Optimizing AdWords On A Small Budget
Let’s face it: paid advertising is oftentimes a numbers’ game. If you can afford to pay the higher bids it usually means you’ll end up nabbing the top spot and driving home those precious revenue dollars. Unlike smaller accounts, high spending accounts have more leverage to experiment with different strategies and are usually able to find the one that works better, quicker and more efficiently than strategies used by smaller accounts.
But that’s not always the case. Rather than throwing up your hands in despair and bemoaning the fact that you will never be able to keep up with someone who is spending nearly $60,000 a month on advertising, here are some things you can do today to maximize your output with your budget. The best part? It doesn’t matter if your monthly budget is $50 or $50,000, these tricks and “hacks” are available to everyone.
Use Personalized Landing Pages
One landing page is as good as the other, right?
Wrong. In the digital marketing world, customers subconsciously reward businesses that they believe are speaking to them personally. That means customized landing pages that address the individual’s persona receive more clicks and attention time per user than a blanket landing page that looks generic at first click.
Roughly one in four Google Adwords accounts that spend less than $50,000 a month have at least one generic landing page, or even worse, redirect their link to their homepage. For many, this can be simply because they don’t have the funds to hire developers to create custom landing pages for all their various needs. One way to get around this is by creating duplicate pages for every one of your campaigns. You then simply change the keywords on each page and modify them at your discretion and preference.
Make Your Copy Irresistible
Regardless of the higher amount of ad spending that your competitors have most likely employed, two things that they are still trying to nail are the click-through and conversion rates. Generally speaking, the conversion rate is 1.5% higher on top-spending Adwords accounts than their lower-priced counterparts, and almost 2% click-through rates. This may not sound like much, but depending on your budget, this could be hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars.
When you set to optimize your PPC, resist the urge to go straight to your landing page and start fiddling around with color schemes and thoughts of which pictures and images you should use. Focus instead on the copy. Use keyword tools to find out what your audience is really after and then write to that. Including a call-to-action inside your titles will help your conversion rate as well, and will not cost you a cent more.
Embrace Ad Extensions
Want a completely free way to improve your visibility on your ads without having to re-word every piece of copy? Use ad extensions. Ad extensions are extra pieces of copy that are put onto your ad that reveals usually more miscellaneous information about your business, such as a telephone number or customer review. Google sometimes adds these automatically, but you can also manually add them yourself within Google Adwords.
Ad extensions have a two-fold benefit: they give potential customers extra information about your business, while also pushing your competitor’s advertisements further down the page (you can also do this by using Expanded Text Ads instead of Standard Text Ads). Bigger sized ads thanks to these extensions by you, means less advertising real estate for everyone else. And when people only see your ad on the front page, guess which one they’re most likely to click on? Bingo.
Don’t Forget About Negative Keywords
Keyword research is one of the most basic and integral parts of any advertising campaign. As important as finding the right keywords to use within your text actually is finding the right ones not to use can be just as important. High-performing ad campaigns always have a high amount of negative keywords that are manually blocked out, precisely because they steal away precious advertising dollars.
If you’re operating on a minimal budget, it is absolutely vital that you stretch every cent to its maximum capacity; miss-targeted impressions and clicks from people who stumbled upon your ad, but were not your intended audience, can take those advertising dollars away from the ones you really meant to target. It’s worth it to go through your advertising reports fairly often to determine what words are generating revenue and which words are wasting it.
Improve Your Quality Score
It should go without saying, but Google rewards Adwords accounts that deliver optimal customer experiences. If you are not, then your Quality Score will be dinged and you’ll be paying more per click than your counterparts.
No one knows for sure the formula that goes into determining your QS (besides Google, of course), but there are three major factors that impact it more than others: Click-Through Rate, Ad relevance, and landing page experience. Optimize those, and you’ll be saving up to 12% more on your ad spend than the next guy. This means more dollars for PPC to throw around and more revenue in your pocket.
Utilize Every Tool You Can
When it comes to digital marketing, there’s no silver bullet that will automatically skyrocket your revenue. Regardless, you can put yourself in the best position possible by learning and utilizing every tool at your disposal. By a large margin, the advertising accounts that spend the most tend to have drastically higher amounts of actions within the account itself. You can be cynical about this and argue that that’s because they have more money to play with, but the simple truth is that their accounts are firing on all cylinders. Is yours?
If you haven’t taken the time to investigate all the different corners of your advertising account, use the Adwords Performance Grader to run a quick check and see where you can stand to improve. Chances are there are several different tools available that you may not have even thought of that will increase your ad efficiency. You might not have thousands of dollars at your disposal every month, but unless you’re making the most with what you have, no budget in the world will be enough to make your business competitive.