When most individuals and small companies hear about advertising they think two things. The first: Evil!!! The second: Sure, it can benefit large companies, but what about little old me? If you believe this, get ready to break through your assumptions: the benefit to everyone can be gigantic. Using the methods below, I was able to transform a media company’s advertising platform from an inefficient, expensive, time-sink to a smooth-running, automatic operation that I check once weekly and results in a few thousand more clicks per day. As a side note to prove scaling in Google Ads, my personal AdWords account (spending maximum $10 per day, usually a lot less), I get 1-2 clicks and usually have the first advertisement seen. So, without further ado, here’s how to create a rock star advertising campaign using the company I advise as an example…
SET UP DIFFERENT CAMPAIGNS
Create different campaigns for different areas of your site. While advising for the aforementioned media company, I set up campaigns for their sports section, travel section, health section, etc. Then, within the campaigns, I set up various ad groups (for example, sports has “football” and “home page”). Different ad groups within a campaign allow different keywords, which is great for a section as broad as sports. In layman’s terms, think of a campaign as a section of a website, an ad group as a subsection, the individual ads as stories/articles, and keywords as text in the articles. There’s a hierarchy, and they’re all dependent upon each other.
CREATE MULTIPLE ADS USING SLIGHTLY ALTERED LANGUAGE
It’s amazing how changing a period to a question mark can change click-through so dramatically. Changing punctuation, shortening sentences, and using a variety of words can also affect the CTR (for example, in the screenshot below the CTR ranges by 4% after making slight changes).
NICHE YOUR KEYWORDS
Getting a lot of impressions is irrelevant if you don’t get the clicks. Anyone in a business will tell you that conversions matter. In order to find key terms to create ads for, I open the Google AdWords KeyWord Tool, enter a broad search term, and then choose the keywords with the least competition (because my ad will show more often and in higher positions on the page). Impressions don’t matter to me when looking at a keyword, because if I choose a few strong keywords it’ll equal the clicks I’d get with a broad keyword, plus the added benefit of a higher click-through rate. Notice the screenshot below, where I created a few key terms to get a high action rate across the board. Instead, I could have just used “sports,” and while the impressions would be astronomical, the clicks would be low and my ad would have poor position on the page due to competition (in other words, a waste of money!).
Don’t run on Display Network. It’s a waste of money, and the CTR is absurdly low. Sure, you’re getting those impressions (and you get them very quickly), but you have absolutely no return on your value. For bidding and the budget, I let Google handle my bidding options by enabling enhanced CPC and automatic bids. This automates the process and takes the responsibility out of my hands, letting me focus on creating more effective ads.
From a pure numbers perspective, using the methods above, we receive approximately 5,000 visitors per day through Google AdWords while consistently beating the average CTR rates (I regularly hit CTRs above 4.5%, and it never dips below 3%). Because we targeted younger user keywords through Google (sports and entertainment are two good examples) our overall 18-24 site traffic increased 11% over a two month span (a nice result as the company I am advising wanted to get younger viewers to the site).
Granted, this firm’s advertising budget is in the tens of thousands of dollars, however, looking just at the first image in this post, you’ll notice we averaged about $3 per click. Think about that for a second: Will your customers purchase something on your site for more than $3? What’s the average lifetime value for your customer? If it’s more than $3, Google Ads are a great investment for you or your business.
Question of the day: Do you use online advertising for your business? What kind of return on your investment do you see?