Continuing on from my last article ‘Internet Marketing For Small Business – Part 1 of 5 Steps to Succeeding With Google AdWords”, here are the final steps to ensuring a successful Google AdWords Campaign.
2. Understanding Quality Score:
Once you have added your keywords, Google will tell you your quality score. Its important that you have a good to great quality score in your keywords (usually rated out of 10), if you get a poor or OK quality score, it means you have done something wrong. It could be that you are bidding on the wrong keywords, that your landing page is not specific enough for those keywords or Google does not think your ad is related to your keywords or that the page you are sending people does not have those keywords in it.
The quality score will be determined from a number of things:
- You need to have a high CTR: A high quality score must be over 1% and this will also depend on how your ads are showing up. If your ad is appearing on the 2nd or 3rd page, then this will mean your quality score is lower but if you are in the top 5 or 6 positions, your CTR should be over 1%. Therefore you need to work on getting that CTR as high as you with a baseline of 1% as the CTR. You should always get a CTR of over 1%, even as high as 15% and the way you get a high CTR is by testing. You write 2 different ads and see which ones performs better. Usually after 30 to a 100 clicks, you pick the ad that gets a higher click rate and write a variation on it. You then go on and write another ad that is different to that one and see which one performs better again (beating the control). When you have found a theme that performs very well, you can tweak your ads by adding a question mark, quotations around it, switch the descriptions lines or even change your url. You can do any of these things to tweak your ad so that you can get a higher CTR, thus a higher quality score.
- Its Not A Bidding War….Most people when starting out with Google AdWords usually say “I want to be in the top position, at number 1 and I am willing to pay more than anyone else to be there”. This is the wrong way to go about it. It should not be a bidding war, it should be a fight over who is the better advertiser, that is what Google really wants. Google wants you to write an ad that gets the highest CTR so that they make more money ie. the more clicks, the more money you pay them. So if you can write a better ad than your competitors, Google will be very willing to reward you for that. They reward you by charging you less per click and putting you in a higher position on the page. Lets say your ad gets a 2% CTR and your competitor gets a 1% CTR, it probably means you are going to pay half as much per click and be ranked higher than your competitor because Google will know the user is having a better searching experience. Hence you should always have two ads running and check which ad is performing better. If one is performing badly, pause it, write a better ad and see if you can beat your better performing ad.
AdWords is probably the best system for tracking that exists. It is very easy with Google AdWords to set up your keywords and track how well they are performing ( i.e. by making you money). What is most important is to track whether the clicks are making you sales or converting into leads or sales. If your clicks are not converting, you are obviously just wasting money so it is very important that you track down at a keyword level which ones are making money for you. This is called keyword conversion tracking and there are a couple ways of doing it. The best way is to have Google do it for you. Google has some keyword conversion tracking code which they will allow you put it on your thank you or finished page and they will let you track a sale or a conversion.
The other way you can track conversions is by assigning a specific URL to every keyword (help can be found at the Google AdWords Tutorial). The better you understand how to track conversions, the better your results will be with AdWords. You will find that as you get more clicks on your campaign and by tracking everything, different keywords will perform very differently even though they may seem very similar. For example ‘dog training’ maybe very different to ‘train my dog’, you may find that one of them may convert much higher than the other one.
On another level, you can track conversions through the success of your ad campaigns. Some ads may perform better than other ads, for example one ad may have a price and the other may not, this means anyone that clicks on the ad with a price knows that they have to buy something when they go to that page – that ad will convert at a higher percentage than if you did not have the price on the ad. It will probably have a much lower CTR but also a higher conversion rate. This is really something that needs to be tested on every campaign to see if you are getting a return on investment because in the end the goal is to make the greatest amount of money. Track everything!
Over the years bidding has changed, it use to be bid low and then raise your bid and to see what the lowest point was. That is probably not the wisest thing to do anymore – at least not right now. Right now what I suggest is start by bidding high, what this does is allow you to get a good position on AdWords and a good CTR. As you establish the CTR, Google will recognize that you are a good advertiser and then you can lower your bid everyday to what Google is actually charging you (whilst maintaining your high CTR). What you need to figure out is whether you are getting a good returns for the money you are actually spending so if you are spending a $1 and getting $2 back – you know its worth continuing the campaign.
5. Last words:
Please don’t get emotional attached to a keyword because you ‘like’ the keyword or believe it should work. Do not expect to learn everything upfront and then go implementing a Google AdWords campaign effectively. If you have your own full time business and love what you are doing – then get a professional in to run your own PPC campaigns.