How to avoid 4 expensive AdWords traps

Google AdWords is one of many tools to generate leads and grow your business. Not a magic recipe, but a valuable tool in certain conditions.

If you don’t pay attention, you could end up spending a lot of money, much more than it makes sense. This is why you should read on.

Google, in the same way as Facebook, is a business looking to aggressively maximise its profits.
And Google, for this very reason, will set up your AdWords experience and the information it gives you, in ways that help them be profitable.

They are profitable if you your ads get clicks: this is what they are working for.

At the same time, even if your ads get a huge number of clicks it is possible that these clicks will not get you any lead or sale.
Google earns your money from the clicks you pay, but you get no return.
Google will arrange everything to urge you to get a lot of clicks, even if all these clicks will not make you a lot of sales.

This is why I want to tell you some of the most frequent mistakes people make when they start using Adwords.

First trap. broad match keywords.

When you set up your campaigns you will decide which keywords will show your ad. Let’s say you manage a Hotel in Mauritius, and you want that people find you when when they search: Honeymoon in Mauritius.
If you are not careful in setting up your campaign in the ways I’m about to show you, people will see your ad when they search “honeymoon”, or “holiday”, or “vacation in Mauritius”. In all these cases, your ad will be displayed and you will get clicks, which you pay for.

But these clicks are coming from people who are performing different searches and are not interested in what you offer. You pay the click, get a casual visitor, but get no return, as the visitor was actually looking for something else.

Here is how you should organise your keywords.

  • Enter brackets around them: [honeymoon in Mauritius]. Exact match. You will do this if you want that people find your ad when they search exactly those three words.
  • Enter quotes around them: “honeymoon in Mauritius”. Phrase match. In this case you are telling google that you want them to run your ad for searches with the words exactly as they are in quotes, even if the search includes other words before or after the ones in quotes.
  • Enter  the + sign. +honeymoon + Mauritius. You are telling Google to run your ad if and only if those who are searching enter the word honeymoon and the word Mauritius. You allow Google simple substitutions (plurals such as honeymoons), but not to substitute honeymoon with holiday or vacation.
  • Use the – sign. – cheap. Negative match. Tell google to not run your ad if the search query includes the word cheap. If you are not selling cheap honeymoons, people will click and will not buy your not so cheap honeymoons.

If you just enter honeymoon in Mauritius, you are telling Google to think for you; they’ll make changes and allow your ad to display for very different searches that, possibly unrelated. So you get clicks that are not relevant. You pay your clicks, but get no new business. Not a good thing.

Second Trap. Google Display Network.

Google will run your ads when people make searches on Google, but it will also run the same ads on websites that belong to its network. Google does this by default, with the goal to make it more likely that your ad is displayed and clicked.
You need to decide whether this is useful to you, or not.

If you allow Google to display your ad on the network, people who are casually browsing any website that belongs to the network will see it. Casual browsing is different than searching. People will click on your ad to get a short break from what they are doing, dream a bit of Mauritius and look at some photos. But they are not actually searching. Will they book your honeymoon package?

Third Trap. The ad copy appeals, but not repels, the right people.

Google makes such a big deal of the quality score of your ads, and it pushes you to write copy that is appealing to the widest audience. This is good if the goal is to get anyone to click.
However your goal is not to get anyone to click; your goal is to get clicks that will bring sales or conversions.
There is a conflict of interest between you and Google.
In order to avoid this trap you will write the copy of your ad in ways that do appeal your target customer, but discourage those people who will never become your customers.

In our honeymoon example, let’s further assume that your hotel is fantastic, with high prices, and the clientele that can afford your packages is affluent.
If you run an ad such as “Fantastic Honeymoon in Mauritius. Cheap prices!” you will attract potential customers who are looking for cheap deals. They click; you pay; they will not be your clients. Google is happy; you spend money with no return.
An ad that appeals, but repels the right people, would be something like: “Experience your Honeymoon in Mauritius: luxury, prestige, beauty and charm”. This copy is not going to appeal to people who are looking for cheap deals.

Fourth trap. Thinking that Google AdWords is the only tactic.

Google makes money with AdWords; it makes no money if you go for SEO instead. So they will promote what they prefer.
Google AdWords is valuable and useful, you need to decide whether, and to what extent, it makes sense for you to use it in the context of your lead generation and business development strategy. Many times it does make sense.

And you have alternatives.
Write content for your website, (or get someone to write it for you). You will improve your SEO and much more. You can also read this guide on how to generate leads with blogging and content marketing.
Spread your content on social media
Grow your email list and spread valuable content with good offers: the most effective direct line of communication with your prospects.
Be creative using other tools such as Facebook contests, webinars, and events to convert, make sales or collect new subscribers for your email list.

Be aware that the recipe that will work for you is unique: it depends on your situation, on your budget, and resources. Get in touch to talk about your business and your needs.

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