Online Advertising

[Webinar] Cracking the Google AdWords Code

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At first glance, it might seem easy to launch your own AdWords campaign. However, building a strong foundation for your campaign takes quite a bit of research and planning. And continued success with AdWords requires detailed on-going monitoring and optimization.

In this webinar, we cover everything you need to get your campaign off the ground as well as what steps you should be taking to drive improved effectiveness throughout the lifetime of your campaign.

More Questions and Answers

There were a lot of great questions asked during the webinar. Unfortunately, we did have time to go through all of them, so below are answers to the questions that didn't make it into the presentation.

Does the cost change depending on the target location?
Yes, definitely! If you’re in a local market where a lot of competitors are advertising through AdWords, that increased competition is going to drive up the price of your cost per click (CPC).

How do we keep competitors from clicking our ads?
There isn’t much that can be done for one-off clicks from competitors, but Google does have a robust anti-spam system built into the AdWords platform that automatically looks for fraudulent clicks and removes them from you account before you pay anything.

If you feel like there is fraudulent activity that is slipping through their anti-spam system, you can request an Invalid Click Investigation from Google. If they find anything suspicious, they’ll apply a refund to your account.

How does AdWords differ from SEO search terms?
The search terms that drive traffic from your AdWords campaign aren’t really that different from the search terms driving organic search traffic to your site. All of them are coming from people who are going to Google, typing in their search term, and clicking a link to your site.

The difference is that with AdWords you’re directly paying for each of those clicks. With SEO, your site needs to be ranking highly in the organic results from that search term in order to receive clicks.

If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, check out our Understanding the Fundamentals of SEO webinar.

What is better, AdWords or SEO?
The answer to this kind of depends on your goals and budget. As we mentioned in the presentation, AdWords can start driving qualified traffic to your site quickly, but that traffic stops as soon as you stop paying Google for clicks.

On the other hand, it can take several months to achieve keyword rankings that are high enough in the organic search results to drive traffic to your site, but once you achieve those rankings, you won’t drop off immediately if you stop investing in SEO.

With that said, both AdWords and SEO should be parts of your larger marketing strategy. Neither one is a magic bullet for growing your business, but when working in conjunction with other marketing tactics, they can be very powerful.

What about Bing?
Excellent question! We didn’t really talk about Bing in our presentation, but they have an advertising platform that is very similar to AdWords. Bing has a much smaller portion of the search engine market than Google, so that means it won’t drive as much qualified traffic as your AdWords campaign. But that smaller market share also means less competition which translates into cheaper clicks for you!

What we recommend is building and optimizing your campaign on AdWords first. Once you’re happy with the results that it’s driving, you can export your entire campaign and import it directly into Bing and easily start running ads with them.

How long would you say it takes to get a solid benchmark for your AdWords campaign performance?
Figuring out whether your campaign is successful can vary from industry to industry and even from campaign to campaign. However, I’d say that you should be prepared to run your campaign for at least 3-6 months with a healthy budget of at least $1000/month. That will give you enough data on lead generation and conversions to paying customers to determine your ROI.

What is the difference between your Pro and Express AdWords Management services?
We offer two options with our AdWords Management service: AdWords Pro and AdWords Express.

In the AdWords Pro program, we manage your campaign in the full version of the AdWords platform. This gives us more strategic control of features like keyword targeting, bidding strategies, ad variation testing, negative keywords and more.

The AdWords Express program is managed on a separate advertising platform from Google called AdWords Express. This platform provides much less control over the strategic features that are available on the full AdWords platform and thus, has a lower management cost.

If you’re serious about your AdWords campaign, we highly recommend the AdWords Pro program as the increased level control will lead to a great possibility of success. However, if you’re operating with a limited budget but still want to include some advertising in your marketing strategy, AdWords Express can be a great place to start.

The discounts we mentioned in the webinar are only available for our AdWords Pro service.

What is the contract term for Pronto?
Our AdWords Management service has a 3 month commitment because we strongly believe that success with AdWords is achieved over the course of months as we make continual improvements and optimizations to the campaigns. After the first 3 months, you can cancel your subscription to the program at anytime.

Video Transcription

Tim: Hey everyone! It's just about 1PM Eastern so we'll kick things off. We've got a lot to cover today. There's quite a bit about AdWords that we're excited to be sharing with you. Here we go.

My name is Tim Kelsey. I'm the Director of Marketing Services here at Pronto and I'm joined today by Scott.

Scott: Hi, I'm Scott. I'm the Senior Marketing Consultant at Pronto. I spoke with many on the phone and I'm looking forward to taking a deeper dive into AdWords today.

Tim: Before we get started, let's take a quick survey. The question is how much experience do you have with Google AdWords?

Scott: Tim is going to be launching the survey just a second. You should see it on your screen. The possible answers here, never heard of it, I know what it is but I've never used it, I tried running my own AdWords campaign but I want to learn more, or I'm already running a successful AdWords campaign.

Tim: We give everyone a couple of more seconds to answer and then we'll be sharing the results with you. Okay. It looks like we have a pretty good mix here. Most of you fall into the knowing what it is but not having used it before or having tried it but wanting to learn more. It looks like we have a few on the others and says, well, people who never really experienced AdWords and also those who are running successful campaigns. It's great to see we've got a good mix of people today. We've got a lot that we're going to cover across that entire spectrum. Hopefully all of you will be able to learn a little bit about AdWords and how to better prepare and manage your campaigns.

Speaking of what we'll be covering today, here's a short agenda of what we'll be going through. We'll be starting off by talking about the fundamentals of what AdWords is, then going into how you can setup your own campaign, then how to optimize your campaign, then moving on to common mistakes that we see when people are managing their own campaigns. Then we'll talk a little bit about how Pronto can help and the services that we provide. We'll also have a special offer for everyone who's attending today. Make sure you stick around for that. Then, we'll hopefully have a little bit of time for question and answers at the end. We do have a lot to cover today but hopefully we'll have a few minutes to answer some of the questions. Within the goto webinar dashboard, there should be an option up there for you to type in questions. Feel free to ask questions throughout the presentation. Scott and I will be busy talking the whole time but at the end, we'll go through some of those and answer as many as we can.

