Pamela Wagner: 3 key tips to succeeding with Google Adwords
Over 50% of searches take place on mobile, and customers are 155% more likely to search for brand-specific terms after they’ve seen an image ad. So how do you capture your potential customers in the right moments? And what does it actually take to create an ad that stands out from the rest?
In order to make sure you get the most out of this article, here are the basics you should know:
• Google AdWords is not one type of ads. It is a platform where you can create different types of ad campaigns, including Search, Display, Shopping, YouTube, and App ads.
• Within the campaign, you have various targeting options: keywords, remarketing (=retargeting), topics, email lists (=customer match), affinity, etc.
• You set a daily budget for your campaign. The budget may be exceeded by up to 40% in a single day, but the system will make sure you never spend more than 30.4x your daily budget in any given month, to prevent you from overspending.
• You only pay when somebody clicks on the ad (Search, App, Shopping, Display) or views the ad for a certain amount of time (YouTube, Display).
• Google Analytics is free and by far the most sophisticated tracking platform available for any marketing channel. (This is debatable, but let’s consider it as a given for the sake of this article.)
While anybody can create an AdWords account and create campaigns for free, the platform certainly isn’t for everybody. Through the course of my work, I’ve seen a few key metrics repeat over and over again with the most successful clients. They all tend to have similar basic requirements fulfilled and already invested in. And while we could take a deep dive here into how AdWords really works, I’ve seen that most of the work is done before – on the invisible part of the iceberg. So, let’s dive right into it.
1) Every second counts
Have you ever checked the speed and performance of your homepage? Don’t worry, you don’t need to know how to code or be a ‘techie’. Use the Google Page Speed Insights Tool to see where you can improve. The two most common ways to increase the speed and performance of a homepage are to reduce the size of your images and provide a good mobile experience. This means easy-to-navigate content and at least one call-to-action ‘above the fold’—meaning it is visible without scrolling on the page. Also, note that slideshows generally decrease the performance of a mobile site and are better left out.
Every second a page takes to load reduces the conversion rate by 20%. Do you really want to lose out on 20% of your potential revenue from AdWords?
2) Capture those leads
It’s great that you want to invest some money in AdWords. But do you really know what to do with all the new leads coming in? Are you ready to handle them? Do you have the right business model set up?
I once led a workshop on remarketing, where somebody asked me if it would be advisable to spend €1,000 per month on AdWords for a business making only €30,000 a year. It is possible, but you’re probably not yet at the stage where you should use AdWords. Ideally, you want a business model that allows you to create a solid base and grow your revenue to a certain level without using AdWords. If your hourly rate is €60 but you spend €55 to acquire a new customer, the money spent on AdWords might be better spent investing in a course on selling yourself, or product improvement.
There are various ways of capturing leads on homepages—whether it’s encouraging people to sign up for your newsletter, register for a course, purchase a product, or simply view a video. Define what makes a conversion and what action is of value to your business, and invest in that first, before you spend money on ads. Ads alone never make a sale.
3) Spend money to make money
One of the questions I get asked most is how much money you should start off with. What’s a ‘good’ amount? My answer (hint: you won’t like it): it depends.
Consider the following questions:
a) How much money can you afford to lose over three months? That sounds a bit rough, but in advertising, you won’t always get it right on the first try. There are many metrics you can’t influence, and you’ll need to run tests to find out what works and what doesn’t.
b) How many customers did you acquire in the last quarter, and how many would you like to gain in the next? The same question can be asked about revenue.
c) What’s the percentage of users converting on your homepage (i.e. taking the desired action which is of value to your business)? Let’s say you have a 1% conversion rate on your homepage, which means that 1 out of a 100 visitors takes the desired action (e.g. purchases something from you). Let’s also assume a click costs $2. If you have a monthly budget of $2000, you’d receive 1000 clicks on your homepage. With a conversion rate of 1%, 10 of those will end up becoming your customers. In order for your advertising efforts to be profitable and scalable, they should spend more on your products than you spend on ads.
Of course, there is a great deal more involved in a successful ad campaign; but once you have a handle on the basics outlined above, you’ll be well on your way. For more support on all matters Google Ads, check out Pamela’s website. Alternatively, if you want to know more about how to grow your company successfully with Google Ads, watch her latest free training.
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Written by Hult alumna Pamela Wagner, a former Googler turned paid ad specialist. In 2017, Pamela’s success in supporting advertisers achieve growth landed her in the Forbes’ 30 under 30 listing and has since been featured in several publications such as ABC News, Yahoo, and the Washington Times to name a few. A lover of languages, Pamela has traveled to over 60 counties and has a strong appetite for continuous learning and development.
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