Recently we asked online stores around the world what their number one small business challenge was. They all answered with the same desire: driving more traffic to their sites. But it’s not any old traffic that they need. They need targeted traffic. Targeted traffic means that you’re getting more people who would be interested in your niche market and less random onlookers passing through who don’t want to buy what you’re selling. When it comes to leading traffic sources, Google AdWords offer online stores the most targeted options.
If you’re new to online marketing, using AdWords may seem complicated and out of your reach… but it’s not as complex as you may think. Yariv Dror, StoreYa’s CEO — who has spent over $10 million dollars through the years on Google advertising — has wrapped up 10 years of AdWords advertising experience into one 10 minute video.
Here, he walks us through the basics, the most important AdWord optimization tips and how to automate campaigns.
We have summarized the video’s tips below into a full AdWords campaign guide, including everything you need to know to set up your first AdWords campaign.
- Everything you need to know about setting up AdWord campaigns
- Choosing a relevant advertising method
- Keyword research
- Creating ads
- Setting up landing pages
- Bids and budgets
- Implementing tracking and reporting codes
- How to Run Successful AdWords Campaigns
- Balancing Bids
- Dynamic ads
- Outsourcing Tips
Everything you need to know about setting up AdWord campaigns
Here’s a summary of what you have to know…
- A relevant Advertising Method
- An effective Campaign Structure
- Keyword Research
- Ad Creation
- Linking Landing Pages
- Adding Negative keywords
- Campaign Budget
- Setting up Ad Group Bids
- Tracking and Reporting Codes For Optimization
Let’s get into it a little more…
Choosing a relevant advertising method
There are two advertising networks offered by Google: Search Ads and Display Ads. They can be summarized as follows:
Google Search Ads are displayed when people are using Google, or one of its partners, to actively search for what you’re offering. Search Ads can be text or, if you’re using shopping ads, a combination of text and images. They can be static or dynamic and will either lead searchers to your website or promoting them to call your business.
Google Display Ads refer to those ads displayed to users who are browsing other websites. Websites that have dedicated their website space to displaying Google ads. Although Display Ads are a cheaper option, they are more often less engaging and therefore yield fewer results than Search Ads.
Designing an effective campaign structure
The above shows a breakdown of an AdWords account. The most effective structure will allow you to a/b test and optimize to see what works best in each of your business segments. Here’s a quick flow breakdown:
- Campaigns allow you to control scheduling, geo-targeting, language and budget.
- Your Ad Groups are where you control the bids you wish to place on each group of ads.
- Lastly, you have your ads, which are either text, banners or text and images together and can be redirected to different pages within your site.
When choosing keywords for your static search ads, Yariv points out that you will want to find the right balance between the relevancy of the keywords used and their price. The price of a keyword is determined by their competition. In other words, if you are selling big name brands such as ‘iPhones’, which are well known and searched for, that name will be pricey.
The trick is to use phrases which describe your products properly and avoid as much competition as you can, therefore lowering the cost per click rate. This phrase strategy is often referred to as “The Long Tail.”
When planning phrases, try not to use too many words in one phrase as longer phrases are not searched as often. Additionally, you can also define negative keywords such as “free” and use matching types — exact, phrase or broad — to sharpen the type and amount of traffic your Search Ads are displayed too.
Words such as “Free”, should be avoided as offering anything of that nature will only attract traffic who are not looking to pay for your offering and therefore reduce your sales conversion.
When it comes to ad creation, you should be aware of the following static text ad restrictions:
- You get up to 30*2 characters for your headline
- You get up to 80 characters for your description lines.
The best approach when creating ads is to balance between the amount of targeted potential customers you get and the cost per click on your ads aka your ad budget. Imagine a scale if you will, one side of the scale is targeted traffic and the other is your click through rate cost. As you decrease your click rate, the amount of targeted traffic will decrease.
In order to find the best balance between the two, you will want to use the most relevant keywords, avoiding terms such as free – as discussed above – and including a landing page URL to the specific product or service you are offering.
Be mindful to include a strong, clear CTA (call to action) and to include numbers, word caps and symbols which are known to increase your click through rate.
Setting up landing pages
Landing pages should first and foremost live up to what was promised with the ad, or clearly lead them in the right direction by being as user-friendly and descriptive as possible.
Google uses page quality score as one of its parameters to determine cost per click rates. To achieve a good landing page quality score there should be a strong connection between your ad, the landing page and the keywords used. To make your landing page content perfectly balanced and relevant to both Google and the user, link your ad to a landing page that has the keyword mentioned a few times.
