I’ve heard this a thousand times: “We tried Google Ads. We spent a bunch of money and didn’t see a single new customer/patient/supporter/donor/etc.” If this is you, and you’ll give me 10 minutes, I can give you a good idea why this is.
You Aren’t Measuring Success
If you’re going to spend real money on traffic to your web site, you should definitely pay attention to where this money is going. By default, Google Ads will tell you what keywords people are clicking on, but it won’t tell you jack-squat about what the user is doing once they get to your web site or landing page. You can get this information by hooking up Google Analytics or a similar product. If setup properly this lets you know which ads and keywords are actually producing new clients and/or sales, not just which ones are giving you traffic.
Your Ad Copy Isn’t Targeted
This seems ridiculously simple, but if your keyword is “car,” you don’t need to be showing information about “trucks.” It takes some effort, but your keywords need to be grouped by topic and relevant ads written for each group. If you sell your product to the medical and aerospace industries, write a unique ad for each of these different targets. If your shop sells surf boards, body boards and skim boards, you need at least 3 ads. You can do even better by creating a targeted ad for fun shapes and long boards. The more specific you get, the better. Don’t rely on a single generic ad for all keywords.
Your Ad Copy Isn’t Persuasive
The actual ads that are displayed in Google Ads are pretty tiny…you get a 25 character headline and two 35 character lines for the copy. It takes some real skill to get a persuasive message into this limit. You can’t waste space with “filler” words. You need hard-hitting direct references to your Ultimate Value Proposition (UVP). If you don’t know what your UVP is, your first step is to develop this. Keep in mind that your UVP will likely be different for different target audiences and Google Ads groups.
Your Landing Page Isn’t Effective
Google Ads send visitors to a specific page when the visitor clicks on your ad. In general, you don’t want to send users to your home page; you want to send them to a landing page that is targeted directly at the consumer. This landing page’s message should match that of the ad copy. Numerous studies have shown that the less distractions you have on your landing page, the more effective it will be. In general, the landing page only needs to contain the main points of your specific message, a strong graphic or picture, and a response form.
It’s Hard to Respond to Your Offer
Once someone has decided that they like you offer and want to know more, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to respond. Sure it might be nice to know the guy’s company name, birthday and Facebook profile, but do you really need all of this to respond to the lead? In most cases, the only information you want to ask for is name, email address and phone. If you need more information, do a two part form and ask for the rest after you have the basic contact information.
We’ve found Google Ads (and other pay-per-click offerings from Facebook, Linkedin, and Bing) to be excellent investments in many cases. There are a lot of variables to consider, but when done well Google Ads can be a fountain of qualified leads flowing directly into your organization. The nice thing is that when we advertise on Google we do it with our eyes wide open. Unlike static advertising in the phone book or local paper, if we take the time to look, we can see exactly what is working and witness the payoff in real time. If you need help, give us a shout. We’re a long time Google Partner and would love to put our experience advertising with Google Ads to work for you.