Google Certified Adwords specialist, Lisa Baker, discusses why self-managed Adwords campaigns rarely attract the right traffic and what customers can do to fix it!
It’s important to remember that customers may not actually buy online, but call your phone instead, especially if using a mobile, so your ads MAY be working better than you think. However that’s another story. It’s true to say that self-managed Adwords campaigns often waste huge chunks of budget because customers don’t know how to get the best from them.
“Adwords didn’t work for us”
“Adwords didn’t work for us” is maybe the most common thing I hear when it comes to speaking to new SEO clients. Desperate to get a bigger share of the traffic for their keywords, many of them have invested considerable resources, sometimes thousands of pounds per month, only to see no return on their investment.
These same clients are the ones who give us a try and are surprised when a month later, they are getting more telephone calls to their business, a lower bounce rate, more leads and more conversions from the same Adwords budget – even after they have paid our management fees!
SEO and Adwords management is often seen as a ‘dark art’. However, ITCS customers won’t find me waving a magic wand and chanting under a full moon to improve their Adwords performance – it’s actually just a matter of common sense.
The good news is that people like me use the same Adwords portal that you do – we just know how to use it better!
Here’s two ways you can make fast improvements:
Avoiding Broad Match Traps
The first tool in your kit needs to be match types – if you don’t know what they are, chances are you will waste 50-80% of your budget.
Google has four different match types – knowing how to use which type and when is critical in getting the right traffic. Getting it wrong is the most common mistake we see.
Most ‘DIY’ managers only use broad matches and assume Google will only match when the customer search includes their term. This is a costly mistake.
Broad matches, where a phrase is just written normally, allow for similar or related search terms. This means in practice if you type in ‘Van MOTs’, Google will also match for Car MOTs, Van Sales, ‘My Van failed it’s MOT’, ‘What does an MOT cost’ etc.
This means two things will happen:
- Your budget will go fast, because there are lots of these irrelevant searches and
- All those clicks will do nothing to gain you business.
Our advice is:
- learn all about the different match types so you know what to use, when – and use broad matches with extreme caution, and
- Look into negative keywords use them to avoid irrelevant matches.
Getting it right: Quality Scores
Google assigns each keyword a quality score, from 1 to 10. No matter how much you offer to pay, a keyword with a low score won’t get many ad views, and those it gets will be more expensive.
That’s because Google wants to deliver what customers are looking for. So, if you don’t sell red shoes on the page your ad takes customers to, and you don’t mention red shoes in your Google Ad, chances are your quality score for the term red shoes will be low!
If you go to the keywords tab, within Google Adwords, you can modify the columns to show your Quality Scores. If you also add the ‘ad relevance’, ‘landing page experience’ and ‘expected click through rate tabs’, you can see why Google has given your keyword that score, which tells you where you can start to make improvements.
Here’s a handy little infographic to show you why getting Quality Scores right could save you money.
Why choose an Adwords professional
While these two points will almost certainly reduce your wasted spend, in the right hands, you could see real gains for your business by getting Adwords right. Just like adding an extension to your home is something usually best done by a qualified builder, you will get better results by using an expert to manage Adwords.
There is far more to managing Adwords than can be gathered in a simple blog post, Google Certified specialists have to undertake exams every year to maintain their status, and in order to get the best results, our advice is always to use a Google Partner like ITCS.
In case you are wondering what your matches look like, ITCS offer a free review, and will be happy to show you where you could make savings.
Ultimately, Adwords is no different to any other power tool. In the right hands, it’s an investment in your business – getting it wrong should not be an option.
If you’d like your free Adwords review, click here.