9 Points Consider Before Even Spending Anything With Google Adwords

Getting Adwords right isn’t that difficult even though there are so many options inside the interface. In actual fact, it is more important to look at some of the the more complex factors that will influence the impact of your campaign well before getting started inside Adwords. Let’s take a look at those important ingredients that will make for the best recipe. You can get help right away inside Adwords with some of the issues that we'll cover (actually, you'll be given options all the time), but for the most part, it is much better to be well aware of what is going on well before jumping into creating a campaign.

Some of these concepts could be new to you. Some of what you’ll read here may seem to conflict too. It’s rare to see someone that’s spending in Adwords that doesn’t want to feel they have the “gist” of it, even if they are paying an agency to handle the work for them because Adwords itself isn't difficult to manipulate and spend with.

1. Customer Demand / Search Terminology

This is the first issue to consider. If potential customers are not searching with decent volumes for your type of product or service through Google, then Adwords might not be the best way to spend your budget. As for the clients we work with, it’s all about the products and ecommerce. Keyword Planner is the tool most commonly used look at search volumes inside Adwords (the search volumes of Google Search) - that's to say a number of times particular "keywords" have been searched on average per month. There are other tools outside of Keyword Planner that provide additional information too.

Another way to look at it is, a way to find out how real people are searching for your products or service online in general. I know this sounds hard to believe but it is quite common for business owners to know their products but not know the terms that people use to when looking for that type of product or service. I've experienced this many times with numerous clients over the years. It's also a great way to get a look a first look at what is going on.

2. Know Your Competitors

In just about every industry, there is someone before us who does a similar business and has been working Adwords for some time. There are plenty of tools to show us what others are doing. KeywordSpy and Ahrefs give a lot of historical information on what and how others are using Adwords. You will be able to learn a lot from doing your research. This is something to spend a good amount of time on well before getting into your own campaigns. If something is working for someone else, you know it can work for you too. Alternatively, you may want to avoid the cost of competition over keywords (higher CPC) and look for alternative context that your competitors are not going after that will work for you.

3. Affordable Cost Per Clicks

To have a total budget is one thing, but getting that to turn a profit with Adwords is easier said than done. Generally speaking, Adwords is all about paying for clicks on your adverts. In most cases, advertisers choose to pay per click but here is the option to pay per thousand displays (known as impressions). If you’re just getting started in Adwords, it more than likely that you don’t know how much revenue you will make as a result of paying for those clicks through to your website.

If you know how often a click will turn into a sale, it’s easier to judge how much you can afford to bid for your ads. If you don’t know your conversion rates, you’ll have to make a guesstimate based on how many visitors you get and how many of them actually buy.

This is a good basic conversion rate to start with. You’ll gather more accurate data pretty quickly. If the total your Adwords clicks is costing more than the profits from the sales you make, then Search Network advertising is not going to be so hot. We often see that CPC rates are comparatively high for products that don’t cost much. It’s definitely not like you will get cheaper rates because you are selling products that are under $30. Don’t be dismayed, there are still options.

4. Having a Powerful Offer

Having a powerful offer can also help you to avoid competing on price alone. It’s time to sit down with pen and paper and write down the reasons why potential customers should choose you. Focus on your core strengths and look for holes in your competition. Your USPs and your powerful offers will set you apart from your competitors and what else you already, offer and it doesn’t hurt to put some effort into thinking about what else you can add to your offer better utilising your current resources.

5. Compelling Adwords Adverts

This is much more difficult than it sounds because as we look at the network options and what they are good for, you are still faced with the hurdle of making that character space or visual real estate effective. You need good adverts.

For Search Network adverts, there are a very limited number of characters spaces available and they are broken up into segments. This is something to practice. Know that you have 30 characters including spaces on the first line, which is then broken by a dash, followed by another 30 characters including spaces. Below that, you have 80 characters including spaces called the “Description”. Take a look at other adverts and see what appeals to you and how they have taken advantage of that limited space (read: made the best of a nasty format that doesn’t really help anyone).

There are other extended options that can be added later. It’s best to start practising with the basic advert layout first. You can also set a display path to help communicate the importance of your advert. They are called “Headline 1” and “Headline 2” but they are far from it. That nasty dash between them makes a right mess of what could be a good sentence. Adwords gives you an example when you’re creating your ads to help.

You don’t need to be inside Adwords to practice writing these either. The actual display will vary depending on device - another thing to look at. What is important is how you make use of limited character space and having dashes jammed between your headlines. These types of adverts are displayed on the Search Network and to an extent on the Display Network (you can opt-in).

