When it comes to online advertising (outside of social media) there are few better places to be than on Google. The search giant is so essential to the daily lives of connected individuals that few can go a full day without jumping on the search engine to satisfy a craving for information.
Luckily it's not hard to get in front of the 40,000 searches Google handles every second. Google's AdWords tool lets organizations piggyback on user activity on the search engine to put ads in front of the right people at the right time. That’s one of the great things about the service: The targeting on Google AdWords campaigns can be as narrow or broad as needed.
But there’s a lot communicators need to know about Google AdWords to ensure they get the most out of every dollar spent. George Weiner, founder and CEO of Whole Whale, knows all about the intricacies of Google AdWords—he spends his days leveraging data and technology like AdWords to increase the impact of nonprofit organizations. Weiner is also a speaker at the upcoming PR News Google for Communicators Boot Camp, where he’ll be giving attendees all the latest tips and tricks for success on AdWords. In advance of his session, here’s five tips from Wiener for building a successful Google AdWords campaign.
Have a configured goal in Google Analytics and AdWords before starting
No goal, no point. Tracking the full funnel conversion is the only way to understand the true ROI of your ad spend. Try to get as close as possible to the final point of sale action.
Plan a test spend of 20% of your budget and learn from keyword wins
You will make assumptions in your targeting approach for engaging your psycho-demographic. Look for positive outliers in keywords and consider building stronger campaigns around those concepts.
Don't ignore time of day and device
These two factors can quietly screw your conversion rates even if you have the right region, keywords and ads. Don't sell people coffee at night and sleeping aids in the morning. Triple check mobile optimization of your site and as a rule try to hedge toward desktop spends as people tend to have 4x higher conversion rates (depending on what you're selling).
Analyze! Include assisted conversions
The unexamined campaign is not worth spending money on. Use assisted conversions in Google Analytics to see if AdWords helps a 90-day customer journey. Perhaps AdWords is helping people discover the product and then they're coming back 30 days later on a direct visit or due to email follow-up to finally make a purchase. Assisted conversions will reveal this.
Build content and CRO around winning campaigns
Conversion rate optimization is a process that over time will help reduce the cost by increasing conversion efficiency. Remember that doubling your conversion rate produces the same effect that doubling your ad budget does. Building content will help improve keyword scent match, Q score, and may even help build up actual SEO around the term.