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Some Google AdWords Best Practises

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    One of our main business offerings is Google AdWords consulting and management services. We manage close to $1,000,000.00 worth of adspend per year through Google for various clients, so I thought it would be worthwhile giving you a quick overview of what I consider best practises for a successful AdWords campaign. Hopefully, you can get a feel for all the steps we have to go through for a client in order to achieve a positive result when it comes to adwords.

    1) You can’t fix/improve what you can’t measure There must have some sort of analytics system on the site (whether WCR stats or Google Analytics). The tracking code should be on every page as a general rule.

    2) What is the client’s “Most Wanted Result” (MWR) from Adwords? Is the client looking to make sales directly on the site from adwords, or capture an email address (sign up for a newsletter, for example), or the completion of a form asking for more information, etc. Each one of these results has their own unique requirements (in terms of implementation, etc.) so we (and the client) need to be VERY clear as to what we are hoping to achieve.

    3) Once we know the MWR (and analytics has been added to the site), we have to set up conversion tracking. Conversion tracking allows us to measure ROI (Return on Investment). It also allows us to measure success of individual ad copy, keywords, landing page design, etc. Without this, we have NO WAY of knowing if what we’re doing is working or not, and whether it’s profitable or not.

    4) Test and Measure. (requires analytics + conversion tracking). ALL results can be improved with better words, graphics, layout, offers, etc. Never assume your first effort is the best. ALWAYS create a minimum of 2 ads per adgroup, testing them against each other to find which one performs better. Once you have a winner, ditch the loser and create a new test ad to compete against the winner. This is called “beating the control”, where the winning ad is the “control” – or the yardstick against which we measure other ads performance. Google Website Optimizer (aka Google Content Experiments) testing can be very helpful in measuring multiple components to find the best combination, when you have high enough traffic to justify using it.

    5) Build tightly focussed adgroups targetting tightly focussed landing pages, and minimize distractions. If we use a winery client as an example, 1 adgroup should ONLY contain keywords about shiraz wine, and the ad copy should ONLY discuss shiraz wine, and the landing page should ONLY pitch shiraz wine. Don’t bundle everything into 1 big adgroup and point the ads at the home page of the site. Your quality score will nosedive, your ad costs will skyrocket, and you won’t get high ranked ads unless you pay lots more than those ads ranking above you. This is a BIG ONE. Most clients (and web designers) do this in reverse, so we have to gently educate them on the necessity of tightly focussing our efforts. Often, this will require new landing pages, etc.

    6) Make your landing pages convert. Remove as many unnecessary links on the page as possible (less distraction). Make a strong call to action (buy now, add to shopping cart, etc) with a prominent link or button (see Amazon.com for some excellent examples). Use clear quality graphics where possible. This might seem obvious, but it’s often forgotten by the client in their web design. They create a pretty site but forget to “stock it” with persuasive copy and images.

    Remember the golden rule: WIIFM W = What’s I = In I = It F = For M = Me That’s what every visitor to your client’s site is thinking when they are browsing. If they don’t see any compelling reasons to move ahead with a purchase (or submitting an enquiry, etc), then you’ve lost them. Explain the offer clearly, clarify any confusing areas, make a compelling offer, give them reasons to buy from YOU (rather than all the alternatives out there) and make it safe for them (strong guarantee). Write clearly and persuasively. Give strong reasons to buy. Explain the features and ALSO how each of those is a benefit to them.

    If you have any more questions, or would like to discuss whether we can help you with your AdWords needs, please Contact Us!

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