“This is the first out of a five part series trying to teach SME business owners on Google’s Adwords Advertising, understanding terms, processes and tips on how to efficiently do ad campaigns without blowing your entire budget.”
Businesses, especially small and medium sized entrepreneurships, need a quick boost in visibility when starting out with a new website. SEO’s results do not show up immediately, so whilst you’re waiting for the seeds of your search engine optimisation to bear fruit, turning to PPC advertising is a clever way to boost your branding.
Through pay-per-click marketing, you’re creating the ability for your business to have highly targeted advertising that helps you get the right people to find what you have to offer. Since we’re trying to teach you how to utilise PPC advertising, we’ll do a step by step guide that spans over a few articles so you can fully understand and maximise your campaigns.
Starting Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
For starters, the advertising that you will do in Adwords will be broken down in what is called campaigns. Campaigns typically run simultaneously and broken down into two or more components called ad groups, which contain their own keywords and ads.
The point of campaigns is to fulfil a goal that changes according to what your website needs. Goals typically boil down to a few things, namely:
- Find customers who want your products and services, also known as lead generation
- To improve brand awareness
- To re-engage the visitors that have gone to your site before
- To generate sales through call-ins
Google provides up to five different campaign types, depending on what you think suits your business’ demographic. They are the search network only, display network only, shopping campaign, video campaign and universal app campaign.
Each of these campaigns have a specific advantage over the other and are encouraged to be used depending on what purposes that you have.
Different Adword Campaign Types and their Uses
Search Network Campaigns
Search network campaigns are the traditional ads that SEO rankings are similar to – the one you see on top when you look for something on Google with the word “Ad” on it. These pop up in search engines for a certain keyword phrase and are perfect for lead generation and brand visibility.
Display Network Campaigns
Display Network campaigns are what are colloquially known as “banner ads”. These will show up in any website within the Adwords network. This is highly controllable, allowing you to target which category of sites it shows up – typically perfect for re-engagement and visibility.
Shopping Campaign allows you to upload your product’s specs into Google’s Merchant Centre and feed your product data up into it, creating a shopping ad without the need for you to devise a text ad. This is great for e-commerce businesses and any business that wants to connect directly to customers who are ready to buy.
Video campaigns are the videos that you see on Youtube, Android video ads and on its display networks, acting similar to traditional TV advertising. This is also highly targeted and can be customised according to what category of channels you think your video campaign should go to. It’s a rich marketing experience that can field a great click-through rate (CTR) for any purpose.
Universal App Campaign
If you are an app developer, the Universal App campaign is a great way to improve the visibility of your mobile app. It sends an ad campaign on multiple Google sites to find the right types of people who would want to buy your app.
Like all the other campaigns, these can be targeted according to your goals so you can make sure that you only get the most out of every campaign.
Maximising Your Adwords Campaign Through Goal-Setting
When setting goals, there are a few things that you should remember so you can maximise what you want to achieve. Formulating benchmarks is important to make sure that everything in your ad campaign is done efficiently.
Adjusting for Achievable and Realistic Ad Objectives
When you are setting your goal, you need to first make sure that what you want is achievable and realistic. What do you want to happen? You need to test up to how much your budget can take for the level of improvements that you are aiming for.
We will discuss budgets on the next topic, but for our purposes, you need to strike a balance between efficiency and your budget. If you want a 30% growth in revenue, you need to remember that you need to have a proportional budget for it. In the event that you have a conservative budget, go for a campaign that hinges on tried and tested methods and a more targeted approach.
Creating Measurable Goals
Establish what you want to happen weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and so on. Go for small increments so you can see the ads work their magic. Get 10% this month, 15% next month and so on until you have enough budget that you can use.
Look for similar time frames every time you’re testing and be consistent so you have similar results across all of your ad groups. Monitor what happens per x number of days or weeks to quantify campaign effectiveness and use contextual metrics.
For example, if your goal is to “improve unique visitors by 20%”, you need to take into context what is happening on different months through analytics that take context into account. If you get your 20% goal on months of October and December, look for reasons why. If you’re a shoe store, 20% in October is a better improvement vs 20% in December because December is a prime month whilst October is not.
Look onto this thoroughly and not just check at the numbers.
Setting Ample Ad Testing Time
You would want your Adwords campaigns to be efficient, so you would want enough time for testing unless you’re short on time. If you start a campaign to have x results on y amount of time, you need to be more aggressive on the campaign the shorter y is.
As an example, if you want a 15% improvement on sales, your strategy and goals change according to the time you have.
15% improvement over 6 months gives you ample time for testing, discarding campaigns that don’t work and drilling down for more keywords. On the other hand, if you want results NOW however, this limits your testing time and only look for areas that work whilst pushing up your budget.
Set Success Goals and Stretch Goals Apart
Campaign success needs to be realistic, but it also needs to show you that you’re achieving something to motivate you further. Setting realistic success goals and stretch goals is important.
Success goals should be high enough that they provide real measure of acceptable improvement for your business but low enough that they are achievable when enough work is done. Stretch goals should be there if you get exceptional results vs the amount the work that you pushed in, like “300% increase in ROI” etc.
The success marker should be challenging enough as it is, with the stretch benchmark providing best case scenario for your campaign.
Goal Documentation and Comparing Ad Performance
Documentation is important for long-term comparison of your tier per tier performance. You would want some point of comparison over time and context on how exceptional you will be doing. This allows you to see advertising success markers that are not measurable by metrics like time periods.
Since every time period may give a different performance, you would want to see at which time periods your business is doing better and when does it do less, allowing you to adjust the time when you will pour more budget into your ad campaigns.
Understanding Adword campaigns is not too complicated and it allows you flexibility on what you can do to maximise your budget. Starting on the right foot with the right mindset, accurate campaign understanding and smart goal management will allow you to start your preliminary advertising with efficiency.
On the next article, we will discuss PPC budget management and how to get the most out of every pence that you put into your ads.