Google AdWords for Small Business
This Google Adwords for Small Business slide presentation was presented at the Victoria Web Marketing Meetup by our own Richard Clement on December 2nd, 2015.
Topics covered in this Google Adwords for Small Business presentation:
- What is Google Adwords?
- Why Use Google Adwords?
- Google Adword Campaign Types
- Keyword Research
- How to Set Up a Search Campaign
- How to Set up a Display Campaign
- The Keyword Bidding Process
- Keyword Types Explained
- Budgets & Bidding
- Ad Creation
- What is Remarketing?
- Conversions Explained
- Linking Google Adwords with Google Analytics
- Use Google’s Money First
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Download the PDF version HERE:
[bctt tweet=”Mastering Google Adwords 101 for Business!”]
[Transcription] Google Adwords for Small Business
So welcome to today’s presentation: Google Adwords for Small Business. We’re going to look at how to make the most of your money when you’re spending it on Adwords, and also the little bit of money you can get from Google. And we’ll come back to that later on. My name is Richard Clement, I’m the Senior Online Marketing Analyst with Metamend. I probably have the best job in Metamend, because I get to spend all the people’s money. And as long as I spend it wisely, nobody complains.
First of all, what is Google Adwords? I think we’re all familiar with typing something into Google Search, and before we get to those nice organic listings, we’ve got all those different ads and everything shown. We’ve got some at the top, we’ve got some down the sides, and in this particular example because I typed in a location, we’re also getting some local results. The two that we are interested in are the three at the top and the six or so down the side, and there’s more down there. So these are the ones we are all familiar with- we see on a regular basis- whenever we see Google and we use Google.
Other ones you might not be aware of… Ask is another search engine. You probably haven’t used it, but if you did it’s actually powered by Google, and whenever you advertise on Google, you can say that you want to advertise with their search partners, and Ask is one of those. So, your results can appear there, and we can see the highlighted section has got some ads in there.
The other place… and you’ve probably seen the ads, but you probably haven’t realised how they’re getting there… I’m on UsedVictoria here, one of the local buy and sell sites, and I’ve got three sections highlighted, and those sections are all being powered by Google Advertising. So, this is part of Google’s display network, where sites opt in and say “yes, I’m happy to display ads from Google”. Anytime somebody clicks on an ad, you get paid, or the owner of the site, and of course Google makes money because people have advertised there. That’s one that you’ve probably seen the ads, but you probably just weren’t aware, maybe, that that’s where the ads were coming from.
So, why use Google Adwords? Well, there’s a number of reasons. First of all, you are accessing the largest search engine and display network in the world. You’re not faffing around with Bing, that gets a few users, or Yahoo that gets a few users, or maybe some local directory site that maybe gets half a dozen people a day coming to it. Sign up with Adwords, and you are getting direct access to the largest search engine and display network in the world. Secondly, you don’t have to wait for organic search rankings, so if you’ve got a website… maybe it’s a new one, or maybe it’s been around for a while… if you want to rank organically, then it takes time. You’ve got to build up some equity, you’re probably busy producing content, you’ve got to get linked to that content, and that all takes a bit of time.
Sign up to Adwords, get out your checkbook and credit card and, hey presto, you can be at the top of the search engines in a few hours at the most. And of course, you can turn it on and off as required. That’s a good thing and a bad thing, because you’re not building up any real equity. As soon as you take that credit card away, your ad is not displaying, and therefore you are not going to get the clicks and the traffic to your site. But, it’s also a good thing, because maybe you are getting too much business and so you don’t need to pay for advertising. Well, you just turn it off and turn it back on again when you are ready. It takes as little as one hour to set up, so if you decided right now that Google Adwords is “yup, that’s the right thing for me”, in an hour’s time, your ads could be up and running and you could be displaying on Google. It’s very easy to calculate the return on your investment. If you’re prepared to spend $10 a day, $300 in a 30 day month… at the end of that month, you can look at your leads and sales coming through your website, or if you’ve got an e-commerce site, or a service-based site, and say “yes, I’ve got this number of leads, I pay this much money to Google, therefore it’s worth my while”, and you can very quickly get that return on investment. It can be highly profitable.
Certainly, it’s gotten more competitive, and it’s getting more expensive to use Google Adwords than it used to be, but it can still be very highly profitable. We’ve got clients who make as much as 10 times their return on investment, in terms of their revenue and sales. So, yes, it is getting more difficult, I grant you, but it can be highly profitable if you do it well. You get right to the top of the search results, and I’m going to show a slide in a second that kind of displays that. With Google now showing shopping results, it’s showing paid advertising, it’s showing local search results on maps and things like that, having the top ranked organic site is not what it used to be, and using Adwords is a great way to get right to the top. You’ve also got numbers of options. We’ve looked at search. We had a quick look at display, there. You can also advertise on Youtube, the world’s second largest search engine, and obviously a highly viewed site. Google also has a shopping site that you can access as well, so it’s not just about search, and even display, there’s video shopping as well, and if you’ve got apps there’s also some options there. So, there’s a lot of options you can get to advertise on Google.
As I was saying, having the highest ranked organic search result for a particular search term is not what it used to be. Here’s an example, here. I typed in “plumber, Victoria, BC”, a local search… we’ve got three paid advertising spots at the top, and then we’ve got a map, and then we’ve got three local business results showing before that, from Google Places, and then… just right at the bottom of the page… we’ve actually got the first organic result. It’s definitely not what it used to be, being the top of organic- there’s lots of things that people can do before they actually get to that organic result, and Adwords is the best way to make sure that you get right to the top of the search results, pretty much every time.
