Mastering Google AdWords in 10 Minutes – Part 2

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 29, 2010 in: Business Marketing, Tips in 10

In the previous article of Tips In Ten I talked about using Google AdWords as a way for you to sell your products or services. At the end of the last issue I had helped you get set up by creating your first Ad Campaign and Ad Group and now I’m going to show you how to write ads and then increase sales.

Writing Google AdWords

Google will determine your ad’s placement based on how much you have bid on a keyword and based on how often it is clicked. (After all, it’s in their interest to have higher-clicked ads showing more often!). That’s important to keep in mind because it can help you manage your budget and it encourages you to take ad-writing seriously. Even lower-bid ads can out-rank the higher bid ads if they are well-written.

I’ve found that the easiest way to approach AdWords is to divide them up conceptually into 2 different types:

1.   The full story: A full story ad is one that tells the audience exactly what to expect. For example, the ad might say something along the lines of “Download the ebook immediately for $147”. Nothing is hidden; I’m putting it all out there for the audience to see.

2.   A teaser: A teaser ad is something that entices the reader to learn more by clicking the ad. It gives them only part of the story and then they get the rest of it when they see the landing page. An example might be: “Learn how to get promoted faster than your coworkers”.

In general, I’ve observed that all AdWords fall into one of these two categories. And, sometimes one type does better than the other. You might prefer to write one over the other, but I’m just mentioning them both here because your particular offering could work better with one than the other. For example, if you sell a relatively straightforward product or service that many other people sell, and if you find yourself competing on price, you might be better off to write a “full story” AdWords ad. However, if you sell something slightly more complex, or if you have a special system or technique that can’t be easily explained in a single ad, then the teaser ad will probably work better. I’d advise testing both and then finding the one that does better and working with that one.

Now let’s roll up our sleeves and start writing.

AdWords, as you well know, are 4 lines long. The first line is the headline and the last line is the URL and the middle two lines are the “body” of the ad. You don’t have a lot of control over the URL: You can write what it is and that’s that (and you can make the target URL to be a subset of the primary domain but only list the primary domain as the URL in the address line). Our focus will be on the top 3 lines.

Headline: Your headline can only be 25 characters long. So start with something attention-getting. If you incorporate a keyword into your ad, that word will be highlighted when someone types it in, and that can be eye-catching (although lots of advertisers do this). Another technique you can do that tends to work well is to focus on the benefits. So, if the benefit of your product or service is that the audience can make more money then make that your headline: “Make more money” or “You can make more money” or something like that. Think about the kinds of things that your target market will be interested in and will be likely to respond to and write the simplest, clearest headline from that.

Body copy: You have two lines of 35 characters each. Within this copy you can write the main content of your ad. If you wrote a benefit or two in the headline then consider writing some of the features here. Or if you wrote a keyword in the headline then consider writing how they can learn more.

So, if your headline was “Make more money” then your body copy might be:
(first line) 150 page ebook will show you
(second line) how to make money with pop cans

As you write your ads, think about how the ad itself sets up the audience to want to know more and entices them to click through to the landing page. Therefore, you need to make your promises accurate, authentic, and compelling. You may want to give a clear call to action in the ad so people know what to expect when they click to your landing page.

Take 10 minutes and write 2-5 ads, or consider spending longer to write more. If you run several ads, Google will rotate them for you and will tell you which ones do better. As your campaign continues, you’ll be able to see which ads are doing well and you can refine them.

Refining your ads

Let’s say that you write 4 ads and you run them in a campaign for a week. You make some sales and you get a lot of data and you observe that people are responding really well to specific keywords and a certain type of ads. So, you should pause or delete the ads that aren’t doing well and replace them with ads that are closer to the ads you’re already running.

For example: Let’s say you write 2 full story and 2 teaser ads. One full story ad and one teaser ad targets the key phrase “make more money”; the other full story ad and teaser ad targets the phrase “internet marketing income.” At the end of a week you look at your data and you discover: the full-story ad for “make more money” and the teaser ad for “internet marketing income” are doing really well, while the other two ads barely get clicked.