We'll also be recording the webinar today and have that available for sharing later this week. We'll be talking about a few different spreadsheets and other presentations that we have that will be available for you via email after this as well. There'll be a lot more information beyond what we're just talking about today.

Scott: Let's just start with a basic definition here. AdWords is Google's paid search advertising platform where businesses can display ads on Google search result pages and pay only when someone clicks on their ad. This type of advertising is often referred to as paid search, pay per click (ppc), or search engine marketing (SEM). PPC advertising is also available on other search engines like Bing but we'll be focusing specific on Google AdWords today.

If you take a look at the screenshot over on the right there, as you can see, that first section, if you type in Google search. The first result that you see in many cases will actually be Google AdWords results. If you look really closely, you might spot that they have a little green ad symbols next to them if they're ads. That's that first block.

The second block with the map, that's local search results which more relates to SEO or the search engine optimization side of things. Then, the next section under that, the third section, is also organic or natural search results. Again, we're focusing on that top section, the first things that get shown which are Google AdWords. Also important to note here is that Google Ads can also show at the bottom of the page, they can show on the second page, but, again, these are just showing the first two AdWords results right there at the top of the page.

Now that you see where they display, let's think about why you might use Google AdWords. The first big benefit here is that they are targeted. Basically, Google gives you the option or the feature of having very detailed control over the targeting and audience. You can select, you can focus on keywords, location, device, even the time of day that your ads are displaying so you have the most qualified traffic or the most qualified clicks.

It's also measurable. It provides detailed ... AdWords can provide detailed data allowing you to collect individual leads right back to the keywords that they clicked on. If you get a new lead and they came from your AdWords campaign, you know exactly how they found their way to your site, which really helps when you want to calculate out what's your return on investment or ROI is.

They are also very fast. Qualified traffic can potentially start arriving onto your site shortly after you launch and AdWords campaign. In some cases, some of these keywords that you might be targeting might take months or even years to rank for organically. It's much faster than that. As soon as you start a campaign, you can actually start showing up on those results.

Tim: Before we go any further, we'd like to give you the process that AdWords works from the searcher's perspective. Of course, it all starts out with a search on Google.com. In the example we have here, it's someone who's searching for home insurance Chicago. As a search for Google displays somewhere between one and four ads above the organic search results. It's those first few listings that really grab people's attentions at the top of the results and can drive a lot of clicks.

Next, the searcher looks through those ads and hopefully clicks on your ad. In this case, we're clicking on an ad from Liberty Mutual and landing on a page that Liberty Mutual has as decided for us related to insurance, getting an insurance quote. Then, ideally, that searcher then goes on to take an action on the website. In this case, Liberty Mutual wants us to get a quote for their insurance services. In other cases, it might be making a purchase, signing up for an email newsletter list, filling out a contact form or downloading an ebook. There's lots of different goals that can be done through AdWords but ideally that's the process that a searcher follows on their way to converting to a lead for your website.

Next, I'd like to go over a few common terms that you'll come across when dealing with AdWords. The first few ones here, keywords and impressions and clicks are all fairly self-explanatory. I'll jump into the acronyms down at the bottom here that might use, might need a little more explanation. CPC stands for cost per click. This is the amount that you pay to Google when someone has clicked on one of your ads. For example, let's say you spend $85 for a total of 10 clicks, then your average cpc comes out to $8.50. CTR stands for click through rate. This is the percentage of searchers who clicked on your ad after having viewed it in the search results. That's calculated by clicks divided by impressions.

Let's say you had 10 clicks from 1,000 ad views or 1,000 impressions. That gives you a CTR of 1%. One percent is an okay CTR to expect. They can range anywhere from below 1% up to maybe 3% or even 5% CTRs. Finally, CPL or CPA stands for cost per lead or cost per an acquisition. This is the amount that you paid to acquire a lead from your AdWords campaign. It's calculated by taking you total ads spend and dividing it by the number of leads generated during that time period. Let's say over the course of a month, you spent $3,000 and got 10 leads from it, then your average cost per lead comes out to $300.

Scott: There are some things to keep in mind when you're running an AdWords campaign or considering running one. The first is cost. Cost of running an AdWords campaign is directly related to your market competition. In highly competitive industries or locations, the cost per click will be more expensive because other companies are willing to pay to get those clicks. In most cases, you should be prepared to spend at least a thousand dollars per month in advertising budget. Of course, there are times where you might need to spend much less or you might ask to spend much more. Again, this is the general rule, about a thousand dollars per month is a pretty good starting point.

Also, there's management. Managing and optimizing an effective campaign, it does require some specialized knowledge as well as a process to make sure that you're making continuous improvements to your ad text, to your keyword targeting, to your bidding strategy, and in some cases, even making some changes to a website. This is a really important piece and of course, this is the area that we're trying to help you with today through this presentation. The management is very important.

The next is time. Google AdWords can bring traffic quickly but the traffic will drop instantly if you pause your campaign. You should be committed to running a campaign for at least six months to see and ideally as long as possible. If it's working out well for you, you should continue it. It's important to note that running AdWords does not impact your organic search or your SEO. It doesn't have a lasting impact like that. It's more like you turn on the faucet, you're paying for ads, you're paying for the clicks, or you turn it off and that traffic doesn't come to your site anymore. It doesn't influence some of these other things.

