Google AdWords: Effectiveness Tips

by PMA

Google AdWords

Google AdWords: More Effective Search Marketing

Google AdWords is a very powerful advertising tool, when used with great care and precision. Using it effectively can be very rewarding.

If you’ve never used Google AdWords or are just beginning to get to grips with it, this article is for you.


Although Google AdWords is one business ‘tool’, it is best viewed as two separate activities for very different promotional objectives: Display Advertising and Search Advertising.

Google AdWords: Display

If your product needs continuous share of voice in order to remind people of it’s availability or to influence brand choice, then a Display Ad might be worth considering.

If you want a specific target audience in huge numbers to be aware of your brand positioning or proposition to create familiarity to support other promotional tactics you might consider Display ads.

A ‘Display Ad’ is like a ‘digital poster’ on a website, and it can provide some great efficiencies in ‘cost per thousand’ (CPM) delivery of your message.

Google AdWords: Search

If your product or service is ‘necessary’ but brands are unfamiliar or infrequently purchased, then the target audience may search for a solution to find what they need.

Search Advertising provides an advertiser the opportunity of an advert ‘served’ as a result of a member of the target audience completing a search query i.e. ‘Googling it’.

Search Advertising can be one of the most effective customer acquisition tools you can employ.

These are some really important things to think about when using Search Advertising in Google AdWords.

The list has been compiled from current best practices:

Google AdWords: Begin with the end in mind

Will the audience find what they were looking for if they click through to the web landing page you direct them to?

Sending people to a Home page to do the work for themselves is not efficient. The facts say over 60% of visitors will ‘bounce’ if they cannot find what they need right away.

Next, think ‘mobile’
If your target audience are using mobile devices in significant numbers (your analytics will tell you this), then your landing page needs to be mobile friendly.

No one wants to pinch and zoom anymore. People will just click ‘back’ and go to a competitor. However the facts say 75% will revisit a mobile friendly site.

Think quick
Speed kills they say, and nothing kills effectiveness more than a slow download. Test the landing page. If necessary reduce text, possibly use bullet points. Also optimise images if you want to make it load quickly.

Think easy
Reduce steps to convert the visitor to a lead or sale. Use short simple forms and make data entry frictionless. If relevant use ‘click to call’.

Think simplicity
Minimise the amount of scrolling required. People are using a finger or thumb to ’flick to scroll’ on their mobile devices. More than 3 flicks are too many.

Also use a clear menu hierarchy, clear back and home buttons, with 7 links or fewer. That way people will feel your intuitive user interface matches their needs.

Think local
If you want people to visit your bricks and mortar, give them the info in clicks. Make location details, maps, directions easily findable.

Google AdWords: Time to think about the advertising

Think one at a time
Keep one target consumer and one web page in mind when constructing your adverts.

Think matching
Understand the types of matches, e.g. Broad, Modified, Phrase and Exact. Each one has a specific role for certain strategies.

Broad – allows similar variations, phrases, synonyms and misspellings.
Phrase – shows your ads for searches that include the exact keyword or phrase you’ve selected, as well as some very close variations
Exact – only shows your ads for searches that include the exact keyword or phrase. Limits the amount of traffic, but is the most targeted.

The key to getting the most out of your ads is to use a variety of matches.

Think negative
Negative keywords cut down on irrelevant traffic and clicks. Use it to rule out words that contradict your major keywords and steers them away from less-than-ideal customers

Keywords that waste clicks might include locations you do not serve, or the word cheap, discount, low cost or free. Jobseekers will use ‘employment’ words so unless you want cvs add the word jobs etc. to your negative list. Same for Education and Researchers.

Keep an eye on the search terms actually used and add them if they don’t fit.

Think position
On desktop searches if you’re not averaging in the top 3 positions your click through ratio will be low. Where searchers are using mobile, you need to be in the top 2.

It is worth increasing the bid adjustment for this reason.

Think extensions
Site links, Call outs, Call, Location, App Reviews, and Structured snippets can all make a big difference to ‘relevance’ and assumed click thru ratio, so Google will rank better with them, than without.

Your Ad Rank = Bid x Quality Score (x Ad Extensions)
QS = (Relevance + Landing page) / Estimated CTR

Think structure
How you structure your keywords, ad groups and campaigns in Google AdWords make a big difference in results.

