In order for a website to serve its purpose, it needs traffic. Similarly to any business, a website needs customers and clients to help it grow and survive. This is one of the main reasons why businesses around the world are spending large amounts of money to attract customers and drive traffic towards their websites or blog sites. Another reason and possibly the most important of all, is that websites make money from these dedicated visitors.

One of the most popular and useful tools used today by businesses and SEO specialists in getting traffic to a website is through Google AdWords. Although it’s a great tool for getting website traffic, it differs from most SEOs because it involves paying a premium to Google to get the privilege on a per-click basis. One of the first things that you will notice when getting started with AdWords is that Google makes it very simple for anyone to create and launch a campaign. But take note that ensuring a decent return on your investment is not an easy thing to do. But in any case, it’s about enhancing and maximizing your AdWords campaigns to ensure that you end up getting more than what you initially invested.

Image credit: www.wordstream.com

Image credit: www.wordstream.com

Google AdWords Defined And Why You Should Use It

AdWords is the system developed by Google to assist marketers in marketing products and services in the Google Search Engine and different affiliate sites with the use of a placed text ad. The ad shows or appears when people look for phrases that are related to what a company or business is offering and appears as a “sponsored link”. The system is known for its pay-per-click system, which means that a business or marketer can dictate where their ads will appear through bidding for a series of acceptable phrases. With this system, the business will only pay the amount that they have bid if someone clicks on their ad as a result of a web search.

The usual format of the ad is a short text ad that includes the title line, 2 short descriptive lines and the URL link to the website. The ad usually appears on the result pages of the phrases that the business decided on. The said ads will appear at the top right of the “organic search results”. The marketer or the business can also pitch their desired ad position, and this will appear based on the amount they are bidding. So in hindsight, the more you bid on a phrase, the higher the ad appears on the first page of Google.

Screenshot of how ads are placed on Google. Image credit: forge.co.nz

Screenshot of how ads are placed on Google. Image credit: forge.co.nz

A number of studies have also shown that 87% of internet users doing searches do not go past the first page of search engine results. Thus, to be placed on the first page is of utmost importance for a business. Again, the higher the website appears in the search results, the more visitors it will attract.

How To Beat Your AdWords Rivals

There are many tools and best practices marketers use to be ahead of their competition. Let’s discuss some of them:

1. The Auction Insights

This tool allows the user to look at anyone else who is bidding on the chosen keywords. By using this, you will be able to see the impression shares, the overlap rate, average position and the top of page rate that each competitor has on a specific keyword. With the collected information, you can efficiently manage your bids as compared to your highest competition.

2. The Keyword Planner

When people use the Keyword Planner of Adwords, they’re usually trying to find keyword ideas from their own landing pages and websites. To get ideas on how your competitor does things, try plugging a few of your competitor’s URLs into the search bar. The search results may give you keyword ideas that you never thought of looking into or using and because the keyword ideas came from your competitors, it is likely that those keywords are already being utilized by your competition.

Image credit: adwords.blogspot.com

Image credit: adwords.blogspot.com

3. SEMrush

SEMrush is one great and affordable tool for marketers during campaigns. As a marketer, you will be able to get reasonably accurate information and data about the keywords your competition is bidding on, how much money they are spending and what their ads may look like. Another way of maximizing this tool is to type in the URL of one of your competitors and you will get the information you need.

4. Use Grouping Keywords Correctly

AdWords was developed to create campaign ad groups to manage different types of campaigns. Not using ad groups is one of the biggest mistakes a marketer can make. The ads should be segmented into groups based around similar types of keywords. The keywords should not be lumped into one ad group and show everyone the same advertisement. Doing this will not allow you to break up the keywords into different ad groups. It will not allow customization in fitting the ad for the term being searched for. The best practice is to use no more than 20 keywords per ad group.

5. Use The Right Keyword Matches

Exact Match Keyword works just like it sounds. The searched term should be an exact match of the keyword you have entered in AdWords. This may seem like a narrow way of doing things, but it will make your keywords and advertisements more precise. This matters because the match type you use will have a big impact on your ads as compared to a broad match which will not be as precise and will bring up terms that don’t fit your ad. Exact matches brings a higher conversion rate and provides fewer impressions.

Image credit: blog.kissmetrics.com

Image credit: blog.kissmetrics.com

6. Need To Get Discounts

Most businesses don’t understand how Google charges for ads in their network. It’s also a fact that not everyone pays the same rate. Google scores your ads between 1-10 based on the ad copy created and how relevant the content is on the pages you are targeting. Impact scores are a big deal! Say if your score on an ad group is 5 and your competition scores an 8 then it means that you’re paying 50% more for the same click.

7. Make Sure Your Ad Copy Is Better To Convert A Higher Rate

A good ad copy matters. An effective ad calls attention and contains phone numbers that can be tracked. If your business is offering price discounts, put them in your advertisements. Try to compare your ads to your best competitors and think, how would prospective clients see your ads against your competition.

8. Trust The Numbers

As mentioned above, a good ad copy matters, but if it’s not bringing the numbers then something is definitely wrong. Always test your copy. You can try 2 different headline variations or use the same headline but use a different body copy. By testing your copies, you will be able to know what works best. You may be surprised that this type of ad testing can lead to a double in your conversion rates.

9. Understand And Measure Your ROI From Organic And Paid Search

Many CEOs often see SEO as very hard to quantify and measure performance that is relative to campaigns. This is not true. For many business organizations, an effective SEO strategy can produce a higher ROI over the paid ads alone. SEO also has the ability to reduce the dependency on expensive lead generation strategies. SEO may be longer to work on but it can give a lower cost of acquisition over time and it can easily overtake paid ads as the primary lead.

Image credit: dilbert.com

Image credit: dilbert.com

10. Turn Website Visitors Into Leads

Once you’re effectively competing against other businesses with your SEO strategies and your ads, it will all be about conversation. Visitors should know how to engage or contact you. The contact details should be easy to find. Offer the visitors enough information for them to take an interest and understand what you’re offering. By lowering the barrier to contact and testing different landing pages, you can create big improvements in the conversion rates of your company or business. It can also lower the overall cost of acquisition.

By using these recommendations, Google Adwords will help you beat your competition to the mat, maximize your campaigns and avoid the common mistakes most people make when using AdWords. You now have the arsenal and the know how, so get into it and make lots of conversions!

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.