Just to summarize all of this and bring it together. The things about AdWords here, it's targetable. AdWords allows you to target a very specific audience. It's measurable, so it's easy to measure your ROI of your AdWords campaign. It's fast, so campaigns can drive qualified traffic to your website very quickly, much faster than other techniques. It requires an ongoing management. Your campaigns, in order to be effective, you really need to monitor and optimize them on a regular basis. It also requires an ad budget of course. The cost will depend very much on your market competition.

Now that we understand the benefits of AdWords, let's go ahead and take a deeper dive into how to setup an actual AdWords campaign.
Tim: Your AdWords campaign all starts with the keywords that you're targeting. That's sent through this process called keyword research where you're looking to what potential keywords you want to target in your campaign, which ones are going to drive the most traffic and have the highest potential to draw leads into your site.

Keyword research is that really important part of your campaign. It's really the foundation that your campaign will be built upon. To be honest, keyword research probably deserves its own webinar. It can be very detailed and very complicated. We'll go over just some of the basics here. Just know that there's a lot of information out there about keyword research that you can go read and study and understand how to build a really great foundation of your campaigns.

The way that I typically perform keyword research is by starting out just brainstorming my own list of keywords. Say I would pick a product or service that I'm looking to promote through AdWords and then spend a little time thinking about what keyword I think my potential clients would be searching for online on Google and come up with a list of maybe somewhere between five and fifteen different keywords that I'd like to start as my base for expanding the keywords that I want to target.

You can then take that list of keywords to one of many tools out there that will help you discover new keywords that you might not have thought of. One of those tools is the Google AdWords keyword planner which Google offers for free within the AdWords platform. There's a bunch of other paid tools out there, Moz has a great one, AHREF has a really good one, Wordstream is also very good. There's plenty of tools out there that can help you find these keywords.

To give you a quick example, we'll jump over to the AdWords keyword planner. In the example here, I have a few keywords for the yoga study, yoga classes and yoga training. This is just a really small foundation of brainstorming for a yoga studio that would potentially be running some ads through AdWords, one thing to notice that I've changed the targeting here, that geographic targeting to only Seattle. By default, I believe, this usually shows either global data or United States data. Feel free to change this depending on your business and what your target area is. The data that is displayed through the keyword planner tool will change depending on this targeting.

Let's do a very quick search for these and we'll see what data AdWords shows us. We can see here that first, the keyword planner tells us how often people are searching for these keywords. They provide an estimate of how many searches are performed per month for these different keywords. Also, there's a suggested bid based on the level of competition and what other advertisers are paying for these keywords when they're running ads as well. Then, below this, we'll see a whole bunch of additional keywords that the keyword planner is suggesting to us that we might want to include in our campaign that might be useful for drawing in leads. A great example here is the yoga teacher training. That's a keyword that is fantastic for drawing in leads. If you're a yoga studio who is providing lessons for instructors to start their own studios, that's absolutely a keyword that you should be targeting along with yoga certification, yoga instructor training. Using tools like this can really help expand what you're looking for and give you a lot of ideas that might not have come up in your initial brainstorming.

Once you've built out your list of keywords a little bit, I always like to go run some manual searches and just see what's showing up in the search results for those. Are there competitors who are running ads for them as well? If so, that is a good indication that you should potentially be targeting that keyword as well. You might even want to check out the pages that they're sending traffic to, what kind of offers are they giving for those. It can really help give you some ideas about how you might want to plan your campaign.

Once you've completed this project and maybe you pared down your list a little bit to the ones that you think you want to target for that particular product or service, move on to the next service that you want to target and repeat this process again. Do this for as many services or products that you're planning to advertise through AdWords. Once you have your keyword list not necessarily finalized but expanded upon and at a stage where you're ready to move on, we highly recommend taking your keywords and starting to get your campaign organized within a spreadsheet. This can be really helpful for visualizing how your campaign is mapped out, what you're targeting, as well as planning out the ad text that you'll be running and what pages on your site you'll be sending traffic to.

Later on, in an email following up on the presentation here, we'll be sharing a template version of this planning spreadsheet that we use for our clients. This is how we plan out every campaign that we are running for our clients. We start by organizing things into campaigns which in terms of AdWords hierarchy, a campaign is the highest level. It's the largest grouping of similar topics. Below that are ad groups which are much smaller that are focusing on a particular group of keywords. Typically, when we're planning campaigns for a lot of our B2B companies that we work with, we create at least three different campaigns for them. One for verticals, one for services or products that they offer and one for locations that they're targeting.

In this example here, we're starting with the verticals campaign and we have an ad group for a roofing company called ... the ad group is about residential roofing. One thing that's important to note about ad groups is that they should be really tightly themed around one particular keyword. You can see here with residential roofing, a lot of the other keywords included here are just variations on that or slight additions to it. This will really help later on once the campaign is running to analyze the data that we're getting and figure out which types of keywords are doing the best for converting and drawing in qualified traffic.

Next to this, we have two variations on ads that we'll be starting out our campaign with. AdWords limits the number of characters you can have in each of these fields. We've added a formula here to let you know when you've gone over that limit. We can see here for the description field, the limit is 80 characters. It turns red when we get to 81. Within these two variations, there's a couple of different ways that we'll test these ads against each other. One option is to have very slight changes. For this examples between these two sets of ads, the only thing that's different is this one line here. We here just want to see how searchers respond to these different, to that one particular line. These are options to do significantly different versions. Let's say you just have two good ideas about how you want to message the message you want to provide to searchers and you just want to start off with a big difference and see what works. Both are valid ways of testing and can help you figure out what's going to drive the best results for your campaign.

Next to that, we have the page that we'll be sending traffic to. We'll go over this a bit more but in general you want to be sending traffic to page that's relevant to the group of keywords that you're targeting. If the ad group is about residential roofing, we want to be sending people to page about residential roofing. It's important for AdWords to see that there's consistent flow here from keywords that match the topic of the ad text, that match the topic of the page as well.