One campaign with one Ad Group and all your broad match keywords stuffed into it is not effective. Group keywords into small groups

So if you’re selling tennis equipment, you don’t want an ad group with all your tennis related keywords in it. Better is to split those keywords into ad groups for ‘tennis shoes’, ‘tennis racquets’, ‘tennis balls’, and ‘tennis clothes’.

Think copy testing
Don’t forget about your campaigns; simply rearranging some words, or making some other minor changes on an ad can make a phenomenal difference in Click Through Rate (CTR).

You need to regularly maintain, update and tweak your ads for maximum effectiveness.

Maybe test the effectiveness of different offers – “free shipping” might appeal to your target consumers more than “10% off”.

Think split testing
Set up a test between 2 landing pages to see which one performs the best.

Test 2 ads per ad group and let them all battle it out to see which one delivers the best results.

Think impression share
The number of impressions your ad received divided by the number it was eligible to receive is the share. For example, let’s say 800 people searched for the exact match term “meeting room”. You’re bidding on that keyword and got 200 Impressions. So your Impression Share would be 25%.

Think about other search engines
Don’t be reliant on Google for all your online traffic, or assume it’s always going to be affordable. New competitors are constantly entering the PPC realm..

Studies have identified that users have a higher likelihood to click your paid link if they see your organic link listed too (and vice versa). Paid links + Organic links = Click Throughs

Think about customers
Don’t mislead your audience. Make sure that each ad group is entirely relevant for the landing page you’re directing them to and it’s only being displayed for relevant queries.
Your ads need to be entirely accurate for the landing page advertised. Your top targeted keywords should be used in the content included on that landing page and in the ads text.

Think conversion tracking
Setting up conversion tracking is useful. Without adequate tracking in place it is difficult to measure or adjust successful keywords or adverts.

Being able to see what keywords are linked to a sale or a lead is important in optimising your account.

Think about more than one metric
When optimising your Google AdWords Ad Copy it can be dangerous to look at only one of the key measures:

    • Impressions
    • Impression Share
    • Position
    • Click Thru Ratio (CTR)
    • Clicks
    • Cost Per Click
    • Conversions
    • Conversion Rate
    • Cost Per Conversion
              Avg. Conversion Value

If you only look at CTR, then you will focus on the ads that draw in a lot of clicks. But ads that have the highest CTR don’t necessarily have the best conversion rates, nor they the best cost per conversion.

You need to take all the main measures into account and get a great balance between high click volume, high CTR and conversions at a profitable cost per conversion.

Think relevance
Google AdWords is all about relevance. CTR is the key metric that determines whether or not your Google AdWords Ads are relevant.

Maximising your relevance has several advantages: Lower CPC, Higher CTR – a Higher position for a lower price

Think call to action
The Call To Action is a term that is common in any advertising, and it is just as relevant in Google AdWords. It is your instruction of the next step you require the viewer to make.

Popular Call-To-Actions in Google AdWords ads are:

    • Call Today
    • Order Now
    • Get A Free Estimate
    • Book Your Trip
             Contact Us Today

Adding a Call To Action tells the person what they’ll find on your website. If the visitor is looking to Order Online, then they won’t be likely to click Call Now.

Think beyond longtail
A ‘longtail’ is a search query including many words that will reduce the likely popularity of the search, and therefore lower the required bid to be seen.

Longtail keywords can be effective and creating a lot of adverts to attract the longtail searches can be a productive strategy, however with Google AdWords you can afford to think wider.

Using phrase match or broad match modified keywords you’ll be able to uncover the longtail keywords and more.

Think one keyword one ad group
Professional Google Adwords practitioners tout the ‘you can only have one ad group for each keyword’.

However, just because they say this, it doesn’t mean that it’s right for all situations.

The one keyword, one ad group approach is very nice in theory. In practice however, this approach turns out to be very time-consuming and depending on how big your account and return is, the ROI on your time spent might not be worth it.

Think locations rather than radius
When you’re using Google AdWords to cover a little location it can be tempting to set a radius of 20 kilometres from your company address.

Hover, the radius feature is not as accurate as selecting locations.

Think shopping campaigns
If you have an eCommerce shop the most effective ways to showcase the products is to show your products along with a brief description and price on Google Search Results.

The biggest difference from a regular Search campaign is that you don’t use keywords, but you do need to upload the products you want to advertise to the Google Merchant Centre.

Yes, that’s a lot to ‘think’ about.