Friday, August 20, 2010

3 Google Adwords Tricks for Busy People

Do you use Google Adwords?

Want to get more sales, more cost-effectively?

The following email exchange I had with a small business owner may help you. She's just starting out with Adwords, but the tips I gave her can help you no matter how long you've been using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

Read on to find 3 Adwords tricks you can use today ...

Dear Kevin,

The most recent version of my ad is:

Prepare for Earthquakes
Want to get Prepared Quickly?
Complete Earthquake Kits $69.99

... and it directs to the product page at

(Kevin's note: the landing page offers an earthquake emergency kit, with food and water for 72 hours, at $30 off.)

This format has some success, but I’m pretty much breaking even on the dollars I put in. I know I need to try something else, but I’m just not sure what to try next. Any advice you have to give would be much appreciated.

Statistics: CTR: .17%
Average CPC: $.87
Average Positioning 2.6

- Sally K.

Dear Sally,

Good news: You have room to improve here!

Here are ideas for you, based on my experience spending about $300,000 on Google Adwords ads since 2001 ...

FIRST, your strategy determines everything. Do you want to acquire customers at break-even? That's usually the smart play.

But first, you must figure out the lifetime value (LTV) of each customer -- how many times do they buy, how much do they spend, how long do they stay with you?

The LTV is an essential number. It determines how much you can spend to "buy" customers, not only with Adwords, but with any marketing medium you use.

If you haven't been in business long, make your best guess at a LTV.

Example: If a customer buys twice a year, spending $80 on average, for three years, their LTV is $480. Theoretically, if you acquire each customer at a cost of $479, you still come out ahead.

If you acquire a customer via Google Adwords and lose a few bucks on the first sale, but you can sell to them again 30-90-180 days later, so what? You come out ahead!

How do you get those follow-up sales? That's a topic for another day, but things like client newsletters, clients-only sales, special offers via email, etc. are all good options.

SECOND, your choice of keywords is critical.

Generally, the shorter the search term, the more unqualified the traffic to your site will be. Why? These people are still early in the pre-buying stage of learning about the product.

So, for now, I would steer clear of search terms like this: "disaster kit"

Instead, aim for longer, more specialized search terms. Why? These people have already learned something about what they want, and are closer to making a buying decision.

Example terms you might bid on: "earthquake disaster kit" ... "earthquake disaster kits" ... "earthquake preparedness kit" ... "earthquake survival kit" ... "earthquake survival food" ... "earthquake survival kit"

... then add words like "find" ... "buy" ... "buy online" ... etc. to create even longer keyword phrases.

NOTE: I am leaving a LOT of stuff out for space, like keyword match types, how many keywords to put in each Adwords Group, negative keywords, etc.

You'll find that in the Google help files and other resources

THIRD, the top things to test in the ad itself ad are, in this general order:

1. headline
2. body copy
3. display URL

Having said all that, here are 4 ads I might try running if I were you:

Earthquake Kit - Save $30
Protect Your Loved Ones Now
Be Ready Fast - Only $69.99

Earthquake Kit - Save $30
Q. What Will You Do In The Big One?
A. Protect Your Family & Save Now

Earthquake Kit - Save $30
Are You Ready for The Big One?
Protect Your Family & Save Now

{KEYWORD:Earthquake Kit - Save $30} **
Are You Ready for The Big One?
Protect Your Family & Save Now

** The KEYWORD "wildcard" in the last ad can often increase clicks by causing the search term to appear in the headline.

Your price is $30 off, so mention it in your ad!

Using capitalization on your display URL increases readability, and usually increases clicks

Also, experiment with different ads that target different appeals: safety, fear, saving money, a quick solution, etc.

I hope you find this helpful!

(Kevin M. Donlin is author of the Free Special Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Small Business Professionals.)

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