AdWords as backbone of paid marketing campaigns
Paid advertising became the most dominant segment of online marketing in the past few years, and Google AdWords as a marketing platform firmly established itself as a leader in the field from the day one. As a part of a giant such as Google, it is no wonder that it dominates the global online marketing scene, but the affiliation to it is not the only strong point it has. It IS the most complete and the most impactful platform there is and it constantly expands in terms of quality, complexity, and the potential to reach customers across the globe with pinpoint precision.
AdWords is lately often being linked with Google Merchant Center in order to create a highly complex campaigns that can address both issues at the same time. Still, in this article, we will focus mainly on AdWords and why it is the best platform for online marketing in global, with an accent on PPC campaigns as the most commonly used tools to reach new customers.
First of all, it is necessary to understand that this amazing tool is fully integrated with Google Analytics, and that this allows you a holistic approach to the marketing and tracking using a single set of features. It covers every single channel, including referrals, organic reach, and paid advertising. This is important to know, because investing in PPC campaigns can actually draw a lot of money, and that money might be actually wasted if you are actually competing with your own organic reach.
In order to avoid these issues, you need to look at the Google AdWords as a tool that is suitable for both free and paid advertising, although it is mainly perceived as a PPC campaign tool. The process that will make you successful in PPC advertising includes several steps:
• Organic reach analysis
• Filtering the keywords
• Picking the channel
• Defining campaign reach
• Execution and monitoring
Organic reach analysis
The most important thing to avoid doubling your investments and losing money while competing with yourself is to determine your organic reach. Of course, Google AdWords is the right tool to do this. You need to cross check all the main keywords you used in your website copy, and determine how much of an impact they provide. AdWords will help you determine the volumes of monthly searches for the keywords you were targeting, and the keywords you intend to use in your PPC campaigns.
Of course, these data are not sufficient, and you will still be in the blue when it comes to the actual impact of certain keyword in organic traffic. Thanks to the Google policies enforced back in 2011, their analytics will give you the numbers of organic hits, the sources, geographies, demographics, and all possible data, except the exact keywords which generated that traffic. This is one of the most irritating and most hindering things that you will face, but it is still not something that should discourage you and make you too nervous. It is a fact that there is no legal and efficient way to get the exact numbers, but there is a way to cross reference volumes of searches, keyword position, and total organic reach to get some idea how certain keywords are impacting the total traffic. Of course, there are certain tools such as SemRush, Alexa, Moz, or SERPs that can prove invaluable for this analysis.
Only once you are absolutely clear on majority of well performing keywords, you can proceed to the next step. This approach will eliminate that first and most dangerous peril that lurks for all of those who are not careful enough.
Filtering the keywords
After you have identified the KWS that need to be removed from the PPC campaigns, the next step includes filtering those that will be used. Of course, the volumes and the competition as well as recommended bids should be counted in, but that is far from enough.
You also need to adapt the KWS to your sales funnel, and that is not the easiest thing out there. Sometimes, even long tail keywords don’t have a high converting potential, and some much shorter ones with broad meaning can create you tons of conversions.
The only way to achieve this is to continue optimising and filtering keywords as the campaign develops. Once you launch it, you shouldn’t think of it as of a finished business, and you shall continue optimising and adjusting the approach on ongoing basis.
With regular adjustments of keyword strategy that will follow the actual direction of the search trends and the general productivity for your business, you should be able to keep everything on the highest possible level and experience some real success.
Picking the channel
Picking the right channel is not always the easiest thing when it comes to online marketing, especially when you use AdWords. With Facebook advertisements, and other social media marketing options, you are rather limited with what you can do, but Google offers three different channels for advertising, and you can easily push all three when need be. Still, in most cases, there is a substantial difference in resources needed and even more significant difference in revenue created through these means.
With the ability to use text searches, as well as image and video advertising, making the right decision simply can’t be easy. Using text searches is the basic and most commonly used approach, and it provides quite a lot of options to reach new visitors. Still, this options is stripped of visual impact, and if your business depends on things and items which have a very important visual component, text searches might prove insufficient to achieve what you aim for.
