AdWords is not just an advertising platform, it’s a tool. And it’s a tool that’s powerful enough to potentially allow you to create a hugely powerful business model from scratch that turns over huge amounts of cash.
Literally you can do this with AdWords alone. You don’t even need a product, a website… anything.
How would that work you wonder? Simple: you’d find an affiliate product you can sell for commission, make an advert for it using your affiliate link and then earn every time someone follows that link and buys the product.
Best of all, this plan is entirely scalable. You can start out putting just a little cash into your campaign and seeing a profit of say 30% and then when you build a big enough pot, you can start reinvesting and earning even more.
And if you already have a business? Then you can use AdWords to drive more traffic to your website to get more customers and more clients. The big advantage this has over using something like SEO? It’s immediate. Just create your campaign and you’ll immediately have more visitors and more profit.
But of course there’s a caveat – in order for AdWords to be such a powerful and profitable tool, you need to go about using it the right way. There most certainly is a right and wrong way to work with AdWords and if you get it wrong, then you’re not going to experience any of this. Get it wrong and instead all you’ll find is that you have spent some money on some ads that only a few people clicked on and which cost you the Earth… You may even find nobody even clicks your ads, in which case you might well just give up on AdWords altogether thinking it doesn’t work!
Throughout the duration of this eBook then, we will be looking at what makes a great campaign really tick. You’ll learn how to choose your keywords, how to create your ads, how to start bidding and more. By theend, you will have mastered one of the most valuable tools of all for generating traffic and creating profit.
But first, let’s get (re)acquainted with Google AdWords…
A Brief Introduction to Google AdWords?
Most people reading this eBook will have at least a basic understanding of what Google AdWords is and how to use it and many might already be using it and just looking for some tips to up their game. This introduction should serve as a reminder to those of you, but also a good overview for those with no experience.
What is Google AdWords?
Google AdWords is essentially an advertising platform run by Google and more specifically a ‘PPC’ advertising platform, meaning ‘Pay Per Click’. When you pay to advertise on Google AdWords, you are paying for your advert to appear on the SERPs – Search Engine Results Pages
– of Google when people search for particular things.
If you do a search for anything online now – ‘buy DVDs’ for instance – you’ll find that the item that comes up at the top of the results is an advert. In this case, the advert is likely to be from Amazon and it will look similar to the other ads except it will say ‘Ad’ in a small yellow box next to the URL. If you look down the right-hand side of the page, you’ll also find a number of other results with the ‘Ads’ label above them all.
This is an example of AdWords in action and that is also where your ads will be appearing. In this case, the ‘keyword’ is ‘Buy DVDs’ and as such, that is the search term someone has to use to see those ads.
The reason that this type of advertising is called ‘PPC’ is that the advertiser is only charged for it if someone clicks on the ad. In other words, if the ads show and no one clicks, then no money will leave the account. This is very advantageous as an advertiser because it means that if the advert is ineffective, they won’t be charged for it. What’s more, it means that you can effectively gain free exposure and increase your brand visibility.
Of course there may be some situations where more than one advertiser is targeting the same keywords. And obviously you also don’t get unlimited exposure in terms of how often your ad gets seen. This is where the process of ‘bidding’ comes in – whereby the more money you pay for each click, the more often your advert will be shown and the more likely it will be shown in place of other advertisers that are targeting the same search terms.
You also get to set a budget, which is how much you are willing to spend in total for a given day. This is very useful of course because without a ‘cap’ on your spending, you could find yourself paying a huge amount. There’s a balance to be found between increasing your CPC (cost per click) versus increasing your overall budget – but we’ll get into all that later.
Up first, is picking those keywords…Identifying Your Keywords
As we mentioned in the introduction, the keywords are the search terms that you are going to target with your AdWords campaigns. These are the phrases that you will be bidding to appear on and picking them is about the most crucial aspect of your initial plan.
Your Audience and Goals
Your Target Demographic
Getting started, the first thing to think about is what your keywords represent. Specifically, it’s important to note what keywords represent – which is people. When you choose a keyword, you should be thinking carefully about who it is using that particular search term, when and why.
This is how you go about picking the specific phrases then: you choose the people it is that you want to target and from there you then go about thinking about what terms they are going to be looking for.
And as well as thinking about the person you want to reach, you also need to think about when you want to reach them. This is very important as it is what will ensure that you find an audience that is ‘susceptible’ to your message; meaning in other words that they are open to being advertised to at that particular moment.
