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Five advanced Google AdWords techniques...

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Haydn Rowe - Managing DirectorFive Advanced Google AdWords Techniques...

Google AdWords is getting more competitive, costs are rising and it is getting harder to generate low cost or profitable leads.

But despite that, when it comes to online marketing it is still THE big one.

Despite the emergence and rise and rise of Facebook, LinkedIn and the like, you just can't ignore Google and expect to maximise your market opportunities.

Today, most buyers are still opening a browser and going to Google to search for new products and services. 

So - it's getting tougher, it's getting more expensive and harder to compete - what to do? Walk away? Cut the Google budget? Try social media?

No. Emphatically not.

At least not until you have exhausted every opportunity to get your business into the top 5% of Google advertisers. 

The answer in most cases is that you simply need to get better.

You need to be great at the basics...

  • keyword research
  • broad, phrase and exact match testing
  • use of negative keywords
  • spilt testing ads
  • improving keyword quality scores
  • testing and refining your landing pages
  • testing networks

...and so on.

That will get you a long way. But to be better than average, you need to do what average advertisers don't do and you need to be testing advanced Google AdWords techniques as well.

Some of these techniques are relatively new, some have been around for a little while now, but the vast majority of advertisers are not using these techniques, which gives you the opportunity to fight your way to the top of the pile.

Here are 5 techniques you can use to fight your way back into the top 5% of Google AdWords advertisers...

1. Remarketing

What is remarketing? To quote Google...

"Remarketing allows you to communicate with people who've previously visited key pages on your website."

"When you use remarketing, you'll tag pages of your site that correspond to certain categories you want to promote. For example, you could add a "TV" tag on all of the pages where you sell televisions.

You can then create an AdWords campaign to show highly relevant messages (such as ads displaying a special offer on TVs) to people who've visited these pages as they browse sites across the Google Display Network."

From initial testing and case studies that I have reviewed, remarketing is showing some very promising results and in my view is a 'must test' advanced Google AdWords technique.

2. Image Ads

We have discussed using image ads on the Google Display Network (GDN) before in Results Report Issue 60.

It is estimated that 60% to 70% of all AdWords clicks come from the Content Network, and that around 30% of AdSense Advertisers carry image ads - yet only 2% to 5% of all advertisers use image ads!

We are seeing some really good results with Google image ads, with decent levels of traffic and cost per conversion figures of 1/3rd to 1/2 the cost of text ads.

This means you either save 33% to 50% for the same number of leads, or you get 50% to 100% more leads for the same budget!

If your AdWords results are flagging, and you already get reasonable results from the GDN, image ads like the examples below (from the Google website) could put you right back in the game!

3. Site Links

Site link are interesting. What are Site Links - well to quote Google again...

"Ad Sitelinks is a feature for search-based ads that lets you include up to 4 additional links to deeper content on your site beyond the main landing page. Sitelinks extend the value of your AdWords ads by showcasing additional targeted and relevant links for users whose search queries have triggered your ad."

"The following best practices will help maximize your chances of showing Sitelinks:

  • Your ad should have one of the top positions above the search results.
  • Your ad should have a very high Quality Score.
  • Your Sitelinks URLs must direct users to pages that are part of your main website.

If your ad qualifies to show Sitelinks, up to four of the additional links you associate with your ad on the Ad Extensions tab may appear on your ad."

There is good evidence coming through that Site Links are working very well in some cases.

However, I'd be very cautious about adding Site Links to an ad that is directing traffic to a very high performing landing page or opt in page. Why send traffic to a less successful page?

On the other hand, listing various product or service options at a deeper level could really help you drive more traffic to the most relevant pages on your site.

As with all techniques, the proof is in the eating (or testing in this case).

You can read more about Sitelinks here.

4. Google Display Network (GDN) Optimised Campaigns

This is where you break up an existing campaign running on both the search and display networks, and run separate campaigns tailored to each network.

This allows you to take a more strategic approach to theming the AdGroups, leading to more relevant placements of ads and hopefully a higher CTR.

Tip: When you copy the campaign so it can be split, I prefer to leave the existing campaign running as the GDN campaign, as the 'learned' history of websites that are performing, and any grooming you have done of this list of websites (such as exclusions) remains intact.

5. Mobile Optimised Campaigns

If you have mobile devices activated in your campaigns settings module, and if mobile is performing well, there could be a good case for splitting out and setting up a Mobile specific campaign.

For example, with mobile ads being shown on a typical smart phone screen, you may need to be much more aggressive in your bidding to achieve rank 1 or 2 as ads below rank this will simply not show on the screen.

You may be aiming for rank 3 with search, so having the two separate campaigns gives you the flexibility of setting higher bids for mobile where you aim for rank 1, and lower for search to achieve rank 3.

And you may get better results with more specific ad text, tailored to smart phone users.

You can still win big with Google AdWords.

Very few Google advertisers get all of the basics right, let alone test advanced techniques such as these.

That works to your advantage.

It is still possible to get your business into the top 5% on Google - you just have to work a bit harder and a lot smarter than you did in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Google AdWords Campaign Management

By the way - our team set up and manage Google AdWords accounts for many companies of all types and sizes, and are successfully managing many tens of thousands of Google AdWords spend each month.

If you'd like to discuss how we can help to develop and manage your Google AdWords account, please call on 01933 373000, or email with your name, company and telephone number.

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