AdWords is one of those things that is, (on the face of it), really simple to understand, but is actually quite difficult to do well. This is especially true if you’re new to the platform and haven’t got the time to research it properly.
A lot of the time, local business owners struggle to get value from AdWords because of this.
In this post, we’ll give you an overview of what AdWords is, how it works, what some of the biggest mistakes people make are and why it’s a good idea for local businesses to be using it.
What is Google AdWords?
I am 99% certain that you have seen a Google AdWords ad. In fact, you’ve probably clicked on lots of them without even noticing. They are the search results that come up right at the top of the page that have a tiny ‘Ad’ label next to their click-through link.
How does it work?
Essentially, Google AdWords is a big auctioning platform, but instead of people bidding to buy property or antiques, they are bidding for their customers’ attention.
When you set up an AdWords campaign, you will be asked to enter some ‘keywords’ that you want to target. These are particular words or phrases that you think your potential customers will be looking for and for which you want your company to show up for in search results.
Your competitors may also be bidding on the same keywords and phrases as you, in which case you will have to ‘outbid’ them to get your ad to show up, instead of theirs. In theory, it’s as simple as that.
Why is it good for local businesses?
You will know (almost) exactly what you’ll be paying for your advertising each month and what’s getting you results.
When you set up your AdWords account, you’ll be asked what the maximum amount is you want to spend each day on your advertising. You’ll also be asked how much you are willing to pay for any one ‘click’ on your particular keywords – (CPC or ‘cost per click’).
This means that the maximum amount that you’ll pay in any given month will be the max amount per day, multiplied by the average no. days in a month (which is 30.4). For example, if my max daily spend was set at $10, Google will charge me $304.
However, you’ll only accrue charges to a monthly invoice if someone has actually clicked on your ads – that’s where the bit about CPC comes in. That means that your monthly spend will often come in below your max amount. And that’s why it’s so good as an advertising platform.
If you monitor your keywords and their performance, you’ll be able to see exactly what’s working and create a really niche, high performing campaign that you know will get you clicks. However, that brings me on to my next point….
Common mistakes to avoid:
I’ve just talked about how great it is that you can see what ads people are clicking on. And clicks can be an awesome thing. However, what you don’t want are clicks that are costing you money but not getting you results.
So, below are some ways you can create really strong campaigns that will maximise your chances of getting clicks and turning them into sales and enquiries:
1. Create specific landing pages that your ads click through to – not just a page on your website.
This is all to do with expectation. AdWords ads should be very specific and relate to the keyword or search term that someone typed in. Likewise, I want to be taken to a landing page that addresses my particular problem.
If I typed ‘fix burst pipes’ into Google and saw an ad that said ‘Burst pipes fixed same day!’, I want to be taken to a page that talks about fixing burst pipes the same day, not a generic services page on a plumbing website.
2. Make sure you’ve set up conversion tracking…
so you can measure which of your ads are actually turning clicks into results. There is a danger that if you just look at the amount of clicks, without looking at the resultant enquiries or sales, that you’re wasting money on the wrong keywords or ineffective ads. For example, you may see 20 clicks on one ad, but zero conversions.
On another ad, you may have only 5 clicks, but 3 conversions. You can even set up call conversion tracking, so if someone calls because of your ad, you’ll be able to see that too.
3. Make your ad copy local, relevant and particular.
This goes back to expectation and the psychology of online search. The more exactly your ad copy can match what your customer has typed into Google, the more chance you have of getting their click. If your business is based in Wanaka and you are targeting people in Wanaka, it won’t hurt to add the word ‘Wanaka’ to your ad headline.
4. Negative keywords – don’t forget about these!
Doing so could mean you spending lots of money on absolutely worthless clicks. A negative keyword is a keyword that you tell Google you don’t want to show up for.
Common negative keywords are things like ‘job’ or ‘free’. Unless you’re actually looking to hire a new member of staff, you definitely don’t want jobseekers clicking on your ads and driving up your costs.
5. Talk to an expert.
It’s not a fluke that there are entire agencies dedicated to doing nothing but AdWords campaigns. Google is constantly changing and if you are interested in using Google AdWords, but you won’t have the time to set up or review your campaigns properly, it could end up saving you lots of money and time to let someone help you – at least at the very beginning.
There are lots of things to consider when setting up an AdWords campaign. The above is just an overview of what we consider to be the more important aspects. If you’ve set up an account, but aren’t seeing results, we recommend getting it reviewed by some experts or getting someone in to help you right from the start.
We’re here to help! If you think AdWords might be right for you, pop in and book your free consultation here.