Advertising on Google AdWords can give eCommerce businesses a massive ROI. Get it wrong though, and it’s money down the drain – how can you make sure you’re maxing the platform’s pluses?
Setting up and maintaining a successful AdWords campaign takes more time than you might imagine, and a fair amount of strategy too. Be under no illusion, paid search is expensive – in some verticals more than others. And it certainly doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels when it comes to organic search. But with careful design, and regular analysis, it can help eCommerce businesses drive up sales, by reaching the right customers, specifically searching for what they sell.
Always, always number one – put simply, without doing thorough research from the beginning, you’ll be wasting money. Around half a day at least should be allocated before putting together each campaign for research alone.
Your research tasks include:
- Think about your target audience for this specific campaign – know what they want, where they are and the language they’d use – hopefully you’ll have some Customer Personas to work from – review these, and refine for better targeting
- You need to do your keyword research at the beginning of the campaign and continually throughout. This means brainstorming all the words people might search for when looking for your product – a go-to first step is to look at the ads of your competitors
- Don’t stop researching – for however long your campaign lasts, research relating to it needs to be part of your working schedule. Make sure you link your account with Google Analytics to help you keep a close eye on the insights that’ll inform any tweaks and changes
- User the google Keyword Planner tool, it acts like a thesaurus. You enter in the phrase or word your customer might be searching, and Google suggests other relevant similar ones.
#2 A landing page that hits the spot.
Crucially, Google loves relevance, and so will rank your ad higher if it’s relevant to the landing page it sends users to. That’s why you really need to do a landing page specific for your campaign, your homepage is far less likely to see you reach one of the top-spots. Make your landing page as relevant to your keywords and ad as possible and your quality score will soar – your ranking will follow.
When building a landing page:
- It’s worth getting a professional eye (and hand) on this, this might be the first glimpse into your brand a customer gets
- Make it easy for customers to see how they’d contact you via the landing page
- Have a responsive design – around half of users will find you on a mobile device
- Be specific, e.g. if your campaign is about a certain bike brand, don’t take them to a general bike page
- Make it speedy – it’s not new news, but slow loading of pages means one thing – users going elsewhere
#3. Use Negative Keywords.
There’s absolutely no reason for not using negative keywords – it’s a far too often overlooked tool, and it’ll definitely help you save money. For instance, you sell high quality women’s running shoes, only women’s, and most brands but not Nike or Asics, your negative keywords might include:
Fail to include negative keywords and your ROI will take a hit, as you’ll be wasting money on visitors who aren’t looking for your products. Start by adding the obvious (for instance ‘free’ or ‘giveaway’ are the most commonly needed), then constantly review under ‘Search terms’ what people have searched for that have led them to you – if you come across anything you don’t sell or represent, add it!
#4. The Ad Itself.
Don’t forget, you only pay when people click on your ad, so it has two main jobs:
- To attract people who are seriously looking to buy exactly what you sell
- To put people off who are looking for something else (and this is just as important for profit, but massively overlooked)
Your ad needs to be enticing, so that it results in a high click-through rate (CTR) which in turn boosts your AdWords Quality Score, lowering the cost per click of your keywords. So good ads, mean more (and cheaper) clicks.
When writing your ad, remember:
- The most important part of your ad is your headline. Because if this doesn’t grab your reader, it’s the only bit they’ll read. You’re allowed 25 characters here, so make each and every one count, and try to include your keyword/s. One tip is to think of your user’s end goal – for instance, if it’s an exercise tool, say “Get fit faster”, rather than “buy our …..”
- Keep them current. Let your users know your ads are for right now by, e.g. stating: An offer for February etc…. Changing an ad is easy, keep tweaking all the time.
- Be personal. In marketing the best word is the customer’s name, the second best is “you” – speak directly to them to make your copy resonate
- Test. (Again and again). When you’re testing different variations, make sure you’re specific, so that you know exactly what is (and isn’t) having an impact. So, you might change whether you have ad extensions, which keywords you use, your headline and so on. Then remember to reflect on your data, and react to what you find.
#5. Don’t relax.
A campaign is never complete as such, when you launch it’s on its first draft. Add and delete keywords, optimise ad copy, and play with your bids and budgets. Review your landing page if it’s not seeing the conversions you’d like it to, and make it a part of your weekly diary to see how your campaigns are relating to sales.
At the very least, make sure:
- Your quality score is more than 3 or 4. If not, you need to play around with keywords and relevance
- You keep on top of what competitors are doing ad-wise, and how you’re ranking against them
- Use Analytics frequently, it’ll help you keep on top of changes, as well as get you knowing your demographic better.