Google AdWords: it’s one of the most effective self-serve advertising platforms on the web, but it can be confusing for new marketers. Fortunately, by knowing the answers to these commonly-asked questions, you can prepare yourself to use AdWords more efficiently and get the most out of your campaigns.
How Can I Tell if a Campaign is Working?
The best way to tell if your AdWords campaign is working is to install some conversion tracking software. This allows you to link various outcomes, like sales and leads, to various ads in order to determine how much you’re paying for each conversion and how many conversions you’re getting, overall. There are many different options for conversion tracking, and those interested in learning more can consult this WordStream resource.
Do I Need to Create a Separate Landing Page?
This depends entirely on the strength of your home or product page. If these pages do their job well and provide a seamless user experience, then no. Google’s landing page expectations are strict, however, and if your home or product page can’t keep up with click traffic or is selling multiple products, it may be wise to create a landing page for your ad campaign. According to Google, landing page experience can be improved in the following ways:
- By offering useful, original, highly relevant content that has to do with your ad
- By providing information that helps to inform a customer before asking for any personal information (this often means offering Q&A sections and detailed product or service descriptions)
- By ensuring ease of navigability for all platforms, including mobile devices
- By creating a seamless user experience through quick load times and a comfortable layout
If your current page is cluttered, slow to load, or confusing, users are going to leave prematurely, which results in a negative Ad Rank. The takeaway? Make sure that your landing page is streamlined, easy to use, attractive, and quick. This will help ensure great Ad Ranks and campaign success.
Does Page Load Time Affect my Quality Score?
Yes. As we mentioned in the previous question, landing page experience is very important in your overall Ad Rank. When landing pages are efficient and well-designed, users feel more comfortable spending time on them, which leads to more purchases, subscriptions, and conversions. That said, it’s important to ensure that your landing page is tuned up and relevant. In terms of load time, it’s especially important to ensure that the landing page loads quickly after the ad is clicked and that customers can find what they’re looking for quickly and easier. For more information on how to improve landing page load times, consult PageSpeed Insights to measure your current performance and improve it.
Are Low-Volume Keywords Harmful?
Low-volume keywords are those with little or no Google search history. Contrary to popular belief, keywords with low search volumes don’t always have a low Quality Score. This is due to the fact that Quality Scores are based more on click-through rates (CTRs) than they are total clicks. This means that even if a keyword doesn’t draw a huge amount of monthly searches, it’s totally possible that it will have a high CTR, which leads to a great Quality Score.
If you’ve got an ad attached to a low-volume keyword, there are several things you can do. The first option is to simply do nothing and wait for organic search traffic to begin triggering your ad. This often happens and, when it does, ads are automatically activated by Google. This option is ideal for marketers who advertising new products, terms, or brands. Alternately, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to replace the keyword with a higher-volume option.
What are Match Types?
Match types are an AdWords user’s best friend. When you select your campaign keywords, you’ll be asked to choose a match type for your chosen keyword. There are four different keyword match types, each of which serves a different purpose.
- Broad match: Broad match is Google’s default keyword match type and is the one most often used by advertisers. Broad match allows you to target search queries that use any portion of your keyword phrase in any format. Broad match is designed to help your ad reach the largest possible audience. The downside of broad match, however, is that it can also place your ad in front of searchers who are searching for terms that don’t actually apply to your ad at all. The inclusion of negative keywords can help curtail this.
- Modified broad match: Modified broad match is a compromise between broad match and phrase or exact match. Modified broad match allows you to reach a large audience while also placing some parameters on the ad. In modified broad match, marketers can use a “+” parameter in front of their chosen keywords to inform search engines that any search query that displays their ad must also include that term. This is a good way to protect your budget and ensure your ad is displayed to people who really want to see it.
- Phrase match: Phrase match is simple: it ensures that your ad only appears when users search for your keywords in the exact order that you’ve targeted them. Phrase matches can include text after or before the search query but must include your exact keyword phrase.
- Exact match: The most restrictive match type available, this option only displays your ad when people search for your exact keyword phrase without any other text. This option can increase sales by increasing specificity, but may also deprive your ad of traffic.
While AdWords is a useful service, it’s a commonly misunderstood one. Fortunately, answering these commonly asked questions can help users better understand AdWords and get more out of each campaign they run. For help mastering AdWords, contact Bigfoot Media.
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