If you’re like most business owners, you’ve considered investing in Google Adwords to promote your business.
And for good reason:
Google Adwords is one of the most effective ways to grow your business and attract new customers.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to 13.11x your return on investment (if not more).
And yet, despite impressive returns, like the above, many business owners feel intimidated to try Google Adwords. And those who do, sometimes fail spectacularly.
Like Facebook Advertising, many business owners try Adwords for a few weeks, fail to get the results they were hoping for and throw in the towel when it wasn’t that strategy that was at fault; it was the execution.
That’s not going to happen to you.
I want you to not just recoup your ad spends; I want you to familiarize yourself with Google Adwords inside and out so you can…
- Choose the right keywords for your Adwords campaigns (read: the ones your customers are using to find your business)
- Setup your first campaign (even if you’re not tech savvy. I’ll show you step-by-step)
- Write ads that entice and engage readers
- Track your conversions so you can minimize spends and maximize returns.
…and I’m going to show you exactly how to do it in this article.
Before jumping in, though, we need to consider an important (albeit often overlooked) question…
“Is Google Adwords right for my business?”
As I mentioned before, many business owners blame pay per click (PPC) for the wrong reason. What I didn’t mention, though, was why many business owners feel underwhelmed with their results.
The truth is, Google Adwords isn’t a good fit for every business.
And if you’re considering investing in Google Adwords, you need to identify whether it’s the right choice for yours.
In my experience, there are three reasons why investing in Google Adwords is a viable strategy for growing and scaling your business:
- You’re offering a service your target market’s already aware of (and therefore searching for) and want an Adwords campaign to bring it to their full attention.
- Your market is competitive (counter-intuitive I know, but a crowded marketplace means there’s a potentially high demand for your product or service).
- You have a sufficient budget and are prepared to put in the work and play the long game (Alex Fredheim recommends investing a minimum of 3 months. At Authority Factory, we believe you need to commit at least 6-months to achieve the best cost per lead).
If any of those reasons apply to you, Google Adwords might be a good fit for your business. But before you can move forward, it’s important you clarify your goal.
Do you know why many first-time Adword users blow their budget and have little to show for their marketing efforts?
They don’t know what they’re to achieve.
“What is my goal?”
Do you want to increase optins? Capture more leads? Generate more revenue?
What’s equally important is the metrics you’re measuring, specifically,your cost per lead and your cost per sale.
Your cost per lead is how much you pay to acquire a qualified lead. Your cost per sale is how much you pay to close them (i.e. convert a prospect into a customer).
Knowing these metrics and tracking them meticulously allows you to work towards a goal that once achieved, will allow you to scale beyond anything you could have ever imagined.
What’s equally important is considering your budget. Make no mistake about it: if you’re really serious about scaling your business with Google Adwords, you will lose money in the beginning while you familiarize yourself with it. Once you’ve honed your skills, however, you’ll have a fully automated business growth machine at your disposal.
While your goal is to maximize conversions and minimize costs, it’s important to remember that Google is a business and their goal is to maximize spends and minimize cancellations.
At times, they might recommend you do X and Y—ignore them. Follow the instructions in this guide and you’ll be well on your way to profiting from your advertising efforts (without paying Google more than you need to).
Step 1. Do Keyword Research
The foundation of any Google Adwords campaign in thorough, in-depth keyword research. I’ve written about Keyword Research before, so I won’t repeat myself here. What I will do, though, is walk you through how to choose keywords that are likely to convert.
Think about your ideal buyer. If you were in their shoes, what would you be typing into Google to find your products and services? This is why it’s important to know your customer persona: when you know your prospects’ pain points, it’s easier to zone in on keywords they’re using.
For example, you could log into your Google Search Console to identify existing queries customers are using already to find your website, or type in a keyword and write down any related search terms at the bottom of the SERPs:
Create a spreadsheet and add any keywords that are relevant to your business.
Another way to do keyword research is to identify what keywords your competitors are already ranking for. One way to do that is to use SpyFu:
SpyFu allows you to enter a competitor’s website and “spy” on their most profitable keywords (as well as their cost per click):
Do this for several competitors and look for any overlap. Are there any keywords that are more common than others? If so, that means they’re probably converting well.
Add any relevant keywords to your spreadsheet.
iii. Google Keyword Planner
Once you have at least 100 keywords ideas, you need to find out how much they will cost. To do that, we’re going to use Google Keyword Tool.
Login to Google Keyword Planner:
Click “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” and paste your keywords (remember to select the country you’re targeting, too).
Click “Get Ideas”. This will take you to “Keyword Ideas”…
…and present you with four columns:
- Search terms. These are possible keywords you can use for your campaign.
- Avg. monthly searches. This is how frequently the keyword is being searched for each month.
- Competition. This is how competitive the keyword is.
- Suggested bid. This is the average amount advertisers are paying to advertise using this keyword.
You also have the option to click on each column so they’re organized in ascending or descending order.
Add any relevant keywords and click “Download” so you can review in your spreadsheet.
Once you know what keywords you’re going to target, you’re ready to setup your ad.
Step 2. Setup Your Ad
There are two phases to setting up your ad:
- Selecting your campaign settings
- Creating your ad groups
Let’s look at each in detail.
i. Select Campaign Settings
Go to Google Adwords and click “Start Now”:
If you already have a Google account, login and click “Create Your First Campaign”:
Give your campaign a name you’ll remember. (This is important, especially when you’re running multiple Ads later on.)
