Is Google Adwords Burning Your Cash?

3 ways to make your PPC budget work harder

AdWords is an incredibly powerful platform for finding your target audience.  However, many small businesses who have been seduced into paid advertising on Google find that they burn through a significant amount of cash, with no apparent returns.

The aim of this article is to ignite a red-hot desire to improve your return on PPC investment so that you can toast the competition. (Puns fully intended!)

On the internet, there is no shortage of traffic – all you need to know is how to find the right traffic and be willing to pay to drive it to your website.

It is no secret that Google AdWords is one of the most efficient methods of driving traffic.

We’ve pulled together 3 techniques you can take on board today to increase the traffic you’re driving to your website, without necessarily spending more.  So instead of increasing your budget, try these techniques:

Target Your Audience

The very first thing to do before you even open an AdWords account is to understand exactly who your customers are. This is perhaps the most important element of every marketing campaign, if you want to see a return on your spend.

Not only do you need to know who your customers are but also how to get to them.  So, for instance:

  • What is their age, sex?
  • Where do they live?
  • Which websites do they visit?
  • What are they interested in (in relation to your product or service)?
  • What problems are they facing in relation to your product or service?
  • How do they describe the product or service you offer when they are searching in Google?

There are a couple of ways to get this information.

If you have customers, talk to them and listen carefully to the words they use when they describe your product or service.

If you don’t have customers yet, make assumptions.  When you were building your business plan, you will have made predictions on the products your potential customers were looking for.  Use your knowledge of your market to work out what the problems are that your product solves and then imagine what people search for.

The important thing is to write down your assumptions. Inevitably, some of them will be wrong but recognising those guesses that were way out provides useful information as you go forward.

Put the words you’ve identified into the Google Keyword Planner to find more and even better keywords that your ideal customers are using when they’re searching.

Keep An Eye On Your Keyword Quality Score

As you become familiar with AdWords, you’ll notice that each keyword has a Quality Score between 1 and 10.

Understanding Quality Scores is an essential skill, as they influence how often and in which position your ads are shown. They also influence how much each click will cost.

With a higher Quality Score, you’ll pay less for clicks and have your ads shown more often, meaning your budget will go further.

Quality Score is determined by a number of factors including:

  • Click through rate (CTR) – the more your ad is clicked, the more it indicates that your ads are relevant and helpful to users.  The knock-on effect is that they will likely be shown more, by achieving a better Quality Score and cost per click.  A virtuous circle!
  • The relevance of your keyword to the ad – keeping your keywords in tight groups within different Ad Groups will help Google show your ads to relevant searches.
  • Landing page relevance – using the keywords that people are searching on, in both your ad and your landing page, means that your visitors are more likely to find your landing page relevant to their search and spend time on your website.

Hopefully it is unnecessary to include the reminder that the information on the landing page should be relevant to the key words and informative to the reader.

Improve Your CTR

Although Google doesn’t give out exact information on how important each of the factors that influence Quality Score are, it is generally accepted within the industry that Click Through Rate (CTR) has the biggest impact.

So, it is definitely worth spending some time working on improving this key metric.

Include keywords in your ads

It may sound obvious, but keywords you’ve identified should be included into your ads.  Best practice is to include your main keyword into the heading and again in the description for maximum effect.

Include a Call to Action in your ad

What do you want your potential customer to do when they’ve read your ad?

Generally abbreviated to CTA, a Call To Action is an instruction to the reader, telling them what action you would like them to take next. It can be as simple as ‘Find Out More’ or ‘Contact Us For Information’.

Your CTA should be specific to where your user is in the buying cycle. So, for instance, you might not use ‘Buy Now’ to someone who is researching your service for the first time. Whereas you might use it for someone who has searched ‘Buy [your product or service]’.

Make Full Use Of Extensions

Extensions are pieces of extra information about your company and its products and services, which can be added underneath the main body of your ad.

Extensions have the added advantage of increasing the size of your ads, pushing the competition further down the page.

There are many types of Ad extensions.  Here are a few which we highly recommend and are suitable for most businesses:

  • Sitelink extentions
  • Structured snippets
  • Callout extensions
  • Review extensions

There are many others including extensions for price, location, apps and calls.

Depending on how you want your customer to get in touch with you, different extensions will be right for your business.

Use Capitialisation In Your Adverts

There is research which shows that people are more likely to click on ads which have each word starting with a capital letter – in the headers and the description.

So, there are three ideas to get you started on improving your own AdWords campaign. I hope they have fired your imagination and make you want to smoke out more hot tips from the blogs on our website!

Gayle Norbury is one of the Digital Marketing Team at Ascendancy and works on Google PPC campaigns on a daily basis.

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