AdWords – does pay-per-click really add anything to your digital marketing strategy?
Google AdWords, also known by many as PPC (pay-per-click) is much touted as an effective marketing tool. But it seems that goes against the view of many customers out there, who report negligible results and consign the whole experience to the dustbin, saying investing in AdWords is simply throwing good money after bad. But in our experience at Gravity Digital, pay-per-click can still be a highly effective tool in a company’s digital marketing strategy – provided the campaign is properly managed. And that’s the key, ensuring there is a defined, balanced and constructive AdWords campaign, as opposed to picking a few words, running with them and paying for them at the end.
So, when it comes to advertising on Google, where do we start and how do we get search advertising to work effectively? Many businesses may think that AdWords are not working for them and either give up entirely or just let them fizzle out after a short campaign run. Here are our top tips for how to get AdWords to work effectively for your business:
1. Take time
For any advertising campaign to work effectively, you need to spend time analysing results and reacting to engagements by users. We have found, from having spent much of our time getting the best value for money out of AdWords campaigns, that any time you can spend analysing large tables of numbers is always time well spent. It may seem a dull way to spend an afternoon, but trust us when we say that we have found it well worth it. To give just one example: one client of ours had been running their AdWords account for over a year and, after seeing poor results, ended up ready to give up on the campaign, under the belief it wasn’t worth the money they were paying. But, as it turned out, they had set up the initial campaign and then just left it to run unattended expecting to see the sales pour in. They weren’t spending any time on the account learning about customer behaviour in there and so were unaware of the opportunities to be had. We improved their response rate by 1,900% just by redesigning their campaign, with no increase in budget necessary.
2. Tailor your landing page
You’ve set up your AdWords account, and your first customer has taken the bait and made that all-important click to land on your site. But this is not enough. What you need to do now is put yourself in the mind-set of the person who has got as far as your landing page. It is crucial that you get this part right, and make sure that the website’s opening page, the one which says a big “hello!” to your visitor, answers the queries that led them there in the first place. If, for example, the visitor has responded to an advert for a special offer on a sofa, they don’t want to land on your “about us” page. Give them the experience they have signed up for – believe us, it is only too easy for your prized customer to get impatient at not being able to find what they were looking for, leave never to return and then click onto another website.
3. Check your quality scores
Quality Score is Google’s way of measuring how relevant your ads are in relation to the keywords you are bidding on. If everything is working well, the visitor’s search will match them with your ad quickly and appropriately; they will then click through and land on the right page of your website, to be shown the correct way to the sales basket. Always remember that Google is an incredible machine; it has eyes on every move we make when using it to search, and, as a business, it will score your campaigns based on relevancy and quality of experience. Google doesn’t just take your money to advertise your business, its systems actually judge your ads for relevance and quality. A high score means you will pay less per click and earn a better position on the search ranking, while a low one has the opposite effect, by being more costly and achieving lower search results. You have been warned.
4. Competitive keywords
If you want to pay for popular keywords that lots of businesses are fighting over, you will pay more for them. It’s up to you and your digital marketing strategy team to work out how much you are prepared to pay for a more expensive keyword. Clearly, a niche product will be cheaper as the keywords required will be rarer. But, even if you manage to buy some good, cost-effective keywords, you still need to keep on top of your campaign and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth from every marketing penny you spend.
5. Don’t expect a magic wand
As with every aspect of business, you should never buy into a new marketing tool and expect it to totally transform your sales without putting time and effort into analysing customer engagement and checking how things are going. Marketing is like a plant, it needs tending to and given attention in order to properly grow. It’s no good signing up for AdWords as if you were waving a wand over your marketing and hoping for the best. All advertising needs work, analysis and reaction. That means, when you have properly analysed your customers’ reactions to your ads, you need to reassemble with your marketing team and try to improve the customer experience in whatever way you can, so that you will achieve better results, a Higher Quality Google score, and, that all important bottom line, more sales.
If you have digital marketing expertise in-house, use it to work at your AdWords campaign and you will see the results for yourself. Alternatively, if you don’t have that digital know-how in the office, pay an agency to work at it for you. It may seem like investing even more money in a campaign whose hard-line sales results you have yet to see, but, if you choose marketers with a proven track record in getting the most out of digital marketing, the results will pay back your investment in dividends.
If you need help or guidance on what would work for your business, then get in touch with us: Tel: 01332 416555