You know those results on the top and right side of your search screen when you look for something on Google.com? Those are paid ads, offered by Google, called “AdWords.” A lot of businesses get themselves into trouble with AdWords. They set up an account with Google, create some generic ads, pay their bills every month, but never see new customers as a result of running those paid ads. Naturally they get frustrated and ask “How can I be #1 one Google?”
That’s a common question from prospective clients, and I get it. I want to be #1 on Google too! When you’re investing money in a CPC (cost per click) campaign, you want your ad to get the attention of web searchers immediately and that generally means having compelling ad copy on the first page of the search results. If people don’t find your ad, they won’t click on it. And if no one’s clicking, no one is buying your products or services.
If you are currently investing in AdWords or are considering an ad campaign to bring in new business, keep reading for some tips to increase your likelihood of a successful paid campaign. This article focuses on having good content on your website that answers searchers’ questions.
There are a few things I ask clients to keep in mind when thinking about ranking on Google.com with their paid ads. First is the content of the website. You want the copy on your site to be unique, compelling, and the answer to the searcher’s question. When searchers click on your ad, they arrive on a designated landing page on your site, which is essentially an extension of what they are reading in the ad.
Too many advertisers default to their homepage in the ad, which is a mistake because the home page doesn’t necessarily answer the searcher’s question. If the searcher is shopping for women’s shoes, she should not land on the homepage of your retail store with general information about what you sell. The ad about women’s shoes should take the searcher directly to a page that’s about women’s shoes. When searchers click on your ad, you need a website landing page that delivers the content promised in the ad copy and does it immediately. If people have to start clicking, they will become frustrated and will leave your site for someone else’s – without making a purchase! This isn’t the time to promote your other products and services. Stay focused on what is presented in the paid ad.
You also have to spend some money, but be smart about it. I’ve seen people spend 20 cents per keyword and others spend more than $20 on a keyword in their AdWords campaign. When I’m working on a campaign, I will generally start with low bids on keywords and watch them closely to determine adjustments for each word – either by price or by using more specific search phrases. I happen to be very thrifty so I will bid on the low side as a market research experiment to see how ads perform.
Trying to rank for a general search term like “real estate” can be difficult and may get you clicks from searchers that are not vetted prospects. Is your real estate commercial? Vacation property? Luxury condos? Do you focus on a specific city? Think about what makes your company a little bit different from similar ones. If your market is million dollar beach homes and you target this audience with the proper keywords, such as “luxury beach homes” rather than the general term of “real estate”, you will get fewer clicks. However, you are also getting a better return for your ad dollars because these clicks are more likely to be people that are searching in this market, rather than just your everyday searcher. You are reaching your specific, target market. Also, as you focus on niche keywords, you’ll have less competition. As you become focused with your preferred search terms, you’ll have lower clicks but they will be from a more relevant audience.
There’s more to it than just keywords and landing pages. However, if you’re new to AdWords this is a good place to start to make the most of your advertising dollars and increasing your chance of showing up on the first page of Google for relevant search terms.