Tips to Market on a Budget with Google AdWords
Stay focused in your campaigns:
The key to advertising with a small budget is to narrow your campaigns and be as targeted as possible. Targeted campaigns will limit views so smaller online audiences will see your ads and eventually make purchases. However, ads will be shown to those who are most likely to convert from prospects to actual customers, providing the highest sales at the lowest cost. You can target geographies and demographics. You can also look at website traffic reports to determine any specific days of the week and times of the day that are sweet spots, as well as any that fail to deliver. Running ads in and around your business hours is a good way to control costs and focus budgets.
Select the right keywords:
In the AdWords paid search advertising model, you can bid on priority keywords that address your industry, business or products and services. Searches on these keywords trigger your sponsored ads to appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Instead of going for broad match keywords, you should go for matching options like: 1) "exact match", 2) "broad match modifier" where keywords appear in users' searches exactly or as close variants, 3) "phrase match" where your ads will show for searches that include exact phrases and possibly include other words and 4) "negative matches" that ensure your ads don't show for any search that includes those terms. You can try to target long-tail keywords instead of generic head terms, which are keyword phrases that are more specific and targeted. Refer to the keyword tool to find ideas and estimate traffic for existing and new keywords.
Bid for keywords wisely:
Do not go with a blanket amount while setting bids for keywords. Set the bids higher for the exact match keywords. This allows you to control the position of the ads for the exact searches. Getting into bidding wars for a handful of high-volume keywords is a waste. Instead, expand your keyword list to include more specific ones that have lower search volumes. Collectively, these keywords will reach the search volumes of more expensive keywords and you can achieve a good reach with dramatically lower CPCs (costs per click). Use keyword research tools to expand your list of keyword phrases. With the new Enhanced Campaigns options, you can also set budgets in percentage increases/decreases, which will allow you to adjust for the most profitable time periods.
Write compelling ad text:
You want your ads to have clear, compelling messages. Make sure ads include your keywords or keyword phrases. Definitive calls to action that define the purpose for clicking on ads help achieve high satisfaction levels. Businesses experience high click-through rates when benefits or distinguishing qualities are highlighted in ad copy such as nearby locations, limited-time offers or premium services, since this increases the perceived value of offers. Some examples of writing effective calls to action are:
- Change from "you" to "my" in the copy, "Start my free 30 day trial" increases the number of trial sign-ups for many advertisers.
- Calls to action that begin with "buy", "order", "click", "sign up", etc., inherently home in on what you have to sell. Coming up with alternatives that start with "get" helps you focus on answering the prospects' number one question: "what's in it for me"?
Promote most relevant content:
The single most important factor in using Google AdWords effectively is relevance. Google decides which ads are displayed and in what position based on users' maximum bids and Quality Scores. Quality Scores are determined by a number of factors:
- Relevance of ad copy
- Relevance of the ads to their corresponding landing pages
- Ads' click-through rates (CTRs)
- Historical performance of accounts
- Other relevance and performance factors
It is important to provide people what they want and expect to see when clicking on your ads and arriving on your landing pages. That's why you should not blindly point ads to your home page. Rather, you should choose landing pages on your site that include keywords from searches. Most of the time, it is worth the effort to create custom landing pages for your ads. Information shared on your web pages should be transparent and trustworthy. At the same time, ads should be easy to navigate without too many links to confuse people.
Add multi-screen targeting options:
Mobile device targeting is gaining importance for all businesses as consumers have increased internet access through this channel. Plus, mobile users searching for products and services are more likely to buy instantly. Chances are good that users searching for Chinese take-outs or car repairs on their mobile phones will place orders or call for repair services in the moment. To assist the users, AdWords has the option of providing telephone numbers so users can click and call businesses directly. Something else to keep in mind is that mobile devices are different from desktops/laptops because of the smaller screens. So if ten Google ads show up at a time on laptops, there is space for only five ads on mobile screens. Therefore, it is important to get in the top two spots on mobile devices to ensure users see your ads.
Use Offer Extensions:
A new format called Ad Extensions lets advertisers add coupons or discount offers to their Google search ads; merging special offers with search. It's a new way to engage customers by extending your ads with relevant, redeemable offers. To check whether you can take advantage of Offer Extensions, create an enhanced campaign and go to Ad Extensions > Offer Extensions. To get the best results from this feature, keep your offers exclusive. The better the deal, the more attention your offer will grab. Use Offer Extensions to track how many offers are printed out and redeemed in your store. You'll get a direct connection between the conversions and store walk-ins.
Here are the ad extensions you can use to give customers more information about your business:
- Location extensions: Help nearby consumers find or call your nearest storefront
- Call extensions: Connect users to your business directly by phone
- Sitelinks: Promote more pages within your site beyond your main ad landing page
- Social annotations: Show how many Google+ page followers your business has on your ads
- Seller ratings: Show your online business ratings in your ad
- Offer extensions: Promote in-store coupons with your online ads
You can add any or all of this extra information to your ads at no extra cost to make your campaigns more exciting for the viewers. Have you used Google AdWords to strengthen your online marketing efforts? Tell us what your experience has been with this advertising format.