As we go down through this list, the same thing is repeated for the different types of services or types of campaigns that we're building. With services, we're doing the same thing but talking about specific services that the company provides. Then going down to locations, it's really ... for locations, we really just repeat what has been done for the other ad groups and make it specific to a certain city or region that they're targeting so that we're getting really specific for the types of keywords that are going to be growing in potential converters to their website. As I mentioned, we'll have this spreadsheet available for you to download and you can play around with it when you're planning your own campaigns as well.

Scott: Something that we just touched upon there. Tim mentioned that you want to make sure that your campaigns and your ad sets are going, your ad groups are going to a relevant page. You could direct your users to a homepage if they click on your ad but in most cases, sending them to a very specific page is going to help with your conversions because it's more relevant to that person who clicked that particular ad. Again, it's not wrong to send them to your homepage but you might get a lot more benefit out of your campaign if you send them to a very specific page. Think about it from the user perspective.

In the earlier example, the user searched for home insurance. We can assume that they're looking for a home insurance provider, not a car insurance provider, not a boat insurance provider. Why make them hunt around for that particular service? You want to make it as easy on that searcher as possible so that it's more likely they'll take an action once they're on your site.

Now, the other thing that's really important then is that on that page you do have a clear call to action. They've click on your ad, they've gone to the page on your site, they're reading a little bit about you. But is that it? Are you going to give them some reason to give their contact information? In the case of insurance, maybe this is entering their zip code and their email address. If it's something else, it might be an ebook download or free consultation, something that might inspire them to actually enter their contact information. Remember, you've paid to have that click, that money is already gone. You really don't want to make a mistake when they're on your site to make it easy for them to leave, forget about you, and you get no benefit from it. Definitely important to have a good call to action on those specific pages.

The other thing I have mentioned here is have a conversion tracking setup. You have to make sure that you have conversion tracking setup so that you know if someone clicked on your ad and they fill in a form, you know where you got that from. You want to make sure that you know which ad did they click on, which keyword, what are they searching for, which page do they go to, did they fill out a form, or maybe they picked up the phone instead. This is also why you can setup phone tracking or call tracking. If that person went to that page and decide, "I'm not going to fill out a form, I'm ready to call these guys right now." If that's the case, then you want to make sure you send them, you give them a very specific tracking phone number to dial so then you can actually know, "Oh, that person who visited my site through that landing page, through that ad called my phone number. I know they called my phone number because I tracked that phone call to them. Call tracking is also really helpful.

Now, if you're a pronto client already, we make this tracking really easy for you. We have a special section in your pronto insights which summarizes your leads. It pools all the relevant information from Google Analytics and sometimes the form information, it pools that all in. It pools it into one place that you can easily reference. The screenshots on the left, they show a lead that that submitted a form on the website and gives all the information, the email address, what page they were on, which form they filled out. Then the screenshot on the right was a lead that called. They called the phone number they saw on the site which is a call tracking phone number and then we're able to align them and learn where they were calling from, what page they were on, etc. Then the other added bonus of call tracking is that you can actually listen to the recording of the phone call so you know whether or not it was a good lead, it was one that someone on your team had actually answered or if it went to voicemail. You can see all that information in one place very easily.

The last thing right down there at the bottom, it's just a chart that shows the macro level. It'll show you the trends over time so you can see how many leads you got by month whether it be from a form fill or a call. It also then shows it by the type. In this case, we're only showing leads that we acquired through AdWords not leads that we acquired through SEO or some email campaign. Its' really quite handy that you can see all this in one place.

Tim: One other thing that I think is really important to cover before setting up your campaign is keyword match types. This is something that a lot of people are confused about and perhaps Google makes it confusing so that people end up spending more money in their campaigns. When you're setting up a campaign, there's different ways that Google will match the keyword you enter for targeting to actual search terms that people are entering into Google.com. Depending on the match type that you use, Google processes that information, your ads will show up for different variations on the keyword that you're targeting.

The four keyword match types are broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, an exact match. We'll go through each of these one by one and I'll explain a bit about them.

Broad match, in order to tell Google that you want something to be targeted as broad match, all you do is enter in the keyword. You don't have to add any special symbols, you just type it in and Google automatically sets it to broad match. Broad match takes what you've entered and can potentially add words onto that phrase. It can find synonyms or near variations. One example, if you're targeting women's hats, AdWords might show your ad for someone searching buy ladies scarves, because Google sees hats and scarves as both fashion accessories and says these are closely related enough that we're going to show the ad for it. Using broad match can actually end up being dangerous because you might be displaying your ad for keyword phrases that are totally irrelevant for what you're trying to sell. If people click those ads, you still pay for it and you can potentially, we've seen client waste thousands of dollars by not having the appropriate targeting. This is especially dangerous for IT services companies. If you enter something like "IT services" with broad match, Google doesn't read "IT" as an acronym for information technologies. It reads it as "it".

You're essentially targeting "it services" which can be lots of things. I've seen IT companies showing up for towing services or limousine services, all kinds of weird things that are totally irrelevant for them.

Modified broad match solves this a little bit by adding these little plus symbols in front of the keywords that you're targeting. Essentially, what this tells Google is use only those exact words or very near variations on them but you can also move things around and add additional things to that as well. A modified broad match for women's hats could potentially match blue hats for women.

Phrase match tells Google that you want those words to appear in the exact order that you've told them but Google can add things before and after that. For phrase match, you add quotation marks around a keyword that you want to target when you're entering it into your campaign. As an example of what that might match in a search term that someone is entering into Google, it might show up for "buy women's hats for weddings". You can see here that women's hats still appears as a contained phrase within that search term but Google has added buy and for weddings.

An exact match is exactly what it sounds like. It means that your ad will only show up for the exact keyword that you're entering there into, get Google to set your keyword targeting to exact match you need to put brackets around the keyword that you're entering.

