Despite trends towards the 'longer game' such as SEO, content marketing and social marketing techniques, Google Adwords still offers small businesses a great way to harness the power of online advertising and get results quickly within affordable budgets. Its major advantage over 'organic' <strong>Search Engine Marketing</strong> is 'instant visibility': you can closely track your investment and its return and see the results. Recently we've been helping a portrait photographer achieve success (case study coming soon!) with lead generation in Adwords in a relatively short space of time. Here's some tips and advice for Google Adwords based on what we learned in the process. <strong>Get the ads right</strong> Sounds obvious but do this part well and you'll get more clicks, it's as simple as that. It's a tricky skill to get right: to create a compelling message in a few words to persuade people that you are what they're looking for, but one really worth persevering with. Google Adwords rewards quality and rates the most relevant clicked ads. It'll save you money to spend time getting this right. <strong>Landing pages </strong>Landing page design is fast becoming a bit of a science. If you want to convert clicks into sales leads, sign-ups or paying customers you have to consider the design, layout and overall usability of the pages people land on when they click on your pages. Sending people to your homepage and hoping they find their way to your call-to-action isn't going to cut it and might well put people off from returning at a later time. Understanding 'persuasion techniques' and applying them to your design is crucial. <strong>Testing, testing! </strong>Run several ads within one ad group; try different combinations of keywords; run different offers withing one campaign; tweak your landing page design to see the impact it'll have on conversions. Adwords has a lot of sophisticated data at your fingertips so try things and see what happens. You'll need to monitor this constantly and learn to understand what you're looking at and how it impacts on your campaigns. <strong>Stay organised, stay focused</strong> You could end up with a lot of ads running at once. Make sure you organise these in the right way: campaigns can have several ad groups within them; these groups will use the same set of keywords so if you want to try some different keywords than make another group. Run different ads within these groups to test the wording in your ads. Here's an example for a portrait photographer: <strong>Campaign</strong>: 'March offers' <strong>Adword groups (3 within the campaign)</strong>:<em> 'Free framed print'; '20% discount'; 'Free photoshoot offer'</em> Ads within the adgroups (sharing the same set of keywords): <strong>Free framed print group:</strong> <em><strong>Ad #1</strong></em> Family Studio Photography Have fun in our local studio Free shoot & framed photo www.yoururl.co.uk <em><strong>Ad #2</strong></em> Family Studio Photography Contemporary & stylish Free shoot & framed photo www.yoururl.co.uk I can't stress the importance of fully understanding the difference between groups, campaigns and ads themselves. Good housekeeping will make it easier for you to keep track of what's going on, compare your tactics and also <strong>Do the research</strong> Adwords has plenty of great tools to help make the most out of your campaigns.The Keyword tool allows you to target the right keywords for your campaigns. You can get cost estimates, see how much competition there is and see the search volume for those phrases. You can do this on global and local searches which can be really useful for small businesses targetting specific locations. <strong>Target the right locations</strong> Don't waste your advertising budget showing ads in areas of the country you can't service. Adwords has geotargetting tools that means you can get very specific with this and select certain towns, cities and areas or if you prefer a radius (in miles or km) around your business. <strong>Get analytical</strong> You can link up your Adwords campaigns to Google Analytics. It's a great way to survey what's going on across your web site. Comparing the organic and paid search and its impact on visitor behaviour is vital to your overall website strategy. There's so much more to Adwords than the things I've touched upon, and it can feel a little daunting to begin with, but with the basics in place hopefully you can go forward with some confidence. <em><strong>If you want to know more about how to win at Google Adwords, designing landing pages that convert or anything else to with PPC online advertising then please get in touch.</strong></em>
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