So you’ve heard about the success that can be found utilising Google AdWords and want to give it a try! It’s definitely a great opportunity to reach a new audience and drive customers to your website, but AdWords is also a science experiment, in a sense. There are specific components that need to be in place to find success.
Below, you’ll find some of my favourite tips for making the most of your ads. But also remember that it will take patience, time, and, often, trial and error.
#1 Know Your Customers.
This is one of the most important things for you to do when creating successful Google AdWords campaigns. Sit down and determine specifically who your target audience is – their age, gender, location, likes and dislikes, education level, income level, where they spend their time online, what devices they use, etc. Put a face to your customer. It’s even better if you can talk to your customers and find out what they search for, or how they found you!
If you don’t know your target audience then, quite frankly, there’s no point in running ads. It’s a waste of money and a waste of time. And defining your target audience will also help you in all of your marketing efforts!
#2 Start with Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
This is one of my favourite tools, and it has all kinds of applications! The keywords that you choose help you show your ads to your target audience (this is why we defined them above!) and help you make the most of your ad dollars.
Start with a keyword that makes sense to you. If you sell real estate, use something like “real estate in [your area]”. Google will provide you with related keywords, along with data for those terms. You’ll want to find a balance between search volume and competition. If no one’s searching for that keyword, then you won’t reach many people! But if you’re competing with Zillow and Trulia, then it’ll be difficult for you to find success.
Also consider the cost of acquisition. For real estate, it makes sense to pay more for ad space, since you’ll make more money from a sale. But for a cheaper product or service, you want to watch how much you’re spending. Google provides some great tips for choosing keywords here.
#3 Use an effective call to action.
Your call to action is one of the most critical elements when you create create successful google AdWords campaigns. It’s important that you tell your viewers exactly what you want them to do in an enticing way.
For example, if you’re selling a product, you might say, “Buy now!” or if you’re having a sale, “Don’t miss out!” You want to create a sense of urgency. Why should they click on your ad now? If they don’t, what will they lose? And make your CTA stand out – perhaps through a brightly-coloured button.
#4 Create a landing page.
If your viewers click on your ad, where are they taken? If it’s a sale for your products, make sure they go straight to the specific deal page, rather than just the home page of your site.
Or, if you’re promoting an event or a special product (perhaps an online course, webinar, or eBook), you may want to create a landing page. This landing page should be entirely focused on the topic of your ad, and should provide all the details a potential customer might want to know. There shouldn’t be other distractions, like links to other sites, a menu, blog posts, etc. This “funnels” your viewers to exactly where you want them to be, and helps you make the most of your clicks.
Here’s an example of a landing page that I created recently for a client of mine. It’s simple, to-the-point, and provides valuable information to the target audience – sports fans.
#5 Use excellent images.
Honestly, your ad is only as strong as the images that you use. Make sure you choose effective, high-quality images that grab attention. There are several things to think about here:
Some of my favourite resources to choose images for commercial use include PhotoDune, Pixabay, and Unsplash. No matter what source you choose, just make sure that you have the correct licence! There’s nothing like a lawsuit to ruin a perfectly good ad campaign.
Below is an ad that I recently created for a client. The images are high-quality, have an emotional aspect, and connect with the target customer – older people who want to share their family history with their children and grandchildren.
#6 Eliminate the bad placements.
If you’re using Display Network, then it’s important for you to go through and remove any websites that don’t fit into your niche, or that conflict with your brand. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and money advertising to people who don’t fit into your target audience.
For example, to truly create successful google AdWords campaigns you should choose a topic category for your ads. Let’s say, “Design”. But the problem is that you’re a graphic designer, and your ads are showing up on interior design and fashion design sites as well. Or, maybe you sell organic cheese crackers and, due to your topic category settings, your ad is placed on a dairy-free website with a blog post that discusses cheese alternatives. Not a good fit!
Here’s one of my favourite examples:
Sure, it’s funny, but it definitely isn’t a good use of your valuable advertising dollars! Regularly go to your Display campaigns and run a Placement Report. You can easily exclude the pages that you don’t want your ads to appear on. Do this often, and your ads will be much more effective!
#7 Don’t forget about remarketing ads!
A lot of people don’t know about or forget about remarketing (or retargeting) ads. But these are some of your most valuable opportunities to create successful google AdWords campaigns, especially if you’re an ecommerce website!
Remarketing ads keep track of the people that leave your site and advertise specifically to them. For example, let’s say that someone added a product to their cart, but never purchased it. You can create an ad tailored to them that offers free shipping, or a 15% discount that encourages them to come back and complete their order. By doing this, you’re reaching people who are already interested and you make the most of your money!
When it comes down to it, to create successful google AdWords campaigns requires patience and trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try a few different concepts for set periods of time (switching out images, text, CTA’s, keywords, etc.) to see what works. Happy advertising!
About the author: Kathryn Marr is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Blue Ivory Creative, a digital marketing company based out of Nashville, TN. A graphic and web designer, as well as social media manager, she brings a passion for entrepreneurship and creativity to the table. Kathryn loves helping people pursue their dreams and be successful doing what they love to do.