There have been big changes to organic and paid search over the last couple years. Google removed the siderail advertisements from their search results and added a 4th paid advertisement spot to the top of the search results. This extra ad spot, more use of search features like local packs and featured snippets has lead to a massive decline in the amount of traffic going to organic results. As a result, paid search is more important than ever. We manage millions of dollars in ad spend, and we know all the secrets to get the most out of Adwords. Here are 5 tips that will save you money and reach your target customer.
1. Never Use Broad Match
The default match type in Adwords is broad match, and it is the only match type that you should NEVER use. It’s bold, italic, and caps for a reason. Don’t do it. With a limited budget, it is important to have your targeting tight to reach people who are your core customers, and broad match will not do that. You should start with broad match modified which means adding + after the words in your keyword phrases. This will make your targeting tighter.
2. Use Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are an important way to further avoid bad clicks and wasted budget. Negative keywords tell Google that if a specific word shows up in someone’s search query that matches your keywords, you don’t want it to show.
Let’s say you’re a New York City locksmith, and you are bidding on the keyword NYC+ Locksmith+. (see that broad match modified?) If someone types in “NYC locksmith school” or “NYC locksmith training”, your ad will show. And they aren’t potential customers, so when they click on your ad, you’re wasting money. By adding “school” and “training” to your negative keywords, your ad will not show for searches that contain those terms. You should come up with a long list of negative keywords, so you’re only paying for ads that could generate business, and you should check your search terms report regularly to find new negative keywords.
3. Use Your Search Terms Report
This is one of your most important tools when it comes to refining your Adwords campaigns. It shows you exactly what people searched for when they clicked on your ad. Your keyword may be NYC+ Locksmith+ but the person could have searched for “the best NYC locksmith there ever was” and then clicked on your ad. It is important to go through your search terms report regularly to find new negative terms as well as specific search terms you might want to target directly.
4. Use Geo-Targeting
This whole post is all about saving you money and reaching the right customers. And if you’re a locksmith in New York City, you don’t want people in California seeing your ads. Google offers very advanced geo-targeting options, so you can limit who sees your advertisements to people who are located near where you are. You can target by city, state, zip code, and distance away from your location among others. Because you want to target only your most likely customers, You should keep your geo-targeting tight. If you’re not getting enough traffic, you can always expand your targeting later.
5. Small Ad Groups with High Lexical Similarity
Google wants your ads to be as relevant as possible to what people are searching for. To continue with our Locksmith example, let’s say you work in Brooklyn as well as Manhattan. You should create an ad group with your Brooklyn locksmith keywords and then another ad group with your Manhattan locksmith keywords. This way, you can create ads that are targeted to people who are looking for a locksmith in Brooklyn and then create ads that are targeted to people who are looking for a locksmith in Manhattan. This will improve your Quality Score which means you’ll pay less for your clicks and have a higher click through rate.