Now, there are some prerequisites before you set up. First of all, you’ve got to have a Google account, and you’ve got to associate it with Google Adwords. We’ll come to that, but you must have a Google account set up first of all. Second, you need a budget and a credit card. There are some options to get Google to send you an invoice on a 30 day basis, and you pay the invoice, but that takes a bit of time to set up and it’s not within the realms of possibility for most small businesses. You’ve got to build up some credit history with Google before they’ll let you do that. So, for most businesses, you need the credit card and you need a budget, and we’ll come more to budgeting a little bit later. Don’t underestimate how much money you’re going to need to spend on Google Adwords. Yes, it can be highly profitable, but it’s not something you’re going to throw $10 a month at and get a return on investment. You’ve got to be realistic. You do need to put some budget to it.
The next four are ideal, and certainly if you came to me and asked me to set up your Adwords account, I would be saying they are absolutely essential. First of all, make sure you’ve got Google Analytics, or another web analytics program running on your website. You really do need to know what people do once they’ve clicked on the ad, and get to your website, so that you can make some smart decisions about whether you are bidding on good keywords, bad keywords, or maybe there’s some opportunities for keywords that you haven’t even thought about, but you can see them coming through from other search terms or wherever it might be. You really should know your average order value. When you’re going to spend $10 a day, $300 a month, on Google Adwords, what does that mean in terms of… you know, if you get a lead to your service business, or even your e-commerce business… how much is each order worth to you? If you don’t know that, then it makes it really really difficult to make any decisions on whether spending $300 a month is actually worthwhile or not. You should know that number, and you should know the customer lifetime value as well, because having one order… let’s say you get $100 of value for every order you receive… that’s a good number to know, but a better number to know is how many times will that customer come back and buy from you? Is it a one-off? They’ll never come back again? Is it like a car, so they’ll come back once every three to five years? Or, is it something they could come back monthly and buy from you? Therefore, is it worthwhile maybe spending a bit more than the first order value, but you know that their going to come back and buy from you 10 or 12 times, or whatever it might be. So, that’s another number you really should know. And, if you are in the service business, what’s the close rate, from lead to sale? Because, if somebody comes to your website from Google Adwords, they’re not going to buy straight away. They can’t. There’s nothing to buy on your website, but they’re going to find out a bit more about your business, and then perhaps they’re going to engage with you. What you should know is, whenever you go out there and do your networking, or whatever other marketing you’re doing right now, how many people do you turn into sales, having got that initial lead or maybe having had that initial discussion because, again, that will enable you to make some smart decisions when it comes to using Google Adwords.
Now, there are a number of different campaign types that you can set up on Google Adwords. Here are the six that you can do. You can use their search network, which we’ve looked at. You can use a combination of search and display- it’s called the Search and Display Select campaign type. You could use purely display- so in other words, maybe something like UsedVictoria there- you could use that. You can use shopping. Google’s got its own shopping channel, and will display shopping results at the top of the search results pages if you type in something that is obviously a specific product. You can use video, and advertise on Youtube. There’s also a Universal App campaign type, so if you’ve got an app that you’ve developed, then you can do some specific advertising for it. So, those are the six campaign types. The two that I’ve highlighted there, Search and Display, they’re the ones we’re going to get into in a little bit of detail, and give you an idea of how to set those up and make the most of your money, and a little bit of Google’s money.
So, let’s have a look at setting up a search campaign.
The first thing you do when you set up a search campaign on Adwords is do some keyword research. So, what is it that people are typing in that is relevant to your business, your products, your services? And Google, because they love you spending money with them, very handily provide this nice little tool called the Keyword Planner.
Once you’ve created your account, and you log into Google Adwords, before you even set up any sort of campaign or whatever, you can go into the Tools section that I’ve highlighted there, look for the Keyword Planner, and you can start to type in some keywords that you think might be relevant to your business.
This is the interface as you can see in the screenshot here, and we’re going to look for the option that says “search for new keyword using a phrase, website, or category”.
I’m using the example that I showed earlier with the plumber. So, if I type in “plumber” as the search phrase that I am interested in, then- just down in the section below- we’ve got some options, in terms of targeting and, what I’m going to do is just look at a local business.
So, if I’m a plumber, I’m not going to go too far. I’m not going to travel hundreds of miles, and I can’t sell it online. So, we’re going to look at a local business, and so… I’m using the location of Victoria- that could be British Columbia, it could be a number of different places on Vancouver Island here, it could be Vancouver if a business was prepared to travel, but certainly you can get some options in terms of targeting, there. We’re using the English language, we’re using the Google search network, and there’s a few other options that I’ll come back to, but very quickly if I literally just type in my keyword, choose my target location, I can get some ideas in terms of how many people are searching for plumber-related searches on Google.
The next screen is what you’ll get when you first go into it.
Of course, Google is trying to get you to spend money with them, and set up ads, and so what they do… the first thing they actually show you… is an ad group, and how you can group different keywords together, and you’ll be able to then see how many searches you get for these different groups. It’s a great way to structure your ads, and I’m going to come back to how to structure your ads in a little bit. But, we’re not interested in ad groups right now. We just want to know how many people, and what sort of phrases people type in when they search for “plumber”, to do with Victoria.
So, here’s the first one.
