Every digital marketing consultant hears the same complaint from prospects and clients, “We’ve tried a pay per click campaign and it didn’t work for us.”
Of course it didn’t. Most businesses attempt a pay per click (PPC) campaign themselves or with a consultant who doesn’t have the experience to initiate a properly managed campaign. They dump money into online advertising for a few weeks, get few results, and call it a failure. I can’t tell you how many times I encounter this same scenario. In fact, previous failure with PPC is my biggest competition as a digital marketing consultant. “It just doesn’t work for our kind of business.”
If you run a travel, hospitality or attractions business, Google Adwords will not only work for you, it will dramatically increase your bottom line. It works for just about every business, and it works well when done correctly. Hence, the problem; most business owners have no idea how to properly run a PPC campaign. Adwords is incredibly flexible and allows advertisers to adjust their ads, keywords, budget, location, language and time settings. It allows advertisers to incorporate social media signals as well as local placements. It allows for split testing and gathers data at a highly granular level so businesses can fine tune their ads based on very detailed data.
The list goes on. Google Adwords is continually updated to provide business owners with the latest technology to help promote and market their business better. Even if PPC revenue falls below expectations, one of the best benefits of Adwords is its ability to test and see data for insights into the effectiveness of a website. It helps to determine which pages on the website work and which ones leave consumers nauseated.
Adwords is Google’s largest profit maker, with over 95% of its annual revenue coming from PPC related advertising. It is in Google’s interest to make sure businesses run successful Adwords campaigns so there is a lot of help out there in the form of articles, blogs, forums, online classes and offline seminars as well as professional consultants. Google even dedicates employees to answering Adwords related questions – and they’re pretty good, too.
So why are there so many failed attempts? It’s simple. Adwords is so detailed and complicated that most users overlook the many features that are necessary for a successful campaign. Furthermore, it helps to know a little bit about advertising.
To run a good PPC campaign, an advertiser needs to spend a lot of effort in selecting highly targeted keywords, making use of Google’s free tools such as the Keyword Tool, Traffic Estimator and the Contextual Targeting Tool. Advertisers need to know which keywords are relevant and not simply popular. Just because a keyword is a common search phrase doesn’t mean that it is the right term to target in a paid ad campaign.
Selecting the proper keywords is just the beginning. Advertisers need to know how to create campaigns, ad groups and ads that will cause web surfers to take action. Those ads need to then drive consumers to an effective landing page with a strong, clear and focused call to action. The process can take months of testing and tweaking to get right.
Landing pages are among the most difficult parts of the process because they take a background in consumer behavior and advertising to get right, or a whole lot of reading. The landing page needs to be clear and powerful with the right colors and spacing of words. It shouldn’t have too much text, but too little will cause consumers to bounce. The titles and images must support the content and be consistent with the ads and keywords or the advertiser’s quality score can drop and cause ads to become more expensive.
It is unfair to ask business owners to know enough about Google Adwords and Google Analytics to run effective advertising campaigns. Success will only be achieved with a consultant or dedicated in-house PPC specialist. It’s a tough step for business owners to make, but the right consultant can send profits soaring.
Sound like a lot? Of course it does, and this is only the surface. Think of the potential of Adwords like the proverbial iceberg. Most businesses who use and fail with Adwords only use the portion that is visible above the water, not realizing there is so much more below the surface. Those who are successful with Adwords make use of all its functions and resources. They know how to write their ads, they know which keywords consumers use in their search and they know how to speak to them with a powerful landing page and call to action. But most of all, successful advertisers test. They take what works well and they change things up a little. They try different titles and words in their ads and landing pages. They continually make adjustments, throwing out what doesn’t work and keeping what does. A strong Adwords campaign is never over.
Good Adwords managers are also experts at Google Analytics or other data analysis software. They know that it takes time to test and measure data to determine optimal performance of an ad, call to action and landing page. Analytics is more granular and perhaps, more confusing than Adwords. To expect most business owners to understand how all of it works is not very realistic.
For an Adwords campaign to be successful, a business should either hire an in-house team to manage the campaigns or hire an outside consultant who is an Adwords and Analytics professional. Good consultants are not cheap and usually charge between 15-20% of gross ad spend. That’s not including some typically heavy set-up charges as well. A good consultant, however, will make sure the monthly spend is well worth the cost by driving enough new customers to the business that the owner will be more than happy to pay the monthly service fee.
If consumers are looking for you online, then it’s a good bet that Adwords can help drive those consumers to your business, but do not attempt it on your own without some training and a whole lot of patience. Better yet, hire a consultant to do it for you. You can get a hold of me on my contact page.