Suzann Knudsen

As Jerry Maguire said twenty years ago, “So this is the world, and there are almost six billion people on it. When I was a kid, there were three. It’s hard to keep up.” The world of pay-per-click changes quickly, as Google rolls out new changes to their algorithms and search result pages, sometimes with pomp and circumstance, and sometimes without any notice at all.

When you work in pay-per-click advertising long enough, you have to find ways to keep up: make your campaign builds faster, get new launches on track with less guesswork, and provide positive results for your client as quickly as possible. These are five of my personal favorites when it comes to working with Google AdWords.

“You Complete Me”

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While there are any number of ways to start building your keyword lists, when searching for phrase matches, I like to hit the Google search bar and let it autocomplete with suggestions. The suggestions that Google offers all come from how people actually search, which helps with your semantically-based keyword phrases. In this example, I have some solid ideas (“where to buy arizona cardinals shirts”), but with more searching, you can also discover negative keywords (“shirts with cardinal numbers”).

“I Can’t Compete With That”

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Ad scheduling is an underutilized way for a small business to compete with a national business in the same sphere. They are likely running ads broadly day and night with a giant ad budget. Target your spend during business hours, and be sure to craft ads to appeal to the local audience. Concentrating your budget to a smaller timeframe can also give your ads more impressions to an audience that is more likely to convert, rather than show to someone idly searching at 3am.

“And Now You Want Arizona Dollars?”

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Hyper-local geo targeting is another tool that works to the advantage of the small business. If the client has specials that revolve around regional events (“Get a free slice of pizza with your ticket stub today”), you can get more exposure by limiting your target area to very specific radius settings, and amping up the spend on mobile traffic. They same holds true if the client is traveling the country at trade shows or speaking at conferences. A chain restaurant may want to increase bidding if the user is within five miles of one of their stores. There’s a bit more research involved, but the increase in CTR can translate to higher conversions and qualified leads.

“It’s Not Show ‘Friends.’ It’s Show *Business*.”

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Sitelink extensions essentially give you more SERP real estate for no additional cost. The advertiser in the middle is overpowered by the ads above and below, despite being in the top three ads results, and all it took was a little extra time to enable the various extensions. This is an excellent way to show off a client’s focus area, a special feature, or limited time offer. In addition, reviewing how individual extensions perform can give you insights as to what your audience is really interested in, and you can develop new ads that reflect a stronger conversion driver.

“Show Me The Money”

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Whenever I start off new campaigns for a client, I usually utilize shared budgets to start. This allows me to tell in a short span of time which campaigns are converting better, and when it’s time to redistribute spend across individual campaigns, I know where the money should go. In addition, it allows me to make recommendations to the client as to where they may want to boost spend or work additional offers into the landing pages.

We live in a cynical world…and we work in a business of tough competitors.” Take advantage of the ways that optimize your ad campaigns to outperform your competitors by working with the often overlooked tools that AdWords provides. And don’t worry if you feel out of your league – reach out to our PPC specialists at Command Partners today for a quote. We’ll have you at “hello”.

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