Google AdWords can be the most profitable advertising you’ll ever do, provided you do it correctly. This article reviews three common mistakes businesses make when running their own Google AdWords campaigns.
1. Your advert does not have an enticing offer
Google Adwords campaigns are first and foremost “advertising” and basic advertising principles still apply. Yet too many people are obsessed with the technology behind Adwords and fail to create an enticing advert to stand out from the crowd to make someone click.
An enticing offer could be a free whitepaper, free download, limited time special offer and so on. Try typing one of your keywords into Google and review your competitors’ ads. This is what you’re up against.
Include specific benefits or unique aspects of your offer. For example, after some discussions with a client who was a tradesman, it was evident his clients considered punctuality a major worry when booking his services. So we included an offer whereby he would pay his customer $50 if he was more than 15 minutes late. It stood out from his competitors’ ads, and it worked very well.
You should also include the keyword you are bidding on in the actual text of the ad. Remember your customer is looking for a problem to be solved and typed specific keywords into Google. If she sees those same keywords that she had in mind in your ad, she will be far more likely to click on it.
Taking this one step further and by the same logic, you should also include these keywords on the web page they land on after clicking the advert.
2. Not understanding the value of each customer
Before doing any advertising it is critical to understand how much each customer is worth to you. If you don’t, how will you ever know if your advertising was profitable or not, or whether you should keep doing it?
Let’s assume you’re a graphic designer and each customer is worth approximately $500. And for every five email or phone enquiries you receive, you make one sale. That means if you could pay less than $100 per enquiry you’ll make a positive return: $100 x 5 enquiries = $500.
Google AdWords campaigns will generate clicks to your website and those clicks will generate enquiries or sales from your website. By looking at your Adwords costs for a week and comparing them to the number of sales enquiries, you can quickly work out the average cost of each enquiry.
The ultimate goal is to get to a position where you know that, for example, for every $100 you spend on AdWords, you are making $300. Then advertising is no longer a cost where you have no idea what’s working, but a specific profit generating activity. What a lovely place to be!
The next step is to make smart changes to your campaign to further improve your profitability.
3. No conversion tracking in place
If you really want to improve the effectiveness of your Google AdWords campaigns, you should install Google’s conversion tracking code. This enables you to see which individual keyword was responsible for your prospective customer’s web enquiry form or purchase from your website.
Imagine you have a campaign with 200 keywords costing you $500 per month. You may find that only 30 of these keywords are actually generating enquiries or shopping cart sales if you’re selling from your website.
With conversion tracking you can quickly hone in on these ‘converting’ keywords and spend more on them, or pause the other keywords that are just costing you money. Perhaps $300 of your $500 spend was wasted as they were not generating any enquiries. You can now get similar number of sales enquiries with spending $200 per month rather than $500. Your return on spend will go through the roof!
The golden rule with AdWords is “test and measure”. Whenever you make changes, always measure the outcome. Regular focus on your campaign will practically guarantee great results.
By Philip Shaw, director of CleverClicks
Sept. 26, 2008