The search term “plumber” gets an average of 50 searches a month. The “high” just means that it is highly competitive on Google Adwords, and they’re suggesting a bid of $17.39 if you’re going to use Adwords for this particular term. Down below that, in the next section, are some suggested keywords, and you can see that there’s “plumber in Mississauga”, “plumber in Edmonton”, and then we’ve got a “master plumber” and a few other keywords. So, if you’ve classified yourself as a Master Plumber, you know, that might be your brand and, if it is, there’s no reason why you can’t bid on a brand. But, there’s another 10 searches a month, and it’s only a medium in terms of its competitiveness, and the per-bid suggestion is $14.75.
Straight away, you can see how many people are searching for certain keywords, and at the top the graph just shows you the searches which have been averaged to give you the 50 for plumber over the year, so it can show you the seasonality in terms of the search terms that you’re looking at. You can type in as many different combinations as you want, and this next screen, that’s basically what I’ve done, so I’ve said “ok, maybe I need to widen my search a little bit”. So, let’s go for “plumber, Victoria”, or maybe “plumber, Victoria, BC”, because some people do qualify Victoria because there is a Victoria in Australia.
Now we can see that “plumber, Victoria, BC” actually gets 110 searches per month, and costs a suggested bid of $15. “Plumber, Victoria”… another 40 searches… $11. Then, we’ve got some plurals here, because I typed in the singular “plumber”, and so there’s “plumbers” at 140, “plumbers, Victoria, BC” at 70, and “plumbers” on its own at 20. So now I’ve got half a dozen keywords that I could bid on, and it’s given me an idea of the bid. Now, looking at this, you’re straight away, as a business person, hopefully going “well, hold on a minute… so, $17 to get somebody just to click on my ad”. So then, you start to think, “well, what’s my close rate going to be? If I get 100 people to click, that’s going to be $1700 to get 100 people to my site.” So, for every 100 people that are a lead for your business, how many of those do you actually close? Is it 1, is it 2, is it 10? And, of course, the quality of your website’s got something to do with it, but it’s also just your general sales practices and your close rate, etc.
So, at that point, you’ve got to start to decide, you know, “is this going to be worthwhile?” There are some other tools that can help you in that. Now, we’re starting to build it up, and you can put other keywords in there and really start to dig deep into what people might be searching for. Further down the search results… I just wanted to show you that (and this is just literally that I scrolled down)… so now we’re starting to get some other businesses that people are actually searching for.
So, “Mr. Rooter”, and “Super Plumber Victoria”, you can see that they are getting what we call branded traffic. Google does actually allow you to bid on other people’s brands. If they are trademarked brands, you can’t actually use the trademark in your ad copy, but you can use it as a keyword. So, you could actually start to tap into the people searching for “Mr. Rooter” and “Super Plumber Victoria”, and all the hard work that they’re doing in marketing their own brand, and they’ll be getting people to search for them, and you could get your ad to display right beside theirs. Sometimes people don’t even, you know, actually bid on their own brand, and that leaves it open for other people – their competitors – to step in and do that. Once you find the keywords that you’re interested in, at the right hand side… you can see beside “Mr. Rooter”, there, that double arrow… clicking that will actually put them into a list of your keyword ideas, and on the right hand side we can see a little box that basically keeps track of all the keyword ideas that you’re interested in.
What it does do is it gives you an idea of how much your bid could be, and therefore of how much your spend would be, and also how many clicks you could expect from that particular spend, and the bids that you’re prepared to put on it. That information gets stored in Google, and you can actually download it, put it into a spreadsheet, and sort of analyse it offline and start to make your business decisions on which keywords you think are going to be most applicable to your business, and therefore how much budget and how much your bids are going to be, in terms of getting people to your site. The blue button there, the Review Forecast, is quite good, and I’m going to come back to that a little bit later, when I talk a bit more about bids and budget, but it really does allow you to have a look at if you’re prepared to spend $10 a day, or $100 a day, or $1000 a day, or whatever your budget might be, and what you can then expect in terms of clicks, and costs and conversions and that sort of thing. It really is a very useful tool to give you an idea of what’s going to be involved in using Google Adwords- how the marketing channel is getting people to your website, and to your business.
Just looking at the “Super Plumber”, there… we saw that people are actually searching for that brand, and we can see here that there’s already 3 people who are showing up for that particular search term.
They might not actually be bidding on “Super Plumber”- they might actually just be bidding on “plumber, Victoria”, for example. One thing that I do know this year is that “Super Plumber” themselves- the business- aren’t bidding on their own brand, and so now there are three results above them in the search results, which I think is a mistake. People, it has been proven- and there are statistics there to back up the research- that, if you’ve got an ad as well as the first organic listing, you will get more traffic. It’s not an either/or. People don’t just click on one or the other. People will click on both and, especially if your competitors are showing up whenever your brand is being typed in, you want to make sure that you’re showing up as well.
We’ve looked at very generic searches there, in terms of brands and plumbing, but of course people don’t just search for the high-level keywords. People have problems that they’re looking to solve, and so the next bit of keyword research that I did was looking at hot water tank replacement, blocked drains and, sure enough, when I type those in you can that there’s 10 searches on average a month for blocked drains and there’s 20 searches a month for hot water tank replacement.
Even better, if you are in the business of selling hot water tanks or providing hot water tanks, there are 70 people on average a month looking for the term “hot water tank”, and even more looking for prices and repairs and things like that. So do, whenever you are doing your research, think about every part of your business, don’t just think about that high level and your brand, and maybe other people’s brands. Drill down into the problems that people might have, that are applicable to your business, and you’ll find lots of keywords. Typically what you’ll find, and you can see it here, is that suggested bids for hot water tank prices, hot water tanks, even hot water tank replacement, are way lower than the bids were for plumber and “plumber, Victoria”, and those sorts of types of keywords. So you can get probably even more highly targeted traffic at less cost if you do your homework and do your research. I would absolutely recommend that you do- it will pay off when you set up your Adwords campaigns.
