Making it in the business world requires courage, patience and an instinct for jumping on the right opportunities.
Making it in the business world requires courage, patience and an instinct for jumping on the right opportunities. A huge part of growing your business is getting your name out there through clever marketing, provided that you have something worthwhile to offer in the first place, of course. Given the fact that most people today prefer doing their shopping online or at least do some online research when they consider hiring someone’s service or buying their goods, a good online marketing campaign should be on the top of your list of priorities. When it comes to online marketing you can take the SEO or PPC route, but combining them also has certain benefits. Here we will focus on Google AdWords campaign management as an excellent marketing strategy and discus some of the basic tactics involved in its effective implementation.
Some AdWords basics
AdWords has a very clear and logical hierarchical structure starting with your account which contains, among other things, your billing information, different ad campaigns with their own budget and specific settings and ad groups for each campaign, which are groupings of related ads with unique keywords.
This allows you to run several broad campaigns and keep track of smaller groups of ads – e.g. ads targeted for the keyword “women’s summer dresses”, “girl’s tops” and “women’s fashion accessories” would be part of the same ad group for a women’s apparel website, but enable you to target the audience in different ways or target different demographics. When it comes to billing and where the ads will appear you have several options:
- Getting more clicks – the standard pay per click method where you pay for a certain amount of clicks per day based on the CPC or cost per click for the specified keywords;
- Getting more impressions – this is more about just getting your company’s name and logo out there and spreading awareness. You pay for the number of times an ad is shown, how many people have actually clicked on it is not a factor, so a certain amount per every 1000 instances of your ad appearing on websites that offer ad space. They won’t appear in search result pages (SERP’s) with this type of campaign;
- Getting more conversions – a conversion is when a visitor engages in an action on your website, e.g. signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase, which means a simple visitor has been converted into a paying customer of a fan of your brand. You can decide on a budget by looking at the cost per acquisition or CPA, and although you still pay for each click, your ads will be set up to ensure that most of the visitors are converting and you will need to have a conversion tracking tool set up.
It is a good idea to get more familiar with these terms and get better acquainted with proper tactics for effective AdWords campaign management before diving into your first campaign.
Learn how potential customers search the web for what they need
Every ad group will consist of several ads, and each of these ads will have different keywords associated with them. These need to be the words that your potential customers are most likely to use when doing an online search for the type of products and services that your company offers. Don’t just go for generic terms off the top of your head – you’ll need to do a bit of research and find out what it is that people search for, how they phrase their queries and so on. There are several ways of doing this, the simplest being putting yourself in the customers shoes by doing some online searches yourself to learn what keywords other professionals form your niche are focusing on, pick up on the popular lingo used online, etc. You can then start a small AdWords campaign to get enough of a traffic boost to allow you to run some tests, e.g. a simple A/B split test, and find out which keywords bring in the most traffic. It is important to nail down the most relevant keywords or you risk throwing your money away on something that doesn’t yield impressive results.
Make a good sales pitch
When creating an ad, apart from the keywords that you choose to target, you also need to consider the format of the ad and how you wish to capture people’s attention. You have several formats at your disposal:
- Text only – this is a standard ad with the keyword, link to your website and a short description. It is simple and to the point.
- Text with extension – this is the same as the basic text only ad, only you now get a short extension in the form of additional links and information such as address and contact number.
- Images – this type of ad will appear on websites across the web, however it does not appear on SERP’s. It is a great way to draw attention and provide potential customers with visually stimulating information.
- Videos – with videos you get to go into more detail and create a great sales pitch. They are like a short commercial or presentation and last long enough to lure people in and get them interested, but they can be a bit annoying when they start playing all of a sudden in one of the several browser tabs a user has open at the moment.
- Product listings – this is an excellent choice for eCommerce websites as it allows you to showcase several products, complete with small images, short descriptions and the price, leading people directly to your product pages.
It is also important to create a concise and captivating description for your ad. You need it to state the most important information and tell the potential customer why it is that you are their best choice, what makes you so unique and valuable. There should be a clear call to action thrown in. There isn’t a whole lot of space to work with, so you need to make every wordcount.
Set a realistic budget
This should go without saying, but it is easy to become too eager or miscalculate, so be sure you know how much money you have to work with before making any choices. It is a matter of balancing your current needs with the price. It is wise to start off small at first, until you are certain which keywords work best and to let the AdWords campaign budget grow as your business grows. Google AdWords can be a great way to boost your web traffic and grow your business, but you’ll need to make sure you understand how the customers think, get acquainted with the competition and use your analytics tools to see what works and what doesn’t.