As part of our VIP Legal Service, we provide AdWords management services, so we have some experience with optimizing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. With our years of experience, we’ve seen that AdWords can be an effective tool, but if not managed properly, it can be a huge waste of money.
We see a lot of poorly run AdWords campaigns (some run by large services), so we’ve put this guide together to help you avoid common mistakes and to enable you to ask intelligent questions of your marketing agency.
Here are some of the key components of an effective AdWords strategy:
- Have a geographic focus. This one’s pretty basic, but important: Don’t run ads outside of your marketing area. If you’re looking for clients in your metro area, limit your ads to that area. If you’re looking for clients from a larger area, that’s fine, but carefully analyze your conversion rates to make sure you’re not wasting your money.
- Careful keyword research. Keyword research takes up a sizable amount of time: both when setting up a campaign and then monthly when analyzing conversions and engagement. When you’re first putting together your AdWords strategy, you’ll find that Google gives you tons of suggestions for “improving” your campaign. You have to be careful with this, as Google will be happy to suggest a lot of useless keywords and phrases, and will suggest vague search terms that will garner you a lot of useless clicks. Think about your keyword list very carefully and then analyze your results to see which phrases are working and which are wasting money.
- Don’t direct clicks to your home page! This is one of the biggest mistakes we see in AdWords campaigns, and the big marketing firms are some of the most egregious violators. Too often, an agency will set up AdWords with a list of keywords…and then send them either to the firm’s home page or a bland listing page with basic contact information. These clicks don’t get good engagement or conversions. If you’re spending $200 for a click (which is possible with some keywords), you need to do everything possible to optimize your conversions!
- Set up unique landing pages for each group of keywords. To optimize conversions, you need to channel people who click on your ads directly to the content that is going to convert them into a client. For instance, if your keyword is “motorcycle accident,” don’t send them to your home page; send them to a custom-crafted landing page that talks about the issues involved with motorcycle injuries and how you can help.
- Call to action. You need to specifically tell your site visitors what to do; don’t assume that they’ll figure it out. State your client’s problem, offer a solution, and then ask them to take action: “Call our office now for a consultation,” or “Email your questions about how we can help you with your injury.”
AdWords can be expensive to run, but effective if done correctly. If you would like us to help you manage your PPC campaigns, contact us for more information or call us at (855) 780-1081.