Article Snapshot

So you've decided to spring into the crystal clear (slightly murky?) waters of paid search. Enticed by the sheer simplicity of it all and the irresistibly low cost of entry, you've figured why not?  After all, who can’t afford $2 per day for the potential to convert thousands of new customers? So the budget was set, the keywords chosen, the ads written. The campaign was launched and then what? Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller? If yours is like so many other small and medium businesses that have taken the plunge into the world of Google AdWords and launched a DIY campaign only to find the results disappointing, perhaps one of these reasons below might provide some insight into why your campaign is failing.

1. You haven’t specified clear conversion goals for each landing page of your website

What does conversion success mean to you?  Is it a newsletter signup, a phone call, a completed sale? If you haven’t established precise goals for your campaign - such as a certain number of successful conversions or a specific number of leads per month – and if those goals cannot be tracked by analysing your website traffic, then you have no way of measuring whether your campaign is successful or not.  Make sure you know how much you are willing to pay for each successful conversion.

2. Your keywords are too broad or don’t match the scope of your firm’s reach or budget

Check out which other companies are also bidding on your same keywords. What are their websites like? How compelling are their offers? Do you stand a chance against them?  For higher conversion rates, choose specific keywords that correspond to your unique selling proposition or geography.  Generally the more specific your keyword the higher your conversion rate will be.

3. Your ad copy is not directly relevant to the keywords you've linked to them

If you have too few ads doing the work for too many keywords, your ads are not likely to provide enough detail to entice your audience to click through. Ideally, write distinctive ads for each keyword (or keyword group) and direct click-throughs to unique landing pages that present an offer that is relevant to the specific intent of that searching audience.  Make sure you’re using more than one ad per Adgroup, AdWords will automatically test each ad execution to see which version delivers you the most clicks, it will then deliver the best performing ad more frequently.

4. The offers presented on your landing pages are not irresistible to your audience

How can yours be made more attractive than those of your competitors?  What else can you present to encourage more conversions? Also, make sure the offers on your landing page directly reflect those that appear in your ad.

5. You’re happy to get the ball rolling and then get back to business while you wait for the sales to flood in.  

If you aren’t tracking your ad performance and conversion rates consistently and frequently and then tweaking and adjusting your messages, headlines, offers, keywords and landing page offers, your results will fall well short of what is possible given your specific budget.  In the last 12 months alone, Google made more than 1,000 changes to the AdWords product, you need to try and stay on top of these changes to deliver maximum bang for your buck.

Small businesses are not necessarily doomed to fail when it comes to running a DIY AdWords campaign. A lean budget doesn’t automatically produce lean results. Just as you would with any other program for growth, spend the time and energy upfront to decide on your objectives and structure your campaign with specific customers in mind, and then follow up with vigilant surveillance, analysis and improvement. Do that, and success is in the bag.

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