This is where the images can jump in and help a lot. Image advertising has a more direct impact, and the very image you are using should carry the main message. It is easy to combine it with handy and striking punch lines and calls to action within the images you will use, and that should give the results you are looking for. Still, there is a slight concern whether your images will possess enough persuasive power to engage the audience, turn it into visitors, and actually make conversions. Of course, optimisation is the answer in this case as well. You could hire people who have extensive experience in the field, and that should shorten the optimisation process, but by no means will it save you completely from the pains of trying and testing until you manage to filter the ads and optimise your process.
Finally, with more complex and technically demanding products, even the image advertising can prove to be somewhat insufficient. Luckily, there is a video advertising option for this issue, and it often proves to be the most effective way of marketing. Naturally, it requires a lot more resources than the previous two, as it requires actual videos. On top of that, optimisation is harder, as it is not that simple a thing to produce new videos, or several versions of it and then simply test them all in order to figure which one is the best performing one. It simply requires too much of an effort, and a lot more funds to take this approach. Still, if you really want a successful campaign that will produce satisfactory results every time, you will have to follow this rule and optimise at least with two to three versions. This is why this option is the most demanding, and why the risks of using it if you don’t have a cap space are so high.
Once you have identified the funnel that performs the best and provides the most, the next step is filtering the audience and the reach.
This step is mandatory for a very obvious yet very important reason – you don’t want to advertise where your products are not present or relevant.
This means that you need to define the target audience in a very meticulous way that will produce the best possible reach with minimal investments and minimal losses due to bounces. It is a tedious job that requires a lot of focus and a lot of logical thinking in order to define the target audience properly.
Why is this so important? The answer is simple. If you run the ads in the markets where you can’t deliver the products, that’s a complete waste of money. If you are selling gender specific things, and you don’t apply the appropriate filter, and advertise to all the people in the segment, a portion of the ads will go to the people who have no interest in buying your products at all. Also, if your customers are mostly middle aged people or teenagers, and you don’t narrow the reach accordingly, a portion of ads will again go to the people who have zero interest in what you offer.
You need to think through the process and you need to have a clear goal in mind, based on your target audience. After the campaigns kick in, you will be able to further understand which channels are bringing sufficient return on investment and which are not, and decide which ones you wish to pursue and which ones to abandon. Segmenting the campaigns by all these parameters takes some time to organise, but definitely provides you with easy switch on and switch off options, so doing it is definitely something that deserves your attention and every bit of time you invest in it. Once all these parameters have been set, it is time for execution and optimisation of the process.
Execution and monitoring
In the beginning, it is not a bad idea to avoid going all in and start things with strictly limited budget. Of course, it should allow you to sample everything properly, so going with minimal resources is not advised. It simply won’t give you a sample big enough to make a good verdict on the efforts.
The first results will be visible after only just one week, and that is the time to start applying all the optimisation steps mentioned before. Still, monitoring the campaigns on a daily basis is advised. If you notice one of those is consuming all the budget you dedicated to it consistently, and gives a decent ROI, you should increase the budget and continue monitoring the results with an additional attention. It is not a wonder that some really good moves are made in the very beginning, and spending the daily budget on a regular basis with good ROI is the best indicator that you have stumbled upon a golden nugget you shouldn’t let go.
Optimisation is an ongoing process with PPC campaigns, so you should keep an eye on the overall spending, daily spending, return on investment, search volumes on the targeted keywords, and click through rate at all times. Sometimes the rapid changes can happen in no time, and that kind of change has the potential to turn tables completely and render all your efforts futile without prior warning.
Additionally, there is a need to constantly optimise the message you are broadcasting. Even if you might have a huge lead in the beginning, the competition never sleeps and they will grab the first moment when you don’t pay attention to take over and get you out of the game. The only way to prevent them from doing so is to be constantly present, to monitor your campaigns, and to optimise them as soon as you see the drops in revenue and ROI.
If you lack the necessary experience, you should look for a help from experts. We at Studioworx are able and willing to help you with all your efforts, and all you need to do in order to get all the help and consultancy is to give us a call.