Getting ready for paid search campaigns

By: Richard Michie

No one likes to pay for ads, be that on Google, Facebook, Instagram or traditional press ads (remember them?). As organic posts, such as blog posts and social media messaging, only reach a proportion of your ideal customers, ads are a worthwhile spend.

Investing in great content ideas, promotions, and PR, as part of an effective marketing strategy, is where long term sustainability will come from for your business. But, these organic marketing methods take a while to take effect, and while they may seem to be free, producing all that content takes hours and hours of work. There’s no such thing as a free ride!

How can paid search campaigns help?

Paid search, generally via Google AdWords, puts your business in front of customers who are showing an interest in your product. It’s as simple as that. They are actively searching, so if your ad is delivered at the right time, with the right offer, to the right person, and your landing page promotes your service as solving that customer’s problem, then the chances of them buying or enquiring are high.

Yes, it’s exactly the same as the Four P’s all marketers learn – People, Price, Place, Promotion (add your own P as you see fit).

Paid search Campaigns have the following advantages:

  • You can turn the tap on and off as you need
  • Ads can be very specific and targeted to the exact customer need
  • You can test your messages and landing pages to get very accurate results and gain insights into your customers actual buying habits
  • Paid ads enable to you to come to market very quickly and “test the water” for your product or service idea
  • It can be a very efficient and cheap way to gain new customers
  • It can help you disrupt an established market, without the need for huge budgets

How can you get ready to run a paid search campaign?

Halt your horses! Although paid ads can be turned on quickly, take your time. It can be only too easy to waste precious budget by running ads without thinking about these crucial things first.

Research your competition

  • What is their site like?
  • What keywords are they appearing for? (Both natural and via AdWords)
  • Are there things they are missing?

Research your key words

  • Use Google Key Words tools and natural searches to look for key words and get ideas and volumes.
  • Think about the search intent of customers, look for active words and phrases which indicate someone is looking to purchase, rather than look for information.

Update your landing pages

  • The worst thing you can do is send your AdWords customers to your home page or a standard product or services page on your site.
  • Make dedicated landing pages for your AdWords campaigns that focus customers on that service and nothing else.
  • Ensure that pages have one clear call to action. That means one form and/or one phone number. It may be a good idea to have a dedicated phone number so you can track calls directly back to your AdWords Campaigns.

Tie up the technology

  • Measuring your AdWords Campaigns is vital to makes sure all technology is working properly.
  • Check to make sure your Google Analytics is set to measure conversions so you can see which ads, campaigns and key words are driving enquiries.
  • Ensure that your Google AdWords set-up is also measuring those conversions.
  • If you are using any other technology, prepare your measurement systems to ensure they can pick-up leads that are coming in that way. Most things such as message assistants can be measured with a little work.

Paid Search campaigns can bring great rewards if they are set-up correctly, and if you have a very clear strategy for your campaigns. If you need any help with these campaigns like these, please get in touch.

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