Have you ever struggled with an AdWords campaign? You’re not alone.
Google’s endless stream of traffic can be a double-edged sword. It’s the number one website in the world, meaning that AdWords is full of both great opportunity and competition.
AdWords can be especially frustrating when you consider that it’s an ever-changing science. You have to find the right keywords, reallocate budgets, and even close the gap on conversions. It’s a tough platform to master no matter your level of expertise.
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Most importantly – you need to manage your AdWords campaign without being tagged with the dreaded “Google slap.” That’s when Google bans advertisers for violating their advertising policies. The Google slap can suspend even the most successful of AdWords campaigns.
With that being said, there’s a reason AdWords remains the de facto PPC advertising method. Done right, it can be incredibly effective and lead to high levels of ROI. But you still have to play by their rules. Read on to learn how you dominate your AdWords campaign the right way.
1. Improve Your Landing Page Experience
A poor landing page experience can spell doom for any AdWords campaign.
Look: Bad landing pages can impact just about every facet of AdWords. They can lower your Quality Scores, increase your cost per click, and even decrease your chances of getting conversions. Many AdWords users have even been banned because their landing pages don’t comply with Google’s guidelines.
This all boils down to Google being a consumer advocate. They want their ads to stick – not to promote spammy websites.
In order to dominate your AdWords campaign, you need to make sure you give the users – and Google – what they want. Landing pages need to be relevant, useful and informative.
To maximize your results, you should only link to pages that proudly display the same keywords as your ad. These pages should also be free of pop-ups, display ads, registration requirements, and other factors that might increase click backs.
Content is king. Your landing pages should have useful and relevant information to the users. The page needs to balance having informative content and having commercial appeal. You can further research this subject on Google’s help forum.
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2. Use Negative Keywords
Relevant keywords equal revenue. It’s clear that keyword segmentation is a useful tool when it comes to providing ads that are both relevant and effective.
By now, you probably know the basics of keyword segmentation. That doesn’t mean that your Ad Groups are perfect.
One oft-overlooked group is negative keywords. These are terms that commonly show up in user searches that are irrelevant to your campaign. Ad Groups allows you to exclude certain terms from your campaigns. Doing so saves you from wasteful clicks and improves your landing page experience. You’re essentially hiding your ad from users that have no interested in your product.
But how do you find negative keywords? It’s actually easier than you might think.
Head to the AdWords Keyword Planner to conduct a search based on user query data. Do a search using a relevant keyword and a list of similar words will appear. If you see words that are irrelevant, simply add them to your negative keyword list in your account.
3. Optimize for Mobile
In the ever evolving digital landscape, one thing is for sure: mobile is here to stay.
It should come as no surprise that nearly 60 percent of online searches on mobile devices. In addition, 80 percent of local searches on mobile phones lead to conversions within a few hours. Welcome to the future.
Many AdWords campaigns have crashed and burned due to a poorly structured mobile strategy. That doesn’t have to happen to you.
Instead, create ads that are dedicated specifically to mobile devices. Mobile searches are not the same as desktop searches – so you need to adjust them accordingly.
Use shorter keywords to accommodate the fast and short searches that occur on mobile phones. You should also try to capitalize on mobile spending habits by placing customized call-to-actions on top of the landing page.
Landing pages should also be optimized for mobile. You can do so by adjusting site layout, image sizes, and themes. These simple changes could make a big difference when it comes to conversions and ROI.
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Use Ad Extensions
Sloth isn’t just one of the seven deadly sins. It’s also one of the reasons many AdWords campaigns fail. Case in point: Many people never use Ad Extensions as part of their AdWords campaigns.
In order to maximize your ROI, you need to take advantage of all of the tools at your disposal. Fortunately, Ad Extensions are a completely free tool as part of AdWords.
Extensions basically expand your ad to give users more information. Adding more content increases your visibility on Google. They also give users access to text, links, and location information that isn’t otherwise found in the ad.
Google even admits that campaigns using ad extensions see higher click-through-rates. They can also improve your Quality Score – a key metric in avoiding the dreaded Google slap.
The metrics don’t’ lie – Ad Extensions are effective. It’s time you start using them. Read more information on how to manually enter extensions on Google’s support forum.
All clicks aren’t created equal.
The only thing that matters in the long run is conversions. Without them, your AdWords campaign is rendered useless.
Your ads need to be bringing in a profit, so allocate your funds to the keywords that are leading to conversions. Analyze the numbers to determine which keywords are bringing in the money.
Many AdWords users fail to recognize an underperforming keyword. No matter how much time and money you’ve invested in that keyword, it’s often best to cut your losses.
Conversely, keywords leading to high conversions should be rewarded with a larger slice of the pie. You should only allocate more of your budget into high performing keywords to see maximum results.
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It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people stick by poor keywords. It’s like a bad relationship. Breaking it off is hard but ultimately the right thing to do.
AdWords campaigns don’t have to be difficult. Starting a campaign unprepared can lead to profit losses or worse – a Google ban. Follow these tips before your next AdWords campaign and the mythical ROI will be yours in no time.
About the Author:
AJ Delorena is the founder of Talented Technologies and writes on their blog “The Bleeding Edge Of Tech”. He founded Talented Technologies in 2008, after he a successful career in Silicon Valley in both IT Engineering and Sales roles, seeing a unique opportunity in the IT secondary market, as a quintessential Silicon Valley startup that quickly outgrew his garage in one month.