I love AdWords. I first started using the AdWords system back in 2002. It was the tool that allowed me to begin my career as an Internet marketer. And back then – I loved the idea of spending my bosses money 🙂 But, I WAS turning clicks into clients.
Although the tool has changed somewhat over the last decade (you can now target locations, demographics, even the weather) businesses are positioned better than ever to incorporate this amazing and inexpensive tool into their marketing mix to see unbelievable results.
Last night I was reminded about some of the basics of AdWords, as well as how far it’s come. I was surfing for a relaxing video to help me drift off to sleep. At first I settled on an interesting Google Authors video of a presentation by Ray Kurzweil about programming neural networks titled “Building a Brain.” Then that led me to a video in the Google Ventures channel. If you’re not familiar with Google Ventures it’s the VC arm of Google that (from what I’ve seen online) does a fantastic job coaching, teaching, and mentoring startups.
Hey Google Ventures… check out BoardManagement.com 😉
Anyway, I was watching a presentation Google’s key AdWords team put together about how to use AdWords to market these startups. It took me back to the basics and I thought I would summarize.
If you have the time – I HIGHLY recommend checking out the video in it’s entirety below. Every business can benefit from the information provided. And, if nothing else, it might help you better understand this amazing technology and how it can transform your business.
The Power of AdWords
Before we get to into specifics I wanted to mention some of the success cases we’ve seen with AdWords. We have 3 accounts that immediately come to mind.
- An old mom and pop retailer with a decent website and an adwords account – now receive dozens of customers/week calling and contacting them through AdWords. Most of their customers are retired, and do a search for local terms, see their ads, click to call – or click and contact them through their website.
- A recent attorney client of ours needed a way to better reach his audience throughout the State of Florida. He had experimented with AdWords before, but found there to be little return. After we tweaked his account using many of the same techniques I’ll mention here in a minute, we’ve been able to get him about a dozen leads/week with an estimated value of $5,000 – $15,000/lead. In just a matter of months we’ve transformed the business and brought in (potentially) millions in new business with AdWords.
- Finally, a construction firm we work with that invests hundreds of thousands a year in conventional advertising turned to us for their online marketing. In a year we have slashed the average dollar/lead by nearly 80% and they’ll (fingers crossed) be switching much of that conventional ad budget online.
How to AdWords Video
Key Points to AdWords
- Not a straight Auction – Although $ is a factor, it’s only one and others are much more important.
- Mathematical – Google uses a quality score to determine your ads ranking. Quality Score is determined by a ton of different factors including: Historical CTR, Keyword Search Relevancy, Historical Clickthrough Rate of the URL, Account CTR, Landing Page Quality (analyzes the page), Geographical Regions – if people are in similar regions to where you’re targeting your ads.
- Only Pay When You Get Clicks – This is often overlooked. We like to say “your website is like your store front.” If you continue this analogy with this form of advertising it’s like you’re only paying when people walk through the door. Unlike conventional advertising in a paper or magazine for example, where you’re paying regardless of performance.
- They Want What You Have – If you target things properly – the people that click through to your site are looking for what you and need/want it RIGHT NOW!
- Relevance is the Most Important Thing – Remember that auction/mathematical stuff I mentioned – well being relevant is important. Meaning better ads, better copy, better domain, better website = less cost to you and higher performance for your ad and it all works to bring you more business.
- People Read in “F’s”: Top to Bottom – Left to Right
- Higher the Better – 10x or more clicks/business! Being higher is better… so if you can’t afford to up your bid price you’ve got to tweak the other factors
- Work Lasts for Years – Because of the nature of AdWords, time you invest today in setting up your accounts properly can literally pay off for years. We have many clients and accounts that have only been added to throughout the years, but with each of the original keywords, ads, etc. we put in place – still in place.
- A/B Testing Important – Ad testing very important, to decrease costs and to improve performance. (although I think google would have reversed those two statements)
Although not as specific as the above I thought the following was also very important and should help anyone experimenting with, or looking to get better with AdWords:
Look at the highest categories your business services. Example in the video – Coffee/Donut shop. You’ll setup your account with two campaigns – one for coffee and one for donuts. If you’re a bicycle shop, perhaps you’ll setup campaigns for different styles of bikes, and different accessories (helmets, racks, baskets, etc.).
AdGroups – Think of AdGroups as Sub-Categories – This will probably mirror how you organize your products internally. Start getting specific in this phase. As explained in the video a donut campaign, might have “organic donuts” as a sub-category or AdGroup here. Remember AdGroups generally have only a handful of keywords.
Finally, the keywords! Keywords range from too general to too specific. Once you have the above organized effectively it’s time to drop in keywords. From our analysis of client accounts over the years – this is where I see other companies fall short the most.
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WE SEE ARE KEYWORDS THAT ARE FAR TOO GENERAL
For example, we work with a boat sales and service company. We would almost never use the word “boat” by itself in their campaign. They have a specific market, specific brand, specific territory, etc. We consulted on a project years ago, it was a local interior designer that was bidding on the words…
“interior” & “design”
Think of all of the combinations, phrases, etc. that “design” could fall into – web design, graphic design, etc… they were getting in front of an audience that wasn’t appropriate, and paying absurd amounts to do so. This is both the beauty and problem with AdWords it’s very specific and if you don’t know the rules of the game, it can hurt.
Where you want to start, and where companies like Atilus come in – is helping you determine where and which keywords are “just right.” internally we literally map out these keywords with our clients, then we typically move right (as the example image shows) making our keywords MORE specific based on the tools Google provides where we can pay some times tiny rates for impactful/valuable keywords. Then, and only after we’ve gone through this process, to we jump to more generalized keywords (and even then we typically restrict them geographically).
Too General: Pastry, Sweets, Etc.
Just Right: Donuts Bonita Springs, Donut Shop (targeted by region), etc.
Too Narrow: Chocolate Cinnamon Sprinkle Donut Filled With Peanut Butter in Bonita Springs, etc.
Now I want some donuts.