Creating a successful Google AdWords Campaign can be frustrating. Imagine you want to run a Google AdWords campaign and start going through the steps to launch your campaign. You create the campaign, ad set, and design a couple of display ads. You choose a few keywords you think people are using to search for your type of business and give it a whirl.
After a couple weeks of running the ad, you’re just not getting the results you wanted. You hoped you’d have at least 10 conversions by now, but you only have one. You throw up your hands, frustrated by the whole thing, and not sure what to do next. What went wrong?
A successful Google AdWords campaign requires both intensive planning and continuous optimization throughout the duration of the ad. The key is to optimize your AdWords campaign for the specific goal you’re looking to achieve. If you haven’t found success in your previous ads, it’s likely because your goals and your tactics didn’t align.
There are essentially two main types of goals websites aim for, whether they know it or not: site traffic and conversions. In general, traffic lends to an overarching goal of brand awareness while conversions equal lead generation. While both may seem to go hand-in-hand, there are actually different strategies for each type of goal.
Today, we’re focusing on conversions. Conversions are important for small businesses because they allow you to focus on gathering data from those who are highly likely to become customers. So, what steps do you need to take in order to make sure your AdWords campaigns are optimized to get high-quality conversions for your business?
1. Understand Your Audience
Before you can set up an AdWords campaign that converts visitors into leads, you need to define who your audience is.
Let’s say you own a nail salon and you’re looking to attract more customers in your neighborhood. Who lives within a 5-mile radius of your salon?
If you’re near a major college or university, you might have a lot of college-age students who might want to get pampered before spring break. On the other hand, if your neighborhood is full of working professionals and families, your audience may be a mix of stay-at-home parents and working professionals.
As a local business, you know your customers best. Imagine who walks in the door on a daily basis. Ask yourself who they are, what they look like, what their passions are, and what problems your products or services solve for them. This way you can tailor both your targeting options and your ad copy to exactly match their needs and make them think, “hey, this is just for me.”
2. Set up a Landing Page
Let’s say you search on Google “dog daycare near me” and you find an ad promoting a local daycare and a coupon for 50% off the first day. Intrigued, you click the ad and land on the homepage of the website.
As you scroll you start to feel confused and frustrated because you can’t figure out how to sign up for that daycare and claim your 50% off. It’s only been a few seconds, but by now you’ve had a bad experience with the website and don’t want to look for it any longer. So, you hit the back button to see what else is out there.
Whether you’re offering a discount or just trying to get someone to sign up to come into your store, setting up a clear landing page ensures your audience finds what they’re looking for within seconds of landing on your website.
Your landing page should:
- Match the copy on the ad
- Offer what the ad promised (i.e. 50% discount)
- Have a way to claim that offer/learn more (a form to fill in their information)
- Be simple and easy to read and understand exactly what the customer gets out of signing up or coming in
- Not distract from the main conversion goal
- Include a contact form that is short and simple
When creating your landing page, ask yourself: is your ad’s landing page answering a question or solving a problem relating to what your customer is searching for? For someone looking for dog daycare, is your landing page offering the right coupon, or leading them to bring in their cat instead?
Both your landing page and your call-to-action should work together to create a cohesive and consistent experience and let your customer know that you have what they’re looking for.
3. Create a Clear Call to Action
Imagine what would happen if someone came up to you and said, “I have this amazing product that’s going to make your life so much easier,” and then simply walked away. First of all, you’d be very confused. But beyond that, you wouldn’t know what to do with that information even if it was something you were actually interested in.
The major problem with this statement, besides its lack of originality and specifics as to what that product is, is the person left without telling you what to do with that information. At least if they had followed up with, “If you want to learn more about it, call me at 123-456-7890,” you would know what steps to take next.
No matter how great your message is, how beautiful your display ad looks, or how well you can solve your customers’ problems – if you don’t have a clear call-to-action (CTA), it’s impossible to get real conversions.
When coming up with a clear call-to-action, ask yourself: what do I want this person to do after they see this ad? What will they do when they get on the landing page?
Make your call-to-action so clear that within a few words your audience knows exactly what they have to do and what they’re going to get out of it. Are they signing up for a free trial? Are they getting 25% off their next purchase? Are they getting an inside look at something you’re working on?
Whatever your offer is, make it clear and make sure it solves a problem they’re currently experiencing.
