Google AdWords can be a great way to increase traffic to your website. Particularly if it’s competitive to get your website to appear high up in the organic results.
A lot of business owners set up and run their own AdWords campaigns, which is relatively easy to do. The hard part is knowing what to do to optimise your Ads to make sure you’re getting the best possible Return On Investment from your AdWords spend.
The unfortunate reality is that getting a few details wrong can cost you a lot of money!
Here are some of the mistakes I see being made way too often, plus info on how you can fix them.
1. Not Linking Your AdWords and Google Analytics Accounts
While Google AdWords gets people to your website, it’s Google Analytics that shows how each visitor behaves once they are there.
By linking your AdWords and Analytics accounts, you’ll get access to valuable data that can be used to optimise your Campaigns. Information like the number of pages viewed and the time spent on your website, broken down to the keyword that the visitor typed into Google before clicking through to your website from your Ad.
In the long term, having access to this information means that you can pause keywords that bounce (or rework your ads) and keep paying for those where the web traffic performs better. If you have eCommerce Tracking set up in Google Analytics, you’ll also be able to see the Revenue that your AdWords Campaigns are generating.
- Use the same email to log in to your AdWords and Analytics account
- Check that you have Edit level access to your Google Analytics account
- In AdWords, go to the Green “Reporting and Tools” tab, pull down to “Google Analytics”
- Click “Admin” on the grey bar at the top
- Click “AdWords Linking” in the middle column under Property (if you don’t have Edit level access to your account you won’t be able to see this”
- Select the Red Button “New Link”
- Select the AdWords Account to link to (you’ll probably only have one)
- Click “Continue”
- Make sure you select which View you want to link to (you’ll probably only have one). If you don’t complete this final step then the AdWords visits still won’t track properly.
I’ll be creating a Google Analytics 101 Video soon on how to do the linking and check that it’s working.
2. Targeting the Wrong Location
If you’re a Plumber in Melbourne, you don’t want to be paying for clicks from someone looking for a Plumber in Sydney
One of the great features of AdWords is the ability to target a specific area.
Target location can be set at the level of Country, State, City or a specified Radius around a point on the map.
Be as precise as your can with the Location Targeting setting in order to get clicks from people in the right Target Locations. Setting the target area means that only people in your target location should see your Ad (depending upon your Location Settings). Therefore you’ll only pay for clicks from people for are looking for what you offer, in the area that you offer it.
The Radius targeting feature is particularly useful if you are a business that targets clients from your local area. Note though that if you try this strategy, because the number of searches for your keywords in your target area can be relatively low, you might need your ads to show in a high position in order to capture the clicks that are available.
3. Directing Ads to your Home Page
If your ads are directed to your Home Page (which often includes a lot of information), your visitors from AdWords might bounce if they can’t immediately find what they are looking for.
Ideally, direct your Ads to a targeted landing page that:
- Includes relevant keywords prominently. For example, use the same or closely related keywords in the headline of the landing page that you’ve used in the Ad Group.
- Has key messages high up
- Has a Call to Action that makes it clear and easy for people to know what to do next
- Follows through from the Ad Copy.
For example an online shop selling clothes and shoes for men, women and children might promote all products on their home page. An ad campaign for “children’s shoes” would be best directed straight to the “children’s shoes” page so that people don’t have to look around to find the product they want on the home page.
To set this up, copy and paste the URL link of your landing page to the “Destination URL” as part of your Ad Copy. Before doing so, have a look at the Page that you’ve selected and imagine it is the first page of your website that a New Visitor sees. Does it give all the information they need? Can any improvements be made?
4. Aiming for the Top Ad Positions
Aiming for your Ads to be shown in one of the Top Positions on the Left Hand Side of the Search results, above the Organic search results (where only high quality ads can appear), is a good strategy if you want to achieve maximum awareness and you have a big daily budget. Or if the impressions (number of searches) in your target area is low.
However, for your ad to appear at the top of the search results, as well as having a high quality ad, it’s likely that you’ll need to be prepared to pay more click than the other advertisers, so your daily budget will be used up quicker than if your ads were in a lower position.
Provided there is adequate search volume, the ads in lower positions can still get enough clicks to use up their daily budget, but the Cost Per Click will be lower, which means you get more clicks for your budget.
To get this right you need to do some experimenting and you also need to understand how many ads your target audience will click on before making a decision about who to buy or enquire with.
Move your ads up or down by changing your Maximum CPC Bid (while keeping an eye on your Click Through Rate and the Keyword Quality Score).
It takes some testing to find the right position for your ads. Ideally find the position where you are paying a lower Cost Per Click than the top spot, but still getting enough clicks per day and the outcomes that you want ie leads and sales.
5. Not Using Conversion Tracking
Not setting up Conversion Tracking means that it is harder to evaluate the return from your AdWords spend.
Also, you won’t be able to optimise your campaign for the high converting keywords while pausing the keywords that don’t convert well.
To set up Conversion Tracking:
- Go to the green “Reporting and Tools” tab and select “Conversion Tracking”.
- Follow the steps to add a new conversion
- Conversion Tracking is easiest to set up if everyone that completes a specified action is directed to the same page of your website. For example, everyone that completes an order on website www.buyme.com.au is directed to the page www.buyme.com.au/order-success Your web developer can add a Conversion Tracking code to that page.
- Once the tracking is set up and working, conversions can then be linked to the keyword that was typed into Google before someone clicked on your ad and followed through to making a purchase.
- Conversion Tracking lets you see how much you pay in AdWords spend to get an order (or whatever type of conversion you have selected).
Make Sure You Work with a Google Qualified Partner
If you choose to outsource your AdWords management you can avoid another common mistake by making sure that you work with a Google Qualified Partner. Otherwise, you may be paying someone who doesn’t have a full understanding of all the different aspects of AdWords.
AdWords can be an effective way to promote your business in Google but it also requires skill and regular monitoring to make sure you’re getting the best possible return from your spend.
Melinda aka Mel is a Premier Google Partner, AdWords & Analytics Consultant, Speaker and Trainer and co-owner of Click-Winning Content. Mel provides results-driven services to Australian businesses and is committed to never using an acronym without explaining it first. She also likes grand slam tennis, cracked pepper and Melbourne sunsets. Please connect at the links below.