Whatever your place is in the equine world, we’d hedge our bets to say that you’ve likely heard of just how effective the results can be when using Google AdWords.
You’ve perhaps been drawn by the promise of its affordability, that it could drive your potential customers to the phone, or to your website, and that, given the niche market that is equine, you could target the right people at the right time.
Some months into your AdWords campaign however, and things may feel that little bit different. If you’ve discovered AdWords to be expensive, disappointing in terms of traffic, calls or leads, or simply far too confusing to be useful, then be safe in the knowledge that you’re not alone. Here we walk you, step by step, through the process of improving your AdWords campaign.
Before we begin…
Before we take a walk through, it’s important to ensure that your website has Google Analytics installed. This will be critical when it comes to the last step (and as you may digest this guide in bite size chunks, we thought that it would be useful to mention now, rather than later).
Step One: Make sure your keyword research is on point
Even if you can’t afford, or at least don’t see the value, in entrusting an agency to handle your AdWords campaign, then it’s almost always important to have a professional undertake keyword research on your behalf. Why? Because keywords are misleadingly complex.
Common mistakes to avoid include:
- Choosing the most popular (and expensive) keywords
- Not appreciating the very specific terms your target market may be using
- Choosing keywords that are out of context (that are technically correct, but aren’t the natural language used when your ideal target visitor searches Google)
The mistakes above are just the beginning. The truth is that choosing AdWords keywords is a complex task – our best tip in this instance is to undertake as must reading-up as you can to ensure that you’re targeting the right terms (and therefore, the right people).
Step Two: Tackle any apparent issues
Here are some common problems you may notice (and how to fix them):
Low CTR – People aren’t clicking on your ads.
This may be a problem with the copy of the ad, or it may be that the ad is being served up to the wrong people.
Fix: Re-work your advert’s copy, and add negative keywords to put a halt to showing up in irrelevant searches.
Low Impressions – Your adverts are running infrequently
This issue can be related to either low search volume (e.g. not many people are searching for the terms that you’re targeting) or it may be related to your quality score being too low.
Fix: First try raising your advert bid amount, then focus on making your adverts more relevant to work on your quality score.
High Cost/Conversion – The cost of your campaign is too high compared to the conversions you’re securing
This issue is typically related to your bids being too high, and/or the visitors who are arriving are, by and large, failing to convert.
Fix: First, lower your bids to analyse what impact it may have on your campaign’s effectiveness versus results. Then attempt to create new, improved ads that better communicate your USP.
Step Three: Organise your keywords
Don’t be tempted to add your keywords to AdWords in just any old way. Take some time to group similar key terms into campaigns (this will make later analysis a whole lot easier). For example, for an equine wholesaler, the terms Equine Wholesale, Equine Wholesaler and Equine Wholesale businesses are natural terms to group together.
Step Four: Analyse Ad Performance
Ads define what the searcher will see, and also define where a visitor will go once an advert is clicked on. Ultimately your goal should be to create an advert that converts – and so keeping on top of those that don’t is paramount (running an advert for a month provides enough time to understand whether the ad is effective, after which you should choose to continue or pause each advert).
Here are the core metrics you should be considering when weighing up the effectiveness of your adverts:
- Cost/Conversion – This shows how much each clicked advert is costing you (averaged out)
- Conversions – This demonstrates how many conversions in total the advert has achieved
- Cost – The total money spent on the ad
- CTR – This shows you how often the advert has been clicked on
- Conversion Rate – This shows how many conversions, on average, the adverts achieved
- Impressions – How many times, in total, the advert has been shown
Step Five: Analyse Campaign Performance
Now for the important part – analysing the effectiveness of your campaign. This stage is critical, as without it you won’t ever move forward and progress (and drive down the amount that you spend). When looking at your campaigns, you should aim to eradicate those that are demonstrating the least effectiveness when it comes to conversions. To do this, simply rank your campaign table by cost/conversion (the lower, the better). For your best campaigns, you need to ensure that your daily budgets are more than the average daily cost. Continue tweaking each campaign with this step until your daily total budget is spread out, whilst your least effective campaigns are deleted.
Step Six: Tap into Google Analytics and Google AdWords
Google Analytics is a programme that provides impressive insight into what, exactly, your visitors are doing on your website once there. This programme is useful not only for those who use AdWords, but also for anyone who even owns a website.
This section describes the basics of Google Analytics, and doesn’t go into just how Google Analytics provides for advanced tools when it comes to AdWords (which rightly commands an entire eBook to even cover the subject briefly).
If you’re not accustomed to Google Analytics, then there are plenty of great videos online and you can access a training centre from Google. With some basic working knowledge, you can then identify and assess the following Google Analytics metrics (which are critical to ensuring that your AdWords conversions don’t go wasted).
This shows you how your visitors are being acquired, breaking it down into the following groups:
- Search Traffic: Visitors who organically found your website through non-paid Google Results
- Referral Traffic: Visitors who have landed on your website after following a link from another website
- Direct Traffic: Visitors who have typed your website address directly
- Campaigns: Visitors who have clicked through from an AdWords Ad
Keeping an eye on this breakdown can ensure that AdWords continues to be useful in your marketing strategy. If the number of visitors from AdWords is being overwhelmed by other groups, then you should take a step back and ask why.
Discover Bad Landing Pages
On the main dashboard of Google Analytics will be a list of your pages, along with various metrics. You can sort this list by clicking on any column. To discover the pages that are letting you down, sort this list by ‘Bounce Rate’ (the number of visitors who exit your website after viewing a single page) and then ‘Exit Rate’ (the percentage of visitors who land on a page and then exit). Any such pages should demand your attention, however those that are involved in your AdWords campaigns should be a clear warning sign that you may be spending money on advertising, and ultimately directing the visitor to a page that is, for whatever reason, ineffective. The question as to what may be wrong with these pages is a complex one – however you, yourself, can undertake a little investigative work by looking at your top landing pages, which we describe next.
Top landing pages
You can view your top landing pages by following Behaviour -> Site Content -> Landing Pages. Those at the top are the most viewed, and paying attention to the pages that boast the smallest bounce and exit rates, and the longest average visit duration, are the ones that you should learn from.
Couple this with then following Audience -> Users Flow. This visual overview shows you which pages are working well in terms of leading visitors onwards to other pages. Simply hover over each green section to view how many visitors move onwards, and how many exit. Those with the highest percentages in either camp should be studied meticulously for clues as to why they are either working well, or not working at all.
Need even more guidance?
The Google AdWords’ website is incredibly helpful in terms of the information and guidance that it provides. If you’re struggling with a set issue, the chances are that you’ll find your answer there.
Or, if you need expert help to ensure that you truly make effective use of Google AdWords, then we’re here for you. We can provide guidance that is completely free from pressure and obligation, or we can take your campaign goals, and run with them.
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