Ad words audit mistakes report
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Ad words audit mistakes report

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We’ve gathered our collective expertise and knowledge, all gleaned from hands-on experience performing Google AdWords audit evaluations for new clients across a range of business categories. Though......

We’ve gathered our collective expertise and knowledge, all gleaned from hands-on experience performing Google AdWords audit evaluations for new clients across a range of business categories. Though each campaign is different, over the years we’ve noticed a few common trends — and a few common mistakes.

Many AdWords accounts we evaluate don’t represent a profitable return on investment but, due to the increasing complexity of the AdWords platform, many business owners don’t even realize exactly how much of their marketing budget is being used ineffectively. In fact, without optimization, AdWords can end up wasting a lot of advertising dollars.

We’ve gathered a list of the nine most expensive mistakes we commonly find in Google AdWords and PPC audits. Chances are, you’re (probably) making a few of them right now. Read on to discover what you may be overlooking in your efforts to achieve optimal success with Google AdWords.

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  • 1. The 9 Most Expensive Mistakes Found in AdWords Audits By: Jeff Mette 404.624.6645   4030 Inverness Crossing Roswell, GA 30075 : @jeffmette : in/jeffmette mettemedia.com
  • 2. The 9 Most Expensive Mistakes Found in AdWords Audits The biggest advantage to Google AdWords also seems to be its biggest challenge for advertisers: learning how to track and report the data you gather so you can optimize your campaign without spending hours reading reports. Many account holders think that whoever offers to pay the most for ads is automatically displayed at the top of the list; however, this is not true and is the main reason you should have an optimized Google AdWords campaign. When searchers tell Google that certain ads improve their experience and are relevant to their search (resulting in higher click-through-rates), Google rewards these accounts by charging less and giving favorable treatment to these ads. This is done through a ranking called “Quality Score” Here is a list of the most common and expensive mistakes we find that may prevent you from achieving optimal success in Google AdWords. 1. Not Tracking Your Results Most people put this at the end of the to-do list; however, this is the most important element of a successful AdWords campaign. If you aren’t tracking your results, you won’t understand whether your strategies are successful or not, and this is the only thing worse than a campaign that doesn’t work. In today’s world, if you are spending more than $1,000/month for online marketing, you should be able to track exactly how much business you are closing, not only from the campaign, but from every single keyword in the campaign. (Please note: this report is not in regard to e-commerce companies; rather, it is intended for companies that generate leads, and not sales, online.) For less than $100 a month, you can not only track which keywords caused someone to fill out a form on your website, but also how many of those visitors called you after clicking on your ad! This allows you to stop spending money on keywords that don’t drive sales and to spend more money on those that do maximizing your monthly spend. You should be able to track exactly how much business you are closing. 404.624.6645   4030 Inverness Crossing Roswell, GA 30075 : @jeffmette : in/jeffmette mettemedia.com
  • 3. The 9 Most Expensive Mistakes Found in AdWords Audits 2. No Value Proposition When a potential client finds your ad, what does the ad say? Are you using language that makes him/her want to choose your business over your competition? When someone performs a Google search for a term such as “Bankruptcy Attorney,” they will have access to hundreds of thousands of choices. We can assure you that, although they won’t view the majority of these results, the searcher will visit several websites – so your company had better stand out! This is a problem that has been at the top of the list since the beginning of advertising; however, it’s really not an advertising problem, it’s a business problem. If you cannot provide a searcher with a reason(s) why they should do business with you, then it will be very difficult for your business to expand from any other source than referrals. However, one of the great things about AdWords is that it helps you target an audience that relates to your value proposition. If you provide low-cost services, for example, advertise your services with a term such as “Cheap Bankruptcy Attorney,” and you’ll attract an audience seeking exactly that differentiator. This will result in a higher number of visitors not only willing to click through the ad and read more, but it makes these leads more qualified and better prepared to follow through with a desired point-of-action (e.g. calling your company, filling out a web form or more). Of course if price is not a big part of your value proposition you will want to list “cheap” as a negative keyword, but we will get into that later. 3. Lack of Landing Pages Target an audience that relates to your value proposition Even if you don’t learn anything else from this report, follow this important piece of advice: Do not send your hard-earned AdWords traffic to your homepage! If all of your ads direct your traffic to your homepage, stop reading right now and pause your campaign. 404.624.6645   4030 Inverness Crossing Roswell, GA 30075 : @jeffmette : in/jeffmette mettemedia.com