Launching your campaign once you've prepared everything in your spreadsheet and figured out your keyword match type and everything, you have everything prepared and ready to go, Google actually makes it pretty easy to walk you through the process of setting things up. We will have a guide that you can download later to walk you through this step by step as well. I'm just going to cover some quick points here that I think are important to understand.

If you're starting your campaign and you're new to AdWords, we highly recommend starting with the search network only. This means that your ads are only going to show up when people are searching in Google search results. They won't show up as banner ads on websites. They're using the Google display network. If you're not familiar with Google display network, avoid it for starting your first campaign and stick with the search network only.

Next thing, you can make sure you're picking your correct geographic target. If you're a business that only serves customers regionally or locally, make sure you're limiting your campaigns to a region that makes sense for your service area. Otherwise, you'll potentially be paying for clicks for people who are never going to become your customers. With setting your initial bids and figuring out your over-all budget, as Scott mentioned earlier, we typically recommend a starting budget of about a thousand dollars. That works out to $33 per day. For your default bid, it depends on the industry that you're in. For IT services companies, we generally start with a default bid, somewhere between $10 and $15. It varies from city to city and level of competition. But generally, that's a good starting point and then you can keep an eye on your ads after you launch your campaign to see whether that bid needs to be increased or decreased to improve your performance.

As I mentioned before, things like broad match can be really dangerous to your campaign. We recommend starting out with exact match or modified broad match which will have some limits on the search terms that your ads would show up for and cuts down on the irrelevant clicks that you'll potentially be getting. Once you're ready to launch and you have everything entered into AdWords, make sure that you double check everything. As Scott said, once someone clicks on your ad, you don't get that money back. Make sure that you're sending people to the page that you want to send them to and that that page is working correctly. Once that click has been done, that money is gone and even if you're sending traffic to a broken page, Google is not going to refund you.

As I mentioned before, we have a step by step guide that you'll be able to download that can walk you through the whole process in more detail than we've done here.

Scott: Now that we've got a campaign launched, you really have to think that's just the start of the process. You've got it launched but now you have to manage and optimize the campaign so that it can be as effective as possible.

Tim: There's a whole bunch of activities that you can and should be doing within your campaign to help optimize it and help improve it over the course of time as it's running. AdWords isn't this thing that you can always just turn on and assume you're going to start getting leads. There is a process to improving it and making it more efficient and more effective.

We have a few things here that you should be doing on a regular basis to improve your campaigns. Starting off on a daily basis after you launch your campaign, especially right after you launch your campaign, it is important to check on it every day and make sure that it's running smoothly and that you're not spending too much money and that your keywords aren't going crazy. There might be a time down the road where your daily activities turn into once or twice a week but at least at the beginning you should be doing these things every day where you're going into your account and you're looking at how keywords are performing. If you see one that has a low click through rate, say anything below 1%, that warrants investigating. You might want to figure out why it's performing so low and decide if you either need to increase your bid or if there's something with the ad text that needs to be changed or if it's just not a good keyword for you to target.

You should also be adding negative keywords to your campaign in reviewing your search terms report to see what exact phrases people are searching for when they're clicking on your ads. Let's take a quick look at that in AdWords. Here were have an example from a campaign that we're running for ourselves, for pronto marketing. To access this, when you're in your campaign, you can click on any one of your campaigns and then go to one of your ad groups, and then click on the keywords tab and then on the search terms tab here. This will show us the exact phrase that people have searched for as they've clicked on our ads. It's a lot of the things that we're targeting, free website audit, free website analysis, free website grader. But there's one here, website grader definition that doesn't really fit our target. This person is not looking for someone to build a website for them. They're just looking for information and we don't want to be paying for a click for this keyword. What we can do is select this keyword and then go up to add as negative keyword. We'll go ahead an save this.

Now we can see that it's marked as excluded here. Google will no longer show our ads if someone searches for this keywords. We're going to also see our whole list of what, of negative keywords that we already have in place by going to the negative keywords report here. You can see, we already have a bunch of things that we blocked off, that we've determined to be irrelevant for what we're targeting within our campaigns.

Then, on a weekly basis, you should be checking in on how much you're spending just making sure that you're not going totally overboard with your budget, that you're not going to run through all thousand dollars or whatever you've set for yourself in 10 days or whatever. Make sure you're keeping your cost under control or sometimes you might see you're not spending enough. In those cases, you might want to increase your bids so your ads are showing up in a higher position and drawing in more clicks.

On a monthly basis, you'll want to review your ad performance, look at the actual ads that you're testing against each other. If you remember back in the spreadsheet that we shared, we recommend starting out with at least two ad variations that you can test against each other within a single ad group and see which one of those performs better as they're being displayed to people searching for you keywords.

I have another example here form our account that I'll drag over. In this case, we're actually running three different ads about getting a free website review. In these cases, there's very minor variations that we're doing. One that the title answer the the review, another is with audit and another is with a report. But if you look over in the CTR column here, the click through rate column, you'll see that these have vastly different click through rates that they actually are performing significantly differently from each other and that the free website report is by far performing the best out of these and the free website audit is by far the worst, 1.3% isn't terrible but compared to a set of ads that are running at 5% and 3.5%, 1.3% does not look good by comparison. We might consider pausing that website audit ad and maybe adding a new challenger trying a new variation to see how that compares with the current winners here.

It's really important to continue testing like this over the lifetime of your campaign. It's really what the small incremental changes actually do add up to big changes in the effectiveness of the ads that you're running. Also, on a monthly level, you'll want to be thinking about what new keywords you want to add. This can come from the search terms report. It's a great place to see what people are searching for and what types of keywords you might have not considered. You might want to take some time to brainstorm and think about what other aspects of your business are important to promote through AdWords and build some new, do another round of keyword research, build another ad group, and launch a whole new set of ads around that.

