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Google Adwords - You're Doing It Wrong

May 18, 2012

This is part 4 in a series of Google Adwords and how to get better results with your PPC campaigns.

Let’s get straight into it.

Why You Are Not Testing Ad Copy?

If you make only one change to improve your Google Adwords campaign - start split testing your ad copy today.

At a minimum try to have at least two ads running and rotating these evenly. You will have to check these ads every 30 days now because unfortunately Google decided they need more profit to make our jobs just that little bit more challenging.  

If possible go for 3 or 4 ads at a time if you have enough traffic, as you need statistically significant data to find your clear winner. Just make sure you are only testing a single variable per ad, otherwise you don’t know which exact change is actually increasing or decreasing the ad’s performance! 

So, what sort of things should you test in your ad copy you say?

Here are just a few examples:

  • Headlines
  • Calls to Action
  • Unique Selling Points
  • Price Points or Percentages
  • Shipping/Postage Offers or Purchase Discounts
  • Create a Sense of Urgency
  • Display URLs
  • Copy Length

 ... and the list goes on.

Even when you believe you have crafted the best possible ad - keep testing.

You can always do better. 

How Come You Are Using Automatic Bidding?

Excuse me for being a little cynical on this one; but any default feature that Google recommends for 'new advertisers' to make it 'easier' should be approached with caution. To be honest I normally avoid automatic bidding because I like to have complete control over each individual keyword, as not all keywords are created equal - therefore they require different bidding strategies. 

With the automatic bidding option, Google adjusts your bids automatically to provide the most clicks possible while staying within your specified budget. If your goal is to get as many clicks as possible, regardless of their quality, go for automatic bidding. Beyond this, I struggle to see any advantages.

With automatic bidding, you are giving Google complete control - and their choices will not necessarily reflect the best value for you.  Sure, manual bidding takes more time and more work; but provides you with the ultimate level of control.

Ok maybe I’m being a little biased here... maybe I need some further testing. From what I have read, others have seen some surprising results using the automatic bidding option; but I'm yet to be convinced. In saying that, feel free to prove me wrong if you have had better results with automatic bidding.

I would love to hear your feedback on this one.

What's The End Result?

The key metrics, the return on investment, key performance indicators - whatever you want to call them.  Simply put - whatever you define as a success. The stuff you should have established before you even opened the Adwords account. This is the single most important point:

Is your campaign meeting these goals?

I always cringe when someone defines their goals loosely as something like 'get more sales'. If this is your goal, try making it something a little more concrete.. Saying 'get more sales' is like saying you want to get more kilometres out of a tank of petrol by putting in more petrol.

You cannot improve what you do not measure.

It is so important to stay mindful of your business goals during the life of your PPC campaign. It can be so easy to lose sight of these. Because it doesn’t matter how many clicks, how good your click through rate is, or how much traffic you are receiving if you aren’t tracking (and meeting) your goals.

This is my final point – it is all about results.

So make sure you are tracking your conversions or goals, preferably using AdWords conversion tracking and Google Analytics goals.

I cannot stress this enough.

Don’t forget you can read the previous parts in this PPC series if you haven't already:

  1. 3 Costly Adwords Mistakes That Are Wasting You Money
  2. 3 More Beginner PPC Mistakes
  3. 3 More Common PPC Mistakes
  4. 3 Final Google Adwords Pitfalls To Avoid

Well hopefully you learnt something out of this Google Adwords series – I know I sure did!

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Written by

Aidan has an intense passion for SEO and has worked in Search Engine Marketing industry for 5+ years, delivering results for a range of clients from corporates to small businesses.

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