  • 4. The 9 Most Expensive Mistakes Found in AdWords Audits If the client’s search query (the service/product they’re seeking) is not listed in the title of the page they are directed to, then you may be paying three times more than your competitors and obtaining lower-quality leads. In fact, many studies show that ads that direct to a page with the product/service listed in the title of the page generate from three times more leads for the same budget. By customizing ads related to a searcher’s query, you will create very relevant ads for the searcher. These ads will contain exact terms used by the visitor, which results in higher click-throughrates and higher-qualified leads. 4. Targeted Headlines If a searcher performs a query for “blue roofing canopy” and there are 35 companies on the homepage trying to sell canopies but only one company selling “blue canopies,” then which ad do you think that searcher will click on? In an AdWords campaign, you should have thousands of keywords in your portfolio, and numerous variations of ad copy written specifically to that user’s search. The stats are overwhelming. For example, if you’re in the insurance business and a searcher performs a query for “key man insurance,” you’d better have the words “key man” in your ad – and on your landing page. 5. Bidding High to be # 1 Many AdWords account holders think that having the top position on Google means that they will get the most business. They also think that in order to get that position, they need to outbid the competition. This is simply not true. These ads should contain exact terms used by the visitor, which results in higher click-through-rates and higher qualified leads As stated before, the top position is NOT given to the account holder that pays the most. It is given to the ad that generates the most money for Google while also serving the needs of the searcher. For starters, if your ad copy is written in a way that 404.624.6645   4030 Inverness Crossing Roswell, GA 30075 : @jeffmette : in/jeffmette mettemedia.com
  • 5. The 9 Most Expensive Mistakes Found in AdWords Audits causes three times more searchers to click on your ad than an average ad, then Google will charge you less per click. They are able to do this because they still make money by obtaining more clicks; however, while that’s good for Google, it may or may not be good for you. For instance, if you run an ad for “Free Six Sigma Consulting ,” you may obtain a lot more clicks, which will cost you more money. However, unless you are a charity, you will not make much money if this is a “bait and switch” ad. Another interesting thing to note is that many people find being in the number three spot produces more traffic because it is closer to the organic search terms below the ads that most people view. Finally, you have to learn the value of a lead. We have some clients that would lose money by paying $5 per click to be placed in the top ad spots; however, these clients could obtain a great return by paying $2 and being placed lower on the page. 6. Negative Keywords We find that many clients use highly-competitive keywords such as “commercial insurance,” and choose to have their ads displayed for all variations of this phrase. This is not necessarily a bad campaign strategy; however, you should know that one of the most popular searches on the internet is for a potential job. If you’re not seeking new employees, this can utilize your advertising budget very quickly, as your ads will be displayed to job seekers instead of your targeted audience. Therefore, if you use “commercial insurance” as a broad term, a searcher performing a query for “jobs in commercial insurance” will be able to see your company’s ad. Upon clicking your ad, they’ll use some of your monthly spend. To combat this, set up your account so that any non-relevant searches, including jobs and careers, are eliminated from your campaign, thus allowing your budget to be spent on more productive keywords. The top position is NOT given to the account holder that pays the most And don’t forget – if a visitor is searching for “cheap commercial 404.624.6645   4030 Inverness Crossing Roswell, GA 30075 : @jeffmette : in/jeffmette mettemedia.com
