5 Easy Steps to Adwords Success

by Michael Madew

So you’ve received a letter with the enticing offer of $100 free Adwords credit but you simply don’t know where to start? Or you have an Adwords campaign but it’s not making you any money? The first thing you need to ask yourself is this – am I getting the basics right? Get the basics right with Adwords from the start and profits are bound to result. Here are 5 easy steps to Adwords success:

1) Research your keywords

It’s your business. The odds are that you know better than anyone who your target market is, and what your average customer searches for to find you. The first thing you need to do is produce a list of possible keywords for your business. Don’t use Google Keyword Planner for this, use your brain. What will your potential customers be searching for? Does it need to be location-specific? Write down the most targeted keywords you can think of. Doesn’t have to be a huge list, in fact starting off with a small number of keywords will minimise wasted money right off the bat.

2) Research your negative keywords

This is as important as researching your keyword list. You need to compile a list of things that people you don’t want to attract to your website may be searching for. For instance, if you’re a plumber who doesn’t fix showers you need all the variations of the word ‘shower’ in your negative keyword list, so that people who search for ‘plumber for leaking shower’ will not see your ad and thus will not be given the chance to click on it, which would cost you money. A good rule of thumb is this: your negative keyword list should be longer than your keyword list.

3) Set up your campaign settings for success

Here are some golden nuggets from over 10 years of managing successful Adwords campaigns. Some may disagree but this has been my experience:

– The content network does not make you money, so switch it off.

– Google location targeting is unreliable, so if you’re a local business focus on location-relevant key phrases, e.g. ‘dentist in Vancouver’. By all means use their location targeting, but don’t trust it to exclude everyone outside your location.

– Use modified broad match keywords for the perfect balance of volume + targeting. If you want to learn how to do this, get in touch

– Set up your ad scheduling to exclude the middle of the night, where you may get drunk people mistakenly clicking on your ads.

– Set up site links to give your ad more prominence on the page, but make sure that every site link links to a solid call-to-action.

4) Go mobile right now

You need to have a mobile version of your website to really profit from Google Adwords PPC. Companies are still lagging behind on mobile with poor mobile experiences – incredibly, thousands of companies are still wasting money by pushing Adwords traffic to terrible websites (when viewed on mobile phones) which have zero chance of converting and leave a negative imprint on the customer’s mind about their business. While your competitors struggle with this, you can clean up. Provide a simple mobile version of your site with the same solid call-to-action, perhaps including click to call functionality, and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. It’s not difficult or even that expensive to get yourself a mobile website – our sister company The Art of Mobile offers mobile web design services from just a few hundred dollars/pounds.

5) Ignore Google’s attempts to optimise your campaign

Sooner or later a Google rep will be in touch offering to ‘optimise’ your campaign for you. I strongly recommend that you don’t let them. Their basic approach is to add new keywords to your account as it makes them more money. The problem is that they don’t have a proper grasp of your business and your customers, so they will add keywords that aren’t targeted enough and will result in wasted money for you, and more profit for them. I have learnt this lesson the hard way, by losing thousands of pounds.

Adwords can be a daunting platform. Get these basics right and you’ll be well on the way to making it work really well for your business.

About The Author

Michael Madew

PPC expert with over 10 years' experience in creating and managing highly profitable PPC campaigns on Google Adwords, Bing Ads and other paid search platforms.

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