6. Know the Google Network Offers a Few Options

Advertising with Google isn’t limited to search results. We’ve focused on this up until now because it’s a great place to start and is the considered the best option for those new to Adwords. We’ve been mostly focused on search results and working with Adwords through Search Campaigns that display on the Search Network (which includes other Google sites).

You might find there are loads of potential customers searching for what you are selling, the CPC is very low and the market is wide open. In many cases, even when there are a number of competitors, there is still ample search volume for everyone to do well, even if they are competing for a little more of the pie. We do often find that some products in an ecommerce site have been undervalued by clients. The key to making Search Network campaigns and adverts work is to be careful and frugal so you can adjust and grow.

Now, most introductions to Adwords I’ve read tend to solely focus on Search Campaigns but I think it’s worth being aware there’s more to come ahead of time.

So what other options do you have? If you’re selling products you can’t ignore Shopping Campaigns. There’s a little more setting up to do but anyone selling products should go through the process. You’ll sign up with the Merchant Centre and then you can run Shopping Campaigns. Shopping ads display more than just the text of Search Campaign ads. They include a picture of your product. These results are closely associated with location and target market.

In our experience, the cost is very low and the conversions are great because they are designed to display to those who are looking for specific products and more likely to be at the buying stage (they can also display on the Search Network and Display Network). Simply put, the technical effort is a must.

The next major type of advertising option is through the Display Network. That’s all those adverts you see inside other websites. Your adverts display based on your keyword choices and the context of the site. The Display Network lets you release a few types of adverts, including text, banner, multimedia and even mobile app adverts.

It’s a little more complicated but is very useful when you need to create awareness because your adverts appear inside relevant content, and most of the websites that display Display Network adverts are purely content sites or non-ecommerce sites, such as review sites or professional advice blogs and magazines. It doesn’t make sense to own an ecommerce site and have other competitor Display Network ads displaying now, does it? Display Network advertising is a little more technical to set up and you still need to make great adverts in different formats and the options that you can apply are a little more sophisticated, such as remarketing (retargeting). You’ve probably seen those types of ads too - they often follow you around because you’ve visited a website. There’s more, but that’s enough on this point.

7. Conversion Tracking

You’ll need to get some help from your web developer to setup conversion tracking in most cases. There are many types of conversions you can track but the clearest for ecommerce websites is the amount of money spent on your site by that particular visitor after clicking an advert. Just know, this will really help you know right away if your ads are generating sales and how much they are really generating for you. You’ll absolutely love it, and let’s face it, it’s all about the money.

8. Landing Pages

While this is getting near the last on this list, it’s something that needs to be prepared well before you create ads to point to particular pages. Even if you are pointing to specific products, you want to make sure those product pages are written well. It’s a common mistake for beginners to send all their ads to their website homepage. If that doesn’t match with what the actual ad was about, you’ll have visitors really scratching their heads. Ads that are targeting specific keywords that match your advert content and the page content those ads point to will always do best.

When we say “landing pages”, that also means your product pages too. Adwords adverts perform better when the page has the appropriate content. It’s pretty simple to understand why: Google Adwords (and Google Search) can associate them better with what people are looking for. In short, it’s a good idea to have your site well organised and with the appropriate content. Adwords (and Search) catch onto this pretty fast and don’t display your adverts well if that's not the case.

9. More Than Just Keywords

This is the hidden factor that’s mixed up the world of Google-related online marketing over the last couple of years. Google has brought it on slow and smooth. Google is getting way better at giving a personalised experience as it gathers information on and related to the online behaviour of each individual user. Google has been around a while now and they’re big on moving away from strict keyword associations and even bigger on giving results (and displaying adverts) to suit each individual. The rate that Google is getting better at doing this is on the increase too, to the point of using mountains of data to predict each user’s needs and wants and that time, whether that be the time of day or the user’s (our) stage of life. When you're working on this day in and day out, you can see changes almost like watching seeds sprout.

Now that last concept might have thrown a spanner in the works. It should have because it has made everyone get a little more real about what they are doing. Digital marketing experts are racing to be the best at managing this too. For now, the best way to apply all of the above is, to be honest about your content, your advertising and who, and why, you are advertising. And also understand that your adverts are part of a bigger whole.

Google has updated (and continues to update) how all of this is best achieved. There is one thing you can be sure about, just ploughing money into Adwords is not enough and not the way to go.

Let’s Wrap Up

Okay, so there is still a long way to go into the world of Adwords. It’s better to be prepared than to charge like a bull in a china shop, and that metaphor is absolutely perfect for Adwords. Step-by-step and do it carefully. If you take a good look into points mentioned above before you spend on Adwords, you’re already on the right track.

If you would like some help, you can always get in touch with us.

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