A Google AdWords campaign is tricky. In many ways, it’s more nuanced than print or broadcast advertising.
Not that there isn’t nuance in other advertising media. Of course there is. But in those media, the nuance is in the message directed at the targeted market. With AdWords, you have to sell to Google’s algorithms first before your ad even gets placed.
Ad placement in print and broadcast is fairly straight forward. If you’re willing to pay the big bucks for a magazine’s back cover, full color, and the space is still available, you’ve got it. If you want your ad to run in prime time and you can meet the rate, it’s there. Maybe if your ad is slotted for an inside page or scheduled for not-quite prime time, you can have a round of golf with the sales manager and improve your ad’s placement.
Have you ever tried playing golf with an algorithm? It’s got all the angles figured and always picks the right club — which is, after all, what algorithms do.
At first glance, AdWords seems simple. You write an ad of up to 35 words that attracts viewers to your website. Then you bid on keywords relevant to your business. If yours is the highest bid, you rank high on search pages for that keyword, right?
If it were that simple, Google wouldn’t need algorithms. Google considers three elements to determine your AdWords rank:
- The maximum bid you placed on a keyword (Your payment per click won’t exceed your maximum bid, but it may be less, depending on competing bids).
- Your Quality Score, which measures the quality of your ad, keywords and the landing page of the website to which your ad directs.
- Anticipated effectiveness of selected extensions and other add formats.
The value of your bid price is simple math, but determining a quality score takes a complex algorithm to attempt to figure it out objectively or mathematically. So how does Google accomplish it? No one outside of Google knows for sure, and even if someone does figure it out, Google keeps refining their algorithms.
Google’s goal for AdWords, however, as it is for its search engine, is to match searches with relevant website pages. It’s not just about the keywords, but primarily the context in which those keywords are used. It begins with good content on your website, a well-crafted ad, and selection of keywords and keyword phrases that relate specifically to your business. The emphasis on relevance means that even if you’re the highest bidder for a keyword, your ad might not even show up on search pages for that word or phrase.
It begins there. But as we said, it is more nuanced than that. Your ranking is evaluated against the competition each time a search is submitted. Your ad may rank high on a search page in the morning, then drop off entirely for the same search done in the afternoon. You may end up getting too many clicks if keywords aren’t precise enough for your product, so you end up spending too much for clicks that don’t convert to solid leads or sales. You could be missing out on special features that improve visibility and draws more attention to your ad if you don’t use AdWords extensions, which can highlight location, site links beyond the landing page, reviews and more.
The real trick is how to integrate AdWords, organic search, and your website to increase your presence in the market place. Your goal is to show relevance to your target market.
If you’re looking to begin an AdWords campaign but you’re unsure of how to make it effective, contact Blue Fire Media to help you launch a campaign that brings you more clicks and more sales.