Google AdWords gives the Online marketer the opportunity to find customers with commercial intent. According to an IBM study less than one half of one percent of Online sales during Cyber Monday 2012 shopping came from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. This represents a 26% drop from Cyber Monday sales in 2011.
You do not want to directly market your products or services on social media because people there do not have commercial intent. You do want to use social media for branding, customer interaction and generally to build Online authority. Social media is an integral part of your Online marketing strategy, but keep it in perspective and don’t expect to see sales generated directly from this channel.
Marketing with Google AdWords
There is a learning curve for using AdWords effectively, but with these tips you’ll be well on your way to Google AdWords success.
Step 1: Budget Goals
Set a daily budget goal. This goal can be as large or small as you’d like, but be aware that your reach will be related to the amount you’re able to spend. More competitive keywords will cost more money to rank for, but they are also typically more valuable. Your daily budget goal should be a balance between cost and value.
Step 2: Setup Campaigns
The two main types of campaigns are search and display. Google recommends a budget split of about 75/25 for these. Basically 75% of your daily budget should be in a search campaign and 25% should be in your display campaign. However if your budget is limited you may consider placing the entire daily budget in your search campaign.
A search campaign shows ads related to keywords people put into a Google search. So for example if a person, matching all your targeting criteria (more on that later), searches for a keyword which is highly relevant to one of your ads it will be eligible to display. This type of ad displays either above or to the side of normal Google search results, and is an excellent way of matching people with products or services related to their needs.
A display campaign is designed to display your ad when a person browses to a website from a Google search with a specific keyword related to that ad. Basically your ad will display on a third party website to people who came from Google using a keyword that is highly relevant to your ad.
Step 3: Choose your ads
Choose ads that are related to the products or services that you offer. Keep in mind that you can have multiple ads for each product or service. For example you may be running a coffee shop. In this example you could have several ads related to buying a cup of coffee. This way you’ll have a broader opportunity of finding a customer who wants to purchase a cup of coffee rather than a single ad targeting just a few keywords.
Step 4: Choose your keywords
Keyword research can be time consuming, but there are a couple excellent tools Google offers to help. The first of these keyword tools is the Google AdWords Keyword Tool available free here. Use this tool to determine how often a keyword is searched for, and also how competitive it is. Ideally you want a keyword that has a high search volume, and low competition. For more in-depth keyword research Google offers the Keyword Planner. For more information on the Keyword Planner tool see this presentation.
Step 5: Associate Keywords with Ads
Here you want to be very specific. Find those keywords that relate to a specific product or service you’re offering. Now create several ads related to that product or service. Basically you want to have several ads that could trigger based on a keyword search.
For example if a person searches for “website design” a successful AdWords campaign will have several ads that could trigger for the keyword list associated with that service your company is offering. Google displays highly relevant ads so for your ad to display (assuming your bid is high enough) it must be considered highly relevant to the keyword being used in the search. Having multiple ads for a single product or service increases the likelihood that your ad will be be considered highly relevant.
Step 6: Target Potential Customers
Targeting customers with commercial intent is critical. You don’t want to have people clicking on your ads if they’re looking for free services, educational material, job listings etc. With AdWords you are directly targeting potential customers looking for your product or service. Use negative keywords for as part of this ad targeting. Here is a negative keyword list to get started. For further research Larry Kim of Word Stream has an excellent free negative keyword tool.
AdWords also provides marketers with tools to help target customers by age, gender, geographic location and industry.
Step 7: Enhance your Ads with Extensions
Google offers several ad extensions to help engage your potential customers. AdWords extensions make your ad easier to use and interact with. For example when your ad displays with a call extension a customer can simply click to call your company directly. Google AdWord extensions include:
Google Plus Extensions
Step 8: Finally Track Return on Investment (ROI)
Without knowing what you’re spending in relation to what you’re profiting you’ll never have a successful AdWords campaign. Google AdWords lets you connect with Google Analytics where you can setup specific goals. Goals help advertisers understand customer behavior after an ad has been clicked on.
For example a track-able goal could be when a potential customer fills out a contact form. This goal can be tracked using Google Analytics. In this manner you will be able to calculate your conversion rate. Conversion rate is basically the percentage of people who clicked on your ad that followed through and completed a defined goal. So if 100 people click an ad, and 20 of them follow through to complete a goal your conversion rate would be .2 or 20%.
Once you calculate your conversion rate, and how valuable each of those conversions are, you’ll be able to effectively track your AdWords campaign ROI.
You Know Enough to be Dangerous!
Following the above 8 steps will help focus your Google AdWords campaign on those customers who are searching for your product or service, and who have the commercial intent to actually do something about it. You will also be able to stay within budget by not wasting money on clicks that don’t lead to a purchase. Not only will your campaigns be more focused and efficient, but you’ll be able to track your ROI!