Right at the start of the keyword research it says that you could type in keywords or a website. One other thing that you can do to try and find keywords is either type in your own website, or even better still perhaps, if you knew that there was a number 1 business that you’re competing against, is to type in their domain name and get some ideas. That’s what I’ve done here… so this is the number 1 organic site that comes up when you search for “plumbers, Victoria”: “milesplumbing.com”.
I’ve basically put that url into the search box, and got ideas. What Google does is, it goes through the pages on the site, and comes up with keywords that are applicable to the copy that it finds on the site. Then, of course, it relates those to the number of searches that it knows are taking place in its database, and that’s another way to get potential keywords for Adwords, and also for organic SEO as well. So, we’ve got hot water on demand, electric hot water tank, tankless water heater, price, on-demand water heater, and then we’ve got the brand of course, Miles Plumbing Victoria. It’s another great way of coming up with keywords if you’re kind of stuck, or you want to just make sure you are covering every possibility. Go and type in your own domain name, or some of your competitors’ domain names, and it will come up with some more keyword ideas.
So, having done your keyword research there are different types of keywords, and you do need to know them whenever you are using Google Adwords, because essentially (and slightly cynically), Google has set them up to make the most amount of money that they possibly can. So, if you were just to type in “plumber Victoria”… that’s what they call a broad match, and Google Adwords, and it’s algorithm, will take those keywords that you’ve typed in, and apply those to a range of potential searches.
In other words… and Google will argue that they’re doing it to cast a net as wide as possible and get you the largest number of searches and largest number of people doing searches as they possibly can to your site. I’m going to explain why that makes it difficult for you to make Adwords profitable in a minute. We’ve got these “broad match” terms so, literally, if I just type in “plumber, Victoria”, that’s what they call a broad match. You’ve then got to modify “broad match”, where you put a little plus sign before the keyword (and it says “+plumber, +Victoria”), and that is restricting the searches that your keywords can appear for. Also, I’m going to explain this in a second. Then, we’ve got phrase matched keywords, so you put the double quotes around the keywords and that restricts it even more in terms of when your ads could get triggered. Finally, the most specific search that you can get is called and exact match, and it’s got these little square brackets around the outside of the term. You can see from the graphic there… the broad match gets you the widest number of potential searchers, however exact match will get you exactly what you are looking for, as the name suggests. I’m just going to show you some of the examples of how I’ve had these actually work in practice, and how, therefore, they affect the number of people potentially clicking on your ads, and therefore costing you money, who mightn’t be as qualified as you would like them to be. There is another type of keyword, called a negative keyword. So, if you want to exclude people who are looking, in my example here, for the cheapest of something or other, and if you know that you are not the cheapest in town for the business type that you are, or the product or service you provide, then you can put in your negative keywords, which will stop your ads from showing when people type in “cheapest”, or “free”, or some of these keywords that a lot of businesses don’t really want those sort of people clicking on their ads and coming to their sites.
So, let’s have a look at a broad match.
An ad is eligible to show for any word, in any order, so if we are using the example of “plumber, Victoria”… “plumber jobs”. Yes, you’re ad could show for that. “Jobs, Victoria”. Yes, your ads could show for that. “Victoria’s Secret”. Yes, you’re ad could show for that. “Best plumber, Victoria, BC”. Yup. “Cheapest plumber, Victoria, BC”? Yup. Any word, any variation of that word or any of the words that you’ve put into your potential search of your keyword, absolutely Google will take and potentially show the ad for it. So, personally, I never ever use broad match- it’s just too wide, it’s giving Google way too much scope in terms of either where my ad might show, and I would strongly suggest that you don’t use broad match for any of your keywords either. As you can see, there’s way too many options there for Google to show your ads and basically waste your money.
Modified broad match… now, this is where I typically start for a brand new client, brand new campaigns, because we’re getting some of that volume without the lack of control that you get with jut pure broad match.
Basically what the plus parameter does, which turns a broad match into a modified broad, is it locks those individual words into the search phrases. So, if we’re again using the “plumber, Victoria” example, and I’ve put the parameter on just “plumber”, then if somebody just types in “plumber”… yes, your ad will show. “Plumber jobs”? Yes, your ad will show, because it’s got “plumber”. But, if I type in “Victoria jobs”, no you’re ad’s not going to show, because the ad will only be triggered if there’s at least the word “plumber” in the search term. Now, if I do the modified broad on both of the search terms there, on both of the words, now you’re not going to get it for “plumber”. You’re not going to get it for “plumber jobs”. “Best plumber in Victoria, BC”? Yes. “Best plumber to fix my broken toilet in Victoria, BC”? Yes, because the two words “plumber” and “Victoria” are in both of those latter two searches. So, in terms of casting your net quite wide, but still giving you some control, Modified Broad is a great place to start for a brand new campaign.
So, now I’m going to look deeper and consider phrase match. These ads will only be triggered by the keywords in the exact order.
