Debbie O’Sullivan, senior industry manager at Google, shared her top tips for start-ups and a range of useful extensions at a Google for Entrepreneurs event this week.
Rich Flanagan, head of small and medium business marketing at Google Australia, spoke to StartupSmart about how start-ups with limited budgets can make the most of their AdWords spend.
Flanagan cautions users that while AdWords is a popular tool, it’s not a get rich quick marketing solution.
“It’s true you can launch the account in a few minutes, but it does take a bit of time to see how users are responding to your ads, Flanagan says. “It does take nurturing over time, you won’t turn one dollar into thousands overnight.”
Experimentation is key
O’Sullivan said testing is key to making the most of Google AdWords. Flanagan added start-ups should always have at least two different versions of an ad running, so they can see what works and retire the underperforming option.
“Test different creative in real time and move towards the one that is performing best,” O’Sullivan said, adding it was essential to link AdWords and analytics accounts otherwise AdWords traffic would appear as part of the much broader “organic traffic”.
Flanagan says his top tip is to think of AdWords as something that can be iterated quickly over time.
“You can start small, to boost one product or service in one city and start to build your confidence,” Flanagan says.
Your ad’s ranking is not just about spend, it’s also about quality
Start-ups should create different ad groups or campaigns for each product or service so the content can be targeted and closely match your site, said O’Sullivan.
“Make sure your campaign mirrors your site, and have one campaign per product and landing page,” she said, adding that the closer your ad matches your site, the higher your quality score will be.
Where ads are displayed on the page is calculated based on quality score and the amount the entrepreneur is willing pay in the algorithm-driven ad options.
The quality score is managed by an algorithm which factors in site load time, malware and dangerous softwares, and the similarity of the content in the ad and page.
Flanagan says the quality score is important.
“Some people believe giving us as much money as you can means we’ll put you at the top, but that’s not true. We believe ads are information, and it needs to be relevant. Once you click through there should be no surprises,” he says.
Make the ad as engaging as you can
The quality score also assesses how engaging the ad is, and Flanagan says there are several best practice solutions.
“You definitely want to have a strong call to action. It could be some sort of special offer. Are you mentioning something around price or is seasonal? You want to not be too far away from your competitors’ offerings, but you want your ad to stand out as there will be 10 to 12 ads on the page,” he says.
Having a strong call to action that is timely or a significant saving can be boosted by how you write the content as well, right down to the punctuation and capitalising.
“Typically we see, depending on the industry and product, that if the first letter of every word is capitalised, it does grab people’s attention. But you can’t have it all caps as that’s screaming on the internet,” Flanagan says.
He adds users need to check how their ad appears on multiple devices as the use of mobile phones and tablets increases.
Explore extensions to offer more options to users
O’Sullivan talked the crowd through a range of extensions to the core AdWords copy, such as the “click to call” button on ads which enables users to get in touch immediately, and social media extensions so users can follow you without even visiting your site.
Flanagan adds that the extensions provide sub-links, so there’s deeper richer information in the ad which gives a better experience for users.