615-745-3094 info@workmedia.net

Despite what you hear these days about Facebook domination, search engine marketing is alive and well. Since I’ve got AdWords on my mind, I thought I would take this opportunity to pass along some strategies that might help you be more successful using Google to promote your business.

1. Bid high in the beginning. I’ll admit that I hate to make this recommendation. Higher bids just make Google that much richer. But a big part of your Quality Score (a metric Google uses to rank competing ads) is your historical click-through ratio (“CTR”). How do you generate a high CTR? Assuming you’ve done everything else right (with a strong congruency between the keyword, ad and landing page), a higher CTR will get your ad positioned higher at a lower bid. So the idea is that you bid high at the start to accrue a high CTR and then back off of your bid over time. I should point out, however, that if your keywords and ads are not well-chosen, this strategy will only cost you money.

2. Use alerts. Alerts are emails that Google will send to you when some aspect of your account meets some particular criteria. For example, if an ad group’s click-through ratio declines by X%, Google will alert you via an email so that you can make whatever adjustments are necessary. These devices help you stay on top of your account.

3. Track your conversions. Conversion tracking is critical. Before you even think about starting up a pay-per-click account, you need to decide exactly what action it is you want the visitors to your website to take, and how you are going to measure that action. If you are selling products directly from your website, this should be a no-brainer. If you are not selling products directly, then you may have to be inventive. Create something that people want to view or download, which will create a conversion event that can be tracked back to a specific click for a specific keyword and ad.

4. Make use of dynamic keyword insertion. This is a very easy way to make your ads more effective, and something I don’t see many amateurs doing. Having the exact search term that triggered your ad appear in the ad copy causes Google to highlight the keyword in your ad. People also like to click on ads that contain their exact search term. So it is often a good strategy to insert the search term into the ad headline or body. However, if the search term is too long to fit in the allotted space (such as the 25 characters you are allowed for the headline), then the ad will not show unless you supply an alternate keyword to use in its place. The Google syntax for inserting a dynamic keyword makes this quite easy: {KeyWord:Default keyword}

For example, let’s say you own a hotel in Orlando, Florida. You might use something like this as your headline: {KeyWord:Orlando Florida Hotel}. So if someone searches for “Orlando hotel,” then the headline in your ad would be “Orland hotel.” But if the person searches for “The best four star Orlando Florida hotel,” then the headline will be “Orlando Florida Hotel” because the search term contains too many characters.

Google has made so many changes to the AdWords interface in the last couple of years that we have barely scratched the surface of features and strategies that can help make your account more successful. But these are four tips that could make a profound impact on your AdWords performance.