The power of Google Ads (Adwords) and Google Analytics for lead generation is so great everyone should understand it – though leave the execution for the experts. It is well worth mastering for the data it gives you to systemise your lead generation, What is it? In a nutshell Google Ads is connecting you directly with those people searching for what you provide on the biggest search engine in the world.
Google Ads is Google’s advertising system and Ads and Analytics can dramatically improve your digital relevancy, website effectiveness and organic SEO whilst getting immediate activity and action through Google Ads. It can be the basis of your strategy for ongoing website content improvement and purpose.
I get into the conversation a lot and I believe there is a great deal of misunderstanding and underappreciation for Google Ads and Analytics so here is my little getting started guide all elementary I promise, I write it from the position of how can this work for your business. Here goes ….
A Keyword is the search term that a visitor would put in the google search box. You build your ads around keywords and then you bid to have your ad seen (impression) by any visitors when they search on your keyword. Cost per click (CPC) is the amount you pay when the visitor clicks on your ad. Click through rate (CTR) is the impressions divided by the CPC so the higher the better.
There are 4 paid for spots on the search results which show at the top of the page. Your budget and goals will determine which keywords you choose to work with and what you decide as a suitable bid for you. With a small budget you may be content to hit 4th place (rather than higher) so you can increase your impressions and get more click throughs. Google is here to help and they have a keyword planner for ideas, estimated reaches, gives suggestions for prospective data, checks competition, gives suggested bids. To see the true figures you need to test for yourself but you can get a good idea of keywords to try and get a rough campaign cost as it will show an idea of costs per phrase/keyword to get you going. You can export this data to a spreadsheet as it gives loads of ideas of other keywords you might try and test and measure for yourself
Why use Google Ads Pay Per Click (ppc) campaigns – just look at all this that can be done:
- Get your business active immediately and instantly. SEO is a long term strategy but Adwords is instant. The data you collect with Google adwords and analytics helps you with your organic SEO – it’s a win, win.
- Lead quality is very very high as you are being seen by people who are searching for what you have to offer. Eg A visitor googles on Retirement Plan which is your keyword so they see the impression of your ad and then they click on it to go through to your website or landing page.
- The ability to align ad + analytics means you can fully understand the journey a prospect is taking with you allowing you to really become relevant for your customer and build an awesome sales funnel.
- Reach audience at the right time and direct them to the right part of your website or landing page (explained later).
- Test and measure messages, keywords, ads and use this to improve your website content and therefore your organic SEO.
- Check the effectiveness of your website by seeing visitor behaviour,bounce rate (when and after how long people move away from your site/landing page) etc.
- Which keywords are converting – it usually isn’t what you think!
- Which website/landing pages (more on landing pages later in the article) are converting.
- Which website/landing pages are not performing well
- Test and measure and tweak constantly – a lead generation machine is never done!
Critical Success Factors
Generating relevant traffic is really important so you need to be directing specific terms to specific website content relevant to that term. Google wants visitors to find what they are looking for so having great relevance is critical with Google as you get great traction with visitors and your quality score improves.
To align is a critical point and analytics helps you identify strong and weak points of website. It might be as simple as you are sending the correct search to the wrong landing or website page.
It starts with small steps but set your goals and KPIs, track performance, read the data and tweak your website and ads, test and measure and things will get better and better. Before you know it you will be getting more and more advanced in your knowledge.
I am assuming all sites are optimised for mobile so make sure the users journey on the mobile is as good as it can be including ease of any sign up forms.
Paid ads get the most prominent space but we know most people scroll down to below ad space for the organic listing. But, on mobile phone it takes longer to get to organic, visitors are impatient and are more and more on mobile so the top ads are going to get the clicks – very few clicks (around 5%) are below the 4th organic listing – so visitors are looking to click sooner rather than later.
Quality Score – Google rates everything, everything Google does (aside from generating profits) is about maiximising the visitor experience and so it will score your ad and amongt other things a good quality score will bring your CPC down.
Alignment and Landing Pages
It is critical that the content your visitor clicks through to is relevant to the search term (keyword) they typed into google search. Relevancy is not difficult it is just giving value which we love, love love!
It might be that the search terms don’t actually match a page so then this whole process creates a strategy moving forward to develop content for your website. Another move Google will love, you are writing information to give the visitor the best content.
If your webpages are not specific enough you can create Landing pages to click through to. They are often called “squeeze”pages as they are squeezed into place on your website. Key things to adopt:
- Match the right website page or create landing page for each of your keywords
- Make sure the page is relevant and highly optimised for the new user you are introducing Most websites are not written for the new user on a focused topic.
- What is your plan for when they click through – is it a sales or branding exercise what do want your visitor to do/experience?
- Make the users journey to the end goal as smooth and quick as possible
- Make sure you are tracking pages with analytics on each page
- Make sure all important information is above the fold so the visitor does not have to scroll.
- And don’t forget a Call to Action
What is the goal of your ad campaign and what is the easiest way for the audience to take up the goal. Is it a sales goal, get clear on what you are asking them to do on your landing page with a strong call to action for example to buy, try or create an account. If the end goal is information and branding then it is a different design and set up with more text, information, wider topics maybe.
The Key is to have the minimum number of steps and not loads of details you will loose people – they will bounce. Over time knowledge and experience will hopefully refine and remove steps by getting better content and ultimately allow you to be really creative and cause lots of disruption as to what is possible with amazing data and great execution.
