2 Mistakes That Cause Advertisers to Quit AdWords Just When They’re on the Verge of a Breakthrough
Visitor Value: The Key Metric
The business that wins AdWords is the one that can afford to spend the most for a click. The higher you can bid, the more traffic you get. The more traffic you get, the faster you can test and learn and improve.
And the business that can spend the most for a click, in the long term, is the one that monetizes that click most efficiently. Or, to drop the jargon for a moment, the one that makes the most money from that prospect.
If your business converts prospects better and gets them to spend more than do your competitors, you get to win AdWords. So AdWords traffic can represent the perfect "stress test" for your business fundamentals – but only if you get the AdWords part right to begin with.
Here are the three most common AdWords mistakes that lead business owners to give up on the medium before it’s delivered the lead flow – or strategic insight – of which its capable.
1. Wasting Money on the Wrong Traffic
The AdWords default settings are all about getting you the most impressions and clicks possible. I’ve never seen a case where opening up all the traffic sluices from the get-go was a good idea.
Rather, indiscriminate use of vague, high-traffic keywords and overly permissive campaign settings waste money by sending you lots of visitors who are not your prospects.
Watch out for three principal money-wasters:
A. Overly generic terms: If you’re a wedding photographer, don’t bid on "photographer" unless you want to branch into photographing kids, pets, pregnant women, mansions, and sporting events.
B. Broad Match keywords: Instead, choose exact and modified broad match to keep Google from throwing too much junk into your AdWords trunk.
C. "Stairway to Heaven" keywords: As in, "words that have two meanings." Examples include words like "windows," which can refer to the glass-filled holes in your house, or the operating system, and "speaker," which can refer to an orator or the thumpingly loud box your neighbor can’t seem to turn down.
Two maintenance activities to eliminate bad traffic:
A. Scour your search queries for keywords that you don’t want to attract and turn them into negatives.
B. Set up conversion tracking and pause or delete keywords that cost you more than they make in profits.
2. Blending in on the Search Results Page
Google cares a lot about your click-through rate (CTR). The better it is, everything else being equal, the less you’ll pay for each click. Think of it as a thank-you discount for buying in bulk.
If your ads look the same as your competitors’ ads, then there’s no particular reason for a prospect to click yours. Sure, you can pay more for a more prominent placement, but you can often achieve the same goal for free by writing an ad that cuts through the clutter on the page.
Here’s a sad example of a "me-too" search results page:
What kind of ad would cut through the clutter? The specific wording would be based, ideally, on the unique and valuable difference of the dental clinic in question. But even without thinking hard, an advertiser might focus on any of the following:
Free cleaning with first visit
See testimonials from satisfied clients
Extremely comfortable chairs
Industrial-strength giant vats of anesthesia
And so on…
The steps here are simple, although successful execution generally takes time and thought.
Look at all your competitors’ ads.
Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and think about what matters to them.
Define or invent a meaningful difference from the competition.