I was recently reading an article on the NYTimes website called Real-Life Lessons in Using Google AdWords by DARREN DAHL which had some great points and also had some information that was not completely on par about using adwords to market your business.
Being that I am a Search Engine Marketing professional I felt the need to dispel any myths and reveal any truths in relation to this article. Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and MSN Adcenter can be wonderful and inexpensive tools that can aid you in promoting your business successfully, but if you do not know how to utilize them they can turn out to be very expensive.
Darren makes 7 Key Points in this article in reference to running a successful marketing campaign using Google Adwords Editor.
- Be Sure AdWords Is the Right Choice
- Set a Realistic Budget
- Focus on Local Markets
- Narrow Your Keyword Net
- Creating Landing Pages
- Stay on Top of Your Campaign
- Consider Outsourcing
These are 7 great points that you should consider when deciding on how to market your business via Pay Per Click marketing on Google, Yahoo or MSN.
Be Sure Adwords is the Right Choice. I think that the thing to be more concerned with is whether or not online marketing is the best way to market your business. Having a sound marketing plan that evaluates how advertising in all media outlets is the best way to find out if any of them are the “Right Choice”. In regards to Adwords it is the solution that will most likely provide you with the awareness, quality traffic and return that you need for your business.
Set a Realistic Budget. This goes hand in hand with the point I made about creating a sound marketing plan. If you plan accordingly all of your budgets will not only be realistic but will fit into a perfect marketing budget that balance each other out. After reading many of the points below you may realize that what you had planned out is not realistic at all.
Focus on Local Markets. In my opinion this only applies if your business is a brick and mortar or is located in or only ships within a certain area based off of Darren’s explanation but what about businesses that are strictly online. In these times many are starting their businesses online because the cost is much less than if they opened up an actual location. I think a better term would be niche markets, make sure that your business has a target audience that can be reached via pay per click marketing by using very targeted keywords. Which is a nice segue into the next point.
Narrow Your Keyword Net. There are three ways to narrow your keyword set, you can pick very niche terms to bid on as well as control which match types to use within your campaigns and add negative terms which I will explain in detail. This article suggests that if you put your keywords in brackets or quotations that it will help you narrow your keyword search but they do not fully explain why you are using them.
- Pick very niche terms that are related to your business. Using the example of Plus Size Apparel from the article we would want to bid on terms that are relevant to the business, so of course all of our terms would involve the phrases Plus Size or Full Figured since it is a synonym of Plus Size.
Test out all match types. In Google there are 3 match types that you can use within your campaigns in order to advertise your business which are Exact Match, Phrase Match and Broad Match. Using the various match types can help with setting a realistic budget, making sure you receive awareness and branding of your business and help with developing niche terms. An Exact Match term is when you put your terms in brackets within Google Adwords so it would look like this [Plus Size], and using this match type just means that your ads will only be triggered when this exact term is searched and nothing else. Phrase match which you use the quotes, appears as such, “Plus Size” is triggered whenever someone types in a phrase or a string that contains the phrase “Plus Size” within it and in that exact order, so if someone types Plus Size shirt it will trigger your ad. And last but not least Broad Match, when bidding on broad match it allows your ad to be triggered by any search that contains Plus Size no matter the order of the terms.
Negative Match Terms. Now Darren did not mention this match type in his article but it is a great strategy to help drive cost down. Going back to the example of Plus Size, you would only want your ads to show for the relevant terms. Giving the example Plus Size Maxi Dress, you would not want your terms to show when people are just searching Maxi Dress so you would negative out the term Maxi Dress using he exact match type. This will ensure that you won’t show up on any searches for Maxi Dress unless they contain the Phrase Plus Size as well.
Creating Targeted Landing Pages
Having landing pages that are specific to what products or services you are promoting are important for engaging the proper audience. It is important that your pages are highly relevant and well targeted to what the consumer will be searching, based off of the targeted keyword list you have created. Many people forget that Search Engine Marketing is the most unique form of Direct Marketing because you can send individuals exactly where you want them to go, track their interactions and learn how you can increase future sales based of the data that you receive from them, unlike traditional marketing venues when you are sort of doing blind buys on an audience that you think are interested in your product. Many use their existing pages to drive traffic to, not knowing that they usually are not geared for that type of audience. Most sites when developing their webpages gear them to be suitable for SEO and therefore the pages are very informative and may not get directly to the point. Direct and to the point is what you want your pages to be so that consumers do not lose interest and click out of your site.
Stay On Top of Your Campaign. Having a search campaign is definitely not something that is a “Set and Forget It” type of project. The online space is forever evolving and you have to stay on top of all of the changes and how it will impact how you advertise. New competitors may come into the space and increase your CPC’s which impacts your budget, the Google Algorithm may change which impacts your quality score (this encompasses many metrics, it determines whether or not your terms, adcopy and landing page are relevant to what you are advertising) which can cause your terms to be irrelevant and cause CPC’s to go up as well and last but not least you need to monitor campaign to make sure that it is performing how you want. There is no point of having a campaign if you are not going to monitor how profitable or not it is so if you are not constantly monitoring it you will be wasting money that you could be allocating elsewhere in your marketing plan. Which Brings me to the last point.
Consider Outsourcing It It is a hard task running a search campaign especially when you are not an expert in Search Engine Marketing. It takes a lot of effort that is why many companies end up moving their in-house campaigns into agencies who know how to manage them successfully. Professionals like myself are trained to maximize the full potential of these accounts through strategy, utilizing the latest products that are available via Google such as the content network, product feeds, video plus box and many more to help clients gain awareness for their brand as well as turn a profit. The industry is evolving everyday and I try to keep up with all of the latest as well as establish my own ideas and strategies to take brands to the next level
If you have any questions about advertising in Google Adwords or in any online venue feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org