This is the great thing about using AdWords in fact: as most of the people who are on Google are going to be actively seeking out your business or a business similar to yours.
Think about it: when someone searches ‘buy DVDs’, they are in that moment looking to buy DVDs. This is a huge advantage over advertising in a magazine, or on TV, when you are actually interrupting that person during their leisure time. This is an advantage that Google AdWords has over the similar Facebook ads as well.
So think about who it is that you want to reach and when. If you want to reach a woman who is about to get married (because you sell wedding dresses) and who has X income, then what keywords would you be looking for?
“Cheap wedding dresses for sale” “Designer wedding dresses” “Affordable wedding dresses”
But at the same time, you might also choose to go a little more obscure and target phrases like:
“What you need for a wedding”
“How to choose a wedding dress”
This is the advantage of thinking about your keywords in terms of people and in terms of susceptibility – it allows you to think of a broader range of search terms while still being very relevant with who you are targeting.
But there’s more to it than that: because what you also need to think about is your goal. To illustrate: you need to bear in mind that sometimes the objective of your advertising campaign will not be to make immediate sales.
For instance, you may be more interested in simply raising the profile of your brand and reaching a wide audience. As mentioned, ads that don’t get clicked don’t cost you anything, meaning that you can introduce people to your company name relatively affordably using the platform.
But if you’re not desperately trying to get clicks, then you might want to try search terms that are less relevant and that target a less susceptible audience.
Likewise, your objective might be to widen your demographic and to discover some people who wouldn’t normally be interested in your product. Target “cheap wedding dresses” for instance but with an ad that talks about the surprising value of some designer brands and you may just increase your circle of influence.
AdWords as Research
AdWords can be used for a great many different goals and to demonstrate this point, it’s interesting to consider how AdWords can be used for research. This is useful for companies that are interested in performing SEO for their businesses – SEO being ‘search engine optimization’ which is a tool used for increasing a site’s organic ranking in the SERPs. In other words, you use SEO for getting to the top of particular keyword results pages right underneath the adverts.
The big downside to SEO is that it takes a lot of time and is never ‘guaranteed’. This means you can invest a huge amount of time and money into it to secure the keyword you’re aiming for. What if the keyword then doesn’t bring the traffic and conversions you were hoping for?
The solution is to try using Google AdWords in order to ‘test’ which search terms bring the highest conversions. This way you can compare ‘cheap wedding dresses’ with ‘discounted wedding dresses’ and see which one you want to put the work in for.
Tim Ferriss reportedly used AdWords when researching titles for his book ‘The Four Hour Workweek’. He simply ran AdWords campaigns with multiple different titles and then observed which ones got the most clicks: the winner was the name he went with and the book become a New York Times No1 bestseller!
AdWords has a huge number of applications and this is just one example of a more creative use for it.
Local Search Terms
Once you’ve identified your goals and your target audience, you should have a lot of different search terms to choose from. In a bit, we’ll look at how you whittle that selection down to a smaller list. First though, it’s important to consider the role of local search terms.
First: what is a local search term? Simply put, it is a keyphrase but with a local qualifier at the start or end. Sticking with our wedding dresses example, this might look like so:
“Cheap wedding dresses Santa Monica”
“Santa Monica wedding dresses”
Using a search term like this, you will now only reach people that are specifically searching in your local region. Why is that beneficial?
Well for a wedding dress shop, it makes a ton of sense. That’s because most women are going to want to try on a wedding dress before buying it and will want to have it tailored to them, requiring multiple visits to the store where they bought it. In other words: people generally want to buy a wedding dress shop somewhere local.
So advertising to people based in the UK if you have a wedding dress shop in Santa Monica, CA, is really not a particularly pertinent use of your budget. The same goes for restaurants, for highstreet stores, for dentists and more.
And local search terms have another big advantage too: they reduce the competition considerably. Think about it: if you were to aim for our earlier ‘Buy DVDs’ keyphrase, then you would be going up against Amazon. At the same time, you’d be going up against pretty much every other eCommerce site in the world that used AdWords. That’s a gigantic amount of competition.
And did you know that Amazon’s budget for AdWords is one million dollars a day? Then they have that insane brand recognition and trust that you’d have to compete with. Thinking as a buyer, which ad would you be more likely to click: Amazon’s or ‘Uncle Joe’s DVDs’?
