You and your marketing team have a hair-raising amount of marketing tools at your disposal, but a teeth-clenching shortage of time to properly utilize all of them. With different priorities pulling you every which way, you more than likely have already decided which tools are worth mastering and which you can coast along with on basic know-how. Google AdWords is a tool that typically requires a time investment, but is well worth it because it costs money and can provide visible ROI. Whatever side of the spectrum you fall on, there are always a few tweaks here and there that can make all the difference.
Google AdWords can be extremely beneficial to drive traffic to your website, increase eCommerce sales, and funnel highly targeted personas to specific pages on your site. Like any tool, AdWords can only be as good as the user makes it. Lack of A/B testing and consistent monitoring can quickly put that advertising budget of yours to waste. To boost efficiency across the board, utilize these capabilities to improve your PPC game.
Get Noticed Above the Fold
If you still remember what a printed newspaper is, you know the origin of the term “above the fold.” Articles that newspaper editors wanted everyone to see appeared above the fold and the less important did not. There’s a reason why everyone is fighting for search engine ranking, items that show up first are more likely to gain attention. You already do this with your company's homepage; your most important and concise messaging appears immediately because you want everyone to see it.
AdWords gives you the option of excluding your ad from appearing below the fold, which allows marketers to be certain that their ad is getting the prime real estate we want. Before making the decision to be in the spotlight, check the CTR and other metrics of the below-the-fold category. If ads below the fold are already performing as well or better than the ads elsewhere you may want to reconsider adding the exclusion. Don't forget to do a budget check because more premium space may require a higher CPC bid. The step by step process to making a campaign appear only above the fold is very simple.
- Click on the Display Network tab and select the + Targeting red box located above the graph and metrics bar.
- In the “Campaign exclusions” section choose the campaign you wish to optimize.
- Click the “Add campaign exclusions” drop-down and choose "Site category options."
- From there you can set your site category options to “Excluded” for Below-the-fold
- Click Close and then Save.
Search Terms Report
People type in a variety of things into Google. My search history from today includes 3 different terms I searched just to get a Tikka Masala recipe. The search terms report shows you what is actually typed into Google and how many searchers clicked through to your site. This helps you optimize which keywords you are targeting, what not to target, and whether your ad is actually showing up for that keyword. If there is a keyword that has been successful but you aren’t currently showing up for it, you may have to raise your bid to increase your ad rank.
The search terms report is easily accessed and can be quick gauge on your audience's thought process.
Drive in the Express Lane
Looking to test the pay per click waters and don’t know where to begin? AdWords Express gets your ad up and running in less than 20 minutes. You set a budget, briefly describe your business, and choose which category it falls under. From there it's off to the races. Google takes the info you gave them, sends your ad over a variety of their platforms, and tests out different variations. It will automatically review which types of ads are driving the results you are looking for and then focus displaying the successful ads. If you are busy and don’t have enough time to dig into the analytics that allow you to choose between which ads are performing best, then Express is for you.
Once you get established in AdWords Express and if you have the proper resources, I highly recommend you switch to the full AdWords version. This initial experience will give you the baseline knowledge you need to succeed in a full PPC campaign with multiple products and all the analytics you can ask for. If you are looking for a simple push to start button, Express is always an option to get PPC done efficiently.
As a Marketing Coordinator for a Digital Marketing Agency, I get the opportunity to fully submerge into different campaigns with a variety of objectives. The countless tools for success are there, but the way I make use of them tells the story in the results column. Our full team approach allows me to pick the brains of over 20 people, each with their own skillset and experience. Occasionally they are hot on the trail of an elusive mountain goat, so I just read their blogs for more information until they come back with more stories to tell.