It makes sense that you want your company to be as visible as possible online when people search it, and so you are going to go to great lengths to achieve that goal. Most businesses never become as popular or successful as they could because they do not optimize their online searches. While the positive implications of being on the first page of search results are fairly obvious, it’s also important that your landing pages, homepage, and important website pages are all ranked as well.
Businesses have noticed that the competition is getting more and more fierce, while the online real estate that they are fighting over seems to be diminishing. In addition, being able to claim the top spot in search results generally means that you must have the most respected website in your niche. Being able to achieve this goal means that you have to be very committed to creating high quality content and optimizing your site so that people can find it.
No matter how well you optimize your site, users will most likely find an ad as the top search result. You can have the most amazing product page, homepage, eBook, video, blog post, study or infographic and it will likely be topped by a paid AdWords listing. You can get frustrated by this, or you can get smarter and learn how to use AdWords to your benefit instead of spending tons of money using the pay-per-click method.
Click fraud can destroy your budget, so you have to be proactive in protecting it. Google is aware of this issue and will apply some level of Ad Credit each month, however there are also third party tools like ClickCease which will help prevent wasting your digital ad budget on click fraud. Use the Display Network as well to combat this money waster. If you are not proactive in fighting fraud, then you will find yourself one of the many businesses that lose money this year due to click fraud.
Think about What the Buyer Wants
CPCs go up every year, and it’s up to your marketers to pay attention to the signals of your buyers. You have to know how they will interact with your brand during the sales funnel and make sure that your campaign will meet them where they are and provide relevant offers to them at each stage. It’s up to you to reach the customers at each stage of the sales funnel and make it obvious to them that you have what they want. By doing this, you can make it obvious to your customers that you are able to meet their needs at any point in the sales funnel.
Exact Match vs. Broad Match
Broad match shows your ads for searches related to the keywords you have chosen, not just the exact ones. This is a great way to reach a lot of people but can be more expensive. Starting out, many people opt for broad match to get their name out there, but it can really hurt your budget. It’s better to have more intentional clicks from customers from exact searches than a lot of accidental ones because you used keywords that were too broad.
Consider Negative Keywords
As much as you focus on what to target, you also have to pay attention to what your unwanted traffic is. Unwanted traffic is very expensive and does not do anything to help your bottom line. You can easily use negative keywords to stop an ad from appearing to a potential customer. Consider “wholesale” and “free,” unless your items are those things. Negative keywords are commonly neglected but are a great way to curate the clicks coming to your site.
Be Okay With Not Being Number One
While everyone wants to be number one, you have to pay for that privilege when you use AdWords. Think about the value that you will have in the second position and consider if it’s worth saving that money. While being first is fun, being third or second will be a lot more cost-effective and still see a high number of clicks. As long as you are near the top, you will enjoy a higher amount of clicks but won’t have to pay drastically for them.
Give Branded Keywords Their Due
It’s easy to decrease your budget by not including brand or product searches, but you have to be in charge of which ads pop up when your brand is searched. If you are not in control of the search results, then a competitor will be. Brand clicks are relatively inexpensive and convert well, so it doesn’t make sense to leave this important part of your branding in the hands of a competitor. In addition, these will usually convert well, meaning you’ll have an easier time making money on them.
Track Your Results
It’s easy to ignore the results of your AdWords, but it’s important to be tracking this. You should be more interested in your conversion rate than your clicks, and monitoring your campaign will ensure that you are reaching your goals. While everyone loves having high click numbers, those do not mean that you are making any money unless they convert to a buying customer. When you proactively track your results, you will be able to tell when you need to make changes and which changes will best improve your conversion rate. It may take a while to get the results you want, and tracking is the only way to stay on top of what you need to change.
If you want to appear at the top of the search engine page, then it makes sense to use the Google AdWords program, but this is just a shortcut. Without people clicking to your site and buying from you, you won’t be able to afford your AdWords campaign for long. You have to make sure that you have measures set in place for achieving positive ROI before you spend a lot of money on a new campaign. Make sure you have a plan in place for converting visitors to customers, avoiding mistakes that will cost you money and getting AdWords to pay.
About the Author
Gigi Sunghong is a Digital Content writer for Phoenix Media, a Digital Marketing Agency in Bangkok, Thailand. Fluent in English and Thai language she has been writing content around the growth and development of Digital Marketing in Thailand for the past three years.