September 28, 2016

7 tips for running successful google ads

Many businesses have realized the potential of Google ads, but it’s shocking how few people are actually leveraging them successfully. Whether you’re the one creating and managing them, or you hire someone to do it for you, there are some basics that everyone should understand before getting too deep.

This article should serve as a jumping off point for those interested in getting started with Google ads, and also those questioning why it may not have worked for them in the past.

1. Be specific about your goals

What exactly do you want people to do after they see your ad? Do you want them to fill out a lead generation form, subscribe to your newsletter or sign up for an upcoming event?

Whatever it is, make sure your campaign objectives are well defined. Having clear goals will help keep you on track when you’re creating the campaign and it will also allow you to easily measure and know when you’ve actually reached your goals.

2. Target

The beauty of digital advertising is that you can connect with exactly who you want, at the right time and place. This allows you to precisely target that “ideal customer”… IF you know what you’re doing.

Take the time to define exactly who you’re targeting. It may even be multiple different groups, in which case you’ll want create unique ad groups. Each target audience will have different triggers and will respond differently. So don’t treat them the same.

3. Speak your customer’s language

Get to know your client really well, and make sure your ads, landing page copy and call to actions will resonate and appeal to them.

Forget the industry buzz words and try to converse with your customers at their level. There is no glory in trying to sound overly “professional” or “intelligent”. Being authentic is far more persuasive.

4. Use negative keywords

Good keyword research is crucial to any successful ad campaign. You want to bid on keywords that will allow you to connect with searchers that have a high intent to buy your product or service. But what about the people we don’t want to connect with?

Adding negative keywords to your campaign or ad group let’s Google know any particular words or phrases that you don’t want your ad showing for. This helps us avoid wasteful ad spend, and gets your ads in front of people who are actually interested in your product or service.

 5. Don’t forget a well-designed landing page

This is where so many people drop the ball, and honestly, I don’t get it. People will pay someone thousands of dollars to create them ads, but then they miss the mark on the landing page.

We’ve seen it all. Poorly designed landing pages, and even ads that take people to a homepage with zero call to actions or relevant information. People land there and have no idea what they’re supposed to do next. If you don’t make it super simple for people, you’ll lose them.

For example, we recently launched a 15% off video promotion here at Iconica targeting restaurants in the GTA. When people arrive to the landing page it’s immediately clear what we’d like them to do.

Anyone ready to book can easily click the “book now” call to action and anyone who’s still unsure can scroll down and get all the additional information they might need to make a decision. For example, we’ve included:

  • A countdown timer showing them when the offer expires, creating a sense of urgency.
  • An example of our work and how it helped our client (ie. the video got over 190K views on Facebook and helped the owner increase sales by 300%).
  • A high level overview of who we are and what we do.
  • Other complementary services we offer that can help them promote.
  • A positive and candid client testimonial.

Check it out for yourself. Pretty compelling right?

If you’re launching an ad campaign, please don’t make the mistake of pouring precious marketing dollars into your ads and then skimping when it comes to the landing page. Cutting corners will never get you the conversions you’re looking for.

6. Use conversion tracking

Conversion tracking allows you to track the effectiveness of each campaign and see how many people actually completed a “desired action”.

This action may be someone picking up the phone and calling you, signing up for your newsletter, making a purchase or something else. Regardless of what it is, you’ll need to set up that conversion action in adwords, and add a tag to your website in order to track it.

Believe me, there is no one size fits all approach to advertising. What works for one company, may not for another. You’ll need to experiment and see what works for your business, and the only way to do that is to make it measurable.

7. Test, measure, tweak and repeat.

It’s the mantra of every successful online advertiser. Educated guesses have no place in online advertising. You need to crunch the data and let the numbers be the guiding force behind your decisions. What ends up working may actually surprise you.

Like what you’ve heard, and want Iconica to create and manage your next ad campaign? Just fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch.

Stephanie Miles, Director of Digital Marketing

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