24 tips for more successful Google Adwords campaigns

29 January 2010

Today's blog follows on from this week's topic of setting up a successful pay-per-click marketing campaign with Google Adwords.

Monday: Why estate agents can't afford to ignore paid search engine marketing.
Tuesday: Setting up targeted Ad Groups using the Adwords Editor software.
Wednesday: Fixing a realistic budget for your first Adwords campaign.
Thursday: Monitoring and improving the performance of your Adwords campaigns.
Here are 24 other tips to help you get the most out of your pay-per-click marketing efforts.

  1. Don't aim for the top sponsored link spot - it costs more, can start a bidding war and, in our experience, the benefits are marginal. Instead, keep costs down by aiming for anywhere from 3rd to 6th.
  2. Long tail search phrases (less popular phrases, normally with several words) are generally cheaper and deliver more qualified visitors.
  3. When you have been split testing your adverts for a while, narrowed down what works well and have established a higher level of traffic, introduce less radical tests to make more subtle improvements. Using 3 copies of your control (best) advert and only 1 of your test advert will reduce the impact of the change while you evaluate how effective it is.
  4. Don't make assumptions too quickly. Wait until you've got enough test data to be confident of what works best before making changes.
  5. Don't fall into the trap of using broad match keywords. The trade-off in effort will give you less targeted traffic and therefore offer less value.
  6. Try to keep to a maximum of around 20 keywords in each ad group. If you start to go over this number, try breaking the ad group down into separate groups which allow closer visitor profile targeting.
  7. Measure your Adwords spend against the cost per lead on the portals.
  8. Setup monthly Google Analytics reports via email to give you a regular kick to check on progress.
  9. Consider setting up exactly the same campaigns with Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter.
  10. Consider what amounts to a 'conversion' for you - be it performing a property search, registering for property alerts or requesting a valuation. Then track it! If you find certain keywords generate traffic, but not conversions, improve your landing page relevance or drop them altogether.
  11. Make it easy for visitors to become conversions! Add obvious links, buttons and images that sell the benefits, rather than having paragraphs of text to read.
  12. Go against the crowd to avoid too much competition on CPC bids.
  13. Practice writing headlines - or buy a book that teaches you. An enticing headline is perhaps the most important part of your advert.
  14. Follow news related to your industry and area using Google Alerts. Bid on keywords that reflect current topics of interest.
  15. Use negative keywords to avoid search phrases that match your keywords despite being irrelevant, or come from a low value audience ('free'!).
  16. Use your competitors company names as keywords, but avoid using their name in your advert text, as it may get pulled by Google. Imply without being specific - 'better fees than other crawley agents'.
  17. Use misspelled words, particularly your own company name. This is a good way of picking up traffic which your organic search listings cannot help you with.
  18. Consider expanding your bids onto the Google Content Network (websites using Adsense) - but setup duplicate ad groups to do so.
  19. Use pay per click adverts to test traffic and conversion levels and see which search terms you should focus your SEO efforts (blog, etc.) on.
  20. Use Google's Website Optimizer to test different versions of your landing pages to improve conversion rates. Read Rightmove's case study for inspiration.
  21. Consider pausing campaigns during times when the office will be particularly busy, or even unattended for extended periods.
  22. Read up on 'dynamic keyword insertion'. For advanced Adwords users, this can help you to tailor adverts more closely to user searches. Use this with care!
  23. Include keywords in your display URL.
  24. Once your campaigns are established and you know that the traffic you are buying is converting profitably, raise your budgets. At this point the more visitors you get, the better.

If you've got any tips you'd like to share, please post a comment.
Follow the link if you'd like to discuss setting up a managed Google Adwords campaign.

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