I have to admit, I have a love hate relationship with Google Ad Words. Yes, they are a necessary evil if you want to drive more visits to your website. But most small businesses and entrepreneurs, through no fault of their own, create ad word campaigns with no understanding of the basics of running a successful campaign. Unfortunately they end up wasting a lot of money and not seeing a positive return on investment.
Inspiration to write this article came during one of my 30-minute free consultations with a potential client. He showed me the backend of his Google Ad Words campaign. Here are the tips I gave him.
TIP #1 | KNOW YOUR NEGATIVE KEYWORDS
What is a negative keyword? Glad you asked. A negative keyword is a keyword that doesn’t relate to your business but might come up in a someone’s search. For instance, if someone types in “marketing consultant Ohio”, the word “Ohio” would be a negative keyword for me if I decide I only want clients in Canada. I would then set “Ohio” as a negative keyword so my ad doesn’t show up and I don’t spend money on clicks or reduce my click-through rate (CTR)
Adding negative keywords increases your campaign performance by reducing the number of irrelevant clicks you pay for and increasing your CTR. A higher CTR means a better Quality Score, which in turn means a lower cost per click (CPC).
TIP #2 | KNOW YOUR MATCH TYPES
A match type determines if your ad shows in search results. There are 4 match types – broad, modified broad, phrase and exact. I won’t go into each match type but will explain why Broad and Exact Match types aren’t as useful for the beginner.
Broad match type is exactly that, and could mean you’re wasting money by showing your ads in search results that don’t fit your product or service. For instance, if you only sell women’s shoes, but you set the keyword “shoes” as a broad match type, your ad will show up for every search.
An exact match type means the searcher has to type in exactly the phrase, in the exact order, that you’ve set your keyword. So, if you’ve set an exact match type for “women’s red shoes”, your ad won’t show up in a search for “women’s shoes red”.
I recommend you use either modified broad or phrase match types.
TIP #3 | CREATE SEPARATE AD GROUPS AND ADS FOR EACH KEYWORD
Google determines part of your quality score by the number of relevant keywords in your ad. For instance, if you use “tax planning” as a keyword but don’t include “tax planning” in your ad, your quality score will be lower. As you’ll recall, a low quality score means fewer impressions and a higher CPC.
To make your ads more relevant and get a better quality score, create ad groups specific to each keyword, with multiple ads. For example, I have a separate ad group for “marketing consultant” and “marketing services”. Within each ad group are at least 3 different ads. For the “marketing consultant” ad group, each ad contains the keyword “marketing consultant”. I vary the copy slightly and always have a call-to-action (CTA) such as “Contact Now”.
By using these 3 Best Practices you should see better results with your Google Ad Words Campaign.
Need help setting up your first campaign or want me to check your existing campaign? Contact me for a free 30-minute no obligation consultation.
BONUS TIP | CLAIM YOUR GOOGLE PLACES LISTING
As with all things Google, Google likes all things Google. So you’ll get better organic search rankings with a Google Places listing.
BONUS TIP #2 | YOU’LL PROBABLY START OFF WITH A QUALITY SCORE OF 2
If you’re just getting started with Google Ad Words, you’ll probably get an initial quality score of around 2. Once Google is able to determine your ad relevancy and you’ve built up a history of ad performance (mainly looking at your CTR) your Quality Score should improve.