This is why many businesses that in fact can sell globally, will nevertheless choose to target local search terms and thereby become a bigger fish in a
smaller pond. If you’re very lucky and you choose your location/keywords well, you might even find there is zero competition!
What Makes a Good Keyphrase? Using Keyword Tools
This is actually one of the fundamental strategies that you will employ when looking for keywords and keyphrases: looking for those that don’t have a huge amount of competition. In other words, you ideally want to pick something a little more obscure and unique (such as a local search term) that won’t be being targeted by big corporations on the planet.
So if you have a search term like ‘buy DVDs’, you might well find you need to pick something a little less general to avoid going up against the likes of Amazon. In that case, you may decide to choose something like ‘buy action DVDs’ or ‘buy discounted DVDs’ or ‘where to find DVDs’. Any of these terms is going to be a little less ‘in-demand’ and you’ll have more chance of reaching an audience with that search term as a result.
Then again though, you also don’t want to pick keywords that are going to be so obscure that no one is searching for. Target ‘where to find old action DVDs’ and you might only have a few searches per day – which won’t result in many sales.
The key then is to find the ‘sweet spot’ where you have lots of people searching for something but there is not yet that much competition.
Using Keyword Tools
Coming up with a unique-but-popular keyword is partly common sense but to be certain, you really want to ensure you check the data. For this, Google used to have a keyword tool that would allow you to search for a particular keyword and then see the search volume for that term versus the competition. Unfortunately, Google has removed that tool and in its place we have the less powerful ‘Keyword Planner’.
You can find the Keyword Planner at You need to get a free AdWords account first: https://adwords.google.com/ko/KeywordPlanner
To use this planner, you search for your product name or service, your landing page and your product category. You can then add in a few extra elements such as locations and negative keywords (see below). Next, you click ‘Get Ideas’ and it will show you a list of keywords and ‘ad groups’ along with the traffic and competition. It even gives you a ‘suggested bid’.
For ‘DVDs’ we get the following keyword suggestions: “Cheap DVDs”
“Buy DVDs” “DVDs for Sale”
All of which have high/medium competition and a lot of monthly searches (2-8,000).
“Top 10 DVDs” on the other hand has low competition and about 1,600 monthly searches, making it an interesting one to target (though it will likely reach a less ‘susceptible’ audience). “DVDs coming soon” has a low amount of competition, with 2,600 monthly searches. These might be more interesting areas to focus on.
The good thing about this tool is that it takes a lot of the guess work out of your planning stage and makes it easy to set up new campaigns. On the downside though, it also makes it harder to look into specific keywords that you’re interested in.
There are alternative keyword tools you can use too. One example is keywordspy.com, which doesn’t only let you search for keywords but also lets you ‘spy’ on your competition to see which search terms they’re targeting. Google also has its own ‘Keyword Trends’ which you can find at: http://www.google.com/trends/ and which shows you the terms people are currently searching for in large volumes.
There are a number of different free and paid tools to choose from, only some of which are a good bargain. If you’d rather not put in the leg work and just want the raw data, another option is to outsource the process to a virtual assistant (VAS). Virtual assistants are professionals based in
countries like India that can handle a lot of research and admin tasks, as long as they don’t need to be physically present to do the work. They tend to charge very small amounts per hour and so you can receive a fairly extensive spreadsheet of keywords with suggestions for between two to ten dollars.
Keep in mind that you can also do your keyword research manually, the ‘old fashioned way’. Essentially, this process simply involves searching for particular keywords in Google and seeing which adverts come up.
This is quite a useful method and it can tell you a lot about that keyword: how valuable it is likely to be and how much you will struggle to stand out. What’s more, this method gives you qualitative data as well as quantitative.
- it shows you what the competition looks like, what strategies they’re using and how well designed their advertising is. Ask yourself if your ad can compete with the message they’re giving out and how you can give it a better
Another alternative method you can use is to see which keywords are working for you already. If you have a website or a blog, then you should have some kind of analytics through JetPack, CPanel or Google Analytics. These will tell you which terms people have searched for in order to find your content and you can use this information to see what’s already working for you. If you then target those same search terms or similar ones, you can effectively gain more of a monopoly by being present in the organic and paid results.
When you choose a keyword to target, you will also have the option to target negative keywords. What’s a negative keyword? Essentially, it’s the opposite to a normal keyword: it’s a search term that you want to prevent from showing your campaign.
