The difference between making and losing money in a Google PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign is all too often directly attributable to a lack of, or even the non-existence of an AdWords Management Strategy.
The key elements of a Google Adwords Management Strategy are as follows:
- Extensive, even exhaustive keyword research – it is absolutely fundamental that you select the “best” keywords. This doesn’t necessarily mean the most popular or the most competitive keywords. It begins by researching for ALL the possible keywords, then by researching each one for popularity, competitiveness and cost (top bids). Further keyword filtering is required to determine the most important, most targeted of the keywords.
- Competitive Research is then required to see which keywords your most direct and best competitors are advertising for. Compare these keywords with the keywords you most wish to be found for. With this research, we can identify which terms are generating profits for your competition and apply the same principles to your business.
- Budget – an absolute must. Really, it’s the first thing you need to decide before you get serious. How much money are you willing to “risk” each month or each day? What are the sales and profitability goals of the PPC campaign? How much money are you willing to invest and / or risk achieving these goals? What’s an ideal CPA (Cost per Acquisition) for you?
- Keyword Prioritization and Bidding means that you must determine by keyword how much you are willing to allocate per day for each of the keywords you wish to target. You then allocate your resources on the best performing terms.
- Establish a goal for both CTR (click through rate or the % of clicks vs. the number of impressions) and establish a goal for Conversion Rate (the percentage of landing page visits that result in a conversion).
- Determine your average value of a conversion expressed in dollars. (CPA or cost per acquisition) This can be done for e-commerce sites by establishing the average sale expressed in dollars. If you are generating lead forms, you need to determine your close ratio and apply that to your average sale so that you will have a forecast of the realized value of a conversion.
- Landing Page Creation – you must establish at least one landing page for each group of related keywords (Ad group). Develop variations of each landing page and test them. This is often referred to as A/B testing. See which landing page is yielding the highest conversion rate. This is a never-ending process as trends and preferences are continually changing. The performance of all landing pages relating to specific AdWords and ad groups have to be tracked. When performance fails, it’s time to change.
- Write the Ads – The ads or ad text must be relevant for the keywords searched. The landing page it points to must also be relevant to the ad.
- Tracking Results, Reports and Responding is essential. No one has all of the answers on the first day of the campaign. You must watch your results closely and make changes to optimize CTR and Conversion Rates. Go back to your budget, your targeted CTR and Conversion Rates. Your Cost Per Click (CPC), daily budget and closing rate all need to be optimized and in line with your overall ROI.
- Conversion Optimization and Split Testing will maximize the conversions and minimize your CPA. Without this step, you are just wasting your money.
AdWords offers one of the best and most immediate pathways to online visibility and potential business. However, you can lose a lot of money without great AdWords Management. From the keyword selection to ad groups to landing pages, it is critical that bidding, testing, monitoring, and making constant adjustments are part of the AdWords Management Strategy being used to earn the maximum return on your PPC dollar.
For more information on Optimum7, an Adword Management Company, and a free Adword consultation, please contact us.