4. Build Trust With Your Audience
As a small business, one of the biggest challenges you face is lack of brand awareness. So, unless you’re creating a remarketing campaign, chances are most of the people coming to your site from your AdWords campaign don’t know you very well. They may or may not have seen your business’ name before, but they certainly don’t know you enough to visit your site directly to answer their needs.
Think about it – when was the last time you clicked on an ad in a Google search and immediately trusted the source? Probably never. That’s why it’s crucial to gain their trust within seconds of coming to your landing page before they click the back button.
There are multiple ways to build trust with your audience. You can do any or all of the following:
- Post case studies of how your products or services helped previous customers in the past
- Display social proof or reviews and testimonials from people who had success from working with you
- Make sure your website is well-designed and easy to navigate
- Use high-quality pictures and avoid generic stock photos
- Include any certifications, mentions in major publications, and anything else to prove you’re a legitimate business
Once you have built trust with your audience, it will become much easier to get them to hand over their personal information and begin interacting with your business.
5. Conduct A/B Testing
Now that you’ve built your ads and landing pages, it’s time to conduct a few tests to find out what works best. Even if you’ve had some experience running ads in the past, you won’t know which colors, copy, images, and form styles work best until you start testing them.
An A/B test is where you set up two versions of an ad or landing page to be exactly the same and then alter one small thing at a time, test, and compare your results. For example, let’s say you set up that ad for dog daycare offering 50% off the first visit.
You create two identical landing pages that are exactly the same except for the button color. On landing page A, the button is blue, whereas landing page B has a yellow button. After some time has passed (no less than a week, but the more data you can get, the more accurate your tests will be), you revisit the analytics to see which landing page has the higher conversion rate.
After diving into your analytics, you find the blue button has a higher conversion rate than the yellow. So, you make both buttons blue and then change the headline on one of the pages and run the test all over again.
The A/B testing will never end as long as you’re running your campaign. Continue testing small things one at a time to continually improve your results and increase your conversion rates.
6. Optimize for Desktop and Mobile
You may have heard a lot of talk over the past few years about the importance of having a mobile-friendly presence. There’s a reason – according to Statista, “In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, up from 50.3 percent in the previous year.”
Percentage of all global web pages served to mobile phones from 2009 to 2018 | Graph courtesy of Statista
Believe it or not, conversion rates between desktop and mobile varies depending on the design, layout, and usability of both your ad and landing page.
If you’re experiencing low conversions on your ads, it may be because your landing page is designed for a desktop experience when most of your website visitors are on their mobile phones.
When you’re optimizing your ads for mobile phones, consider adding an ad extension that will allow a customer to call you directly from the ad on their search. If they’re on their phone, it’s much easier to tap a phone number and give you a call than it is to click through to the website, fill out a form, scroll down to the button, and press ‘submit.’
As for your landing pages, make sure your website is mobile-friendly and your forms are easy to use and fill out on a mobile phone. Keep them short, simple, and don’t make them answer too many questions. Keep the form fields at 4 or less to minimize the friction of having to fill it out.
Consider why people are using their phones to look up your business and their unique goals. Chances are, they don’t have a lot of time or patience to sift through tons of information and make a decision. Therefore, make the experience quick and easy to get the information they need and move on to the next thing.
With that being said, it’s important to know your audience. For example, if you’re a B2B type business or are offering an expensive service, chances are the majority of your website visitors are on desktop. We suggest to first take a look at your website analytics before launching into bid adjustments for devices. Review bounce rates, form fills and the percentage of traffic that comes from mobile, desktop and tablet devices. Each platform has its own purpose and it’s important to remember that when enhancing your campaigns.
Let’s review – or the TL: DR version –
The best way to optimize your Google AdWords Campaigns for conversions:
1. Understand Your Audience
2. Set up a Landing Page
3. Create a Clear CTA
4. Build Trust With Your Audience
5. Conduct A/B Testing
6. Optimize for Devices- desktop and mobile
Getting your AdWords campaigns to work for you and get you the results you’re looking for takes plenty of time and testing before you’ll know what works just right for your business.
If you’d like one of us to walk you through the process and set you up for success on Google AdWords, reach out to us. Our team is AdWords certified and can help you save time and get the highest return on your PPC investment.
You might also enjoy: How to Use AdWords For Your Business