Posts Tagged ‘adwords’
Most (but not all) of my own personal marketing is currently through Google AdWords. I have other forms of marketing in play as well, but over the last 6 months, Google AdWords has pulled in far more new work than any other form of marketing.
Google likes to promote their Adwords service as easy to use, and it can be. But by being easy to use, it’s also very easy to get things wrong and to waste an awful lot of money on adverts that don’t work, or result in a high level of bounces (people who hit your web site and then bounce right back to the Google search results as they don’t like what they see).
One of the reasons I am having more success now than in my initial use of Adwords is through the tips and tricks I obtained from Perry Marshall’s book: The ultimate Guide to Google Adwords. It really has made a difference to the number of leads I have obtained and number of sales closed.
This book is packed with so much information, tips and useful resources that I updated my own campaign and straight away (or within a couple of days) I started to see the results. The book covers all kinds of Adwords related terms and tricks including:
- Peel and Stick: creating a new campaign for different sets of keywords appealing to different sets of searchers.
- Keyword selection, searching and linking to landing pages
- Using Negative keywords and exact matches, to improve your relevance, click through rate, your average position and reduce your cost per click.
- Split-testing, making sure you are always testing out which ad is better for your campaign by battling two against each other and testing their performance.
- Writing an effective ad- by promoting benefits first and features second.
From this book, it is very easy to see why Perry Marshall is the king of adwords and is well-renowned around the world. Both new and experienced Adwords users should consider buying this book. Just one of his tips can make a huge difference to your sales and therefore to your bottom line.
The only word of caution I would offer is that some of the ‘add-on value’ (outside of the printed page) is very American and geared towards selling you more information and courses. The book is great, but I just didn’t like the add-on ‘benefits’.
But if you want to land more customers, I can recommend Adwords. And if you want to get the most of adwords, I can recommend this book.
If you happen to follow me on twitter, you will have seen that I have been on holiday in Kenya. Whilst I was there, I landed 2 new sales – actually the quotes had been sent out just as I was flying out on holiday, but I got the email confirmation whilst I was out there. In my business we have a rule – we get a new sale and we do a little dance to celebrate. As both emails arrived, my wife and I did the ‘new sale boogie’ on the beach with cocktails in hand – nice!
So how did I find these new customers? Google Adwords! Let me give you some numbers for the adwords campaign since I started it in early September…
- Adword Campaigns running (groups of search terms) : 9 – see the screen shot of my ad groups
- Total impressions : 9,988 (as at the time I type this now)
- Total Clicks from ads : 60 (again, as of now)
- Cost of the clicks : £163.57
- Enquires from clicks : 23
- Confirmed Sales : 2
- Ongoing conversations : 7
- Value of the 2 sales in total : £34,600!!
Not a bad return – £35,000 of sales value from £163 marketing cost and 6 or 7 hours of time. So I am here to say, Adwords does work….. if you do it right.
I have posted about Adwords before, saying it can get out of control – and it can. It’s like a wild animal, you have to keep your eye on it, keep grooming it (refining the styles, ads, words, etc), pull it back when it goes too far, and most of all, get it house broken when you first set it up.
Yesterday I wrote about defining your ideal customer – and this is the most important bit. Once you have your ideal customer defined, you can then plug this into adwords – for EACH AND EVERY advert group you run, set the restrictions as much as possible on things like view times (mine run Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), location, language etc.
Other things I recommend when using Adwords are:
- Use Adword rotation – don’t just have one ad per group – have 3 or 4 to rotate, turn off the google optimisation of placement (where it only uses the best), use them all, see which is the worst performing, then change the words to make it more attractive.
- Change the bid amounts to be lower than the suggested average Price Per Click (PPC) – you will still get exposure and clicks, but for less money.
- Turn off (in the settings) under Networks the Search Partners – stick to the main Google Search. Also, change the Display Network option to Relevant pages only on the locations you manage (so google takes account of your previous location/language settings)
- When you get an enquiry from your call to action on your web page – follow it up as soon as possible. Whoever tries to contact you, they will also be contacting other companies so you want to be the first to respond.
- If you have never set up Google Adwords before, get a book on how to do it properly (or sub-contract the set up).
- Keep control of your costs. If you link your Adwords into an online accounting system (such as the fabulous FreeAgent), your costs will be imported for you and will detailed in the accounting analysis.
- If you run Google Analytics, link the Adwords to Analytics (in the Analytics site) – this will then provide further information on which search terms and adverts are working best, bounce rates per advert etc. All of this can be used to refine your adverts and improve the return on investment.
I was speaking to a marketing bod a few days ago (a very clever chap who knows how to sell anything to anybody, and is so busy with new clients that it makes my head spin) and we started talking about Adwords. His number one trick which he advised all his clients was to use rotation – to never be content on any part of the system, but to always change and look for something better.
Take for instance the adword text (the 2 lines of short text which appears on all those nice adword listings at the top of Google searches). He advised that once you found a set of words which gave a good click percentage, to use that as a baseline and try other phrases and adverts until you found something better. Its good advice which I have heard before, and have taken to heart with my own adword campaign.
But he continued…. Why stop at adwords? Why not try different web page layouts, or ‘click me’ buttons on your web products, or fonts in your brochures, or even methods of working. If something works, that’s great, but why not try a small adjustment and see if it works even better. If it does, that’s your new baseline. If it fails, go back to the original and try something new.
Of course, the secret is in measuring the impact of the changes, and making one change at a time with a few guinea pig test subjects. But with tools like Google analytics for monitoring web traffic and actions, or simple spreadsheets to monitor what was changed and the impact, it makes everything an experiment in improvement.
So his question to me, and the question I repeat to you, is what can you rotate to improve?
Adwords can be a powerful tool in a small business marketing arsenal. Rather than spending time, money and effort throwing your message out on the hope that it hits somebody’s view at the right time, just as they are looking and thinking about a project which you can help with, Adwords is there when they are searching.
But it does not make sense for every company. If you are selling small value items or services, spending £9 to £10 for a click when your item is only worth £100 or so is a waste. Yes, you will get clicks, but with around 1% (typical) of views to clicks, and then a click to order ratio (depending on your web site) around 7%, each sale may cost you £50 to £70.
However, if you are selling a service, and an expensive service which may run into a few thousand pounds, Adwords may be very effective and a relatively cheap way of pull in clients. For me and my company, a project can typically be worth £5,000 or more, so spending £500 on adwords per sale makes sense – minimal work for maximum return.
As I have previously said, adwords can be tricky and you have to watch the stats and the budgets (which Google is happy to ignore). However, its part of my marketing system and I am using it today for my target audience.