Then also, on a monthly basis, it's important to review your conversions and look at how your ads are performing, or how your ads performing in terms of driving new leads and use that to calculate your cost per lead for the month, look at how you spent that month, look at how many leads the campaign generated, and figure what your cost per lead is and then take that number and think about what those leads are worth to you, what's a potential client worth to to you, how much are you willing to pay for a lead. If you're in a range that sounds good based on how much you can potentially earn from your clients, great, keep it up. If you feel like you're paying too much for your leads, maybe spend some time thinking about what needs to change in your campaign. Are you targeting the wrong keywords? Are your ads just not performing well enough? There can be any number of reasons for why you end up paying too much for a lead.

Then on a quarterly basis, you want to take a deeper dive into your campaign performance and start digging into things and segmenting your data via the device people are using, whether they're on a desktop computer or their phone or tablet, look at the day of the week or the time of day and see how your ads perform within those time periods. AdWords allows you to make budget changes or bidding changes based on that information. If you wanted to, you could increase your bid a little bit for computers if you see that's a better converting device for you.

Let's say Wednesdays tend to be a good day for leads for you. Increase your bid there a bit so you get more clicks and potentially more conversions. Then again on a quarterly basis, you want to look at your conversions but this time take things a step further and determine whether any of those leads have turned into paying customers. If they have, use that data to calculate your ROI and make sure you're getting a positive return from your ad campaign.

Next, we'll be jumping into some common mistakes that we see from clients who come to us for help or just that we've experienced over our years of managing AdWords campaigns. The first one here I've touched on a little bit is poor ad group organization. As I mentioned before, it's really important that your ad groups are very tightly themed around a particular keyword or a particular topic. This makes it a lot easier down the road to analyze your data and figure out what's going on in your campaigns. Perhaps the biggest mistake that we see or, I guess the most costly, are the next two, being too broad with your keyword matching an not using negative keywords to tell Google to stop showing your ad for an irrelevant search term.
These two combined can waste so much money if you're not paying attention to them. We've seen several cases where clients have come to us and aren't getting leads and we're looking to their campaign and there's just dozens of clicks from totally irrelevant search terms that they're paying anywhere from $5 to $25 per click for. It can be really expensive if you don't have things organized correctly here.

Then, as I was saying, testing ads is also very important and over time, this adds up to big changes in the performance of your campaign. It might not seem like much when you're just doing one ad against another, one is just performing slightly better than the other, but over the course of several months or a year, there's a huge potential impact there.

Scott: The next mistake is sending traffic to your homepage only. I went over this a lot earlier but the general idea is if you're sending a user to click your ad into your homepage then they're going to see generally a pitch of your company, whereas they might be looking for a specific service or specific product. You might benefit by just sending them to a landing page that's more relevant to them.

Next is not starting with an appropriate budget. I know it might be tempting to start off small with a small budget, let's say $200 or $300 per month with the intention of increasing it over time but that strategy might actually end up costing you more money. If you start with a small budget, the problem is that you'll be limited with a number of keywords you can go after, and of course, you'll get much fewer clicks. If you have more less clicks, then you'll have less data to analyze. In order to have a really effective AdWords campaign, it's really important that you have enough data and enough clicks so that you can determine what is most effective and adapt your ads accordingly.

A lot of our clients that are spending $500, they end up ... maybe they're not getting many leads whereas if you're spending a thousand you might be doing a bit better. Of course, our clients that are spending about $3000 a month might sound like a lot and it sure it is a lot of money but the benefit of that is that it drives down your cost per acquisition because you're able to really focus on that campaign more to adapt it more, it ends up being more effective and then on average, you end up bringing down a lot of your cost. Again, cost per lead, cost per ... your ROI in the end then ends up usually doing better. That's really important one.

Next is not managing your campaign. This goes back to the earlier mistakes that Tim mentioned about not logging into your account, adding negative keywords, using just broad match keywords that go out of control. You have to be able to go into your campaign every once in awhile to check it. I've often talked to clients who said, "Hey look. I setup my campaign, I've been running it for the last year spending $300 a month, it hasn't really turned into anything but I haven't been logging in and checking it." That's a really big mistake because, again, you spent $300 a month for 12 months and that adds up. That's a lot of money and it ends up being money that's not effective.

Tim: Yeah. One thing I'll add as well is that a good thing Google makes it really easy for business owners to start their own campaign but then being successful with AdWords takes some experience and a lot of knowledge. Google has this marketing strategy where they say, "Hey, we're going to help you get setup", and sometimes they'll gie you an extra coupon to get started or something, will draw you into starting a campaign but they don't really go into the details of how much work it is to be successful with AdWords. I think a lot of people fall into that trap of saying, "I'm going to start my AdWords campaign because Google or some company convinced me to", but they don't know how much work follows up with that. There's a lot more work that comes after just launching your campaign.

Scott: Absolutely. The last mistake that we have here is not tracking conversions. Sometimes when we inherit campaigns that were created by other companies, maybe a different agency, we find that conversion tracking isn't setup correctly. For example, if someone clicks on an ad and visits the contact page of the site, it might be counted as a conversion. You probably shouldn't be considering that a conversion unless the suer actually fills out the form or picks up the phone and calls. I have a feeling that the agencies that manage these campaigns before set it up this way because, of course, it can make it look more effective. "Look, we've got 30 conversions this month. We're doing so well", when in reality, they might not even be someone who called or who filled out a form which means that it surely didn't do much good for that particular company.

Now, let's dive in a little bit into AdWords management by Pronto. You amy already know now but we do manage AdWords campaigns for many Pronto client. Let's take a look at what's included with the Pronto AdWords management service.

I have a big checklist here but I think it might be easier to think of it in these four sections. In all of the campaigns that we manage, we take care of the keyword research and the overall planning. We'll make sure that you have the best targeted keywords that you're setup for the right region, all that stuff that's done upfront is all done by Pronto.

