Are you stuck with AdWords campaigns that are not yielding the desired results?
Ask any marketer and you will hear horror stories about how most of them have faced similar situation. Even the campaigns that seem to have been set up perfectly sometimes just fail to yield the desired effects.
The result? Endless hours spent in optimizing the AdWords campaigns, doing A/B Tests, and analyzing data again and again.
Setting up an AdWords campaign is easy, however optimizing it to get the desired results is often not a cakewalk. To set up a campaign, you have to follow one of the step-by-step guides that are easily available on the internet.
But what happens if the campaign doesn’t perform after that?
You are not alone. Even the highly experienced marketers face this situation once in a while. Getting AdWords campaigns firing at full steam is often a matter of trial and error. You can possibly do many iterations and changes before you can arrive at a high performance campaign.
If you’re stuck in a similar situation, then this post is for you. Here are some of the steps that I take to optimize the Pay per Click campaigns that I run.
It is extremely important to use keywords that are in demand, but not too much in demand. If you choose keywords that no one searches for, then however good your ad might be, no one will get to see it. On the other hand, if you choose keywords which have high competition, then you will have to bid more to get ranked higher. This may drain your AdWords budget quickly.
After running the campaign for a few days, check the keywords and remove some of the non-performing ones if necessary. Ideally, your AdWords campaign should consist mostly of keywords with medium to high search volumes and medium to low competition.
Your ad groups, keywords, ads and landing pages should be linked with each other closely. Each ad group that you create should relate a particular aspect of your product. Do not try to cover multiple aspects of your product with a single ad group.
For example, if you are selling a shampoo that nourishes your hair and also removes dandruff, have two separate ad groups called “Nourish hair” and “Remove dandruff”. This will allow you to create better ads targeting customers who are facing dandruff issues, but not nourishment problems, and vice versa. If you create a single ad group targeting these two features, then the ads will become more generic, and lose focus.
Also, keep the number of keywords included in a group low. Ideally you should not include more than 20 to 30 keywords per ad group. I have even seen ad groups containing just one keyword to increase the relevance. The ads and the landing page(s) also needs to be connected with this particular theme or idea that the ad contains. Any mismatch is likely to reduce the quality score of your ad and lower its position.
Invariably, after running ads for a few days, you will be able to identify the ads that are performing well (coming in the top four) and the ones that aren’t. Ideally look at any ad that is getting an average ad rank of five or above, and find out the reason. It might be due to a variety of factors like low bids, ineffective ad copy, low relevance to the keyword, etc. Rectify the problem to improve their position.
Google offers a feature called Dynamic Keyword Insertion that comes in very handy at times. It tells Google to insert the keyword into the headline of the ad. By seeing this, the user feels that the ad is directly relevant to his query, and clicks on the ad. This is a great way to improve the click through rate of the ads.
When a user clicks on the ad and lands up your landing page, he is seeking a simple answer: “can you resolve my query, or solve my problem?”. Every landing pages that you create should answer this clearly question and effectively. So avoid creating landing pages that contain too much of text trying to impress the client about all the good things that you can do for him. This most likely will confuse the user and make him move away. Make your landing pages well-designed, catchy, and include a clear call to action.
Creating multiple landing pages, especially for complex campaigns are a great way of increasing landing page relevance. If you are promoting multiple products through the same AdWords campaign, then it makes a lot of sense to have different landing pages dedicated to each product.
HubSpot provides some examples of great landing pages that you can see to understand how conversion oriented landing pages can be built.
Google offers us a variety of extensions that we can use for our ads. You can leverage the power of these ad extensions to increase the effectiveness of your ad in many cases. The most commonly used ad extensions are:
Apart from these, there are many other ad extensions that you can take a look at. Google continuously improvises on these extensions and keeps adding new ones to the list in order to help you to get better results out of your AdWords campaigns.
It is important for every advertiser to keep a track of the performance of the AdWords campaigns and optimize them from time to time. Do not use the “set it, forget it” approach when it comes to AdWords campaigns. After all, it is your marketing budget which is being spent, so ensure that it is spent wisely and gets you the desired return on investment in terms of new leads and sales on a continuous basis.
Do you have any other optimization tip to add? Feel free to comment below and let me know how you optimize your AdWords campaigns. I would love to hear from you.