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Google AdWords Marketing Information: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

December 6th, 2007

google-adwords-marketing-information.jpgUsing Google AdWords is arguably the best way to quickly bring targeted traffic to a website and attempt to convert it into sales. For many people, it is an attractive and convenient alternative to conventional website building and search engine optimization. However, many Internet marketing beginners, commonly referred to as “newbies”, can easily get caught up in the hype that often accompanies the potential for relatively quick profits from Google Adwords advertising. Consequently, many of them make crucial mistakes in setting up and implementing their AdWords campaigns, which can be very costly and may lead to some of them quitting the Internet marketing business altogether. Therefore, I have assembled a list of 10 common pitfalls that you should avoid when advertising with Google AdWords or any other similar pay-per-click service.

1. Not split-testing your ads: Almost all veteran AdWords advertisers do not simply run a single campaign and hope for the best. Instead, they create two or more campaigns using the same keywords but with slightly different wording in their ads. This allows us to see which ad performs better in terms of click-through rate (CTR) and actual sales. After enough clicks have been tallied, you can simply drop the loser, keep the winner, and then split test it again against another variation of your ad. Through this process, you can consistently improve the quality of your ads over time and pay less money per click over time.

2. No tracking of conversions: The word “conversions” is one of those semi-fancy Internet marketing terms for “actual sales”. With PPC marketing, it is very important to track these so that you know exactly which of your keyword groups are profitable and which ones can be safely discarded. The most profitable keywords are not always the ones with the highest CTR.

3. Making ad groups with too many or irrelevant keywords. This common newbie mistake occurs because many people start out with the idea of throwing whatever keywords “sound good” into the group, thinking that more keywords = more traffic = more sales. Of course, this is not a very efficient way to do it and can lead to poor quality scores and unnecessary losses. A better strategy is to make several ad groups of closely related keywords and match them to the text of your ads and the landing page.

4. Mixing up search and content results: Many AdWords users will simply opt into the content network as part of their campaign. While this can increase the number of clicks received, it can also bring a lot of unnecessary expense because the content network represents a different group of visitors from those who arrive at your ads through search queries. These two networks should be placed in separate campaigns, after which the content network results can be tweaked to lower the cost per click and exclude underperforming sites from showing your ads.

5. Overlooking negative keywords: Most ad groups will have some keywords in them that can draw searches for items that are completely unrelated to what you’re trying to sell. A classic example of this is someone advertising for “bass fishing” and getting broad match searches for things like “bass guitar” or “bass stereo”. In cases like this, you can use negative keywords to exclude certain search terms that you do not want displayed with your ads. In this example, you would probably want to add the keywords -guitar, -stereo, and -music to the list.

6. Failing to optimize the display URL line: When writing your ads, you do not actually need to use the same display URL as the real one that you use for your landing page. This allows you to target keywords in the display URL to increase relevancy and CTR. Capitalizing the first letter of words in the domain and using descriptive filenames usually helps. For example, instead of www.dumbpresident.com, you could display DumbPresident.com/Stupid-Bush.

7. Using only broad match for keywords: The broad match option will give you a higher impression count, but can also bring in many unrelated searches or relatively poor quality traffic. It is usually best to test your ads will all match types, including phrase and exact matches, and keep the ones that give you the highest ROI (return on investment).

8. Always using the home page as the landing page: For most PPC campaigns, the content on a site’s home page is too general to convert visitors into sales. Because many Internet searchers tend to have short attention spans, it is usually more efficient to send visitors to a specific page of your site that is relevant to the actual keywords of the ad group.

9. No lead capture page: the use of lead capture or “squeeze” pages is a very important element of Internet marketing that should not be overlooked in conjunction with any kind of online advertising venue. By using some kind of opt-in form, you can capture the visitor’s name and email address and retain the opportunity for future sales even if the visitor does not buy your product after the initial search.

10. Lack of patience: Many novice marketers simply give up too soon when faced with the AdWords learning curve. This is especially true if they get in over their head at the beginning and lose significant amounts of money. Mastering the AdWords platform requires time and patience, but with a good website and product, the effort is usually worth it in the end.

One Response to “Google AdWords Marketing Information: 10 Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. comment number 1 by: google adwords

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