The campaign development. We'll develop your campaign that includes writing the text copy for your ads, creating landing pages for each of your ad sets, setting up conversion tracking and Google Analytics, setting up call tracking so you can find out which phone calls came from which campaign. You'll also have the chance to review everything before it goes live. We're not just going to say, "oh, we setup your campaign, there it goes", we always will send you that spreadsheet that Tim pointed out earlier just to make sure they were on the same page and we have everything setup how and makes the most sense for your company.

Then we also do ongoing management. This is so, so essential. We'll monitor your campaign closely to ensure the bid prices are competitive, your ads are appearing the best position, we'll track to make sure that which ads are most effective and which ones are getting the most clicks so that we can do some testing and make sure that you're not spending for things that are irrelevant. All that ongoing management, and yeah, again, we'll check in with you on a regular basis with the monthly reports to say you knew, what your average cost per click, what are the conversion rates the campaign, how many impressions are you getting, everything like that and then also tell you how we're improving the campaign which is so essential.

If we're finding a certain trend, we might say, "Well next month, this is what we're going to do and this is why." We always keep that dialogue open. Then, every three months, we thinks it's worthwhile taking even a further step back, really thinking up and saying, "This is how we really want to take the next leg of this. We want to know how the next three months are going to go, what we really found out, and this is really useful to have a phone call about all of this. We always recommend every three months to have a nice in-depth phone call.

As far as how much AdWords management cost, we charge $800 setup and $350 per month for the management. Then you'll also have to add your ad budget to that. We also include the Pronto call tracker service for free so you can see how many of those leads that you're getting from the campaign are coming from phone calls. But, that's not the one thing I was going to tell you. You have this special promotion for this webinar so we'll get to that. We're actually going to completely eliminate the setup for you for attending this webinar. The $800 setup fee is completely waived as long as you sign up before May 6. After that, if you're not able to sign up by them, that's okay. We will keep the promotion up but it'll drop back and it will be 50% off setup. That will be a $400 value instead of $800. Additionally, if you're really ready to get going right now, the first five people who sign up will get $100 credit which will go towards your AdWords budget for the first month. Basically, up to $900 if you're signing up very quickly basically.

Tim: When you sign up, you can use this promo code that we have up here, "AdWords Pro". Well share a link later as well how to go sing up and we'll also share our email addresses if you have any questions about the AdWords service and how to get started.

Next, I want to jump into some data that we've collected after running campaign. Here we have some examples of data from AdWords campaign that we've managed for our clients versus client who have managed campaigns on their own. On the chart on the left, we have the bounce rate for the traffic coming from AdWords. Bounces are when someone arrives on a page on your site but doesn't visit any other pages. They just go to that page and leave without taking aby further action. In the high balance rate, it's often an indication of people not engaging well with your content or not finding the information on your website useful or in some cases, the traffic that is coming itself is not relevant for your website.

You can see here that AdWords campaigns managed by us tend to have a significantly lower bounce rate than when clients are managing it on their own. I think a lot of this comes from us being really well targeted and the keywords that we setup at a campaign making sure that we're keeping the campaign very clean and that ads aren't showing up for totally irrelevant search terms. On the right, we have the ad click through rate, on average across all the ads that we manage for our clients versus all the ads that clients are managing on their own. It's almost a 100% increase. Again, a lot of this comes from great targeting but also writing good ad text that convinces people to click and move on to your website.

I know this slide is a little messy but this comes from one particular IT services company that we've been working on AdWords with. You can see that they signed up with us back in May of 2016. Shortly after launching their campaign, you can see that their click through rate dropped down. But as I'd get to in a minute, a lot of that drop after moving to us comes from us cleaning up a lot of irrelevant keywords and keyword targeting that were driving a lot of high volume clicks. Over the course of the last year or so, we've been able to improve that click through rate back to a level above where it was before the client even moved over to us.

Next to that, we have the leads driven by this AdWords campaign for this client. You an see for the nine months that they were running the campaign on their own, not a single lead was tracked. This chart is perhaps a little unfair because we installed our call-tracking tool once we launched the campaign. There may have been calls during that 9-month period when the client was managing the campaign on their own but there were zero website form submissions during that time. Since we've launched the campaign, there's been at least communication couple of form submissions every month. Again, a lot of this comes from being really well-targeted within the campaign and for sure, like we've mentioned multiple times throughout this presentation, having the correct conversion tracking setup so you can attribute particular leads back to your campaigns and start measuring your ROI and making sure things are working for you.

At the bottom here, this is a screenshot from their search terms report where we can see the exact search phrases that people were searching for and then clicking on their ads. The one search phrase that got the most clicks was "shredding services Chicago". They paid a total of $213 for these clicks. I can guarantee you, not a single one of those people turned into leads. That's just wasted money right there. There's plenty of other keywords here that are irrelevant as well. There's IT services for the University of Chicago, You Pull It Chicago which is an autoparts store volunteering Chicago. Again, these are all things that clicks it from people who are not going to convert. As you can see from the match type column, these are all set to broad match type. As I mentioned before, for IT services companies, it's dangerous to be using a broad match type with your campaigns. It's very easy for your ads to show up for irrelevant keywords and for you to waste a lot of money.
If you're running your own campaign right now, I highly encourage you to go into your campaign, check your match type. If it's set to broad match, either change it to modified broad match or phrase match or exact match, any of those will be better than where you're at today with broad match.

Scott: Don't forget, again, we have the AdWords pro code right here. This is what you want to use if you're ready to sign up and you like us to actually manage all this for you and make sure to do it before May 6 if you want the full promotion there. That's enough about that. Let's get into some questions.

Tim: All right. Let's see what kind of questions we got here. Looks like you guys have been asking quite a few questions during the campaign. Give me a minute to look through a few here and see if we're going to find some good ones to go through here.