Bids and budgets
Let’s talk bids and budgets. For each of your campaigns you need to set a budget and for each of your ad groups you need to set a bid. The budget refers to the amount of money you are able and willing to spend or risk spending in relation to the amount of marketing time you have and the amount of products you offer.
There are two approaches to setting your budgets: you can start slowly and increase as you are able to optimize and judge your campaign performances or you can start bigger. Larger budgets can ensure quicker results, but carry a bigger risk. The general rule of thumb, according to Yariv, is to aim for a budget two or three times the price equivalent of one of the products you’re trying to sell over the first couple of days of your campaign.
When it comes to bids he goes on to suggest that you start with something you feel comfortable with. This is more often than not less than the keyword planner tool will automatically suggest, afterwhich you increase/decrease to balance exposure and cost, which we will discuss in the next two points.
Implementing tracking and reporting codes
Getting AdWord clicks is the easy part; it’s what happens to those clicks which allows you to see if a campaign is indeed performing well. To do that, you will need to keep a close eye on the performance and implement AdWords pixel tracking or a Google Analytics code.
With Google Analytics you are able to link your UTM parameters and your AdWords account to each and every ad, allowing you to track actual conversations, something Yariv says so many merchants often forget to do.
Once you have created your landing pages and ads, set yourself up for tracking, set your budgets and placed your bids, it’s time to optimize. Every setup should be monitored and tested to ensure you’re paying optimum click through rates for the optimum conversion results.
Setting up excel sheets to track your progress will ensure you are optimizing to the fullest. This information can help give you invaluable insights such as which keywords are working and which countries are performing better than others.
The ideal optimization technique is to a/b test as many different segments as you can – from altering ad text within an ad group to changing keywords – to see which yield the best return on investments, or ROIs.
Optimization takes a lot more time and work than the initial ad setup, however, it’s the most important part of running AdWords campaigns to ensure you are getting the most conversions for your spend.
How to Run Successful AdWords Campaigns
So how do you get the most out of your campaigns for the least amount of time and money spent? We’ll show you! Here are top tips to help save you 50% of your budget, save TONS of time and turn your losing campaigns into profitable ones.
Balancing your bids is a sure way to get the most effective cost per click bid. The trick is to find a balance between the amount of budget you want to spend and your ROIS, while keeping those bids within budget.
Have a look at your bids more closely, comparing what your desired daily spend was with what was actually spent. If you spent less than your desired daily budget, increase the bid by 10% and check back in twenty-four hours. If you still didn’t match your daily budget, increase again. If you went over your daily budget, then decrease your bids by 5% until they are balanced.
This is something you will want to do on a regular basis as there are a lot of variables that will affect your bid balance on a day-to-day basis, such as competition influence and seasonal changes.
For those of you who are very technically oriented or have a developer on retainer, Google provides scripts that can run this bid balancing procedure for you.
When Yariv first started using this feature after many years of AdWords experience, he was blown away.
Dynamic Search Ads let you target searches automatically by allowing you to choose the description line of your ads, while Google then dynamically decides what your headline will be, who to trigger those ads to and which landing page your potential customer will be redirected to.
Ultimately filling in any gaps to give you the best results possible, which is an amazing feature to work with.
To get the most out of dynamic ads, you will want to extract search queries that do well through the dynamic ads feature and use them in regular static campaigns. This will mean, while Google explores more keywords through the dynamic, you will be able to test bids on the extracted performing search queries.
By now you should be over the moon about these ROI-boosting AdWords tips or overwhelmed. If you’re the latter, don’t panic because you’re certainly not alone… AdWords can feel like a full time job. And if you just don’t have the time, we get it. So why not outsource it?
There are a lot of good agencies out there who live and breath AdWords and will optimize your search ads to the max. Cost wise, you’re looking at around $1500 for setup plus an additional retainer for 3-6 months of work, but the results are on the money.
Another alternative, for small businesses who don’t have big budgets for big agencies, there is still hope. Automatic tools such as Traffic Booster do exactly what we’ve spoken about, for a fraction of the cost.
Traffic Booster, designed to implement all of StoreYa expertise automatically, uses an algorithm that balances bids, optimizes, sets up campaigns – basically everything discussed here – in real-time. Faster than any human could compete with! Don’t take our word for it, check out the case study where Old Guys are making a 500% ROI using Traffic Booster.
And we have an exclusive offer for Oberlo users! Follow this link to get the “Traffic Booster” + $100 marketing budget for only $25: www.storeya.com/public/trafficbooster/promo25
What have you got to lose? Give it a try for yourself!