The point to bear in mind here, is that your search terms don’t have to be exact matches in order to show. So if you are targeting ‘buy DVDs’ and someone searches for ‘buy DVDs today’, your ad may still show.
One of the most common examples of a negative keyword is the word ‘free’ and this again comes down to the susceptibility of your audience. If you have an eBook on fitness and you’re charging $50 per purchase, then you should have very little interest in the kind of user who would search for ‘free fitness eBooks’. Those visitors are clearly not in the market to spend money and as such they are of no use to you – avoid that term and you’ll find you waste less money as a result.
Writing Your Ads
Now you’ve chosen your AdWords keywords and who is going to see them, you next need to think about the text that you want to show.
Just as when you were picking your keywords, you again need to think in terms of your goals, in terms of your demographic and in terms of susceptibility. Who are you reaching? When do you want to reach them? And why are they your ideal audience?
Also important is to know the parameters that you have to work within. The below table is the most recent guide from Google, explaining the number of characters that you have to work with and where.
|Max Length||Max Length|
|(most languages)||(double-width* languages)|
|Headline:||25 characters||12 characters|
|Display URL||35 characters||17 characters|
|Description line 1:||35 characters||17 characters|
|Description line 2||35 characters||17 characters|
Note: The Google AdWords specifications have just change recently. Get the latest updates at
So first you have your headline. Underneath that directly will be your URL and below that will be the descriptive text, which can be two lines long. What might this look like?
Cheap Wedding Dresses Santa Monica
www.buyweddingdressesca.com We sell beautiful, value dresses Top styles, great price & service!
This doesn’t give you a huge amount to work with but it does give you space to make some creative decisions that can help or hinder your sales.
If your objective is to get clicks and to try and directly convert sales, then you should aim to do the following in your text:
- Attract attention
- Push the value proposition
- Allay fears
- Promote selling points
The headline is where you will grab the attention of your viewers, which you want to do ideally by matching the keywords and being the perfect fit for what they’re looking for. Remember, these are people who have actively searched for your keywords, so you know what they want!
The value proposition is the key part. This is your product’s USP and it’s the emotional ‘hook’ that will make people interested in learning more. They say that you don’t sell hats, you sell ‘warm heads’ and this is true for any product: think about what the audience really wants.
Allaying fears is also a useful strategy. Here you are going to put the buyer at ease regarding things like delivery time/quality/cost and you’re going to promote your key selling points which might be things like ’24 hour delivery times’ or ‘friendly customer service’.
Try to get inside the heads of your visitors and ask yourself: what would you be likely to click? And remember here that people are automatically going to be suspicious of adverts because they know you’re trying to make money.
If you were looking to buy promotional t-shirts with logo capabilities, then likely you would want a service that would be fast, reliable, affordable and that would result in a high quality product. It might put your mind at ease to know that the company printed the shirts locally and that you could have the shirts the next day.
Thus your advert may look like this:
Get Custom Shirts in 24 Hours
Professional, affordable and simple
Printed in Canada, rapid delivery.
In this ad, you’ve successfully explained what it is your company does, shown that it’s cheap and no hassle and made the whole process seem fast and easy.
Discriminating Against Customers
With any kind of marketing, the biggest mistake you can make is to think the objective is to get as many visitors and as many clicks as possible at any cost. This is not your objective. Your objective should be to get results which will mean new e-mail subscribers, new customers, profit, exposure… whatever it is that your business needs from the campaign.
And not every customer is going to be equally as effective in getting you those results. Thus you have to discriminate and you want your ads to entice some viewers while actually putting off others. And the approach you use here is quite different than in other forms of advertising.
In a magazine advert, you pay a set rate for your ad to get ‘run’ and from there you will likely want to attract as much attention as possible and get as many people to call or to visit your website as possible. Why? Because it won’t cost you anything to get a phone call from the wrong kind of customer and from there you will then stand a chance of being able to convince them to buy from you if you’re a good salesman.
With AdWords though, you pay for each click and that means that you are wasting your money each time you attract the wrong customer. Negative keywords deal with this to an extent as we saw with the term ‘free’.
