just where in that average you need to be to get seen while avoiding overbidding or what copy will resonate best with those who see your ad.
One of the best tools that I use shows me exactly what terms companies are bidding on in a market area. I can then take that information and look at the keyword planner to determine what specific keywords I need to bid on and how much I need to bid to get my client above their competition. This means nothing, however, if the copy isn’t spot on for the ad. You could end up wasting tons of your ad budget bidding on the top placements if the copy that you are using isn’t spot on for your audience.
One good strategy that can be used to mitigate this risk could be to bid a little lower to save some money while you a/b test ad copy for the right combination, then crank up the spending later on when you know it will convert better.
Do we really need to elaborate on this one? The more advanced targeting settings are what separates the amateurs from the pros. you could be wasting thousands of dollars if your website isn’t optimized for mobile views but you are displaying the ad to mobile devices; or if you only provide services within 25 miles of your home town, but the ad is displayed for people up to 50 miles away. Our number one tip for this section? Check your Google Analytics account and really study the data to find out where your customers are coming from and what kinds of devices they are using when they purchase. Don’t have your Google Analytics set up for that? Do that right now. No, really. I’ll wait. It’s that important.
Poor Landing Pages
Are you driving your traffic from Adwords directly to you homepage? Strike three, you’re out, do not pass Go, do not collect $100. Sending traffic to your homepage is like a retail store advertising a sale, but only telling customers to go to the mall to find them. Where should they go? What are they looking for? You need to make this is simple as possible by creating specialized landing pages for each product or service that you want to create a campaign for, and advertise just that product or service. This way when a potential customer arrives by way of an ad they don’t get lost looking for your items. They can just select what they want and checkout. This goes for services as well- you can use scheduling pages in the same way. Let’s say a plastic surgeon is running a special on nose jobs this month, they could create a landing page that provides the viewer with all the information that they might want to know about the process of getting a nose job and then include a way for them to schedule a consultation. Once you have a landing page up and running you can a/b test various features and components to really optimize the conversions.
So to wrap things up I want to ask you this: How much time do you spend messing about with Adwords and trying to get your campaign profitable, and how much money are you losing both in terms of your time spent trying to get it working and in terms of real dollars spent on the campaign? We are accepting new clients for Adwords management right now and would love to give you a completely free, no obligations, consultation to help you see where you could improve your campaigns. Afterward, you are welcome to take that information and implement it yourself; or we can talk about bringing you onboard with Virtual Summit Media and letting you work on your business while we take care of the campaigns for you. Just head over here and schedule an appointment for your free consultation.