How to create super awesome Google AdWords Campaigns

Thanks to tradepub.com, I got my hands on a fab whitepaper about Google AdWords. I was really excited to learn about this topic and had to read it right away. I will give you the DL as it was thorough but a bit long.

1. Keep your campaigns and ad groups tightly themed

–This relates to the keywords and phrases that are used. Super duper important for campaigns that opted into the Content Network. 2 reasons why – 1. it’s hard for Google to determine the context of your groups and may misinterpret what you represent or want to represent within your key phrases – i.e. below search… and 2. if you are trying to cover too much ground with one group, it is hard to create compelling ad copy that speaks to each phrase or subject matter within the group.

2. Use analytics and conversion tracking (free)

With this handy dandy free service, you can easily identify within the Adwords interface the performance of each keyword and its cost per conversion. Use it to potimize poorly performing words or make bidding decisions.

3. Test to infinity and beyond…

They say to keep an open mind and try lots of different options. It’s super competitive out there and you need to be on top of the current trends and what not.

4. ADS

Automatically, AdWords rotates your ads and offers the one that performs the best. To find the true stats for each ad, you have to let them run at 50% distribution. Apparently we should experiement with Keyword Insertion, for headline and description lines. Don’t just put anything here – you should put the ones that make sense and be careful to NOT use misspellings, trademarked terms or competitior names.

5. Landing Pages

Google Website Optimizer is a free tool that provides a way to test and edit landing pages without having to be a designer or developer. You can test different creative combinations that will demonstrate a range in performance. It’s pretty cool to see the interface kick back your experiments.

6. Monitor and improve your quality score

Your Quality Score is important and can greatly impact your visibility and ad costs in Google (that’s what they said – I couldn’t find a better way to say it). The score is used to stop sneaky advertisers from bidding on irrelevant keywords and those who try to use keywords that aren’t related to the info on their landing pages (aka false and misleading adverts).  There is also a new tool to show the landing page load time.

7. Longtail Keywords

Even if search volume is higher, the really generic keywords face mad competition and cost you way more. You also end up with less qualified leads (who wants that). You should expand your keyword list with longer phrases to improve the likelihood of future conversions. A good mix of short and long is good to maximize opportunity and leverage your budget…something about ROI. Check out the Keyword Search Tool.

8. Geo-Targeting

Super helpful if you are looking to go after an audience in a specific location.

9. Day Parting/Ad Scheduler

For those peeps who would only really look for you within a specific time frame. Note other time zones if applicable.

10. _______

I had a moment. Lost where I was – oh right…

11. Budget Delivery – Make $$, or rather Spend $$

Accelerated delivery will serve ads until the budget is reached. Be careful – if not used effectively your budget will go bye-bye bc of those late night surfers who are bored. Better for those timed promotions or offline marketing effort looking for max exposure.

12. Consider the Google Options beyond AdWords

Google expanded into TV, Print, Mobile, Radio, Display and Video Ads. Check out Placement Targeting for additional online options within the Google network of pubs.

13. Almost there… Analyze Competitive Sites and User Behavior with Google Trends

Google Trends follows search patterns and volumes, and much much more (ok mostly with searcher behavior – but hey what if it is all of a sudden cool to be a bird watcher, I’d want to know about it…? Or would I?….)

What’s new on Hot Trends

Hey I’m excited about this too! Go OKC!

Glad you got through it with me. If you want the full version to read through, request it through www.tradepub.com (called “10 critical elements to a successful Google AdWords campaign”). The whitepaper was prepared by www.morevisibility.com and written by Danielle Leitch, EVP Client Strategy. (Thanks Danielle!)

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SEO vs PPC

Hey Lead Love Crowd! I came across a great article in the Entrepreneur Mag. about SEO vs PPC.

AJ Kumar talks about 3 main points:

AJ says 1. How large is your website advertising budget?

I would ditto this is a big piece of the pie. If you don’t know how much you can spend, it may restrict you on how much traffic you can generate for your website. What I think is more important is what your goals are as a company. If you don’t know what you want to achieve with your campaign – whatever kind it is, PPC, SEO, SEM, CPA, CPM, etc. – then it is really difficult to really use those dollars you do have in an effective way.

AJ says • Faster testing. Websites should focus on achieving conversion, whether it’s selling products, signing up email newsletter subscribers or some other action. That means actively testing website variables to improve conversion rates.

Definitely need to learn the best way you can optimize your campaigns to improve conversion rates. This can come by using a great tracking technology and experts who can help you find ways to improve. Integrate.com can be a great technology to take advantage of. They have all other sorts of perks too.

AJ says • Protection from SEO algorithm updates. One major weakness of SEO is that algorithms change from time to time.

So true, I came across a website lately, awesomize.me, and when talking to the CEO – they found a way to optimize their results to show up even before Facebook and Linkedin. They must have figured out something different.

AJ says 2. How high are the average CPCs in your industry?

I would echo this point as well. If you are looking for publishers to run you banner CPC offers and are not competitive in your pricing, you may not get the cream of the crop – if you catch what I am throwing at you. The better you pay, the better traffic you get – not always, but usually.

AJ says 3. How competitive are the SERPs in your niche? You also will want to determine how competitive the search engine results pages (SERPs) are for your target keywords. To do this, enter your keywords into the Google External Keyword Research Tool, which will tell you the estimated competition level, as well as the number of advertisers bidding on your keywords and the average CPCs.

SERPS is a new term for me, but keywords is not. I have to thank AJ for this tip – I will be checking into it further. I know in the past, I have entered keywords into the basic search in Bing, Google, Yahoo, other search engines… and taken notice of similar search terms. Maybe this is the old fashioned way of doing this – but it is interesting to learn of what people do ‘Google.’

Aj saysWhen combined, PPC and SEO can be quite powerful. Ask yourself these three questions and determine the optimal mix of PPC and SEO for your website.

Totally – and I would say don’t restrict yourself to only PPC and SEO, as there are many other performance marketing campaigns that can prove to be super effective for your business. Again no one size fits all – but the more you can expose yourself and the smarter you can spend – the better brand awareness and conversions you should see.