You can take this a step further in your AdWords text by putting the price front and center right in your ad. For instance:
$30 Fitness eBook Changes Lives
Six pack guaranteed in 3 months
or your money back with $30 eBook
The reason this works is that it says how much the book costs right in the text. That then means that no one is going to be likely to click on the ad unless they are at least willing to consider buying a $30 eBook. Thus you have essentially filtered your audience to the point where the only people who click are going to be very susceptible and highly targeted. As long as the text on your landing page is good, you’ll have a good chance of getting immediate conversions.
Remove the $30 sign and you might get 1,000 clicks and 10 sales. That means you’ve earned $300 but if you paid 50c for each click, you’ll have lost $500. But if you include the $30 sign, you might only get 30 clicks and 2 sales. This now cost you $15 but you earned $60. That is a much more impressive ROI. The moral of the story is that putting off the wrong customers is just as important – or even more important – than attracting the right ones.
Of course though if your objective is simply to get people to your site by clicking on your ad at all costs then you would take a different tact. Now you might even consider using an incentive to get people there such as a free eBook, or you might use a limited time special offer and make sure there is clear time pressure right in the message.
As with finding a keyword for your campaign, you can also put in some research to come up with a good headline and description for your adverts.
The first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of what it is about your product that people find most appealing. You need to have a good idea of how other people see your brand, why you are successful and what’s holding you back.
The better you know yourself and your business, the better you are likely to know your own USP, your own value proposition and also the things that are holding your customers back and causing them concern.
One way to find all this out is simply to ask: run a survey on your site and ask what it was that first attracted people to your business, or what it is they like most about your product. Ask them why they chose you over other brands and ask them what it was that nearly put them off before they made their first purchase. If you have a lot of visitors to your site you can do this fairly easily; if not you might want to provide an incentive (such as a competition) or potentially outsource the process to market research company (depending on your budget).
Note: If you aren’t confident writing your own adverts, then you can outsource this process too. Look for a writer on UpWork (formerly oDesk), Elance, People Per Hour, Digital Point Forums, LinkedIn or Warrior Forum and you should find you can get ads written for you very cheaply.
Bidding and Budgeting
If you have taken everything in the last two chapters on board, you should hopefully now know which keywords to go for and how you will entice people to click on your ad.
But even the best advertising campaign in the world will falter if it doesn’t have the right bidding strategy and the right budget.
Remember: bidding defines how often your advert is shown and how much you will pay out each time someone clicks on said advert. Your budget defines how much you are willing to pay in total and when your ad will stop getting shown. Both are closely related and both need to be handled correctly if you’re going to succeed.
When you were using the Keyword Planner from Google, you will likely have noticed the ‘Suggested Bid’ column telling you how much you should spend on each ad. This is a rough guide though and is actually based purely on what other users have bid. To bid more smartly and to increase your conversions as a result, you need to get a little more advanced…
Automated Bidding Methods
Another way to get help with this aspect of your campaign is to choose ‘Automatic CPC’ when setting up your ad campaign. Here, you will still set a budget and choose your own ad text and keywords but you will let Google control the precise amount you spend on each click. This will adjust depending on the competition, depending on how many clicks you’re getting etc. Its aim is to use algorithms to ensure you get the most clicks for your budget and if that’s your main objective, then this is a good system. You can combine automated CPC with a ‘CPC bid limit’ which will prevent you from spending too much money on each click. This ensures that Google doesn’t blow your whole budget on the first click.
You can also enhance your automated CPC even further if you have a Google Analytics account. This way, you can track conversions. That means using cookies to see when a user clicks on an ad and makes it all the way to your checkout page – this is considered a ‘conversion’.
By choosing to ‘Enable Enhanced CPC’, you can thereby use this tracking system to control CPC based on conversions. That means that the amount you bid will increase and decrease to become optimized for getting you the most actual sales or the most subscribers to your mailing list. You can take this even further by ticking the ‘focus on conversions’ box. This way, you’ll now actually be engaging in ‘CPA’ or ‘Cost Per Acquisition’.
Another option when choosing automated CPC is ‘search page location’ which optimizes your bidding strategy to help you reach the top of the SERPs and to stay above the competition. This is more useful for those simply looking to increase their exposure and doesn’t matter when you’re thinking purely about conversions – if you’re focusing on conversions then you’ll actually find that the optimal position on the SERPs is automatically taken into account.
Remember, as a business you should be focused on results much more than on your actual clicks. Don’t be confused by other metrics – all that really matters is the bottom line in the short and long term.
