Pay per click advertising is a fast and efficient way to find your customers online and bring them to your website. If you’re not sure what PPC advertising is you can find out more here.
We have helped many companies, large and small, save thousands of pounds on their pay per click advertising. In truth there are many many ways to refine a campaign to get the best quality traffic to your website, here are just 5 of them.
PPC advertising runs on many systems, but for the purposes of this article we will be looking at Google AdWords, the tactics described are equally appropriate to other PPC platforms.
Change your keyword matching
If you sell lawnmowers you want to reach people looking to buy a lawnmower – right? So you enter a keyword of ‘lawnmower’, create a compelling advert and switch your campaign on.
What happens next depends very much on whether you have set your keyword to be matched on a broad, phrase or exact match basis.
If you are using broad match keywords your advert could be shown for all, any or many other searches including:
- lawnmower repairs
- lawnmower parts
- funny videos involving lawnmowers (people search for the strangest things)
- lawnmower racing (each to their own)
- lawnmowers for sale
If we now look at how many of these searches actually relate to the business of selling lawnmowers just 1 search is relevant.
That’s ok – my advert will make it clear I sell lawnmowers
True – a well written advert will clearly show what you do, and sometimes don’t provide. However, people don’t always read the results that carefully before clicking – more often than not they will click, get to your website, realise they are in the wrong place and hit ‘back’ on their browser. That mistake just cost you money. How many mistaken clicks are you paying for?
How to avoid mistaken clicks
Only show your advert to the most appropriate searchers. In this example a simple change to phrase match and the use of keyphrase ‘lawnmowers for sale’ would mean your advert would only be shown when the search is relevant.
So what’s the difference between the match types?
- Broad match – your keyphrase will be matched by Google to what Google interprets is the searchers intent. Generally just 1 or 2 words in your chosen keyphrase need to match the search entered by your prospective customer.
- Phrase match – the actual phrase you type in as your keyphrase must appear somewhere in the searchers query, for example
- Our keyphrase is ‘lawnmower for sale’
- Our searcher types in ‘lawnmower for sale in Surrey’ – matched. Your advert will show!
- Our searcher types in ‘lawnmower racing in Surrey’ – no match. Your advert will not show!
- Exact match – the keyphrase you use much match exactly to the searchers query, for example
- Our keyphrase is ‘lawnmower for sale’
- Our searcher types in ‘lawnmower for sale in Surrey’ – No match. Your advert will not show!
- Our searcher types in ‘lawnmower for sale’ – matched. Your advert will show!
You can find your keyword matching settings under Campaigns > Keywords > Match Type is shown as a column on the table of keywords. If you don’t see Match Type in your view select the Columns drop down > Customise Columns > Attributes and click Add next to Match Type.
Surely Google can work out what the searcher is looking for
Yes. Google is phenomenally good at matching a users query to websites that deliver answers, but why take the chance? With a few simple changes you can eliminate poor quality, irrelevant clicks that are wasting your money.
Adjust your geographic reach
This tactic is especially relevant to local businesses. Let me explain.
The default settings in Google AdWords is for your adverts to show on a national level. If you are a local business, say a florist for example, why would you show your adverts to people in Scotland when you only deliver to Surrey? Clearly there is a huge saving to be made for local businesses.
Regardless of whether your business is local, national or international adjusting your geographic reach still makes sense. If you get more, good quality leads from a specific area; or you know that your conversion rate is higher from a particular county for example; doesn’t it make sense to invest your marketing spend where it will have the biggest impact? Perhaps you don’t deliver to a specific place – you can exclude that area from your campaigns in just a couple of clicks!
If you are running international campaigns you want to be sure that your keywords and adverts are showing in the local language – so select the right geographic target for the specific campaign.
In Google AdWords you can find your geographic target under Campaign Settings > Locations
Adjust your advert schedule
If your business runs 24/7/365 then your adverts could keep to the same schedule.
Sure, your website is ‘open for business’ 24 hours a day, however, if your primary call to action is to ring your office do you want people to be greeted with an answer phone? Have you tested your conversion rate of visitors in and out of office hours?
A quick and easy adjustment to your advert schedule will mean your adverts are only showing at times of the day when you’re available to do business.
Simply go to Campaigns > Settings > Ad Scheduling
This tactic is especially relevant when you are aiming to generate sale leads, where you want your visitors to pick up the phone and connect with you immediately.
So we’ve talked about keyword matching options, so if you’ve got this set up to only show your adverts to the most relevant people you’re done, right? No quite. Unless you are using exact match for all your keywords (which we wouldn’t recommend) your adverts will be matched by Google to a wide variety of search queries. You want to take some time to review these matches. If you find matches that are irrelevant you can banish them from your campaigns in the future very easily!
First off, you need to know what people are actually typing into Google to trigger your advert. To do this go to Campaigns > Keywords > Select the Details drop down > Click All under Search Terms.
Now you can see the search queries Google matched with your keywords and keyphrases. Do they all look good?
Let’s look at our lawnmower example again:
- Let’s assume we are using phrase match
- Our keyphrase is ‘lawnmower for sale’
- Two of the matched search queries are:
- Search 1: lawnmower for sale in Surrey
- Search 2: parts for lawnmower for sale
- Search 2 is clearly not relevant but includes our phrase of ‘lawnmower for sale’ so Google has correctly shown our advert.
So how can we exclude future searches using the word ‘parts’?
There are two ways to achieve this. You can either add the keyword directly into the AdGroup you are working in as a negative keyword or you can create a central list of negative keywords that you can apply to any or all of your campaigns in a couple of clicks.
To add a negative keyword to a specific AdGroup
Open the AdGroup, go to the Keywords tab, scroll down to the bottom and click the link for Negative keywords. You can now add the keyword ‘parts’ either as a negative keyword for this specific AdGroup or as a negative keyword for the whole campaign.
Alternatively you can create a single negative keyword list to use for multiple campaigns
On the left hand grey bar select Shared Library > Choose Campaign Negative Keywords > + List
Give your list a relevant name and add some keywords in the box. Click Save. Now scroll down to the section where you can specify which campaigns are to use this negative keyword list.
Last but by no means least. Regular reviews of your campaign are essential to ensure you get the best value for money. Early detection of wasted spend will save you a lot of money. Careful monitoring of conversion rates and success will enable you to manage your campaign in a way that diverts the most budget to the most profitable AdGroups and keywords.
Are you worried your wasting time and money on AdWords?
If you are concerned you’re not getting the most from your campaigns why not get in touch and book your free, no obligation consultation?