Scott: While Tim is doing that, just know we can't answer them all but we will do our best to get some of these answered. We might try to answer them in some blog post that we add to the site, a follow up email, so we will try to cover them even if you're not able to listen to the answers on this webinar since we are approaching the hour mark soon. We will, by the way, stay a little bit after so anyone that is able to join a little bit longer, we won't cut in often, two minutes, we will actually get through a few of these questions.

Tim: We have one question here. We went over this a little bit earlier but we're asking does implementing AdWords increase the SEO performance, sort of pay-to-play idea?

There is no direct correlation between running an AdWords campaign and your organic search performance. People have suspected this for yeas but within Google, these are two entirely separate teams that don't work with each other and Google has made it very clear that running ads and paying for ads does not affect your organic search results at all.

With that said, I do think there are potentially some indirect consequences of running an AdWords campaign that can help your search results. Sometimes there might be cases where you're running an ad for a keyword that you're also ranking for organically on the first page. I do think there's a little bit of sub-conscious influencing that goes into the searcher's mind as they're scrolling through those search results, they see you ad first and they scroll a little bit farther and see your organic listing as well. I think there is something that clicks there that says, "Hey, this showed up twice, Google must be telling you this is a good search result." A lot of people don't realize that the listings at the top are ads and the things below are organic. there is Google showing this twice, I should probably click on this. Google must think this is an important resource for me.

Scott: Just to add something quick to that because Tim pointed out something really important there about some people don't know that there are ads. I know that that might seem silly because they say the AdWords group say, "ad next to them" but there has been a lot of analysis on this and I've hear this many, many times, They've done studies and found a lot of people don't see that. You might don't see that, don't even know that it's in that, have no idea. You might say, "I never click on those, I never click on those ads, maybe I don't want to run the campaign because I will never click on that. Yeah, that's, I guess, important to think about but its not you. It's you customers, it's your prospects. If your prospects and customers click on ads or don't know that there are ads will, "Hey, you might actually want to do that."

Tim: We'll do two more quick questions we're almost out of time here. We have one from an IT services company that says, "We are consistently spending $1,500 to $2,000 with decent results. Is that too much to spend in your opinion?

I guess the answer to this is that there really isn't such a thing as too much to spend on AdWords. It all depends on the return that you're getting from it. I think this is especially true for IT services companies where if you get a managed service client from that who is potentially paying a thousand dollars of $3,000 or $5,000 a month, the amount that you spent to acquire that client through AdWords is going to be insignificant in comparison to the amount you'll generate in revenue from that recurring service. We highly encourage to take a look at the leads that you're getting, the quality of those leads and whether or not those leads are turning into clients and then taking that information and attempting to calculate your ROI.

If you have a positive ROI, then no, spending $2,000 is not too much. If you're spending $5,000 a month and getting a positive ROI, that's not too much either. It all depends on the performance of your campaign and figuring out how well you're doing in terms of generating revenue from your ads.

Scott: Right. As I mentioned earlier, the cost per acquisition is really important. You might end up spending $2,000, $3,000 and that's a lot of money, but if your average cost per acquisition or your, ends up getting much lower and you end up getting a lot of good revenue from that client as Tim said, that's something you should be probably doing more of. There's not a perfect number there but obviously do what makes sense.

Tim: One more question that I'll try to answer very quickly. What about testing landing pages? We talked a lot about testing ad variations within your campaign but what about testing the pages that you're sending traffic to? Testing landing pages can be very useful and helpful, typically, what we see with our clients is that they aren't spending enough with their campaigns to actually make that testing useful. A lot of our clients are getting a handful of leads per month and really that conversion rate or that number of conversion isn't enough to tell you what version of your landing page is performing better. If you're only getting three to seven conversions on a page per month, you're not going to have enough data to know which version of your landing page is actually performing better than the other.

There's a thing in statistics called significance. If you don't have enough data, it's essentially saying that you're guessing at which one is better. We typically don't do a lot of landing page testing unless it's a campaign that's drawing in a lot of traffic and a lot of conversions and providing enough data for us to make a good decision about what page is performing better and which way we want to optimize things.

Scott: You might even read one of these articles that talks about, "Oh! the blue button did way better than the green button on the site", again, there might be some level of importance behind these things but usually they're so statistically insignificant that, again, you are guessing. If you say, "Man, my blue button is doing great, I'm going to change all the buttons on my site to blue", and then it goes down, it might just be because the less people searched that day. It's a little bit silly to try to ... you're trying to steer a ship and you're trying to make tweaks to it all the time. If you do that too much, then again, you're actually going to probably harm your campaign a little bit.

Tim: Okay. That's about all we have time for in terms of questions. We'll go through the rest of the questions and if there's any more that we think are important to answer, we'll send those out in an email or a blog or a call in the near future. Keep an eye out for that.

Lastly, we have some additional resources for you here. Again, we'll be sharing these slides with you so you'll be able to check out all the links that we've included here, some resources to guides for AdWords and the campaign planning spreadsheet that we mentioned, the step by step launch guide, and the last one here is a series of classes the Google provides about AdWords. If you're interested in studying more and learning more about managing your campaign, that's a great resource for starting.

That's all we have for today. Thank you so much for joining us. I hope that you learned a bit about AdWords and hopefully feel a bit more comfortable about launching your own campaign or managing your existing campaign. Scott and I are happy to answer any questions that you might come up within the future. We have our email addresses up here on the slide, [email protected] and [email protected] If you like to schedule a call with us and just talk about AdWords and get our opinions on your marketing or your website, or anything related to your online presence, feel free to go to prontomarketing.com/call-marketing and you can schedule a call with us to talk things over on the phone.

Scott: Yeah, it was great. I hope you got some value out of this. Of course, as Tim said, we're always happy to answer questions for you, but other than that, we'll close it out and obviously, enjoy the rest of your day.

Tim: All right. Thank you everyone.

Scott: Bye.

Pronto Marketing

Pronto Marketing

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