Previously, if I’d typed in “plumber, Victoria”, or “Victoria, plumber” on modified broad, it didn’t matter which order they were in the search term, as long as they were there somewhere then that’s fine. For phrase match, they’ve got to be in the exact order. So, if we’re using the “plumber, Victoria” example again, and I turn it into a phrase match with quotes… “plumber jobs, Victoria”… no, because “jobs” is in the middle. “Plumber, Victoria”… yes. “Best plumber, Victoria, BC”… yes, because even though “best” and “BC” are before and after, the two words “plumber” and “Victoria” are together, so that will show. “Plumbers, Victoria, BC”… yes, it will show, because it’s what they call a closed variant. So, if you bid on the single or the plural, and somebody searches for the singular or the plural… whichever one you don’t have… then it will still show. “Best plumber to fix my broken toilet (again) in Victoria, BC”… no, because the two words “plumber” and “Victoria” aren’t together in that particular search phrase, so your ad won’t show.
And then exact match. So, this is where your ads are only triggered by the exact keywords.
So, again, using the same example of “plumber, Victoria”… “Plumber in Victoria, BC”? No. “Plumber jobs Victoria”? Nope. “Plumber, Victoria”? Yes, and “plumbers, Victoria”… yes because, again, it will use the close variant of the plural- so actually dead on. So, exact match gives you the greatest control over your keywords, however it’s not casting its net very wide and, if you’re using exact match- and phrase match to a certain extent- you really need to have done your keyword research extensively, so you’re basically getting every possible combination of keywords into your ad campaigns, so that your ads do show enough, as opposed to just whenever people type in these very very specific terms. In terms of making profitable ad campaigns, exact match and phrase match are great, but when you’re starting out, they’re probably a little bit restrictive on this end, unless you spend days doing your keyword research to get every possible keyword that people are actually searching for. There’s a link there to a really good keyword tutorial that Google has done. I realise I’ve probably gone over this pretty quickly and, if you’ve never used Adwords before, it can be quite daunting, but there’s a really good tutorial there. Feel free to have a look at that.
So, just to go back to our keywords planner again, we’ve got our keywords that we’re searching for, we’ve got some volume in terms of how many people are searching per month, and potential cost.
I want to look at the budget, and so we’ve looked at this section on the right hand side, previously, where it’s got your plan and bid ranges, and forecasts and budgets and various other bits and pieces. So, if you click on the “review forecast” button, you’ll get taken into the screen you can see here. What that basically does is allow you to play around with budgets, and bids, and find out how many clicks you’re actually going to get for the amount of money your prepared to spend.
So, budgets are set at the campaign level. They are per-day. You can get your estimates in the keyword planner, which we are having a look at. I think the biggest advice I can give to anybody is don’t underestimate how much money you need to spend on Google Adwords to make it worthwhile. As I said right at the start, it can be highly profitable running Google Adwords campaigns; however, to find out the exact keywords and the ads, and the bids and everything else, to make a profitable campaign does take some experimentation. You will need budget to kind of play around with at the start, and typically if somebody asks me I’m saying at least $1000 up to maybe $5000 depending on the industry you’re in if the clicks are expensive, you’re going to need some budget to find out exactly what works for your specific circumstance. The great thing is, you can use this estimation tool in Google, and it’s all free, and you can put in your daily budgets and you can put in your bids, and it will tell you… and this is the sort of long rectangular section here… how many clicks that you can expect for those clicks and budgets and your cost, and here’s where your knowledge of your business comes in, in terms of how many leads you turn into sales, etc.
Bids… so, we’ve talked about bid budget at the campaign level, so that’s kinda how much you’re prepared to spend, per day. Adwords… I probably should have said this earlier… Adwords is an auction system, so depending on how much you’re prepared to pay for each click, on demand, to get people to come to your site, it’s basically the largest factor in Google deciding which ads it’s going to display in which order, so if say I’m prepared to pay $5 per click, and you say you’re prepared to pay 6, and somebody said they were prepared to pay 7… then, on the face of it… whoever’s prepared to pay $7 for each click is going to be shown first.
That’s not always the case because, being cynical, I’m going to say that Google wants to maximize its revenue so it’s going to basically put the ad at the top whose going to get the most clicks. Google will say that they are giving their customers the most relevant ad. You can take your pick on which side of the fence you’re on, on that one. But, it’s not always the highest bidder. It comes down to the quality of your ad, the quality of your landing page (which I’ll come back to in a little bit) that the ad is actually linked to, will actually define which ad gets shown. So, again, we’ve looked at budget on the previous screen, bids here… I could play around with the bid. I’ve currently got it at $5 for each bid. In this particular example, I took off the daily budget as if I had unlimited budget, and I was prepared to pay $5… you can see the number of clicks has gone from 11 to 13 clicks a day, to 138 to 169 clicks per day, and obviously corresponding increases in impressions and cost on top of that. However, if you know that for every 100 people that come to your site, you can get 5 of them to buy your service or your product, whatever it might be, at $300 per order, then hey… you just spend money, and spend more money, and then, hey presto! You make even more. But, the tool allows you to experiment, play around with it, and I highly recommend that you do so before you put any campaign live. Bids are set per ad group or per keyword, and we’ll come back to that.
One of the great thing about Adwords, and it’s one of the things I spend a lot of time doing every day, is you can adjust your bids for various different factors such as mobile, audience, location and schedule (days/times). For mobile devices, you can increase or decrease your bids depending on the performance of the people who view and click on your ads.
An audience can be a re-marketing audience, so people who have already visited your site, or it can be an audience who are interested in particular topics, or interest groups on Google’s display network. For locations, you can specify locations as being very local, or you display them being at regional level. If you are doing business in the United States, you could break down your locations into the 50 states, and you can see that people from New York buy more and spend more than people from Washington state for example, and therefore you can increase your bids and decrease your bids in those particular places, to make your campaigns more profitable. You can also adjust bids on an absolute per-day, per-hour basis, so if you know that your ads are getting shown overnight, and you get a few clicks but nobody ever buys, then you can reduce the amount of the bids overnight, and increase the bids between the hours of 10 and 4 because you know that’s when most people actually buy- again, all making your campaigns more profitable.
