Most of you already know how profitable Adwords advertising can be. The majority of your competition is already on there — polishing their ads, learning every day — reaping the glorious rewards that a well executed campaign can offer a budding business.
However, the smart local marketers out there all know that success isn’t just a matter of being one of the few who do versus the many who don’t. You have to have all (or most) of your ducks in a row prior to setting up your first campaign.
Due diligence will determine just how quickly your small or medium sized business gains traction on this, the world’s largest Internet advertising platform.
Consider these 3 questions before jumping headfirst into Adwords advertising:
What’s our endgame?
Always have your end goal in mind as you begin to plot your first campaign. Keyword choice is critical and the types of combinations you choose will determine the quality of results you achieve.
Consider these most common advertising goals among local SMEs and large corporations worldwide:
- Getting orders
- Building your list
- Nailing down sales appointments
- Keyword data compilation
- Split testing (copy, headlines, potential new offers)
- Finding new, yet undiscovered markets
This is just a short list. Your goals can and very well may be different. They will heavily influence your keyword selection and bidding strategy.
Consider a new local pizza shop opening up in Queens, NY. This is one of the most competitive food service businesses in the entire city and in most cities all over North America. In order to capitalize and gain traction from an Adwords campaign, this business will have to step into murky waters, with some heavy sharks as competitors ready to gobble them up with their extremely loose marketing budgets.
In the Queens pizza example, the goal will be to get orders coming into the store. Since they’re new, they’ll need to work incentives in their keyword strategy, to get new customers to give them a shot.
They’re competing with the big boys like Dominos and the like, along with shop owners who actually make real pizza. Niche keywords like “Best Pizza Deals in Queens” and “Pizza Delivery in Queens” would be a great place to start, rather than the highly competitive “Best Pizza in Queens” containing over 15,000,000 results.
Now that you have some reasonable niche keywords…
How ready is the website to take orders?
You didn’t think you’d get away with putting your phone number up and then sit back and wait for the calls to come in, did you?
Modern customers want to visit your website, regardless of what kind of business you are. They want to get a feel for you before making contact. In the pizza example, the best thing you can do is make it so easy they can make their order directly online — no muss, no fuss! And this is true for virtually every other SME one can imagine — whether it be them asking for an information packet or in-person consult.
Not only does your site have to load super-fast to capture leads and sales and information requests, it needs to be highly relevant to your keywords. Consider those ridiculous clickbait ads we’ve all clicked on and disappointed by over the years.
One recent, kind of off-topic ad I got duped into reading a while back was a silly content network ad talking about Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton’s supposed torrid breakup: After clicking the ad and reading a misleading intro, it turned out to be about Gwen’s supposed beauty secret for rebounding after the fake breakup (ie., product that isn’t even endorsed by the celebrity). The Adword’s team wouldn’t stand for something like this and will penalize you right off the network for such things.
The point is, people won’t view your ad for more than few seconds once they realize your lander has nothing to do with the keywords they plugged into the search engine. If you’re a domestic car dealer located beside a Quick Mart and you try blasting out a campaign for “Porsche Dealer in Toronto” don’t expect any results — you’ll end up penalized and those who remember your business’s name will never trust you down the road.
A good landing page can double, even quadruple your conversions.
What makes you better than the competition?
Why should people want your product or service more than the competition?
If you can’t answer this question, you’re like a deer in the headlights standing on the road waiting to get rundown by that big Ford F-350 bearing down on you.
You need to be able to identify your unique value proposition (USP) in your ads, and do so in short order without any confusion.
Consider the highly competitive online legal space. If you’re a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, Illinois; a good keyword might be something like “Best Small Injury Attorney in Chicago”.
That’s not bad for a variant of one of your headlines, but what about your ad description(s)? That’s where the value proposition needs to be. Something that’s going to get clicks, leads, and eventual contract signings.
- Do you offer free, no obligation consultations?
- No upfront fees for taking the case?
- Are your services on contingency or does the customer pay regardless?
- How about your track record — are you new or do you have a massive portfolio of success to show off?
These are just a few examples to consider, for one kind of professional service business. Find your USP and make sure it’s visible in your ads. Split-test until the sales/leads start to flow in.
Getting your Adwords campaigns dialed in will take time. Make sure you’re ready before you launch your first ad, or you’ll end up spending needless money and time learning lessons that answering the 3 questions above could have helped you avoid.
Main Image Credit: Good Old/Flickr