With the Christmas holiday quickly approaching, many are spending their time decorating everything in sight or shopping for that perfect gift for friends and family. While I certainly enjoy those tasks, one of my favorite things about this time of year is making homemade candy with my children – everything from toffee brickle, peppermint bark, peanut butter cups, and let’s not forget the chocolate turtles (shaped like a turtle too!). This was a family tradition that I shared with my grandparents and parents before they passed, and now I get to share it with my daughters who light up at the opportunity to help in the kitchen, not fully realizing the importance of this long-lived tradition.
Making candy can be difficult at times and it is certainly a messy process but as with most things in life, if you follow a good recipe (and one that in my case is tried and true), you are sure to have success! The same can be said for building a Google Ads campaign. So step into “my kitchen”, and let’s take a look at the basic ingredients for success in search engine marketing.
Step 1 – Thorough Keyword Research
The most important ingredient of a successful campaign is understanding your customer’s wants and needs. No matter how much money you are willing to spend, if you advertise a product or service that your customers aren’t interested in, your campaign will never succeed. Before selecting your keywords, be sure to do your homework.
- Research relevant keywords that have high search volumes.
- Include keywords that trigger an intent to buy such as “buy”, “purchase”, or “order”, in addition to local keywords.
- Understand the cost of each keyword and the impact it will have on your budget. This is especially important if you’re looking at high-volume, high-competition keywords.
Step 2 – Research Competitors
Successful marketers do their research and review everything from landing pages and keywords to competitor ads. By using tools like SpyFu or Keyword Planner, you’ll have tons of data at your fingertips, allowing you to quickly and efficiently optimize your campaigns while utilizing the advertising history of your competitors to help make decisions.
Step 3 – Highlight A Unique Selling Point
It is extremely important to have a unique selling point (USP) that makes you stand out from your competition. It will help you generate more traffic, increase conversion rates, and it will allow you to call attention to a product or service that is truly unique to your business. A USP could be as simple as offering a free consultation, free returns, or a discount on a first visit. All are ways to provide more value to consumers who could easily be swayed toward other goods or services.
Step 4 – Relevant Landing Pages
Another core ingredient to a successful campaign is making sure you have a relevant landing page as the destination for your search ad. This is especially true since it is often the first touchpoint your customers have with your brand. Your landing page should always have a clear and useful message for your customers, and it should relate to your keyword and deliver on what the customer is ultimately searching for.
Step 5 – Track Conversions
Conversion tracking provides your company with the necessary data to determine what is working and what is not. It also provides insights on how to optimize your account to improve performance and increase your ROI. Monitoring your clicks, impressions, and interaction rate is a start, but understanding conversion metrics with true business impact is where you will really see the return. Tracking and optimizing campaigns against phone calls, leads, and even purchases can truly inform decisions on where and how to spend your budget.
Step 6 – Ongoing Optimizations
With Google Ads, it is all about continual refinement. Call it perfecting your special sauce! The overall process can be complex, and in a fast-paced world, if you don’t keep a pulse on it, your performance will suffer. That’s why leaving your ad on autopilot just doesn’t work. A successful ad campaign requires ongoing maintenance, such as testing new ad copy, regular keyword optimizations, checking for new functionality and features, and making sure your site/landing page is functioning properly.
So now that we have some flour in our hair and some chocolate on our sleeves, hopefully, it is clear how combining the best ingredients with the right directions will lead to the best dish. Happy holidays from your search marketing partner at CrowdSouth!
If you’re struggling with your Google Ads, reach out to us! We’d love to help!
Image credit: AdEspresso
By Charlene Brock
Charlene Brock is our resident Search Marketing expert! Currently based in Louisville, we still manage to distract from her job at least once or twice a day. We just love having her on the team!