Of course ‘the long term’ is where CPA and automated bidding loses some of its power. If your strategy is to get people interested in your brand so that they come back later, or so that they’re more likely to click on a subsequent ad, then you might be less focused on short term conversions.
You can apply multiple different bidding strategies and rules for your ads by selecting a ‘flexible bid strategy’. Note that when your campaign gathers success, you can look at Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) which is essentially your ROI predicted for the future based on your current campaign settings. For this to work though, you need to make 30 conversions in 30 days at least to provide the right amount of data.
Automated CPC definitely has its benefits and especially when using enhanced CPC to drive more conversions and build profit.
But there are also benefits to entering your own CPC. As mentioned, manual CPC may make more sense if you are less focused on immediate conversions and ROI. Likewise, manually controlling your CPC will allow you to run experiments and to see how different bidding strategies affect your clicks and your sales.
So when you’re managing your CPC manually, how do you decide how much to start bidding with? One guide could be to look at the suggested bids from the Keyword Planner. You can also get clues by looking at how much other advertisers are spending on their PPC. You can do this using Keyword Spy. This is a good strategy because you can likely assume they’re managing to make ROI with that strategy.
Another strategy is to simply do some math…
Calculating Your CPC
If you have landing page or a sales page already where you are trying to make sales, then take a look at your statistics currently and try to work out a rough percentage of conversions. How many first time visitors convert to customers/subscribers/repeat visitors?
Let’s say that 10% of your visits are ‘successful’. That means that you will get one ‘hit’ for every ten visits or even ten clicks on your ads. So if you were interested in profit alone, you would need to make sure that you got ten clicks and that each of those ten clicks cost you less than the profit you would get from a sale. So if your product was $10, you would need to bid less than $1. This would statistically (hopefully) mean you were likely to make a profit and to make more profit the more you would spend.
If that were your strategy though, then you may be more interested in using an automated CPC strategy which would effectively do the same thing.
Obviously your general budget is going to come into play somewhat here and so is your objective. If you want to get seen more, then you might pay more for more impressions but this will probably come down more to the daily budget you set.
Deciding on Your Budget
The budget you set is of course more a matter of the amount of money you have to spend on this kind of advertising within your business. Some companies simply won’t have the available funds to spend large amounts here, whereas others may be able to sink a small fortune in to get seen by thousands of people right away.
Of course, the more you spend, the more you stand to earn and the faster you stand to start seeing returns.
What you need to account for here though, is that your initial spend is going to need to be quite high for you to make money.
In theory, once you’ve been running your ad campaign for a while, you will have perfected it and you’ll have managed to start making a steady ROI. At this point, you can then afford to keep spending more money as your turnover increases. If you have a scalable business, you can potentially grow your business to an almost unlimited extent!
To begin with though, you will probably need to spend and lose a little money. It’s only possible to start honing and perfecting your campaign once you have the necessary amount of data. Likewise, you need to bid a certain amount with a certain amount of budget in order to start seeing your first sales.
When budgeting for your PPC campaign then, set aside some money to lose to begin with and don’t expect to see immediate returns. Like everything, you have to spend to accumulate and you need to work at it in order to truly succeed.
Note: If all this is sounding a little stressful, then you can always outsource the initial set-up of your ad campaign. Give a team your specific budget, keywords and objectives and they should be able to help you devise a plan that takes into account the length of time to breakeven, the amount of ROI and more. Of course you’ll have to pay them a fair amount to do all this though, which eats into your profits.
Where to Send the Traffic?
We’ve said it a few times already but it’s so important that it bears repeating. When you come up with your AdWords campaign or any advertising campaign, you need to be focused on results. That’s why using CPA is a good strategy.
But what’s key here, is that your ability to convert isn’t going to be entirely down to your AdWords strategy. What’s just as important if not moreso, is the page that you actually send people to. In other words, you can have the best advert in the world but if your eCommerce site is confusing, hard to navigate and doesn’t look trustworthy, then you will lose customers.
For maximizing direct conversions there are two main places you will probably send your traffic: landing pages and ecommerce sites. Here we will look at how you can best utilize each.
Creating a Landing Page
The basic idea behind a landing page is to have a single page that converts your visitors into buyers. You’ve probably visited these sites before and in most cases they will consist of a long, narrow passage of text with a ‘Buy Now!’ button at the bottom and interspersed throughout the text.