So, once you’ve done all your research, and you’ve figured out how much you’re prepared to spend…budget, bids, etc… then you want to go ahead and set up your ads. So Google Adwords for a search campaign are structured with campaign as the top level, and then you break campaigns into ad groups. Ad groups contain ads. Ads are triggered by keywords, then there’s just basic things called extensions… which I’ll explain a little bit more detail… that sit with those as well.
So, the diagram here shows an example adventure store. They sell backpacks, they sell books, and they sell shoes. So, that’s how they structured their campaigns. Within the backpack campaign, for example, they sell travel backpacks and they sell cheap backpacks. So, they’re going to break those down into ad groups below the backpack campaign. The ads are then obviously set up to be applicable within each of the ad groups, and then the keywords from the keywords research you’ve done also fit into those ad groups. My suggested approach is, once you’ve done your keyword research, is to go and get a spreadsheet, put your keywords down the side, and then start to group your keywords together, probably by landing page, and I mean the page that you’re going to send people to if they click on the ad triggered by that particular keyword. If you’re finding that there are some keywords that have got the same landing page, consider grouping those together, ie, in the example here, if you’ve got a bunch of cheap backpacks then that’s a great way to put them all together. Once you’ve grouped them together, those can be your ad groups. For each ad group, you want to compose at least one ad, obviously. Probably one ad for mobile, one ad for desktop, would be a better choice. Then, once you’ve got your ad groups, start to group those together by topic or business area, or campaign type, or… in this example… by product type, and those will then be your campaigns, so you’re kind of building your campaigns from the ground up. For somebody starting from scratch, that’s quite a good way to actually structure your accounts and the campaigns that you’re going to set up. Now… putting your ads together.
Unfortunately, Google does not give you unlimited space on their search results pages. They are quite restrictive. For the English language, and most languages, you get 25 characters for your headline, you get 35 characters for your display url, 35 characters for your first line of description and 35 characters for your second descriptive line.
In this particular example here, you can see what people are doing to squeeze in the title and the display url, etc, within those restrictions. If you are using one of the double-width languages, and I’ve never used… I don’t understand any of them… then it’s even more restrictive, and you can see the max length there. 12 and 17 are the two numbers you need to know. So, once you’ve got your spreadsheet, and you’ve got your ads filled, put a column in for headline, display url, description 1, description 2, and start to put your text in there, and obviously use your length function to make sure you are not exceeding the 25 characters and the 35 characters when you are building these ads, because it is actually quite hard to put together these ads, and get what it is you are trying to say, and get people to click on your ad within those restrictions.
So, just to give you some tips on putting together the ads. This is actually the interface whenever you’re composing your ads.
Get your keywords in the headline. So, whatever keywords you’re targeting, get those in the headline. Again, going back to the “plumber, Victoria” example, I’m making the headline “Expert plumbers, Victoria”. The next line… again, get your keywords in one of the two description lines. What it does is it emboldens the keywords on the search results pages and it makes them stand out, and people are more likely to click on them. It’s just a human nature thing. Get a call to action in, ideally I think, the second description line. I put in here “no job too big or small. Call now”. Calls to action are good – very good. Again, it’s just a human nature thing. If you don’t encourage that call of action thing, then people don’t do it. Finally, then, do consider how you can put your keywords in the display url as well. Again, it’s just a reinforcement thing, but it really does work. Your display url can be different from the final url. As long as the domain name is the same, pretty much, then Google don’t mind. You can get it wrong, and Google will tell you you’ve got it wrong and that you’re not allowed to have that particular display url for that particular final url, but getting the keyword in there is actually a really good thing.
You’re obviously deciding whether this particular ad is mobile or not. You check the box, and then you put the url in, the final url that people are actually going to go to whenever they’ve clicked on the ad. I’ve put here someplumber.com/landingpage, and that’s just to show you what can be done – don’t be afraid to create pages just for each ad. The best results we see are for ads that have specific landing pages that match both the text and the ads, and also the keywords that people will search for. You will absolutely see the best results this way.
Now, I mentioned ad extensions earlier on as part of setting up an ad. This particular set of search results here, for the search term “network intrusion detection system”… we can see that the first ad that came up… and what I’ve done is I’ve highlighted the headline, the description1, description 2, and the display url that you get just when you are normally setting up an ad.
In this particular example, you can see that that’s not even half of what’s actually showing, so their getting a lot more real estate for their money at no extra cost. The cost only is, as always, incurred whenever somebody clicks on the ad. How they’ve done it is by using extensions. So, all the arrows that I’ve indicated there… all those lines are, in fact, some type of extension. The first ones are “call outs”… where it says essential security tools, no integration headaches, etc. Those are call outs. We’ve then got a review extension, where it says ‘fantastic interface and easy setup’. Then we’ve got a Google Plus link and it says that Alien Vault has got 540 followers on Google. Then we’ve got site links. So, the behavioural monitoring, intrusion detection, etc… those are other links off to other parts of the site that this particular company would think would be relevant to people who have done this search for a network intrusion detection system. So, the use of these extensions is huge, in terms of you dominating that search space, and basically getting as big a bang for your buck as possible, and I will absolutely say that the ones I’ve highlighted there, the site links and call-outs… every ad group should have site links and call-outs. No reason at all why they shouldn’t do.
