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5 Tips for Improving Your Google Search Engine Marketing

Own these skills and become a search engine marketing master

Like it or not, AdWords is the backbone of search engine marketing. While there are no shortages of ways to reach your audience using AdWords –  including ads in video, images, and ads in apps – there is one method that is by far the trickiest to master, and also the most common. I’m referring to the text ad. This little piece of search engine marketing perfection will show up in the search results of potential customers.

Anatomy of a text ad:

Each text ad has a headline, which is your chance to capture and enrapture a potential client. Next you’ll see the web address (i.e. the display URL), and then finally two description lines, which you can use to further pique the interest of your audience by letting them know what they can expect to find on your site.

Improving Your Google Search Ads

It’s a relatively simple concept, but it can be surprisingly tough to master if you don’t know how to optimize your efforts. And there’s a lot of wasted effort.

My post-secondary education launched me into a world of marketing I could not have possibly imagined and was not totally equipped to handle. Learning about how to use AdWords was a world of pain that – after a Herculean kind of trail-by-fire – I’ve managed to master to my advantage.

5 Tips for Improving Your Google Search Ads

1. Focus on what makes you unique. For example, if you’re an organic gluten-free bakery in Toronto, your headline shouldn’t read ‘Toronto Bakery’ or even ‘Toronto Gluten-Free Bakery’, you should think, ‘Toronto Organic Gluten-Free Bakery’.

To really showcase your ad text and see what’s working and what’s not, be sure to test. You’ll be vying for attention against organic listings, the answer box or knowledge graph, the local 7-pack or Carousel, sponsored results, other sidebar PPC ads, Google Navigation options, the second page of the SERP, shopping listings, and the pull to look for something else altogether via the search bar.  That’s 9 distractions from your message, so make sure your ad is the best possible ad for what you’re trying to achieve.

Killer search engine marketing through ads will also focus on what makes your customers unique. One way to think about doing this involves scheduling. Your business may not need ads run round the clock, but would benefit more from running that ad during certain days of the week and hours of the day when your customers are more likely to be online and primed to purchase.

2. Employ a call-to-action. Use those two description lines to let potential customers know what they’ll be able to do on your website after they click your ad. Example: “Our Buns Are In the Oven. Take a Look!” You should make sure to link your customers to a page on your site that actually talks about organic buns – don’t take to them to a page on cakes or pastry.

3. Include sale terms. Got a special? Let your customers know about it. So, again, using the bakery example, if you’re offering a special on pre-made cakes, shout it out in the description lines. “25% Off Pre-made Cakes. Walk Away With a Sweet Deal!” By calling attention to specific promotions, you increase the likelihood of people buying your product or service.

4. Match your ad to your keywords. Imagine what your customers might be thinking of when they’re searching for your product or service, and then use those words in your ad text. So, a customer looking for a gluten free bakery in Toronto would use those words in their search, and likewise, those words should be used as keywords in your ad text.

It’s important to also consider the use late funnel keywords when you’re trying to sell something or drive leads in search engine marketing. Information based keywords (of the “What is…” variety) are better for to SEO. While you’re thinking of keywords, you should also consider what match types are the most important to run. Bid staking is a great way to go about this, since it targets every single match type in the same ad group with different bids. (And speaking of bids, don’t shy away from getting aggressive with your bidding. Do what you’ve got to do to win that click. I know you may think you have to have to bid lower to stay on budget, but this will only result in poor click-through rates (CTR), low quality scores with Google, and almost negligible conversion.)

Finally, you’re going to want to employ negative keywords to wean out the matches you want to avoid.

5. Lead your ads to an appropriate landing page. The easier you make it for your customers to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to convert. You can even build a custom landing page for each ad group (in fact I recommend it). This way your visitors are seeing exactly what you promised and you’ll also bolster your quality score from Google, which puts a lot of value on the usability, quality, load time, design and the presence of the related keywords on landing pages.

Since good search engine marketing can require quite a bit of detective work, I also recommend taking it a step further and doing A/B testing on your landing pages – especially if you’re getting solid CTRs at good CPCs but poor conversions. This probably means your landing page needs an overhaul (or even just a little tweak) and A/B testing can show you where to make the changes.

That’s it! If you use these 5 simple strategies, you should see an improvement in your search engine marketing. Depending on how you were marketing before, the change for the better could be almost immediate. If all this sounds like a lot of work, it is – or it can be. It will depend on your existing level of familiarity with search engine marketing and on how much time you can commit to learning the ropes. For many who are short on time and (let’s face it) inclination, hiring professionals is the best option. No guess work, just results. However, if you’ve been thinking of trying your hand at AdWords search ads, then these tips will definitely help you optimize your efforts.

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