These pages exist purely to make sales and as such they contain no navigation or anything that might lead visitors away from the page. What’s more, they tend to use a number of strategies throughout the text to try and really sell the product.
The main objectives of a landing page can be explained simply with the acronym AIDA – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. Your goal then is to introduce your product/service, to explain what it is, to make the audience want it and then to get them to click on your ‘Buy’ or ‘Sign Up’ button.
Throughout the process, you will be fighting a natural inclination that those visitors have to simply leave. Most of us are in a rush these days and we all have very short attention spans – especially when it comes to surfing the net where we’re constantly distracted by about 20 exciting looking things at once.
Your job then is to make sure that you grab the attention of your visitors and that means using large headings that tell the full story even if they skim read. It means using short paragraphs and a narrow format and it means utilize bold, capitals, colors and underlining a LOT.
Another good strategy is to create a narrative around your sales pitch. We are naturally inclined to be engaged by stories because we presume that the information can benefit us. If you want to prevent people from leaving then, you should real them with a personal and intriguing story.
And again, make sure that you focus on a) your value proposition (what is the emotion that they will feel when using your product?) and b) allaying fears (why can then trust you?). Try to really paint a picture of what life will be like after your product (the narrative structure helps with this) and make sure they know they can trust what you’re saying. To help with the latter points, alluding to facts and appealing to authority figures can be very effective.
Applying time pressure by running a limited time offer or saying you have limited stock is also a good idea because it gets your visitors to act on the impulse to buy rather than going away and thinking about it. Ideally you want to create a situation where they are feeling desire, while at the same time a little anxious about missing out.
An example might start out something like this:
AMAZING NEW EBOOK SHARES A POWERFUL ABS ROUTINE THAT REALLY WORKS!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried just about every workout under the sun to try and get an amazing six pack. Every time I was let down and found that I just couldn’t shift that ‘skinny fat’ around my waist.
Luckily though, I discovered the work of world-renowned fitness trainer John Champ. John’s ‘Maximum Muscle’ technique is aimed exactly like people me who struggled to lose the last inch of tummy fat to reveal a stunning six pack.
And trust me, when you see how easy and simple the technique is, you’ll be blown away.
Since finding the Maximum Muscle technique, my life has completely turned around. I’ve never had so much confidence, I’ve been getting attention from the ladies and I’ve been waking up with more energy and enthusiasm than ever before. I finally know what it must have been like to be one of the jocks in school!
Simply put, I’ve gone from beta, to alpha male… and in just THREE months!
FROM SKINNY FAT TO RIPPED ABS IN THREE MONTHS – WITH THREE SHORT WORKOUTS A WEEK!
This program isn’t like other fitness programs. Why? Because it’s focused on simple results with a program that’s easy to follow.
Notice how the writing uses very short paragraphs, how the story gets you to keep reading and how it encourages you to imagine what ‘life with abs’ must be like. It hits emotional points, it sounds official and it has a quality that makes it hard to stop reading.
The objective is then to combine this with a professional looking layout that uses a clear font and crisp images and to add a reliable and trustworthy payment process. You can do this from scratch, or by using tools like OptimizePress: http://www.optimizepress.com/.
Creating an eCommerce Site
If you’re selling physical products though, or if you just have more than one product, you might opt for an ‘eCommerce’ site instead of a landing page. This is essentially just an online shop, similar to something like Amazon or anywhere else you might order products online.
Here, your main objective is to remove ‘barriers to sale’ by ensuring it’s quick and easy to pay (using PayPal is a good option) while at the same time looking professional and trustworthy. Otherwise, the products should really sell themselves.
The best way to make an eCommerce site is by using a WordPress plugin or an externally hosted tool. Popular choices include Shopify, Magento, Volusion and WooCommerce. Using any of these will quickly give you a platform that is familiar to users and that utilizes a professional design and layout.
Note: Whether you go for a landing page or an eCommerce store to sell your products, you should make sure that you have perfected your design before you launch your AdWords campaign. To do otherwise is a surefire way to waste your money and you’ll never really know whether it’s your campaign or your site that is letting you down.
Analyzing and Improving Your Performance
Earlier, we stated that you would probably find you had to ‘waste’ a little money upfront on your AdWords campaign in order to start seeing returns. That’s because you’re not likely to get it right first time and will probably have to tweak your keywords, ad text, landing page and bidding strategy before you find that perfect sweet spot. In fact, even when you do find it, you may find that you need to evolve your strategy as markets change.
