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Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

10 Dos for Google AdWords

Rocco Alberto Baldassarre
10 Dos for Google AdWords

Google AdWords is a great tool for advertisers since it allows you to drive relevant traffic to a website almost immediately. If your account is set up properly, this could mean more clients and more business.

However, conversions can be generated only if your campaigns are perfectly built. This article will focus on 10 things you absolutely must do in order to start off on the right foot.

1. Set Up a Proper Negative Keywords List

Everybody knows you have to set up a list of keywords to run your AdWords campaigns, but many tend to forget about the importance of negative keywords. They are fundamental in order to not waste money on irrelevant traffic.

Additionally, negative keywords tend to increase the CTR at the keyword level; therefore, your quality score will be higher. This will save you some extra bucks at the CPC level.

2. Include Your Top Keywords in the Tags of the Landing Page

Most of the time, keywords that are used in the headers, title tags and meta tags of a landing page tend to have a higher quality score than keywords that are not used in these parts of a page.

Having a better quality score will guarantee you more visibility, but also a strong competitive advantage compared to other businesses.

3. Test Ads to Maximize CTR and Conversion Rate

The only way to improve a campaign is to test its element over and over. The ads are, for sure, one of the most important parts you want to test.

The ideal way to get it done is to not mix too many tests at once. Rather, I would suggest you rotate the following:

  • Headline test: Test different headlines without varying other elements of the ad and find out which one performs best.
  • Description line 1 test: What are the feature or benefits of your business? Test them in description line 1 and find out which one performs best for you!
  • Description line 2 test: What are the calls to action you want to use? Test them here and find the most effective one.

You can also test the display URL if you wish to find the perfect one. Once you've tested all elements, start a new test cycle and keep improving the results!

4. Connect Analytics to Your AdWords Account (and Vice Versa)

There are three simple reasons that should make this decision a no-brainer:

a. Google Analytics tells you the average time on site of your keywords. This is a great way to find out if a keyword that does not convert could still generate a sale via remarketing. This also helps you to decide whether to pause a keyword or not.

b. Google Analytics can give you the bounce rate of a given keyword. This is another element that can help determine whether to pause a keyword or not.

c. Determine whether your keywords are engaging users or not. For instance, you could find out how many pages people visit on average at a keyword level.

5. Group Your Keywords in Small Ad Groups

The smaller your Ad groups are, the easier it will be to create custom advertising messages and increase the CTR.

The goal of an advertiser should be to have a message that offers the perfect solution to a search. This is possible only with a targeted Ad groups strategy. Do not set up things in a rush; Make sure to take your time and segment your keywords as much as possible.

6. Use as Many Extensions as Possible

Google is giving more and more importance to extensions. To give you an example, site link performance now affects the way quality score influences the ad rank of your keywords. This means there is no good campaign if it's missing extensions.

Having said that, make sure to set up:

  • Relevant site links extensions
  • Call extensions
  • Location extensions

7. Set Up the Basics for Remarketing

Just sending traffic to your site won’t be enough to be successful in the long term. People are going to compare your company to others, and you need to fight to be their first choice.

You might not start a remarketing campaign right away, but you certainly want to have the structure in place for when the right time comes.

8. Customize Your Bids After First Market Feedback

Each keyword has its own story. Therefore, you need to make sure to customize bids depending on several factors, such as:

  • Average position
  • CTR
  • Profitability
  • Traffic you would like to get from a given term

I would recommend testing automatic bidding only if you prefer not to analyze keyword performance yourself due to time limitations.

9. Customize Bids by Device

AdWords will automatically apply your bid both to desktop and mobile devices. However, most of the time a mobile click costs less than a desktop one. So, it might be convenient to customize bids accordingly.

This bid customization opportunity is usually overlooked, and it might end up costing your business precious money!

10. Landing Page Optimization

Modify the landing pages if they are not ready to maximize the effectiveness of your traffic. This means you might also consider testing several designs to find the one that converts the best. Do not underestimate the importance of landing pages in your conversion funnel.

Are there other tips you would recommend? What do you usually do when starting an AdWords campaign?

Rocco Alberto Baldassarre is the Founder and CEO of Zebra Advertisement, a results-oriented SEM consulting firm. Rocco consults companies with up to $5 million in PPC advertisement budgets, speaks three languages and was shortlisted as a Young Search Professional of the Year by the 2014 U.S. Search Awards.

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