Launching your first Google AdWords campaign can be a daunting prospect, especially with the various campaign options and settings that are available to you. While the setup process can be complex, it does not need to be daunting. In this article, we will outline our five step process for getting started with Google AdWords.
Google AdWords – Our Process For Getting Started
1) Consider your campaign objectives
Launching an AdWords campaign without a clear idea about what you would like to achieve is unlikely to deliver a successful campaign. First of all, consider the overall purpose of the campaign. The overall purpose may be to raise your brand awareness, encourage qualified website visitors to complete a contact form on your website or to generate phone leads for your business. Whatever it is, the overall purpose should be defined at the earliest available opportunity and before you commit any advertising spend.
2) Select a campaign type
The Google AdWords campaign type that you choose will depend upon who you are seeking to target and your campaign objectives. AdWords has a total of six campaign types that you can work with: Search Network with Display Select, Search Network Only, Display Network Only, Shopping, Video and Universal app campaign.
Most businesses will tend to start with one of the Search Network campaign types unless they have an eCommerce store or an app to promote. In which case, a Shopping or Universal app campaign would be more appropriate.
Search Network Only
In the case of a Search Network Only campaign, you will be able to target searchers using Google search. If you have limited budget or if you are solely interested in targeting people on Google search then this campaign type will be best for you.
Search Network With Display Select
If you wish to include images or GIFs within your campaign while also targeting Google search users, the Search Network with Display Select campaign will be the most suitable campaign type for you. This campaign type will also allow you to specify the websites that your graphics based adverts appear on.
Display Network Only
For businesses that would only like to serve graphic/image based adverts to prospective customers, a Display Network only campaign is recommended.
The final three campaign types are targeted to specific purpose, with the Shopping campaign type serving businesses with an eCommerce store and the Video campaign for video based adverts. The Universal App campaign is unique as it accommodates the Search, Display and Video networks.
3) Setting location targeting, a bid strategy and ad extensions
The settings of an AdWords campaign are critical to its success. Using location targeting, a considered bid strategy and an appropriate cohort of ad extensions will ensure that your campaign reaches the right customers and facilitates a desirable volume of clicks and conversions.
Location targeting is a great way to maximise the ROI of your campaign as it ensures that your adverts are only served to prospective customers that your business can serve. For example, a local pizza delivery company in Bournemouth that delivers within a 10 mile radius of their shop should not be serving its adverts to searchers in Manchester. This form of targeting is critical for businesses with a physical presence, yet equally important for service businesses who seek customers within a specific area. Location targeting can be set by country, city, mile radius of an address or postcode.
A bid strategy is a fundamental element of any AdWords campaign, there are six automated bid strategies and manual bidding to choose from. Generally, the automated bid strategies are best suited to businesses who cannot commit a significant amount of time to managing their campaign or to businesses with a specific campaign goal in mind.
Whereas, the manual bidding strategy is ideal for businesses that seek to control their bids for each individual keyword. This level of control can be incredibly useful from a ROI perspective, particularly as it allows you to increase your bids on keywords that are delivering clicks and conversions and reduce your bids on keywords that are not delivering results for your business.
Ad extensions are a significant contributor to a successful AdWords campaign. They highlight specific pieces of information that are likely to be useful or interesting to searchers. Google emphasise that using ad extensions can increase your click through rate (CTR) by 15%. Clearly, this is a significant uplift that you would not want your campaign to miss. Such an increase in your CTR is likely to also increase your conversions and the overall ROI of your campaign. When you launch a new AdWords campaign, it is worth considering using the location extension, sitelinks and the call extension as a minimum.
The location extension will highlight the address of your business to searchers and allow them to get directions to your business. For businesses with a shop or physical presence, this extension presents a golden opportunity to facilitate an offline conversion and drive footfall to your business.
Sitelinks allow you to present other pages of your website to searchers, which facilitates fast access to pages of your website. Popular pages to feature as a sitelink include your contact page, alternative service pages or case study/testimonial page. Sitelinks are great for appealing to consumers across all stages of the buyer journey. For example, if a prospective customer is at the research stage they will be more likely to click on a case study/testimonial page than a service page. Whereas, a customer that is ready to make a purchase will be best served by a service page.
The call extension can facilitate one of the most valuable conversions for many businesses, a call. Adding a call extension to your campaign will ensure that a clickable phone number is visible within your advert. This extension will help you serve prospective customers that are in a valuable micro-moment where they wish to make contact with your business. In some sectors, a call can be the difference between a sale/purchase and no sale/purchase.
4) Set your campaign budget
Deciding how much of your marketing budget to commit to an AdWords campaign is not an exact science. However, you can use your marketing spend on other platforms as a benchmark. For example, if you currently dedicate 15% of your marketing spend to social media marketing, you may wish to commit 15% to Google AdWords in order to match it. It is also important to consider the average cost per click of the keywords that are you looking to target, if your average CPC is £2.00; setting a daily budget of £6 per day is not going to yield great results.
Many businesses choose to investigate the Google AdWords spend of their competitors, so they can either match their budget or outspend them. This can be a useful indicator, but you should always prioritise the overall profitability of your campaign above outspending your competitors.
5) Creating your adverts
The final stage of getting started with Google AdWords is where you create the adverts that are seen by prospective searchers. Your adverts are the equivalent of business cards in the online advertising space and their importance to your campaign should not be underestimated.
Your adverts should include compelling copy that encourages searchers to click on an element of your advert and complete an action that is valuable to your business. For example, clicking on your phone number or clicking on the text and navigating through to your landing page.
It is also important to work on your adverts keyword placement. Adverts that include the keywords that you are targeting will boost your quality scores for each of your keywords. A higher quality score will increase your ranking within paid adverts (ad rank) and reduce the CPC of your keywords.