  • 6. The 9 Most Expensive Mistakes Found in AdWords Audits insurance,” and you’re not actually offering the lowest prices in the market, then you’ll obtain low-quality leads – an ineffective way to utilize your monthly spend. 7. Dayparting Technique Another technique that clients don’t often use in their AdWords campaigns is the dayparting technique. This technique allows you to manage the time-of-day as well as the day-of-the-week that ads are displayed, allowing you to display ads at a specific time in which they will be most profitable. With the dayparting technique, you are also able to increase or decrease bids at certain times-of-the-day or days-of-the-week. For example, if you notice that a certain campaign has a high conversion rate on Thursdays between noon and 5 p.m., you can increase bids by 10%, 20%, or even 100% during this time range in an attempt to produce more leads or sales. Dayparting helps us analyze the progress of your AdWords campaign, and more importantly, allows you to better utilize your spend. 8. Geographic Targeting Geo-targeting is a technique that allows you to choose specific areas in which to run your ads. This is an ideal strategy for a company that does not offer services or products nationwide. For instance, you may be a mortgage company that only offers coverage to one city, such as Atlanta, Georgia. There are several great techniques you can use in Google AdWords to help you compete online with a big national mortgage company. First, you can choose to run your ads only in Atlanta, so that you will not waste your budget in areas you do not serve. Second, many people may not want to do their mortgage online, so those searchers will ignore many of the Lending Tree-type ads and click on your ad, because your copy tells them you have an office in Atlanta, which is relevant to that searcher, as you have a physical location nearby. If a visitor is searching for “cheap lawn care,” and you’re not actually offering the lowest prices in the market, then you’ll obtain low-quality leads 404.624.6645   4030 Inverness Crossing Roswell, GA 30075 : @jeffmette : in/jeffmette mettemedia.com
  • 7. The 9 Most Expensive Mistakes Found in AdWords Audits This strategy can also work in favor of larger companies. For example, a large bank with nationwide locations can also run different ads for every city in which they are located. They can even target audiences in individual zip codes! 9. A/B Testing A/B testing, or split testing, enables you to test various elements of your campaign (such as ad copy and landing pages) against single-variable test samples to determine which variations best “convert” searchers into following your predefined point-of-action (e.g. filling out web forms, calling your company, or purchasing a product). How does this work? In regard to ad copy, you should always test at least two versions (or more on a large budget) against each other. For example, a lawn care company providing over seeding services in the fall might want to try the following ad headlines: “Free Estimate for Over Seeding” and “Keep Grass Green with Over Seeding.” Google allows us to run the ads in a perfect 50/50 random mix, and after a month, you can compare the data to determine which headline provided you with the best return for your ad dollars. You can also perform A/B tests on your landing page(s) by sending half of the traffic to one landing page and the other half to another. We have many case studies that have increased leads by as much as 300% with very minor tweaks in these areas. There are studies online in which individuals run a campaign that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars every month. These AdWords users generate $1,000,000 in revenue originally, increasing to almost $3,000,000 in revenue from changes such as perfecting landing page elements. These changes only cost the company several hundred dollars to make - how about that for ROI? We have many case studies that have increased leads by as much as 300% with very minor tweaks in these areas. 404.624.6645   4030 Inverness Crossing Roswell, GA 30075 : @jeffmette : in/jeffmette mettemedia.com
  • 8. The 9 Most Expensive Mistakes Found in AdWords Audits Your Next Steps While Google AdWords is one of the more complex advertising mediums, it is also one of the most effective. Fun fact: it took the Yellow Pages over 100 years to earn $25 billion while it took Google only 10 years. Additionally, Google makes 96% of its revenue from search advertising. Google has no choice but to make AdWords continue to benefit advertisers, therefore, they have given you all the tools to understand whether or not your campaign is effective or not. If you want to put your money on a winning team, when it comes to the advertising world, comparing Google to the New York Yankees of baseball would be a total understatement of the advantages Google has in talent and money. If you have taken the time to read this report, please give us a call at 404-624-6645, and we will do a complete assessment of your AdWords campaign for free – it’s our way of saying thanks. If we’re a good fit, we hope that you will be our client in the near future. 404.624.6645   4030 Inverness Crossing Roswell, GA 30075 : @jeffmette : in/jeffmette mettemedia.com