Google Adwords is highly targeted advertising that most website owners incorporate into their sites to earn commissions. Google spiders “read” the text around these ads and pick advertising that is appropriate for the content that you have. It can be easily set up and adapted so that you can bar competitor sites from advertising on your website, but there are a number of other pitfalls you should be aware of.
If you are an advertiser you should be confident that your ad for “pink spotted widgets” will only be shown on sites that sell widgets and related products, thereby making the visitors to your website a targeted audience. When set up correctly it can be a profitable win-win for both advertiser and host.
The word “Google” has quickly gone from being a proper noun to a verb, people “Google” or do an internet search for any information they may need, or answers to questions.
It didn’t take long for business to realize that by paying or bidding on specific keywords, their products could be put right in front of potential customers. Using paid search also makes it easy for a business to see which advertizing is most effective and how much it is costing them.
Using Google Adwords can be an extremely cost effective form of advertising, but the process must be thought out beforehand; otherwise it can be costly and ineffective.
In order to maximize the return from your Adwords account, take note of these seven common mistakes:
1. Leaving the Content Network On
Content targeting is active by default, and is the method Google bots use to match the keywords in your adgroups to publishers within the Google network, known as Adsense. Instead of not only relying on pertinent queries in Google to return your ad, it also displays your ads on sites within the network that contain content Google considers relevant to your unique keywords.
That means if your business sells, for example, glassware, and you want to promote drinking glasses in Adwords, Google may place your ad next to sites to do with drinks that obviously require drinking glasses, and articles that explain the right glasses to use for certain drinks which is relevant, but it may also place your ad on sites with articles about reading glasses, which is not relevant at all.
You can waste a lot of money by displaying your ads on irrelevant sites, so turn this feature off.
If you use content targeting it is vital that you create separate campaigns for just the content network, so you can adjust your budget. Never go “all in” on the first attempt, test and test again with a small budget and keep careful note of how each campaign is until you find the right one.
2. Not Implementing a Geo-targeting Strategy
If you are a specialist bricks and mortar company that builds swimming pools and you do not create a location-specific campaigns, your ads will be displayed nationwide by default. If you are located in Tampa Florida, and your ad appears in front of someone in California, it costs you. Unless you are willing to go to California to do the work, make sure your campaign is targeted to your local geographical region.
3. Not Tracking Conversions
To determine if your paid search efforts are a success or not you must keep a careful eye on conversions, or the result, you were hoping for from your ad campaign. For example, a prospect goes to your website and fills in an enquiry form. It’s no good just sitting back and hoping for the best; this has to be a hands-on process involving the monitoring of how much the ads are costing you and what your conversions rates are. It is amazing how many companies do not do this and then they wonder where their advertising dollars are going. Make it a daily task to look at all the statistics provided by Google for you. Campaigns can be stopped immediately if something is going wrong.
If you are a service company you want your ads to entice a prospect to click through to a landing page and if you have set up your Adwords monitoring correctly, will let you know exactly which keyword led the prospect through to the form submission. If certain keywords do not perform satisfactorily, drop them and spend your money on the ones bringing the best results.
Group similar keywords together within your ad groups to create highly-targeted ads, monitor each ad group on a daily basis and you can see where you should best spend your advertising dollars.
4. Not Having Enough Campaigns
If all of the ad groups in the account are confined to just a couple of campaigns, this will become a problem because the budget is adjusted at the campaign level, not at the individual ad group level. If your entire advertising budget is devoted to one campaign and one ad groups is doing much better than the other, you cannot put more money towards the groups that is converting the best, without wasting money on the poorly performing ad group.
If you see that a couple of keywords that are far out-performing other keywords, you can create a campaign just for those keywords, thereby maximizing the amount of conversions from those words.
5. Not Having Enough Ad Groups
Organize similar keywords into multiple ad groups will give you a better chance at getting higher Click-Through-Rates (CTRs) and quality scores.
In the Google statistics section a quality score is given that ranges from 1 (not relevant) to 10 (highly relevant). You want that score to be high because it will enable you to bid lower for higher placements, thereby saving you money. If your quality scores are 7 or higher you are doing well.
If you have too many unrelated keywords Google will not know which words it should base its relevancy rating on, and your Click through Rate will probably be lower, leading to a low quality score.
6. Not Having Multiple Ads
Have at least two or three ads per ad group to allow for split testing. By having only one ad you will miss the opportunity to test different messages and ads, and the ability to serve more relevant ads based on search queries.
For example, if you are in the GPS business and you have a 50% off sale on Brand X GPS systems, and you are also offering free shipping on all of your products, when someone searches for “discount GPS systems” Google knows to serve an ad that has a copy about your “50% off discount on GPS systems”. You may want to place a text ad with “free shipping on all GPS systems” for the search query “GPS systems with free shipping.” If you discover that one of the two ads is getting more clicks and good conversion rates, then you should modify the other ad to increase its effectiveness also.
7. Using Only Broad Match Type for Keywords
When setting up your keywords in Adwords, you will be given a choice between three different match types: broad, exact, and phrase, then Google determines when to serve your ad.
Broad matches will give you the highest number of placements – your ad will be served any time your keyword or keywords appear in a search query in any order. Exact match will serve your ads only when the query exactly matches your keyword, and phrase match looks for your keywords in exact order even if the queries contain other words.
It is often best to avoid the broad match type – it should never be the only match type you use. If someone searches for “how to wash a dog sweater” and you have “dog sweater” as your keyword using broad match type, you pay for a click if the user decides to browse your site at that point and it is not likely you will make a sale from that click.
Google does provide comprehensive guidelines and instructions on how to use Adwords, and by bearing the seven points above in mind, you can avoid some costly mistakes.
Constantly monitor and optimize your campaigns, ad groups, text ads, and keywords.
If you wish to leave any comments, or have some tips on using Google Adwords, please feel free to do so below.
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