So, write a couple more full story ads for “make more money” and a couple more teaser ads for “internet marketing income” and see what happens. Each week, refine your ads. Watch how certain keywords or ads do well. If you notice a couple of ads do really well and a couple that don’t, ask yourself what is common about the ones that are doing well and try to create ads like that.

Spending 10 minutes a day on your Google AdWords will be sufficient to keep you up-to-speed on how things are going. At the end of the week you’ll have spent nearly an hour on your AdWords and you’ll have enough data – and you’ll have thought about that data enough – to make efficient next steps.

Which leads to my next point:

Making more sales

There are a few things you want to pay attention to in your Google AdWords marketing and these things will influence how you modify your ads. You will get a lot of data but I recommend paying attention to these two things:

Impressions-to-clicks. This is often called the “click-through rate” or CTR. This is the number of times that Google shows your ad compared to the number of times it gets clicked. There isn’t a specific standard you should aim for because it will vary by your target market and offering, but you’ll know pretty quickly what it is (and it’s often lower than people hope for). 100 impressions and 1 click is a 1% click-through rate.

Clicks-to-sales. This is the second number to pay attention to. It’s basically how many warm leads turn into sales. It’s your conversion rate. Again, there’s not a specific standard to aim for, but you’ll learn soon enough what yours is. Again, 100 clicks and 1 sale is a 1% conversion rate.

Now, here’s what to do with this information.

First, try to increase your conversion rate as much as possible. Don’t waste your money on driving more traffic to your site until you’ve done some work optimizing your landing page to increase sales. Try different things: different price points, different ways to present the offer, different package deals, different calls to action, and different ways to express urgency.

The reason you want to start here is because if you can improve your conversion rate first, you are essentially increasing sales without increasing your ad spend. Once you know you have tweaked it as much as you can, then check out your ads and see how you can improve the click-through rate.

So let me give you some numbers to show you why this is helpful:

If you have 10,000 impressions of your ad and 100 of them click through your ad, you have a 1% click-through rate.

If you have 1 of those people buying your ebook, you have a 1% conversion rate.

Make sense so far? Okay, let’s look more closely at the numbers:

If you’re spending five cents per click, you’re spending $5.00 to get those 100 people to your site. And if you sell an ebook for $50 then your revenue less your ad cost is $45.

Now, some people would say that if you want to increase your revenue you need to increase your ad spend. They point out that you can double your ad spend to double your revenue: You’ll pay $10 to get 200 people to your site so 2 of them can buy. But I think it’s too early for that.

What if you could just make some small changes on your landing page copy that will effectively increase your conversion rate first? If you can get 2 people from those 100 clicks to buy from you then your profitability increases because your ad spend remains static but your revenue goes up.Then, once you’ve worked at increasing your landing page conversion rate, you can focus on increasing your click-through rate.

Make sense? I’ve just used simple numbers above to illustrate but the general principle will hold true no matter what numbers you encounter in your ads.

As you review your ads and the results you get from clicks and sales, remember this:

  • If you have a lot of impressions and no clicks, you need to make changes to your ad.
  • If you have a lot of clicks and no sales, you need to either make sure your ad and your landing page work together (that is, they are “selling” the same thing) or you need to make changes to your sales page.

The good news is, these steps – increasing conversions and increasing your click-through-rate – don’t have to take too long. In fact, they may only take ten minutes! That’s because you shouldn’t make too many changes at once. Start small and see what happens. Make a few changes and if things get worse, change them back. If things stay the same or if they get better, change something else.

The bad news is that this should be a never-ending process. It will be a very rare occasion when you can completely set this on autopilot and walk away. You may find the ultimate click-through-rate and the ultimate conversion rate and be satisfied with the profit you make from them, but the people I know who are most successful at this are constantly tweaking.

Wrap up

So try it out! You might spend a few hundred dollars but you could potentially make much more when you find the right product or service and write a great ad that drives people to your site.

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