Ok, so that’s the search campaign. I’m going to look quickly at setting up a display campaign. This is where I will look again at the example of UsedVictoria and we had those ads showing up that I’ve highlighted there.
This particular ad on the left hand side, again for this company (Alien Vault)… this is called a re-marketing ad. So, people have already been to the Alien Vault site and now they’re wandering around the internet. I’m sure you’ve seen it – you’ve gone to somebody’s site, and then off you go to the rest of the internet, and suddenly these ads start appearing for the company and the website that you went to, and what they’re doing is they’re re-marketing you. They know that you’ve been to the site, and now they’re trying basically to get you to come back. Re-marketing ads are great, because they are making the most of your money. You’re paying to get people to your site and, on average, for every 100 people that come to your site, probably a maximum of 5 people are actually going to buy straight away, so if 95 people have now come to your site, and they’ve gone off again and are wandering around the internet, to try to get some of those people to engage back with your business again is absolutely the smart thing to do. You can do it by setting up one of these remarketing campaigns on Google’s display network.
People who know your brand are much more likely to convert, so if they’ve come to your site once or more times before, they’re more likely to turn into a customer than somebody who is coming to you for the first time.
Display advertising is much cheaper than search advertising, as we’ve seen with some of the costs of the clicks there. There’s a wide range of re-marketing audience options, so you can basically say “let’s build an audience of people who’ve been to my site in the last 14 days. Or let’s build an audience of people who have been to my site and looked at the product section of my particular site”. You can even build audiences of people who have been to the product pages in your site, if you’ve got an e-commerce site. You can also actually re-market on Google search, which is great for high funnel keywords. Somebody who’s typing in “hot water tank replacement”, probably needs something pretty quickly, and are highly targeted. Somebody who types in “plumber”… are they about to refurbish their house? Are they doing it in 6 months’ time? They’re at a much higher level in the funnel, but you can re-market to people who have been on your site, who type in these very high level keywords, at a much reduced cost than if you’re just doing it using normal search. Re-marketing is extremely effective if you’ve got an e-commerce site, in terms of getting people back, because you can actually show them… I’m sure you’ve seen it… those ads on the display network of those specific products you’ve looked at on people’s sites, and you’re like “whoa, how do they know I looked at that particular product?” They know, and they’re going to do everything they can to get you to come back and actually buy it. Re-marketing is just good for brand awareness as well, so you can be very very specific, but you can also just use it to remind people that you’re there and to come back again.
Conversions… I would suggest, and highly recommend that unless you’ve got a conversion to track, don’t even bother setting up an Adwords campaign, otherwise you’re basically just going to spend money and not know what results you’re actually going to get.
A famous management guru said “what gets measured gets managed”. If you’re not measuring your conversions and your leads coming through, then really you’re just wasting your money. You’re spending this money to get people to come to your website… would it not be good to know if it’s working or not? It really allows you to spend more money, or less money, profitably, if you are measuring it. One thing I would absolutely recommend is, only track worthwhile conversions. I’ve seen people tracking conversions of “they spent two minutes on my site, that’s a conversion”… “they visited a particular page, I’m going to put that as a conversion”. I would strongly recommend that you only put on the worthwhile conversions where you have captured an email address, they’ve bought a product from you… something that you know you can probably turn into a customer if they haven’t already turned into a customer. You can set up conversion tracking either in Google Analytics, and you can import it into Adwords, or you can actually set it up directly via Adwords. But, if you’re setting it up directly via Adwords, you will need your developer if you are not technical, to set up a piece of code on your site in quite a specific way. It’s not difficult once you know, but it’s probably easier to use Google Analytics and import the conversions in from there.
This is the conversions section, which is found via the tools in Google Adwords, and you can see a list of the conversions that this particular company has set up within their Adwords campaign- some of which you can see come from Analytics, and some which… there’s one “calls” and other one via Google Adwords.
The Analytics one was forwarded and imported from Google Adwords. There’s a link on the left hand side, which I have highlighted there, that allows you to make a connection between your Adwords and your Google Analytics. If you do set up your conversions correctly, then you can get information like this. This particular organization, as you will notice from their budgets in the second column there, are spending quite a lot of money.
It is absolutely essential and vital for them that they know exactly how much this money that they’re pumping into Google Adwords is worth for them. So we can see on the right hand side that I’ve highlighted there… for each of these campaigns, I can see the converted clicks, the cost per converted clicks for these few days, and the click conversion rate. If I didn’t have that information, and this company didn’t have that information, if they were sensible they wouldn’t be spending a dime on Google Adwords because, as you can see, from the amount of money they are spending, they really need to know. So I can see which campaigns, at a glance, are profitable, which ones are getting the best conversion rates, and in terms of either spending more money or going in and trying to figure out why one’s costing too much in the cost per converted click section, then this information allows me to go in and drill down a bit further and figure out what’s going on. So that’s the sort of information you can get if you set up conversions properly within Adwords.
We mentioned linking Adwords and Analytics and, again, I would highly recommend it if possible.
It allows you to import those goals into Adwords, and allows you to get detailed data within Google Analytics from Adwords so you don’t have to jump between the two. You can import your re-marketing audiences. You set them up in Google Analytics and import them to Google Adwords. It allows you to set up this re-marketing campaigns we mentioned. The great thing is, there’s no need for web-developers. You don’t have to go back to your web dev, who may or may not still be around, and even if he or she is, they are probably going to cost you lots of money for every little change that you want. The only thing that I would say is that what’ll happen is that the same Google account has to be managing both your Adwords and your Analytics to link the two together. As long as you’ve done that, then it’s very straightforward to actually link the two, and that section of the Admin within Google Analytics. You can actually see, I’ve highlighted the Adwords linking section, and also the re-marketing section, which is where you would set those up.
