Adwords. A double-edged “advertising software” opening doors and frustrating DIY marketers with its endless updates, changes and idiosyncrasies. Business owners frequently abandon self-started online ventures for a myriad of reasons; time doesn’t run freely, and the attention Adwords demands from would-be success stories seems like an entire department in itself. The failure to run a thriving campaign is not a short-coming of the system, but a disconnect between business owners who underestimate nimble subtleties of Google’s answer to old-school billboards.
How do you avoid falling into these same traps, as you traverse the shady world of “pay-per-click”, display and re-marketing? Learn from the following three mistakes, save a bucket load of stress and increase ROI.
Know Your Competition
Advertisers commonly rely on an underwhelming WOW factor or quick gimmicks to attract online customers. It’s easier to incentivise than run an on-going analysis of your competitors and while it isn’t politically correct to refer to your competitors as your enemy, the philosophies of Sun Tzu are relevant outside the lecture theatre. Draw up a database of top performing text ads refined to your top five keywords – what commonalities are leading them to trump you and replace your business in the 1,2,3 stakes? Don’t plagiarise, but draw inspiration from their tactics. Remember, landing pages form an integral part of a good formula. Keep it relevant.
Are You Irrelevant?
Click through rate; the bread and butter of the Adwords campaign and the most basic measure of relevancy health. A high CTR is symptomatic of a well targeted text ad; if your numbers are floundering, you need to review the conversation you’re trying to have with potential customers or clients. Make sure your ad includes top performing keywords within your niche, land visitors on targeted pages and don’t drown the ad in too many keywords – after all, you want to seduce audiences, not chase them away with money-grabbing.
The Mysteries of Ad-Writing
You’ll see a variety of styles and phraseologies on the internet, bribing, targeting or presenting as oblivious – a kind of just-the-facts gimmick that works for some verticals. Striking a balance between fresh, brief content and tried best practices to appease Google is fraught with difficulties. Again, your competitors serve as a reasonable indication as to what works and what doesn’t in a specific area of your vertical. Integrate the best ideas into a reviewed strategy and don’t forget to include a call to action beyond the typical Call Now. Instead, feature cheap or free shipping rates, a company guarantee or a specialist success rate. The goal of ad text is to draw people in and convert their interest into possible sales or contracts.
Of course, these are common mistakes of every advertiser. If you fail, accept that failure and move past those expectations; instead of shutting down your Adwords account, review current campaign setup and be honest about the conversion DNA of keywords, text ads, landing pages and site information. A little soul-searching will reveal a way forward or at least a route past your previous obstacles.
This post was written by Jessica Hannah, who is a member of the team at Search Factory, an online marketing agency based in Brisbane, Australia.