I’m just getting started with Google AdWords. What is one tip or trick I should consider?
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1. Start With Search Only
I would start with search only, not display network ads. Search allows you to show up only when someone is searching for your keywords. The display network will give you a lot of impressions, but not a lot of quality clicks. Use the first six months of your campaign to fine tune keywords, bids, etc. so that you’re using your budget wisely. Then you can expand to the display network later.
2. Dive Into Keyword Tools
Your ad performance is dependent on the keywords you select. If you’re just getting started, utilize Google’s Keyword Planner to identify a list of keywords to potentially use in your campaign. You can also get keyword inspiration from tools like SpyFu, WordStream and AdGooroo.
3. Set Budget Limits
Google Adwords is a very powerful and effective tool, yet it can be intimidating and confusing in the beginning. Be sure to set hard spend limits for your campaign and for your ad groups. This will make sure that you don’t burn through your entire budget in the first day.
4. Optimize Your Landing Page and Conversion Goals
Before you start an Adwords campaign, make sure that you’ve properly implemented conversion tracking on your optimized landing page. Often, small businesses drive traffic using Adwords and have no idea if it’s converting at all. Set up proper conversion goals in Google Analytics before you start spending money to drive traffic to your landing page.
5. Use Adwords Scripts
Managing Adwords accounts can be made increasingly effective if you use Adwords Scripts. Using these scripts, you can automatically label keywords for bid updates, track performance, monitor quality score and much more. There are a variety of optimizations that you can implement using these scripts.
– Marcela DeVivo, Gryffin Media
6. Link Them With Google Analytics
As the Adwords reporting system alone won’t tell you what happens after people click your ads, I recommend linking your Adwords account to your Google Analytics. This will provide you a wealth of information, starting with their initial ad clicks all the way to their exit or checkout. Also consider linking them to Google Webmaster tools to get the most comprehensive reports, all under one roof.
7. Limit Your Geographic Reach
Google AdWords can get expensive quickly. One way to limit your costs is to restrict your ads so that they only appear to users searching within specific states, regions, cities or zip codes. Even if you provide products or services nationwide, starting with smaller geo-specific ad campaigns will allow you to test and optimize your campaigns for max ROI before expanding your reach and spend.
8. Optimize Your Campaign
When starting with Adwords, make sure to try many variations of your copy and keywords to see which campaign works best. Have a threshold in place to find out which campaigns to invest in and which ones to pause so that you do not spend too much money on poorly performing campaigns.
9. Make Sure Ads Direct to Content
We’ve seen that Adwords are a great compliment to content marketing. If you can put ad spend behind an awesome white-paper or eBook, you’ll land a lot more leads than directing the leads to a landing page offering nothing more than a sales call. We used a knowledge management template and it’s worked great.
10. Learn the Different Keyword Match Types
There are three well known match types on Google Adwords: Exact Match, Phrase Match and Broad Match. But there are also the lesser known Negative Keywords and Phrase Match Modifiers. Sometimes improving the quality score of a keyword is as simple as switching a Broad Match keyword to Phrase Match. Doing this will direct more relevant traffic to your site.
11. Experiment Continuously
This is a 100 percent the place to experiment. You have to be diligent and run many campaigns to see what works — and run them often. Many factors play into how your AdWords are doing and so their effectiveness will change over time. I’ve heard of companies designing hundreds of campaigns around multiple sets of keywords and tweaking them based on data. Get ready to dig in to be successful.
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