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Simple Improvements to Paid Search

Recently I worked with a client who had a paid search campaign running but it wasn’t performing.  He was ready to turn it off and walk away.  “Paid search does not work for our business.”  I was shocked but also curious – why?  I went into their paid search campaign and knew instantly I could help.  Here is why:

  • Set up. Their campaign was not set up well. One campaign with multiple keywords.  No use of match types…  just a mess.  So I spent some time cleaning it up and making it easier for Google to understand the campaigns.  Many people also set up the targets wrong and try to reach too many folks all at once.  If you are a New York photographer, you don’t need people in California seeing and clicking your ad.  It is a huge waste of money.  You can solve this by setting up your account well or by doing the next item…
  • Keyword Research. There were some good keywords in there, but they hadn’t added to it in over a year.  They never expanded.  They never tested. Note: This isn’t as simple as it sounds – it takes a lot of time, expertise and knowledge.  Once you do all of your research you have to go back and make sure you set up all your new keywords well (step1).  Keyword selection is extremely important.  You can waste a lot of money on non-targeted keywords for your business.
  • Test, test test!  They never did any major tests.  Sure, they tried different creative (ads), but never tried testing keywords, doing a strong test of creatives, or testing landing pages.
  • Welcome, now buy.  When someone clicks on an ad in Google, they are dating.  Looking around.  Seeing what is out there.  Maybe they’ll like someone else better.  So, when they click your ad, they don’t want to hear “MARRY ME NOW”.   Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here…  A landing page should welcome someone to your site, introduce your brand, reinforce your message and give a nice encouragement to purchase.   Maybe include a great offer they can’t resist.  Basically, show them how great you are and ask them out.
  • Hey, that is my brand.  This can depend on the business and opinions vary.  (I think it is a good idea generally – feel free to ask me more about it in the comments or privately)  This business had a competitor bidding on their brand with a competitive offer.  Plus, it is very easy to misspell their name… and their competitor knew that.  Guess where some of their search traffic was going?  You bet – to a competitor.
  • Promoting offers.  They were having some great promotions, but were not promoting them on their paid search at all.  Promoting an offer can help increase your conversion rate and grow your paid search efforts.  What would you do if you were deciding between two companies and one offered 50% off and the other one did not?

After one week of launching our new campaigns, they started to see growth.  After two weeks, they were profitable.  After three weeks their orders increased significantly and their cost for every order (their success metric) was down by ninety percent.

If you have a campaign that isn’t working for you, get some help from an expert.  Get someone to help set up your campaigns correctly.  Sure a phone call to Google may help – but keep in mind, their interests are different than yours.  Don’t get me wrong, their support is great – but they don’t give you the hints and tricks to spend less money with them.   That is not their goal (they are a business after all).  Get someone that has experience to help you set up your campaigns and make sure you monitor results to see if it works for you.  After all, paid search can really be profitable if set up well.

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