1. Multiple Campaigns
First thing: You want to create multiple campaigns, with each campaign focused around a particular product, category or topic. For example, you could create Campaign A for Product A, Campaign B for Product B, and so forth. But you might also benefit by creating a campaign about Hot New Feature in Product A, in which you would target your keywords, ad text, and landing page to that particular feature, and another campaign about Great User Benefit in Product B, in which you would target that user benefit of product B.
Each campaign should be tightly focused on a single theme. Make up your keyword list for each campaign to reflect the theme of that particular campaign. Write the ad(s) for each campaign to reflect the theme of the campaign, using the keywords from the campaign. For example, if Product A’s hot new feature is something that will save users money, you might run ads with headlines like “Save Money With Hot New Feature,” “Hot New Feature Saves Money,” and so on, and the text of the ad should focus on that theme: “Product A Increases Your Bottom Line By Saving You Money”. (Please note: The sample ad text and headlines I’m using here are quick, off-the-top-of-my-head examples, not well-thought-out ways to promote Hot New Feature of Product A.)
When you’re ready to focus on your Product B Great User Benefit campaign, you’d write your ads with ad headlines and text that use those keywords: “Great User Benefit in Product B” for the headline, and ad text that refers to or describes the user benefit.
What you want is for people who search for, say, “Hot New Feature,” to get your “Hot New Feature” campaign, with an ad headline that reads “Hot New Feature” and ad text that focuses on that feature. Someone else who searches for “Great User Benefit” would get your ad headlined “Great User Benefit” and ad text that promotes the user benefit of your product. Don’t make the mistake of lumping all your keywords and ads together under one campaign — think in terms of “laser targeting” your ads to the search words that people are using.
2. Opt Out of the Content Network (At Least Initially)
Second, after you create a campaign, be sure to go into “Edit Campaign Settings” and either opt OUT of the “content network” altogether, or else check the box “Content bids” to set separate prices for content clicks. This allows you to specify much-reduced bid amounts for your ads to appear on the content network. The “content network” is when ads appear not on Google’s search results page, but on regular websites that carry Google ads. A lot of these websites are junk, and they will NOT bring you good targeted leads. You’re opted in to the content network by default, which I think is pretty scummy of Google. I recommend that you opt out initially, and after you’ve spent some time learning your way around the system, only then experiment with opting in to the content network. There are a lot of good sites in the content network that you’ll probably want your ad to appear on, so you probably should opt in at some point, in a small way, with a much-reduced bid for content network ads — but not right away. First learn how to manage campaigns and write targeted ads and set up keywords lists, and only then should you venture into the content network.
3. Exclude myspace.com
If/when you do opt in to the content network, go into the “Tools” section, the Site Exclusion link, and opt OUT of myspace.com. When myspace.com started carrying Google ads, thousands of advertisers were suddenly hit with huge advertising bills because of all the kids on myspace who click-click-click willy-nilly on everything they see, with no intention of buying anything. And even after excluding myspace, keep an eye on the sources of clicks to see if your ads are getting clicks from any other sites sending you large amounts of worthless traffic. It’s one thing to pay for good traffic; it’s something else altogether to pay large amounts of money for huge amounts of worthless traffic.
4. No Search Network
While you’re in there editing the campaign settings, I also recommend unchecking the box to opt OUT of the “Search network.” There’s good stuff that you’ll be missing — AOL’s search, for example — but Google’s so-called “search network” is mostly garbage spam sites that will not bring you good traffic. I think until Google cleans up its “search network” everyone should opt out of the search network.
5. Keep Tabs On Your Campaigns
The first few days (even the first few weeks) that you’re running PPC ads, you should spend some time every day checking on the clicks you’re getting, and the ads and keywords you’re getting them from, and conversion rates. Don’t just set up some campaigns and then ignore them — go into your account EVERY DAY and see what’s going on. Dump the ads that aren’t performing, or edit the headlines and/or text. Very minor tweaks in the wording can make a huge difference. If you have ads that are performing well, create some additional ads very similar to those, but with minor changes, and see if they perform even better. If you have ads with good click-through rates, you ultimately end up paying less per click on those ads, even while the ads themselves get shown higher up in the block of paid ads. Ads with poor click-through rates will get shown lower down, and cost you more per click. So it’s well worth spending some time to experiment and find the ads that work best.
6. Learn How Keyword Matching Options Work
When setting up your keyword list, pay particular attention to the keyword matching options — broad matching, phrase matching, and exact matching. You should probably start with phrase matching. Broad matching can result in this scenario:
I have a client who runs humpback whale watching tours on the Silver Bank in the Dominican Republic. There are sperm banks that (I’m guessing) bid on the phrase sperm bank, using broad matching. Google’s world-famous algorithm says to itself “sperm bank …. sperm whales …. humpback whales … Silver Bank ….. Humpback whales must be related to sperm banks. I know! I’ll show sperm bank ads to people searching for humpback whales on the Silver Bank!” (I think the sperm banks may have wised up after a few clicks on those ads — I’m not seeing those so much anymore.) It’s a clever algorithm, but it’s not very smart. This is what happens when you let Google’s algorithm run wild with broad matching. Stick to phrase matching and/or exact matching. You might end up with your ad appearing for searches on bull sperm if you use broad matching. If/when you decide to experiment with broad matching, keep a *real* close eye on what’s happening with your ads. You might not like the results.
7. Setting Your Daily Budget
In your campaign settings, set your daily budget fairly high initially (although not so high that you’ll go broke from paying your AdWords bill, of course). If you set it too low, your ads hardly ever get shown. Be prepared to throw some money away those first few days with a high daily budget — higher than you really want to spend on an ongoing basis — so that you get enough data to get a feel for which ads are working and which aren’t. Then after a few days lower your daily budget to a more reasonable level. I recommend lowering it in fairly small increments, so that you can see what daily budget results in how many clicks results in how many sales. Tweak as needed until you reach a level you’re comfortable with.
You set the “cost per click” that you’re willing to pay for each click separately from the daily budget, and you can edit the cost-per-click separately not only for individual campaigns, but for individual keywords within each campaign. You might find, for example, that the keyword nutritious dog food converts better than the keyword healthy dog food, so you might be willing to pay more per click for that keyword.
8. Target Your Landing Pages
And last — at least, last for today’s entry: For the most part you don’t want to send people to the home page of your site. For your Hot New Feature in Product A ads, send them to a page about the hot new feature in product A. For the Great User Benefit in Product B ads, send them to a page about the great user benefit in product B. Create some additional pages on your site to serve as landing pages for your ads, if necessary.
Remember the “laser targeting” I mentioned above? Target with your landing page, too. Lead the user down the path that he’s already looking for: Targeted keywords that trigger targeted ads that lead to targeted landing pages. Every step of the way, the user is following a path that takes him to exactly what he’s looking for. And be sure to include a clear (and targeted) call-to-action on the landing page: “Buy Product A Now” or “Start Enjoying Great User Benefit in Product B Today.”
- After you’ve explored the Google AdWords interface and set up a couple of campaigns, come back and read this again. It will all make much more sense then.
- Read more about pay-per-click advertising for real estate agents.