When you first start advertising with Google Adwords, it can be seem overwhelming. There are so many different options in the Adwords interface. What do they all mean? Where do you start?
Well, I’m not going to go into the basics of Adwords here, because there’s no way around the fact that you need to take some time to study the various features in the admin area.
But, once you master the basics and get your Adwords campaign ticking over, there are some ongoing tasks that are low value work (i.e. you can spend a lot of time on them and they won’t have much long-term effect on your results) and others that are high value work i.e. these are the things you should focus on for optimum results.
Low value versus high value work
One thing I see people agonising over too much is tweaking the bid prices on various keywords. For most people it’s better to let Google set your bid prices automatically. They are better at it than most people will ever be.
Instead, you should focus your efforts on the two most important aspects of any Adwords campaign:
- Writing and testing different ads.
- Testing different options on your landing pages to see which converts best.
Test, tweak and test again…
You should always be running at least two ads in any ad group. When you find a clear “winner” i.e. the ad getting the most clicks or conversions (ideally you should be tracking conversions rather than clicks) then pause the poorest performing ad and replace it with a new one.
Equally important (in fact, arguably more important) is to continually look at how you can improve the pages people go to after they click on your ad. These are known as landing pages. I’ve looked at so many Adwords campaigns where people are not getting results and ultimately it comes down to their landing pages simply not converting the visitor to take action.
Just yesterday, I was talking to a business owner who recently started an Adwords campaign and has got 200 clicks to his website – and not a single sale. That’s a conversion rate of 0.5%. He’s selling a low price product with a small profit margin and simply can’t afford to pay over $100 in Adwords clicks without getting a sale. When I looked at his landing page, it was clear why his sales were so poor. The page simply wasn’t enticing enough to get people to buy.
Adwords is where the rubber meets the road
One of the great things about Adwords is that it quickly lets you find out if your landing pages are poor. A lot of websites, which are relying on organic search traffic alone, can go for months or years with poorly converting landing pages but never realise they have a problem. When you use Adwords and start directing some significant traffic to a web page, you quickly find out whether it’s converting or not.
So, to summarise – focus on writing the best possible ads and making your landing page as persuasive as possible – that’s the secret to a successful Adwords campaign.