Whether you’re getting started on your first Google Ad, or you just want to refine your strategy, you’re on the right track! Those who find you through PPC are 50% more likely to convert through PPC than through other channels, including organic SEO.
To help you on your journey, we’ve combed through the latest expert-led Google Ad strategies. Let’s get started. Here are the top 15 tips for creating a new Google Ads campaign from zero.
1. Use keyword research to check search volume
Why: It may seem like common sense but if a keyword phrase has low search volume, your ad won’t convert.
How: Use Google Keyword Planner, Uber Suggest, or any number of free keyword tools to find total searches per month.
2. Define TOP keywords and decide if we can afford to bid on them
Why: If you can’t afford the keywords, your campaign won’t be profitable.
How: To know if a keyword is affordable; calculate your Max CPC (or the maximum you can afford to bid on a keyword phrase).
To do this you’ll need to know your:
- Website conversion rate (# of desired actions taken, divided by the # of site visitors, x 100).
- Target advertising profit margin (revenue divided by amount spent on advertising).
- Profit per customer (divide total revenue by total number of customers).
Learn your Max CPC by multiplying (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate).
Then choose your keywords accordingly.
3. Define the goal of the campaign (clicks, sales, awareness etc.)
Why: Targeting the specific campaign outcome will give you the best shot at achieving it.
How: Different Google Ads campaigns will have different goals. Select a campaign goal that achieves what you’re looking for.
Looking to drive traffic to your website? Select ‘Website Traffic Goal’. Interested more in brand awareness? Select ‘Brand Awareness and Reach’ and so on.
4. Competitor analysis
Why: You can’t distinguish your ad if you don’t know what your competitors are offering.
How: Use site like Spyfu or Semrush for competitive keyword research. Use sites like WhatRunsWhere and Adbeat to view the display ads that your competitors are using.
Competitor research will tell you who your competitors are, what keywords they are using, how much they are spending, the tone and quality of their copy, and more.
Track competitor ads and websites (some of our favourite free go-to tools include Buzzsumo and Social Mention) to research the best way to deliver a unique message that addresses consumer pain points.
You can also then define your USP, which is mentioned next!
5. USP, USP, USP
Why: With intense competition, and in only a handful of words, your ad needs to convey a compelling, refined reason to choose you over a competitor, or over doing nothing at all. This is your USP.
How: Define your ideal consumer profile, your competitors (see above), and your key strengths. Ask yourself how you solve a problem for customers better than another business? Make sure your ad copy expresses this USP.
One of Forbes top ten marketers Neil Patel writes that wherever possible the AdWords copy should offset risk (think money-back guarantee or free consultation), call people to action (Call now, etc) and be realistic (Phrases like ‘You’re going to like the way you look’, trumps ‘the best suit ever’ when it comes to believability.
6. Tailor Your Ads for Native and Mobile
Why: 70% of web browsing and more than ½ of total ad clicks occur on mobile devices.
How: Check keyword metrics on mobile vs. desktop searches using tools like SpyFu. Mobile ads will need to be shorter so place your USP first, whereas desktop ads can afford to have a catchy lead-in sentence to draw people in.
Remember that you can set IF functions to contain different CTAs, such as ‘Order Now’, ‘Call Us,’ or ‘Subscribe Here’, depending on device the ad is being read on or time of day.
7. Use a relevant landing page, not a homepage
Why: A homepage gives general information about your company- landing on it immediately following a Google Ad is confusing and leads to a poor user experience.
How: Create a landingpage that is a natural continuation of the Google Ad your user just clicked on.
Make sure your landing page copy reflects the offer in the ad, using the same keyword phrases and USP. Keep it interesting, relevant and seamless with a clear call to action. You’re now in a much better position to convert.
8. Set conversion tracking
Why: It enables you to measure your Return on Investment (ROI) and adjust ad campaigns by nurturing those that are successful and improving upon the underperformers. It also enables you to utilise smart bidding strategies.
How: Track keyword performance results regularly. Remove keywords that aren’t converting relative to their cost.
Tip: Post pandemic, it’s recommended to check keyword performance twice as often as habits have changed.