So the question is: how do you evolve your strategy? How do you take a failing AdWords campaign and turn it into a winning on?
The answer is with feedback and analysis. You need to know how well your adverts are performing in precise detail, so that you can decide what to change and what to keep the same.
Better yet, you can then make tiny changes to these individual elements in order to see how that affects them. If a small change improves your sales, then you keep it. If it harms it then, you remove it.
Getting the Data
You can find some immediate feedback by logging into your Google AdWords account and clicking on the ‘Campaigns’ account. Here, you can see which campaigns are running and which ones are paused. You can see what your budget is and you can see how many clicks you’re getting. If you set up Google Analytics conversion tracking, then you can see how many clicks on your ads are directly leading to sales of your products or people signing up to your mailing list.
To link your AdWords account with Analytics and set up conversion tracking, follow this link: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1704341?hl=en
To export your AdWords data to a spreadsheet to show to clients/analyze yourself, follow this one: https://support.google.com/adwords/editor/answer/38657?hl=en
One of the best strategies you can use to maximize your performance on AdWords is split testing. Essentially, split testing means that you create two versions of your AdWords campaign or of your landing page and then see which one performs best.
So say for example you had two landing pages, one with a red design and one with a blue design. You could then create two identical ads and send traffic to each of them, with conversion tracking set up in each case.
From there, you could then compare which of your two versions of that site was bringing in the most sales and you could adopt the design that worked best. There are a number of different tools for split testing landing pages, such as Optimizely: https://www.optimizely.com/split-testing/.
Another strategy might be to test your ads with different headings or with different CPCs, to see which sold best.
In theory, split testing is perfect because it allows you to apply ‘natural selection’ to your advertising strategy. Your ads, your landing page, your price point and everything else should thus gradually increase and improve until the point where you’re making the optimum amount of profit – from which point you can then begin to invest more into your campaign.
Note however that it’s important not to get carried away with split testing. Split testing is essentially similar to running a blind experiment or medical trial with a control group, as they do in scientific studies. If you notice though, scientific studies use huge samples and carefully optimize the process by selecting participants for each group that are comparable and by controlling confounding variables. Even then, they have to run in-depth tests of statistical significance to ensure that the results they obtained could not have been achieved through chance.
If you run a split test for 10 days and fine that one landing page gets 3 sales and the other gets 5, this tells you nothing. Really, split testing works better once you’ve already got to the point where you’re making lots of sales a day and thus can actual infer something from the statistics. Don’t waste your time at the beginning when you’d be better served spending serious time on perfecting one campaign.
Using all this information, you should now be seeing how you can design an AdWords campaign to help you increase profits, turnover and exposure.
The key points to take away and that many business owners don’t realize to begin with are:
- AdWords campaigns should be results focused
- AdWords campaigns should sometimes focus on who they excludefrom clicking
- Keywords are all about the target demographic and the susceptibility of the audience – reaching the right people at the right time
- It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond
- You need to spend some money upfront to perfect your AdWords campaign
- You should use analytics and feedback in order to evolve your campaign and landing page
- Your landing page is just as crucial to your sales as your actual campaign
With that in mind, you should be able to start building a campaign that results in real conversions and that can help you to rapidly increase your turnover and profits as a business.
A Simple Action Plan
The specifics of your campaign will be based on these principles but they will vary depending on your budget, your business model and your product/service. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a straightforward plan you can follow then you can use the following steps:
- Step 1 – Build your landing page or eCommerce site and test it to ensure that it’s capable of making conversions. Use OptimizePress, Magento or another ‘builder’ to ensure a professional look and function.
- Step 2 – Consider who your target audience is, when you want to reach them and what your objectives are. Then write down all the keywords that come to mind for those
- Step 3 – Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to see if you can find any good keywords that match your objectives and that aren’t too competitive.
- Step 4 – Set up your Google Analytics account and link your AdWords account. Set up conversion tracking.
- Step 5 – Choose ‘enhanced automated CPC’ and ‘focus on conversions’. Set the highest daily budget you can to begin with and don’t expect to succeed right away.
- Step 6 – Pay close attention to your feedback and try tweaking elements of your ad, of your campaign and of your landing page in order to grow your conversion rates.
And there you go! Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a successful campaign. The rest you will learn on the job. Good luck!