Landing pages need to record the data as they journey through the website so it is critical to see if campaigns are on track.
Getting into Action
You start building a Campaign (this is the big picture eg Personal Financial Planning) and then you think of your Adgroups – (investment type eg retirement, inheritance etc ). You create your list of Keywords in each adgroup (eg retirement plan, pensions)
Note not all Adword campaigns are just for the Google search engine so be careful as it might be confusing. For starters I think it is important to keep simple and just do Google so you can get true figures for the Google adwords market. You have no control over which other sites you are listed on and I think this is dangerous as not everywhere is relevant eg (ask jeeves, amazon are 2 of the others possible sites you would be listed on).
Google is the number 1 search engine and Youtube number 2 and Google owns them both so just appreciate how exciting it can get later on. But for now, I think the purer the data at the start the better and then you can get your own benchmarks.
The 2 main ones are manual CPC and automated CPC. Manual has the most control and you set up the maximum CPC for each ad so you will never spend more than you set for each click. But if you have no idea of what you should be bidding for a keyword the automating option is a good one to test on as it will give you more of an idea and takes the guess work out for now. As you get information, knowledge and confidence you can convert to manual.
Set your maximum daily budget and aim to deplete it everyday. Consider your sales strategy and how you are going to maximise return by handling the traffic you generate.
Keyword match/Bid Type
Exact Match – what it says on the tin. You can write the ad to be dedicated for that one search term. Gives true figures for that keyword. Always use Exact match to test and learn (eg retirement plan).
Phrase match – adds close variations and you identify them with speech marks so one ad can reach a few different variations (eg retirement plan, retirement planning,)
Broad Match – write one ad and can hit numerous different variations.
Negative Match – so if you are working on retirement investments you might not want the words “home” or “housing” or “care” so you need to think of what terms you don’t want to include.
Testing and measuring is really important always, but especially in the early days.
When running a test campaign set a high budget and quickly used so you see the truest, purest figures you can.
Test different variations for you’re ad, for example same ad but use the a different headline eg Retirement Plan or Pension Plan.
Only one change at a time is allowed! In general I would recommend working on perfecting headline first and then tweaking the content.
A great way to increase size of ad and push down your competitors and there are lots of different extensions. If using broad match then you could use site link pages so that you can still make sure you are sending the user to the right page for them. Caller extensions maybe good for you too as they can call you directly by clicking a button.
These are additional pieces of information in black type which accompany a search result listing and help an ad stand out even more – reviews can be added.
Remember all additions to your ad push the competitors after you in the list further down the screen.
Run your ad through the preview tool. Can you get your USP in there, include keywords as they are relevant to what visitors have just searched on so they will identify with it, strong call to action to generate click through rate. Keep specific and then align the landing page to it.
Check the quality score of each ad and focus on improving it. The more direct the search term is for the ad the higher score. Google is all about the user and it wants relevancy and to direct the user to the most useful data. Focus on value for the user and you will not go far wrong. An ad targeting many keywords will find it hard to get a high quality score as you cannot give all users what they are looking for.
Ad rank is also there too to check against your competitors and see how relevant you are. It takes cpc x quality score which will give you an ad rank and the better it performs again you are rewarded with cheaper pay per click.
Google gives you the opportunity to target people who have previously visited website/landing pages. They are warmer than a cold lead and a great opportunity to retarget them – maybe send them to a more direct landing page. A great approach to adopt and you will get the analytics and Google will direct the ads to those people who otherwise could be lost forever. Remember the 8 touches that every prospect needs before they convert,
Once this is set up it is done. This is what you need to ask your website developer to do or do it yourself with the relevant plug in and don’t forget you must enable autotagging for the analytics to work:
Create an account which gives you a code.
Set up your code on every page of your website
Set your goals, kpis and track and measure your website
Google Analytics will show you which adwords and keywords are working – you wont see all of them but you will still see some. Google adwords gives full data activity for how each are performing.
You can really understand your numbers and activity with the data available. You can see new visitors and returning visitors, how long they are on your site, page views, how long they stayed/how many pages, which page they drop off from etc …..
Critical signals are bounce rate, website loading times, click through rate. Set your goals and see if you achieve them – find what your key pages and tweak them to maximise your ROI. Track value of conversions, costs of conversions ….Analytics helps you with your hotspots or where you need to put your prominent stuff and see if your decisions are working for you. The process flow of how people are using your website – what is not to love! Look at all the things you can do:
– Improve quality score of your ad so reduce your cost per click
– Improve your ad ranking so you are ahead of your competitors.
– Test and measure all your activity.
– You can control costs – deplete your budget daily have a plan and spend it wisely
– Dominate your space you can bid for all of your brand terms
– It is an investment and not a cost as you learn you tweak and as you convert you can reinvest.
– You can find out what your best performing keywords which helps you optimise your website and the organic search by making sure your website is responsive to the keywords too.
This is proper systemised marketing in operation and can take your ROI to another level. Enjoy the journey with Good Adwords and Analytics in your lead generation toolkit.
I am Laura Greenwood of Your Lead Generation, I suport rustrated business owners stressed with the ££££s spent on marketing which has not produced sales. Using my unique ANCHOR90 techniques I guide business’ to consistently convert connections to leads and implement strategies to convert leads to sales. If you want to chat to see if I am the right fit for the work you need doing them please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07703 520490.