AdWords is one of the most commonly used marketing tools by small and large companies, regardless of the industry.
Google AdWords campaigns are usually aimed at improving the overall brand’s visibility or the company’s image, and — most importantly — gaining new customers and increasing sales.
AdWords campaigns can boost the overall performance of your business but, if used incorrectly, not only the results of your campaign won’t be good enough, but they can also affect the overall marketing effectiveness. Advertising budget once spent cannot be easily replaced. Campaigns that haven’t been provided with easily understandable information, will not be useful for future optimization.
How to avoid common mistakes and use AdWords as one of the most powerful marketing tools in your company? Look at the list of a five most common Google AdWords mistakes, never repeat those again and observe the ever-increasing KPIs of your campaigns.
So, let’s get started!
1. Running an AdWords campaign without a strategy
A strategy is a key thing in all marketing projects, including Google AdWords campaigns. At the very beginning, when you start to create an AdWords campaign, answer a few questions, which are crucial for efficient campaign planning. At this stage, specify among others:
- Campaign objectives;
- Target group;
- Expected results;
- Campaign duration.
Knowing the answers, you can choose the most appropriate type of AdWords campaign, determinate the most effective way to target your ads, design or select relevant landing pages. Last but not least, you’re able to measure your campaign effectiveness, indicating how good — or bad — the final results are.
2. Targeting AdWords campaigns to everyone, that means to NOBODY
You probably know who your potential customers are and you can describe their common features pretty well. However, when I work with brands I observe a common tendency to forget that not all people who can be considered as the brand’s target group must be the recipients of a particular AdWords campaign.
Imagine you run a restaurant well-known for its traditional Italian pizza, however, in your offer, there are also some options for vegans and vegetarians. The target group of your restaurant is wide — it includes people of different sexes, ages, interests, lifestyle or place of residence (for example — people who live in your city, regular visitors or tourists).
When creating a campaign aimed to acquire new clients, you need to remember that at least a few different audience segments can be targeted. Those are people looking for different information, using other keywords to find the information in the search engine, or visiting diverse websites to find restaurants in the particular area.
Thanks to detailed segmentation of your target group, and creation of various campaigns aimed to target diverse groups of recipients (distinguished by similar features), the appropriate structure of your campaign can be designed. That’s the only way to reach with the offer people who’re actually interested in it. Now you can be sure you’re running only the most relevant ads.
3. No dedicated landing pages for AdWords campaigns
If you run an AdWords campaign for the first time, you don’t want to allocate a massive budget and resources — including time and your business staff — without knowing what the results will be. So, you start a campaign that leads your customers to your company’s homepage.
It’s the lack of dedicated or appropriately optimized landing pages that is one of the main reasons for low-performing ads.
Let’s imagine you own a SaaS company, and your goal is to get as many registrations as possible on the website. Therefore, the landing page of your AdWords campaign should be optimized to achieve this particular goal — no other!
Observing various campaigns, I see that it’s a product or service home page that is used as the main landing page for all the advertising endeavors. At the same time, those websites are usually full of words, containing way too much information about products, services, company, and technology. Somewhere in between, there is a relatively small registration form which, in fact, is the most important element for achieving the goal.
Unless your goal is to increase website traffic in general — or reach the largest possible audience with your home page — the landing page of your AdWords campaign must be designed to guide the user in the most intuitive way to accomplish the action desired by your brand (what means to achieve the primary goal of the campaign).
Whether the purpose of a given AdWords campaign is to obtain registration for an industry conference or to sell products online before you start increasing the traffic on the website you need to be sure that this particular landing page is well optimized to achieve your business goal. Conduct website audit to analyze the technical and content aspects of the site and learn how to use optimization techniques to improve conversion.
Often minor changes in website content and/or functionalities of the landing page result in a significant improvement in campaign performance and ROI.
4. Skipping A/B tests for AdWords ads and avoiding optimization
Let’s assume you know your target group, you have finished the segmentation, you have conducted a keyword research. The budget is assigned to the campaign, so you set its duration and run the ads. After two weeks, you look into the editor, and the results aren’t great. What you observe is a low number of clicks, low traffic, the CPC (cost per click) exceeds your expectations, and the CTR (click through rate) of the campaign is much lower than the average or targeted results. Unfortunately, I have to disappoint you — no one can predict in advance what the final results of a given campaign will be, how the target market will react, what actions will be taken by competitors at the same time.
To achieve the best possible results of your AdWords efforts, you must systematically monitor your campaign performance, collect data, make conclusions and implement changes.
At the beginning of the campaign, set out hypothesis you want to validate and carry out A/B tests.
A/B tests are one of the most effective optimization tools for every advertising campaign. When carrying out A/B tests, you can easily verify which of the two elements affect the target group in a better way so that you achieve the best possible results. Simple enough!
Keep an eye on what kind of content is most effective, which landing page gets the best traffic. Collect data, analyze all the insights and use your knowledge to improve your advertising activities on a regular basis.
You run an online sports shop, and the primary goal of your AdWords campaign is to promote a new mountain bike model. Choose or design two separate landing pages, test two headlines, create various bike visualizations or put the call to action button in two different places. Experiment with text ads and descriptions or measure how recipients react when divided by demographic or interests. Only thanks to regular A/B tests, data analysis, and optimization, you are able to achieve the best possible results of the campaign.
5. Focusing on conversion without analyzing additional KPIs
For various industries or types of campaigns, a conversion can include events such as a visitor filling out a contact form, newsletter form, registration form or product purchase form in the online store. For different products or services, the conversion path may vary in length, including the time of making a purchase decision.
If the conversion is a visit on a particular site, it’s relatively easy to measure the results of a given campaign. However, if your goal is to sell consumer electronics goods — e.g. new smartphone models — it’s crucial to remember that in this particular case purchasing decisions are rarely taken when the user sees the ad or visit the online store the first time.
For many products and services, customers’ purchase decisions are rarely made at the first contact with the ad or brand in general. The key is to understand the purchase path for a given product or service, its stages, and specificity, and on this basis, design a multi-channel sales funnels.
Therefore, in addition to the conversion results — and ads quality — evaluate the traffic quality on the landing page. Understanding users’ behavior and the purchasing process will allow measuring the results of the campaign in a proper way and design all the further stages of the sales funnel.
What are your thoughts about the most common AdWords mistakes? If you would like to talk or have questions related to AdWords and/or PPC campaigns in general, send me a DM!
Original article published here