When it comes to setting up effective online marketing campaigns, you don't have to be a Google AdWords Expert; but it does help. Here are some helpful dos and don'ts to help you get started:
DO Learn All About Google AdSense and How it Works
There are many different factors that will affect your ad placement, including your cost per click and that of your competitors bidding on the same keyword, the popularity of your keyword, the relevance of your keyword to your ad as well as the customer's search and more. You'll need to do your homework!
DO Group Your Keywords into Tight Categories
Rather than trying to run one or two broadly themed campaigns, a Google AdWords expert knows to run many specific ones, with tight groups of keywords. The more specific you can get your keywords the more relevant they will be to the search, which will improve your click through rate, which will improve your keywords' quality score.
DON'T Forget to Create Landing Pages
Part of Google's way of scoring the quality of the user experience with regard to your keywords is whether or not you have a relevant landing page. If your ad just takes the customer to your home page and they're left to fend for themselves, then that's a bad experience. Create a unique landing page for each ad campaign that directs the customer to the intended product, service or action.
DO Insist on Close Keyword Matches
Google allows you to select how closely or broadly you want your keyword to match specific searches. For instance, if you sold only cupcakes you wouldn't want your ad to show up when people were searching for wedding cakes, bakeries or cupcake recipes. If you don't select an option, your keyword will default to the Broad Match category.
You can choose Phrase Match, which will only show your ad when someone searches that exact phrase or a close variation with additional words before or after, or Exact Match, which does not allow any additional words.
DO Utilize the Negative Match Option
You can also avoid having your ad pop up when someone types in a certain word that is completely irrelevant. For instance, you could specify dolls for a negative match to avoid having your ad pop up when someone is searching for Cupcake dolls. This will help improve your quality score by not having your ads pop up on searches that aren't relevant, which causes poor click through returns and lowers your quality score.
DO Take Advantage of Free Conversion Tracking
Google offers a free conversion tracking code that will help you monitor how frequently your clicks are converting to sales. Along with Google Analytics, this is your number one way to see how well your ads are doing, so that you can fine-tune them as necessary to get the most for your advertising dollar.
DO Run Multiple Ads for Each Campaign
Try out different versions of your advertisements to see what appeals most to your target audience. Google will actually rotate the ads, and run the better performing ones more often. Give it a week or two and then you can always delete the poorly performing ones. Consider hiring a Google AdWords Expert to help you get started, at least until you get the hang of it. It will save you a lot of time and money.
One of the wonderful things about advertising through Google AdWords is the ability to geo-target your messages, so that your ad is only shown to people who are physically in the locations you specify, searching for your chosen keywords. This is a terrific feature, whether you have a local business or even a national or international business, since you can specify one or many locations without having to run your ads all over the globe.
Setting Up Geo-Targeting
A Google AdWords consultant can help you to take advantage of this feature when you set up your campaigns so that you're not wasting your advertising dollars on messages that won't generate any actual revenue for you. When it comes to geo-targeting, there are three basic settings.
Google's Default Setting
The default setting - recommended by Google - sends your ad out to people who are physically located in, or who are searching for or viewing pages centered on your targeted location. This may work for you if you are selling real estate, for instance, as you'll want to get business from people who are considering moving to your location. If you run a neighborhood coffee shop, however, you'll want to stick with the next option.
Your Targeted Location
Labeled "people in my targeted location," this setting is the best if you're not shipping your products nationally or internationally, catering to the tourist trade or selling real estate. This setting only permits Google to display your ads to people who are physically within the parameters you have set for your geo-targeted location.
Google also allows you to select an option that will show your ad to anyone searching for or viewing sites about your targeted location. This is useful for a chamber of commerce, for instance, interested in promoting their town or city worldwide.
For convenience, Google allows you to bundle geo-locations, such as different countries, states and cities. As an example, if you wanted to market to North America you could choose the U.S. and Canada bundle. There are also quite a number of state and town options, or you can choose to isolate one particular city or town. An exclusion feature allows you to exclude certain areas within a state, town or bundle.
The Custom Geo-Targeting tab allows you to input an area code and a surrounding radius, and even draw an area on a map. You can also bulk upload a list of areas where you want your ad to be seen, which is something a Google AdWords consultant will often do for large advertising campaigns with multiple target areas.
Things to Watch Out For
One of the biggest problems with Google AdWords geo-targeting is that many city names can be found in multiple states, and if you're not careful, you could be wasting your advertising dollars on irrelevant ads. One way to combat this is to add exclusions for every other state that has a city with the same name. This might seem a bit tedious, but if you create a list of all 50 states plus abbreviations, you can re-use it for many ad campaigns, simply deleting the state that you are advertising in each time.
Geo-targeting is critical for many businesses who wish to limit their scope of advertising, and can save you a lot of money on irrelevant advertising. If you are unsure of how to best proceed, consider hiring a Google AdWords consultant to get you started.
Yael Consulting's insight:
Learn more about Google Adwords ideas at www.yaelconsulting.com and find great opportunities for your business online.
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