By now, most everyone knows about Google Adwords, from small business owners to giant corporations. As evidence of this fact, recent estimates say that Google is bringing in about $100 million per day from Adwords.
That’s an absurd amount of money. But when you think about how many businesses need leads, and how great Adwords can be for bringing that leads, nobody would be surprised if that number doubled in the next few years.
Jumping into the Google Adwords platform as a newbie, even with its sleek new dashboard, can be a little intimidating. There are so many options, menu items, and settings for everything from conversions to budgets to location targeting and more. We’re not going to tell you the basics of how to set up your Adwords. This is probably a better place for that: support.google.com/adwords
We’re going to talk about three ways we often see businesses waste money on Adwords, and how to sharpen up your campaign so that doesn’t happen.
1. Terrible Landing Pages that Don’t Convert
It is a mistake to assume that just bringing people to your site will lead to sales, to more revenue. People still have to make a purchasing decision once they get there. Aesthetics matter, and so does clarity about what the user is supposed to do. Having a simple headline explaining your offer (8 words or less), with a phone number or a form people can fill out, is essential within the first section of the page people see when they click.
Too often we see businesses point their ads to their home page. Don’t rely on the user to be able to navigate properly! Specify your ad, and create a landing page for your specific offer or service.
2. Improper Location Targeting
We applaud the ambitious business owner who feels her brand is ready for a the eyes of the entire nation. But its a big mistake for a business with mostly local customers to not focus on their best demographic: the people directly around their place of business. For example, a dentist wants to get business from a neighboring town. Realize that most people aren’t willing to drive long distances unless they really love the service. For now, you’re still a stranger, so you might be wasting money getting distant people to see your ad.
Of course online businesses are a little different. But you still shouldn’t just blanket large geographical areas. Pick the right zip codes, pick the right cities, and don’t waste money. This requires some research.
Location targeting, when properly done, allows you to gather data about a certain area that will inform your advertising decisions. Being to broad means you won’t get reliable data to act on.
3. No Negative Keywords
We’ve seen this dozens of times when people are trying to manage Google Adwords. We’ll go into the search terms that are triggering ads, and there will be all sorts of wonky phrases and words. Sure, you can blame Google that your ad for window cleaning services was triggered by a search for “glasses cleaning solution,” but that is why the negative keyword tool is there.
Just think, if you spend about $5 per click, and 20 clicks a month come from unrelated searches, you could easily blow $1000 of marketing budget in a year, budget that could easily go to better potential customers.