Creating search engine advertising campaigns is like peeling back the layers of an onion. As you go through the different stages of setup and execution, you reveal new complexities at each step. Acknowledging these details, we decided to re-surface an old search advertising post, 5 Steps to Building an Outrageously Successful Paid Search Campaign, with added advice to each step, so you can create an even more outrageously successful campaign!
1. Select User-intent, Long-tail Keywords
Give some thought to how your target audience seeks information. For example, people who search for products and services on Google are at a crucial stage in the buying process. Searchers looking for “embedded design” could be looking for a Wikipedia entry, but those searching for “embedded design services” are much more likely to be future paying customers. For the services you provide, look for terms that end in services, solutions, and companies.
Once you’ve selected your keywords, now you need to set the keyword match type. Adwords allows you to set your keywords on three different match types: exact, phrase, and broad.
- Exact match: Keywords set to exact match will only display your ad if the search term includes that exact keyword, with the words in that exact order.
- Phrase match: Keywords set to phrase match will display your ad if the search term contains the same order of the words, but it can also contain additional words around it.
- Broad match: Keywords set to broad match will display your ad when the search term contains any or some combination of the words in your keyword, in any order.
Using the example above with keyword “embedded design services,” if this was on exact match, the ad would only appear if “embedded design services” was typed in. For phrase match, your ad could show up for, “embedded design services in new york.” For broad match, your ad could appear for search terms “design services,” “web design services,” “define embedded design” and so on.
So what’s the best approach? Start with phrase match and monitor the search terms, especially during the first weeks of the campaign. Phrase match drives traffic without being too broad. Once you’ve run a campaign for at least a few months, and have enough data to find the keywords that convert well and make sense for your business, you can set those to exact match, because they’ve been proven to work.
For more on how to select keywords, you can read Killer Keywords: The Secret to Engineering and Technology SEO Success.
2. Group Like Keywords
Create ad groups by topic. When you group keywords by topic, it ensures that your ad will match your keywords. Using the example above, if you’re a service company, use the different purchase intent permutations of embedded system services, such as “embedded design services, embedded design solutions, embedded design companies,” and group them together. Or if you’re a software company, think about grouping keywords together by product features.
Below is an example of the hierarchy of how Adwords groups keywords into ad groups that are then housed under campaigns.
3. Write Keyword-rich Ad Text
You don’t need to be a prized wordsmith to write Adwords copy. Here are three simple rules to follow for writing successful ad copy:
- Use keywords in the ad. Keywords should be used in the ad text and headline. If you find it too difficult to match ad copy to the keywords in the ad group, it’s a sign that you need to split the current ad group into two.
- Be specific to the offer. The ad should preview what the landing page is about. If it doesn’t, you’ll see that people click on your ad and then bounce off your site, which is a huge waste of your budget.
- Study what others are doing. What are other companies offering in their ads? You will quickly obtain ideas of good and bad copy.
Keyword: Vibration monitoring systems
4. Direct Traffic to a Relevant Landing Page
Once someone clicks on your ad, where will you send them? The most important thing is to deliver on what was promised in the ad text and keywords. If your ad offers a white paper, make sure the visitor can easily find it once they get to the landing page. Below is an example of an ad that offers a white paper, which directs traffic to a landing page, discussing what a reader will learn from the paper and a simple lead form to capture contact information of those who download it.
The key components of lead-generating landing pages are:
- Lead capture form placed prominently above the page fold
- Page title and detailed sub-title highlighting offers
- Brief 1-2 body paragraphs, followed by bulleted reasons why the reader needs your content, and how they will benefit from it
- Company contact information
- If you have a short video that further explains the content, embed it on the page. It makes the page more interactive and engaging.
To learn more about how to create a landing page that converts visits to leads, read Need Leads? Tips for a Winning Landing Page.
5. Track Metrics that Lead to Insight, Action, and ROI
Search engine advertising can be flashy with all the numbers and reports you can pull. Don’t fall into this trap! Since we all have limited bandwidth, it’s a good idea to pull a short list of key metrics on a bi-weekly or monthly basis that give you the meaningful insight into what’s working and what isn’t.
Here are key metrics that will provide a good overview of campaign performance:
- Click-through-rate: This metric is a percentage of clicks over impressions, and tells you whether or not your ads are relevant to searchers.
- Conversion rate: This tells you how many people clicked on your ad and then took the next step – whether it’s downloading a white paper, requesting a demo, or purchasing a product.
- Cost-per-conversion or action: Look at how much you’re spending to produce leads or an intended action, and then how much you’re willing to spend to obtain a lead. Essentially this number is the line that separates success or failure from an ROI perspective.
- Search terms report: In order to avoid wasted spend, pull the “search terms” report. This report shows the entire search phrase that a searcher typed in and then clicked your ad. If you find irrelevant keywords, add negative keywords to your campaigns.
Most importantly, search engine advertising is not a “set it and forget it” activity. We recommend testing new keywords, ads, and offers frequently. This will give you valuable and actionable insight as you measure and analyze each test.
TREW has deep expertise in search engine advertising with Google Adwords certified specialists. Let us help you determine if search engine advertising is a great solution for your technical business. You can read more about our search advertising services or contact us to get started today.
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