Google Adwords can be such a convoluted topic for people. Google Advertising? Since when does Google do advertising?
Google Adwords is the most complex algorithmic advertising platform in the world. Using several key differentiating factors to display ads of all shapes, sizes (display, text, shopping, Youtube, etc) and find attribution for your campaign goals. BUT, we’ll explain all of that in detail down below, in the nitty gritty, or in the “deets,” whichever lingo you prefer.
FIND YOUR MARKET & IDEAL CUSTOMER. WHAT WILL THEY BE SEARCHING FOR?
B2B or B2C and customers are similar in that, regardless of the case, you have to figure out why they think your product is special. Are there certain differentiating characteristics that set you apart? What is the age of your customer? Are there certain interests some of your customers have that will make it easy to cross-market your product alongside others?
All of these are questions that need to be figured out, amongst others, before you should proceed with your Adwords campaign. Analyze the data on your customers and even go on their social media if you have their contact information. Knowing customers online by identifying their social media habits is quite possibly one of the easiest ways to find things that often go unnoticed.
Even after launching your Adwords campaign this is considered to be an ongoing process. Segmenting potential customers based on perceived interests is basically taking calculated guesses and hoping they will pay off. If they do or don’t is dependent upon how often and how much time you put into finding out what your customers are interested in, so you can throw an ad in front of them with the highest possible chance of them clicking on it.
Adwords also allows you to target specific age ranges. You should easily be able to pull this information through your current customer database, which is a good indication of which customers to target in the future. If you don’t have any of this information, it’s completely fine. I would recommend taking a ballpark guesstimate because this is something that can easily be changed down the road. But also, very important to track over time.
FIND GOOD KEYWORDS (SHORT & LONG TAIL) THAT WORK WELL FOR TARGETING THE CUSTOMER YOU WANT TO REACH.
If you aren’t familiar with long/short tail keywords, this is ok – I’m here to save the day.
Here is an example of short and long tail keywords and how they are used in Adwords. If you already know the difference then please just skip this, but if not this is extremely important and could save you 100’s or 1000’s on your ad budget.
Lets say we own a Toyota car dealership in Chicago and want to advertise on Google.
The first thing we want to do is figure out who our customer is and what they are going to be searching.
Long-Tail Keyword Examples – Red Toyota Prius Used in Chicago
Short-Tail Keyword Examples – Toyota Car
Long Tail Keywords are used to specifically index specific customer interests, while short tail keywords are used for making generalized advertisements. While there are different pros and cons to using both, Long Tail Keywords are predominantly used for lowest Cost Per Acquisition in keywords, and have the ability to cut the Adwords budget in half.
This is because when someone is searching for Toyota Car, its not necessarily indicative of buyer behavior. This could be a kid in 7th grade putting together a slideshow on Toyota cars for his concept car, or someone looking up the new model of Toyota cars just to see what they look like. By targeting “Red Toyota Prius Used in Chicago” you have defined a set of constraints that must be true in order for your add to pop up. They must be looking for a red car, it has to be a Toyota, and you have to be in Chicago. If a search doesn’t meet those three characteristics, then your ad won’t pop up.
The more specific you get with longer and longer tail keywords, the more ability you have to lower your CPA. This is because as you get more specific you have less and less competition for the keyword phrases you want. The less competition, the smaller the price, and the more money you can put towards more conversions.
CREATE YOUR LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS AND TEST!
After you create all of your Long Tail Keywords phrases, it will be a huge advantage to test them before you throw money into a full-scaled Adwords budget. By using about 1/5-1/3 of your full scale Adwords budget, you can test all of the keyword phrases you generated. This is a great way to be able to test the conversions on a small scale before being able to move forward with the full price. However, testing your keywords AND THEN launching a full-scale Adwords campaign is only applicable to those that can reach a decent amount of potential customers with a smaller budget.
For some people, it might be hard to come in contact with enough people in order to test your campaign. If you don’t come in contact with enough people (and have a relatively large amount of impressions), you will only be basing your campaign off of a small sample size that doesn’t bare any truth. If you have the ability to target people at a relatively cheap price (usually associated low Cost per Click/Conversion) and still have a large amount of clicks to test your campaign, then this would make sense for you. If you try testing your campaign and don’t have the ability to reach enough people to truthfully test your Adwords campaign, you will have to use your full adwords budget from the get-go.
I would recommend using the time you would normally take to setup a test campaign for your keywords (usually about 1-2 hours), and do more customer research. After gaining a deeper understanding of your customers and what they are interested in you could move ahead and launch a full-scale Adwords campaign.
These next two sections have to do with whether you use Google Analytics (recommended) or the Adwords console to analyze your Adwords campaigns.
IF YOU HOOK ADWORDS UP TO ANALYTICS:
Google Analytics is the recommended way to view your Adwords data. Not only because it has more analytics on Click Through Rate, Cost Per Conversion, Cost per Click etc.. but it shows you what users are actually doing on your website. Which pages are they visiting, which pages are they exiting on, and where they came from, are all things that can be gauged through Google Analytics. There can sometimes be attribution errors in sales because it’s hard to tell where your traffic is coming from. With Google Analytics, you can tell exactly where the traffic is coming from (Adwords, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn), and this is where the action-items come from. Once you’ve identified that 70% of traffic gets to the checkout page and leaves before buying anything, you know there is something wrong and can fix it immediately.
IF YOU USE THE ADWORDS DASHBOARD:
Although not ideal, the Adwords console is great for people that are just beginning. The Adwords console gives you a simple breakdown of your campaign effectiveness through basic level details, but doesn’t tell you where your traffic is coming from.
LAUNCH YOUR ADWORDS CAMPAIGN
When you first launch your Google Adwords campaign, there will be a certain status associated with it.
The first to the third day will have a status of “eligible (learning)” which basically means your ads are active. The learning part is associated with Google’s algorithm trying to figure out how to get you the most money out of your budget. By targeting certain people who searched things on Google in the past, particularly things which may be related to your advertisement, Google can maximize the amount of conversions you get. While it wasn’t mentioned in this blog, the Google learning is trying to substantiate traction by maximizing your advertisement’s ability to adhere to your campaign goals.
While that may sound a little tricky, think about it like this. If there are 3 kids with lemonade stands (kid 1, kid 2, and kid 3), and the parent of kid 2 tells their son/daughter to go to the end of the road, where there is the most traffic, instead of in their cul-de-sac. When kid 2 goes to a road with more traffic, he will be seen by more people (similar to impressions on Adwords), therefore has the ability to sell more lemonade (more conversions), and in the end, makes more money. This was all because his parents (the Google Algorithm, defined by campaign goals) were aware that he wanted to be seen by more people, therefore made a recommendation to go to a busier street.