Over the last couple of decades, the marketing world has seen some major changes. Not too long-ago businesses relied on ink and paper to market their wares. Fast forward a few years and now we have a whole new system in Google Ads that allows companies to advertise directly to those searching for their products.
For the last seven years, I’ve worked closely with small and large business owners helping them perfect their pay-per-click (PPC) strategies so that they can get the most out of their Ad campaigns.
Sometimes I run into business owners who are running Google Ads from their Google My Business page. While I admire their desire to do it themselves, the version of Google Ads on Google My Business is slimmed down and does not provide the same level of detail that the full-blown version of Google Ads provides.
Many business owners still hold to the idea that the only important thing that matters when it comes to marketing is the messaging and images that go behind it. While there is no denying that these are essential pieces to any successful marketing strategy, you’d be mistaken to ignore the importance of a properly optimized PPC campaign, one that merges the two worlds of copywriting and technology. By combining these two worlds you’ll be giving your Ads Campaign a fighting chance when pitted against other ads in this highly competitive marketplace.
A few years back I had the pleasure of turning it all around for a client of mine that was on the brink of closing up shop. Getting most of her business by referral, Jill (I’ve changed her name for privacy purposes) didn’t think she needed to advertise. Unfortunately, as the market started to change, the referrals were few and far between. While it took some convincing, I was finally able to persuade Jill to try a new way of promoting her product and services.
I explained to her that her potential customers are all using the internet to find and research companies like hers. While Yellow Pages may still show up on your doorstep, the majority of people have migrated online and are searching for the services you provide on Google.
Google holds an impressive 84.44% market share and is the number one way we search for information. This is especially true when the information we’re looking for is local, i.e. movie showtime, the best Italian restaurant in your neighborhood, highest rated home builder …you get the idea.
With Google Ads in play, Jill steadily increased her client base and avoided closing shop. More importantly, her business continued to grow.
What can you do to optimize your Ads campaign and get the most out of it? While I can easily give you 50 tips that’ll help you with clicks and your overall strategy, I’d like to share five tips that without a doubt need to be implemented into any strategy you do.
1. Ad Extensions are a must
Ad extensions allow you to give your audience more information about your business such as your phone number, access to specific product pages on your website, your address, you name it.
One of the main problems business owners come across when creating ads on Adwords is the character restriction. Most people feel like they can’t say enough to promote their business. With ad extensions, you get more room which allows you to share more details about your business.
2. Make every keyword count
Most business owners start with a list of keywords and that’s it. What they don’t realize is that keyword optimization is an ongoing process that needs to change with the times.
A perfect example would be the term “Digital Marketing.” Now it’s all the rage, but a decade ago you’d be hard-pressed to hear this term. Instead, “Internet Marketing” was the go-to phrase.
By not optimizing your keywords you are missing out on potential prospects. Moving forward, make sure to research up to date terms used to describe your business and add negative keywords (those keywords where you don’t want your ad to appear) and remove any underperforming keywords.
3. Always analyze your ads
As with your keywords, you want to always be analyzing what is and isn’t working with your ad structure.
Your goal is to constantly improve your ads’ click-through-rate (the amount of clicks your ad gets). For that to happen you should be adjusting the ads you put out there.
Some simple but effective changes can include changing up your copy, changing your call to action, using dynamic keyword insertion so the keyword in the ad changes based on what the user Googles, and making sure the ad message wording matches the copy on your landing page.
4. Your landing page and website count
With all the focus people put on getting everything right on the Google Ads platform it’s easy to see how people forget the importance that your landing page or website play in creating a successful campaign.
I was working on a project with an HVAC company a few years back. They had ads for furnace repair and ads for new furnaces, and had hired a company to do pay-per-click (Google Ads) for them. Unfortunately, this company sent all of the ads to the home page of the website. This led to a low relevancy score and a low conversion rate (the number of people who contacted the company) for the ad.
Make sure you have specific pages for specific keywords. Remember, the goal of Google Ads is to get the visitor to click on your ad. The goal of your landing page and website, on the other hand, is getting them to convert and that means getting their information!
A rule of thumb for your landing page is to not say too much or ask for too much. Keep words to a minimum. Try to get your point across with media and images. On your form, just ask for first name, email address and phone number. Keep it simple and your results will increase.
5. Write specific ads rather than generic
When you try to create an ad that targets everyone your responses will be fewer. Creating personalized ads and landing pages based on a specific target audience helps to show your prospects that you have expertise in the product they are searching. Make sure to have a target audience in mind and then build your campaign around that avatar.
Using all the tools that are available in Google Ads can be daunting. To ensure the best results you need to track and analyze your results, and always be improving. When done right, Google Ads can drive substantial leads for your business and take your sales to a whole new level.
This article originally appeared on Remodeling's sibling publication, BUILDER.