Over the past 16 years I’ve played with all areas of Google Adwords. I’ve done my share of what you would call “Black Hat” Adwords advertising. Pushing the boundaries past the general terms and conditions of Google to get the best results for my businesses.
If you have the time and your pretty handy with a computer I’m sure most of you can figure out how to manipulate Google adwords results to your best advantage.
So why are so many people stuffing it up? Why can’t the average user get the basics right? I recently had a client approach me to complain that Google PPC was a scam. He claimed:
I offered to take a look at his campaign and offer some insight into why his camapaigns were not effective online. I found he wasn’t tracking conversions and had no idea what he was spending his Adwords budget on.
He’d spent $13,500 on Google Adwords without EVER tracking a single sale.
In this article, you’re going to learn the best ways to improve your Adwords conversion rates. The checklist below is proven to work. Let’s get started:
#1 Your Ad Copy MUST Match Your Landing Pages
This is really a no brainer and the easy to explain. You wouldn’t create an ad for hiking boots and then land the visitor on a page about women lingerie, right??
If you want Google to generate the most clicks, your ad has to match your content
Google adwords like SEO’s “PageRank” has a quality score from 1 – 10. When your ad content matches your landing page content, your quality score will improve.
Quality score isn’t something to be afraid of it’s actually a great way to measure past and future performances of your Adwords campaigns.
A high quality score not only means that your ad is compelling and relevant. It also means that you will pay less per click then your competitor with a low quality score.
More importantly, a high quality score will reduce your advertising costs, increase your ad position and allow your ads more exposure to your targeted audience in both search & display networks.
If your selling a physical product online, you want to send traffic directly to the page so people can make a purchase. See how Car Guides does it:
So www.carguide.com.au are selling Nissan cars. The use the term “Nissan For Sale” in the title of their ad, which is EXACTLY what, their landing page is.
The URL advertised also contains the search term “Nissan” which is fantastic for improving the CTR. When the ad above is clicked, the user is taken directly to the landing page all about buying Nissan cars.
Your Keywords should also match your ads. For example if your advertising for “Nissan For Sale” then your landing page should be about Nissan cars for sale or a similar page.
If you’re sending clicks through to a page about “Buying Nissan Car Accessories” your cost per click will increase because your ad does not match because the click traffic doesn’t land on a page specific about “Nissans For Sale”.
Don’t just create another poor quality landing page for every keyword though. Ultimately the end result of your quality score is going to always come back to the user experience. You can only enhance the user experience through efficient conversion optimization techniques.
#2 The Path Of Purchase
To be an efficient Google Adwords advertiser, you have to understand the Google Adwords platform entirely. Naturally any marketing system that requires spending significant amounts of time or money needs to be studied, analyzed and dissected thoroughly.
Knowing how your ideal customers are shopping within your own website will give you an edge in your Google Adwords campaigns. For example, what happens when a customer first comes to your website? Do you have a clear & direct path for them to take? Often website owners THINK it’s obvious and often that’s not the result.
There should be 5 phases during your online sales process. During each stage your prospective customer is going to be asking different questions. Try to contain elements that appeal to your customer during each phase of the sales process.
For example, If your customers were searching for “Gold Coast Nissan Wreckers” It would be a complete waste of resources to include the website name in the title of the ad.
On the other hand if your brand is more popular then the product, then it’s fine to display your name in the ad copy title, however in this case I think “Nissan” is just a little more popular.
Open your Google Analytics dashboard, inside you can click the “Behaviors” link. Here you can get a better understanding of your prospects.
In the screenshot above, you can see that the number of new visitors exceeds the number of returning visitors. If your audience behavior follows a similar trend, it simply suggests that the majority of your visitors don’t know your brand or product before coming to your site. So, you’ve got to educate them.
#3 Using Negative Keywords In Your Campaigns
If your running “Broad Match” queries in your adwords campaign, you’ve got to realize that majority of search queries will not be relevant to your product. Use negative keywords to exclude particular key phrases from triggering your ad from showing.
Using detailed negative keyword lists will improve your conversion rate and improve your quality scores.
Techwise have compiled a list of negative keywords you should start with. Once your negative keywords list is built don’t stop. Continue to add more keywords to the list as you find them. Some of our client’s campaigns have negative keywords list with over 1000 search terms in them.
If your advertising for “Nissans For Sale” some instant negative keywords would be free, accessories, etc.
Obviously you don’t want your ad showing for “Free Nissan For Sale”
You can either add negative keywords during your weekly audit of your paid keywords or create a list in Google Adwords that can be applied to all campaigns. Personally I choose to create a list
Improving your Adwords campaigns by adding negative keywords can assist you in three ways
#4 Testing Your Landing Page
You MUST test your landing pages, your landing page influences your conversion rate. The slightest changes in your design can alter the conversion rate dramatically.
Decide what bait your going to use to entice users to engage with you. Some marketers believe webinars generates the most leads, but testing may prove that a live online help service might yield more leads for you.
Even President Obama raised an additional $60 million using A/B testing on his landing page and other elements. You’re not exempt.
Every element on your webpage should be tested. Shapes of buttons, colors, EVERYTHING.
A 2% rise in conversions due to color change in buttons might not sounds world changing to you, but what if you can find ten items on your page that each improves your conversion rate by 2% ??
#5 Get Organised With Your keywords
I’ve worked on campaigns with over 6000 keywords in them, so I know first hand how difficult this job is. But believe me it’s 100% necessary to get it right if you want to increase your conversion rate.
Some tips to remember when grouping your keywords are:
Keep an effective structure
Keep small & Specific Ad Groups
Keep 4 ads per ad group
Experiment with different Ad variations
Keep the keywords for each adgroup specific
Here is an example of effective grouping
#6 Always Keep It Customer Focused
If your using the Google display network for your advertising you can easily add audiences to your ad groups. You don’t need to have your ads showing to EVERYONE.
With content marketing the top rule to remember is to know who your ideal customers are and create content around what they need.
AirBnB recently had a case study published where they used Google display ads to expand their reach. This made them an international brand growing their listings by 80,000. They focused on customers who travel for business & pleasure.
They also implemented a large “Negative keywords” list before launching their campaign. It was a terrific way to boost their conversions from the very beginning.
3 elements determine your success with the Google display network. They need to reach the right person, say the right message and be delivered at the right time.
# 7 Increase your Click Through Rate
Click through rate is determined by how many people see your ads vs. how many people click on your ads. The more people that click on your ad hopefully equals the more people that actually buy from you.
That’s why CTR is so important when setting up multiple ads.
According to WordStream the average conversion rate for Google ads was 5.63%. For really competitive industries like “Internet Marketing” the average rate was 5%. And in accordance with Google’s Economic Impact Report most businesses generate $2 for every $1 they invest in Adwords.
A few click-through rate improvements you can implement today that will lower your cost per conversion and boost your sales are: