Search advertising is one of the best ways to drive users with real intent to your website. Over the years the online audience and Google have also both grown substantially. This is great news for businesses seeking new customers or anyone seeking to build an audience really. While the tools are there search advertising can also be one of the most costly forms of audience development. The reason is the competition. In any industry you are bidding against competitors for keywords that convert. The better they convert, the higher people are willing to bid which increases competition and raises the price. With that in mind we thought we would share some pointers on how to make search advertising work best for your business or brand.
Good, thorough keyword research is the first and most important task. Luckily Google AdWords provides you with a keyword tool that you can use to find the keywords that best fit your business model. The entirety of search advertising is based on keywords and bidding for them so the importance of this task cannot be stressed enough. The keywords you choose will also have a huge effect on your search advertising budget. Some brands who have to keep conservative with their spend may focus on a “long tail” strategy. This means bidding for much more specific keywords that are very niche or particular. Usually these long tail keywords will have a cheaper CPC or Cost Per Click. Whatever strategy you go with, keyword selection is going to be the first step in running an effective campaign. So make sure you do your research.
Depending on the nature of your business you will want to target your search advertising accordingly. If you are a business that’s local to Dallas, TX for example there’s no need for you to run your ads in Los Angeles. Unless of course you have an online presence and a product you want to sell to people in Los Angeles. You get the idea though, you will waste money by not targeting your ads to the specific locale where they will have the most impact. Google AdWords and other search advertising platforms will typically allow you to target down to a zip code level. Aside from location targeting you can also use “dayparting” which is running your ads at specific times during the day. You can target by different demographics such as gender and household income, etc. etc. In most cases you will be running multiple search advertising campaigns with different products and ads targeted to very specific audiences. So the importance of targeting cannot be overstated.
This seems like a no brainer but high quality ads are also an important factor in any successful search advertising campaign. Your ads should contain your keyword and Google limits what you are able to write as well as the number of characters. This will force you to be creative and really think about the copy in your ads. In addition to this, Google ranks ads based on “quality score. So the better your ads are quality wise the less money you will spend. That’s right – quality score has a direct effect on the price you pay for clicks. So there is a lot of incentive for advertisers to stay within best practices and create the best ad content possible.
Due to the nature of AdWords it is a good idea to keep your account organized. Once you begin running your search advertising campaigns you will find that you have several different goals or targets. Since each campaign can only have one set of targets or goals, you will more than likely have several different campaigns running at any given time. Keeping your account organized and clean can help greatly with efficiency of your ad budget as well as ease of use. The good people at WordStream created a fantastic guide for keeping your search advertising account organized, you can find it here.
Once your search advertising campaigns are up and running you will want to constantly monitor and optimize them. After a few days you may notice that people in a particular zip code are clicking more and you will want to spend more of your budget in that area. You may find that one ad performs better than another, etc. Looking at the data and making adjustments is probably the most important factor in a successful campaign.
So there you have it – these are some very high level basic tips for a successful search advertising campaign. If you’d prefer to avoid the learning curve and hire professionals to run your ads for you – fill out the form below and let’s talk!