Next, change “Type” to “Search Network Only” and click “All features”:
Untick “Include Search Partners” (this ensures your ad will only show up on Google’s search engine results pages rather than ads on Google Partner websites):
Choose “Location” and “Language”, followed by “Manual: Manual CPC” from the drop-down menu under “Bid Strategy” (this gives you the opportunity to optimize keywords yourself):
“Default Bid” refers to the cost per click (CPC) of all your keywords combined, whereas “Budget” refers to your daily budget. With “Default Bid”, add 15% as a buffer.
Ignore “Ad Extension” (this goes beyond a beginner’s guide) and click “Save and continue”.
ii. Create Ad Group
According to Google, “An ad group contains one or more ads which target a shared set of keywords.”
The purpose of ad groups is to organize your ads into tight themes. For example, if you’re advertising plumbing in Sydney, you might create the following three groups:
- Ad Group 1: Plumbing Company: “Plumber Company Sydney”,“Plumbing Company Sydney”, “Plumber Company”
- Ad Group 2: Plumbing Service: “Plumbing Service Sydney”, “Sydney Plumbing Service”, “Plumbing Services Sydney”
- Ad Group 3: Plumbing Agency: “Plumbing Agency Sydney”, “Sydney Plumbing Agency”, “Plumbing Agency”
The tighter these groups are, the more data points you’ll gather and the better your chance to improve conversions (more on in that in Step 3).
As a beginner, you want to have at least three ad groups, each containing two ads, where one will emerge as the winner. The winning ad is called your “control ad”. The other is called your “test ad”. With each campaign you run, you always want to try and out-perform your control ad so you can continue to optimize for conversions.
Step 3. Write Your Ad
The goal, remember, is to invite searchers to click on your ad so they’re more likely to buy your products and services…
…and the way to do that is to write smart, persuasive ad copy.
While copywriting for ads goes beyond this article, there are a few things you can do to increase your click-through rate (CTR) and increase conversions:
i. Use numbers.
If you really want to stand out, you can tie a benefit and a number together.
Take a look at the following ads.
Which do you think stands out more?
If you’re like most people, you chose the top one. Why? It offers two numbers—both odd—and a benefit in the form of a discount. Who wouldn’t click to learn more?
ii. Offer credibility
The world is becoming noisier every day. And with that, our time is becoming more precious. We don’t want any service, we want the right service, one we can trust.
Showing potential customers why you are the go-to person in your field is one of the most effective ways of cutting through the noise and getting heard.
What do you notice about this ad?
Not only does this company use a number in the headline, they use keywords and phrases like, “Expert” and “Top Tier” to position themselves as an authority in their field. With a 96% win rate, that’s a powerful value proposition, wouldn’t you agree? (Incidentally, like the previous ad, this ranked number one for its keyword.)
iii. Write an actionable call-to-action (CTA)
You can have the best-written ad copy in the world, but if you don’t tell readers what to do, they won’t act on anything you’re telling them about.
This is why it’s important to have a clear and compelling CTA in your ad that tells the reader exactly what to do (schedule an appointment, call now, etc.).
A competitor to this company invited the readers to “Call Us”. This company invited readers to “Call Us Today” (italics added by me). When it comes to telling the reader what to do, specificity is everything.
You won’t get your ad copy right first time round (no one does) so don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t convert. Just continue to refine it with each iteration and remember: version one is better than version none.
Step 4. Track Your Conversions
Tracking your campaigns is the most important part of the process. Without it, it’s impossible to know what’s working and what you can improve on.
To track your conversions, you need to add a snippet of code to your “thank you” page (the page visitors sees after opting in, making a purchase, etc.)
Login to the Adwords console, click “Tools” and “Conversion”:
Click “Select” under Website:
Name your conversion…
…and copy the code Google provides you and click “Done”:
Paste the code on the page your visitors will see once they’ve performed the action you want them to take (i.e. after they’ve opted in, made a purchase, etc.) and you’ll be ready to start tracking your conversions.
There are three metrics you need to pay close attention to ensure you’re staying within your budget and making good returns on your investment:
- Conversion rate. This is the percentage of visitors who are opting in, making a purchase, scheduling a call, etc.
- Cost Per Conversion. This is how much you’re paying to acquire that customer (it’s important to know your customer acquisition cost, especially when calculating your ad budget)
- Total Conversions. This is the total number of conversions (total number of transactions, phone calls, etc.)
When optimizing your campaigns, you need to go into the Adwords dashboard (in the keyword level) and find the keywords and ads that are sending the most leads.
The goal, here, is to build new campaigns around those and continue to improve them until they’re converting even better. At this stage, it’s as simple as doing more of what works.
Google Adwords is one of the most effective online marketing strategies because of its unlimited scalability. When you know your budget, cost per lead and cost per sale, the sky is literally the limit.
But, like any skillset, Google Adwords requires a time, attention, and energy to perfect it. You need to take a proactive role in understanding your market, namely, what works, what doesn’t and what converts in order to make significant gains.
While many business owners are still on the fence about Google Adwords, what’s important to consider is not whether you can afford to invest in Google Adwords; it’s can you afford not to?
What have your experiences been with Google Adwords? Leave a comment below.