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How to Use Adwords For Your Business

AdWords has been around for quite some time at this point and for good reason. Each year, Google’s revenue is primarily made up from businesses advertising via AdWords, about 90%!  At this point, I’m going to assume you already know what AdWords is (if you don’t, here you go!)  and that you’ve already decided to invest some money into on-line advertising. . You can go deep, deep down the rabbit hole of AdWords with re-marketing campaigns, modifying bidding on devices, location targeting, ad scheduling and so on and so forth but here I’ve tried to provide a broad view of how your business can generate new business with AdWords.

1. Determine what you are going to advertise

This kind of goes without saying but it’s still important. If it’s the middle of winter, you’re probably not going to want to setup an AdWords campaign to sell swim suits. Unless you’re target market is a bunch of mad men and women who thoroughly enjoy polar bear swimming which leads me to my next point.

2. Who is your target market?

As a business owner, we assume you already know who your customers are but if you’re looking to expand into a new market then this is important. With different markets comes different messaging in ads & landing pages. You want to create ads and landing pages that are going to be most relevant to your market and knowing that market is essential.

3. What’s your goal?

We commonly ask our clients “What are your metrics for success?” It’s important to know this going into Google AdWords because if you don’t have a goal, how do you know if it’s working? A goal can be as simple as drive traffic to your website, have people pick up the phone, sign up for your newsletter, or purchase items on your site.

4. What kind of budget do you have?

This is pretty important going into any type of campaign. We’ve seen budgets as low as $250/month all the way up to $30,000+/month,and there are businesses out there that spend far more than that. There are a couple of ways to determine your budget. The easiest way is to determine the amount of profit you make on each individual product. If you sell a pair of swim shorts for $100 and your profit margin is $60, then you can spend up to $60 per swim shorts sold before you begin to lose money. If you expect to sell 10 swim shorts per month, then your monthly budget could be up to $600. If you’re in the service industry and are looking to obtain clients, then you need to calculate your lifetime value of a client. This is a slightly more complex calculation and you might want to talk to your accountant (like yours truly who started his career in accounting) or math wiz employee about this to determine an accurate budget.

5. Research! Research & More RESEARCH!

With AdWords having been around for so long, chances are your competitors are already invested in the platform. There are lot of tools out there that allow you to “Spy” on your competitors. You can look into what they’re spending, the type of keywords they’re targeting, the type of ads they’re running and more. This gives you some insight as to what could work and how you can do it better.

6. Build your campaign & launch it!

Once you’ve done your very, very thorough research it’s time to build! Set up your AdWords account properly from bidding strategy, networks to advertise, location, campaign structure, creating emotional ad text, creating audience lists, adding in re-marketing tags, keyword match types, landing page creation, conversion tracking, extensions and so much more. We use a checklist to make sure we’ve implemented all the necessary tools and best practices and recommend you do the same. Each one of these areas is important to the success of your AdWords campaign and is essential to helping your ads stand out from the competition. I could go in depth about each one of these but there are plenty of resources on the web that can help you read more about each one of these, but Google is a good place to start.

7. Add Negative Keywords

A negative keyword allows you to add keywords to your campaign that you DON’T want your ads to show up for. A great example of this is let’s say you’re selling swimsuits.  You have “swimsuits” as a keyword in your campaign but you only sell “Hawaiian swimsuits”. If someone searches for “Hawaiian swimsuits,” your ad will be triggered based on your keyword “swimsuits” but it will also show up for someone who searches for “Brazilian swimsuits”. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure we don’t have nearly enough sunny days, let alone warm sunny days out here in Seattle for us all to work on our Brazilian tan line. So by adding “Brazilian” to your list of negative keywords you won’t waste your budget by showing up for searches that are irrelevant to your business. The amount of negative keywords that your campaign should or will have is highly dependent on what type of match types you are using for your keywords. If you’re using broad match keywords, you’ll likely have a ton of negatives and keep needing to add negatives whereas if you’re using exact match keywords, you’ll likely have very few, if any.

8. Optimize your campaign

Over time you’ll begin to see trends in your campaign. You’ll be able to determine what time of day people are clicking on your ads, which ads are performing best, what locations are driving the most clicks, which keywords are triggering your ads, what people are actually searching for and, more importantly, what keywords are generating business for you. This can take anywhere from 1-3 months to get a really good feel for your campaign but it never hurts to jump into your AdWords account and take a peek at how things are progressing every week or even every days. Or if you’re kind of obsessed with AdWords like myself, every few hours. But that’s not always good for your health. When I’m optimizing a campaign, , the first thing I look for are keywords and actual search terms people are using to see if they are achieving the goals that were set prior to launch. I eliminate the keywords that aren’t and optimize the ones that are by modifying the match types, bidding & adding in user search queries if necessary. This is a great use of your budget as you’re now spending dollars you know are going to generate new business. I also like to combine AdWords with Google Analytics to review bounce rates of the landing pages. This can help you determine any changes that are necessary to the landing page or just plain old eliminating keywords that may appear to be performing in AdWords but really aren’t. There’s plenty to do here but I look at devices, quality score, click through rates, ad positioning, location performance, and long tail keywords before moving on to other areas.

9. Ongoing monitoring

Always. Always check into your account and see how your ads are performing.  At the very least, you should be A/B testing. Additionally, your competitors could change their bidding strategy, the seasons could change, your product could become obsolete or maybe you did such an awesome job of setting up your account that you’ve crushed your AdWords campaign and now everyone in your city now has your product and you need to expand! You may may also realize that you need to begin re-marketing to people clicking on your ads or you may realize that AdWords just isn’t for you business and it’s time to pull the plug. The list goes on and on and on…..

Final thoughts

This again is a very broad overview of how to use AdWords to generate new business. There are so many finite details that go into creating  & monitoring an AdWords campaign and each one of them helps improve click through rates, differentiating from your competition and displaying your unique message as a business. However, if you put in the time and effort, you can turn your campaign into a success and see great return on investment.