Now, I mentioned about using Google’s money. Google are obviously mad keen to get people to use their Adwords product, and spend money with them- it’s how they make money. Last I heard, I think they make just under 2 million dollars net profit per hour, so decent numbers there for any business, but they are never satisfied. They want more. So what they do is they send out Adwords vouchers – I’m sure if you’re a business owner, you’ve probably received one already in the post – a letter and a little card that says “spend x dollars, and we’ll give you y dollars free”.
This was an example, here… $100 when you spend $25. That’s usually the one that they send out to new businesses. It is only for new advertisers, so if you’ve already got an Adwords campaign set up, then I’m sorry you can’t get free money from Google. You must apply the coupon within 14 days. So, when you set up your Google Adwords account, you’ve got 14 days to apply the coupon. So, make sure you don’t miss that. You can get the coupon directly from Google and from Google partners. We’re partners ourselves, so our relationship we have with Google allows us to basically give out the $100 free cards on brand new campaigns, and we can put those into each of our new advertisers’ accounts. As soon as they spend the $25, then the $100 kicks in. If you’ve never tried Adwords advertising before then why not make the most of it and take advantage of Google’s generosity? They obviously know they are going to get it back from you in due course, but certainly go ahead and do that. If you’re interested in getting one of the coupons from us, then give us a shout here at Metamend.
Finally, the biggest mistakes that I see people make on Adwords campaigns. So obviously, here at Metamend, we spend, and I spend, all of my days running through people’s Adwords campaigns, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. But when we first get a campaign, they’re obviously not in such good order and the first thing I see is people completely underestimating, especially small businesses, the amount of budget they are going to need. They think they can spend, you know, $50 a month, and “yay, that’s going to be my budget.” I can tell you right now that $50 a day might be a better budget estimate than $50 a month. Don’t underestimate it. There’s no reason why you should underestimate it. I’ve shown you the tool that you can get into, the keyword planner. You can find out how much budget you do need to spend, and if you have no idea, then I would tell you right now… even as a small business… set aside somewhere between $1000 and $5000 as your initial budget if you’re going to try Adwords.
The next thing I see people do is they make a poor choice of keywords. So, they do the keyword research and go “ooh! Look, there’s 1000 people a month looking for plumbers”, and then they go down and see 50 people a month searching for hot water tanks in Victoria BC, and they go “ah, there’s only 50. Right, I’m going to go for those 1000, because I want all those people to come to my site”. The problem with that is that those people are right at the top of the sales funnel, and the number of people out of those 1000 who are going to turn into buyers for you, in the short term particularly, are very few. So don’t get seduced by the big numbers when you do your keyword research. Find the ones that are more likely to buy. What we call the long tail. People who are typing in more keywords. Don’t get seduced by the big numbers.
The next thing I see people do… and it’s kind of not their fault if they don’t know any different… they type in that “plumber, Victoria”, they don’t know anything about match types, and hey presto, suddenly their ads are being shown for all sorts of searches that aren’t relevant to their business, and their budget is being used up. Because, for some bizarre reason, and I’ve never figured this out why… even though people type in “plumber jobs”, and they see a “plumber, Victoria” ad”, they’ll click on it. I guess they are trying to see if there are any career opportunities there. Unfortunately, it’s your budget being used up, and you’re not getting any return on your investment, so keyword match types are hugely important.
I have seen people set up Adwords campaigns with no conversions, so they are spending money and I get that you can look at click-through rates and things like that, and see how your ad campaign is kind of performing, but without knowing what’s happening on your website in terms of leads and sign ups and purchases and whatever it might be, you really are wasting your time. If you came to me and said “I want you to set up and Adwords campaign, and I’ve got no conversions”, I’d be saying “well let’s get the conversions set up first and then we’ll worry about your Adwords campaign.”
Poor landing pages… so, people do all this work, they do their research, they get their budgets, they do all these really fantastic ads, and they have their Adwords campaign totally pimped out, and then they go “oh, where am I going to send… oh I know, I’ll send it to the homepage of the website.” No, no, no, no, no! Is what I would say. You’re going to waste your money, because people are going to go there, and the expectation that they’ve got for clicking on the ad, searching for the keyword and then coming to your page is going to be totally out of line. Two, you’re going to be paying more money. I talked earlier about which ad gets shown the best. The landing page that you’re sending people to is part of Google’s algorithm in figuring out the quality score of your ad, and how much you’re actually going to pay per click when somebody clicks on your ad. So, spend the time, get really good landing pages set up, and that will absolutely pay off for you.
Then finally, we talked about extensions, and when people don’t use extensions they really are missing out. Again, they do affect the quality score…particularly, site links… and so you can end up paying more, but also I showed in that screen shot how much real estate your ad can take, if you put on call out extensions and site link extensions, etc., you can take up a lot more real estate, and get more people to click on your ad, so make sure you maximize your extensions. Ok, I’ve gone through a heck of a lot there in a fairly short period of time, and if you’re brand new to Google Adwords it’s probably a little bit overwhelming, but obviously you can get the slides and go through it, and of course you are more than welcome to have a look at our website, give us a call, and we’d be more than happy to talk to you and see if we can help you out.