Google AdWords can be a cost-effective way for small business owners to put their products and services front and center in a way that won’t stretch an already limited budget. It’s a popular form of paid advertising that’s highly trackable and easy to manage. Yet there may be times when even a well-planned campaign isn’t producing the expected results. If this is a problem you’re experiencing, consider the following ways to improve lackluster AdWords campaign results.
1. Organize Your Keywords Better
Go beyond picking and choosing keywords for your ads solely based on popularity. Instead, organize your keywords based on several factors, such as what it is you do and how you do it (e.g., “spine care center” and “minimally invasive procedures”). Then organize your keywords into both campaigns and ad groups. Include one ad text for each of your ad groups that matches the topic of the group. In addition to improving your Quality Score, it’s a step that will make it easier for searchers to link your ads with search phrases.
2. Make Sure Your Ads Are Related to Your Landing Pages
If you regularly run AdWords campaigns, it’s surprisingly easy to get into the habit of automatically linking your ads to your existing landing pages. This is fine, as long as the content is actually relevant to what’s in your ads. But if your ads are focusing on aspects of your business that aren’t clearly detailed on the linked landing page, you may start to see a drop off in conversions. Plus, Google will notice this, too, and it will affect your QS. Take a moment to make sure your ads are linked to relevant landing page content. if they’re not, make some adjustments, or create a new landing page.
3. Use Negative Keywords to Your Advantage
Not every possible keyword associated with your business in some way will actually be relevant to what you have to offer. The solution is to use negative keywords to tell Google which terms to ignore so your ads will be presented to searchers likely to be interested. For instance, if you sell wine glasses, you could make “eyeglasses” or “eye glasses” a negative keyword to prevent your ad from coming up when people are searching for glasses for vision improvement, not drinking. Select “Keywords” and Targeting” and “Keywords, Negative” to add your negative keywords to your campaigns. Negative keywords can be added at the campaign or ad group level.
4. Use Exact Matching
Another way to gain more control over how your ads are presented is to opt for exact matching instead of broad matching with keywords. This means your ad will only appear when searchers type in the exact keywords. Broader matches can be useful later on as you gather more data. But if you’re just getting started with AdWords, start with exact matching to get more return for your investment.
5. Get Location-Specific with Your Keywords
If you’re a plumber in Hollywood, Florida, someone who comes across your ad in Hollywood, California will have no use for your services. Unfortunately, they may not realize this until they’ve clicked your ad and arrived on your site. This may be frustrating for searchers, but it can be costly for you if it happens often. Being specific with location can reduce clicks that have no chance of converting due to logistics issues. Get even more specific if you have ads that will be targeting customers in nearby suburbs. On a related note, you get even more specific with geo-targeting by defining areas you want to target and those you want to avoid.
In addition to the tips mentioned here, don’t forget to continue to do your keyword research. Just because you targeted the right keywords when your campaign was first launched doesn’t mean those same keywords will continue to be what drives the most traffic back to your website for future campaigns. And if you haven’t done already, do a little “snooping” to see what keywords your competitors are using to target the same audience. Doing so can allow you to discover potential sources of traffic you may be overlooking by not focusing on the right keywords.