9. Start testing variety of keywords split by ad groups
Why: It helps you evaluate what the campaign would look like using different settings and improve upon it.
How: Have at least 2 ads in each of your ad groups so you can split test different versions of the ad.
When you have enough data to compare the CTR of campaign ‘A’ against campaign ‘B’, pause the losing one and write a new ad to continue the testing process. This enables you to move continuously closer to the ideal (or highest performing) AdWords campaign.
Why: The perfect unicorn Google Ads Campaign has never been launched. Adjustments in tone, strategy and audience tailored keywords are essential to best leverage your budget.
How: Connect your ads to an analytics engine and formulate a tracking plan that integrates Google Ads data (such as conversion tracking) with other datasets and into your larger strategy. Choose a data platform that enables you to sync this data into a single source of truth.
UTIM (Urchin Traffic Monitor) codes, for example track campaign performance across the internet by adding a short code to your URL.
11. Use Negative Keywords
Why: Utilise negative keywords to target your ad to your ideal customers and save money on unwanted clicks.
How: Set keywords to ‘negative match’ and Google will not show the ad to anyone using them in a search. Consider the types of keyword phrases your less-than-ideal consumer would use.
For example, if you only hire or rent equipment then you might use ‘buy’ as a negative keyword because you don’t offer that option. If you are looking for candidates with strong credit then you might want to eliminate anyone searching with the keyword phrase ‘no credit check’.
12. Optimising your ads for Natural Language Search
Why: Searchers using everyday language in Google search bars, (especially long-tailed keywords) are 3 times more likely to convert. Google is also beginning to prioritise these ads due to increased voice searches and Google BERT features.
How: Focus on communicating your USP in everyday language (similar to the way one speaks in natural conversation) and avoid repeating keywords.
For example, ‘Be more eco-friendly with our new eco-friendly toothbrushes’ repeats a keyword and sounds like a commercial. It’s less likely to be shown by Google than an ad that reads ‘Help reduce your carbon imprint with our bamboo, eco-friendly toothbrushes.’
The natural phrasing, non-repetitive, problem solving nature of this ad copy is much more likely to be shown to prospects searching for an environmentally-friendly teeth cleaning solution.
13. Use Google trends to analyse seasonal demand
Why: The best ad optimisation includes seasonal awareness.
How: Consider the use of seasonal messaging and holiday discounts. Use Google Trends to tailor searches for relevant terms and phrases over any set period of time. This includes tracking social attitudes, political matters, sports, entertainment, or any other areas relevant to their interests.
For example, the number of searches increases exponentially during January-Early February for ‘best valentine’s gift’. Successful ads will, when appropriate, tailor their content around seasonal trends.
Note: other keyword phrases, known as ‘evergreen keywords’ will have consistently high search rates throughout the year. A winning strategy is to target both.
14. Use search term reports to understand the user intent behind the search and ads click
Why: Search intent is a key ranking factor because it indicates why people are searching. You can then target the Ad to fit the audience you most want to convert. This could include downloading an app, signing up for a newsletter, visiting a storefront, or buying online.
How: Research the SERPs by typing in the keyword you’re targeting into the search bar. The types of results, which can include Rich Snippets, Paid Results, Universal Results, and Knowledge Graph Data, will indicate what search intent Google has categorised for those keywords.
Tip: Don’t forget to disable Google personalisation, so that the results aren’t skewed by your personal browsing preferences. (Disable Google Personalisation in your browser by adding pws=0 to the URL path.)
15. Cross reference your campaign performance with industry standards
Why: You want to know whether your campaign is working based on others in your industry.
How: Check outindustry averagesfor Average Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Average Cost per Click (CPC), Average Conversion Rate (CVR) and Average Cost per Action (CPA). We like this data published by Wordstream on October 2021.
By benchmarking your campaign against industry standards, you’ll have a good sense of whether you’re headed in the right direction.
By ticking these 15 boxes, you’re on your way to a scalable Google AdWords campaign that delivers a sound ROI.
Have you recently started a successful AdWords campaign? We’d love to hear about it!
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