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12 Tips for Improving Your Google AdWords Strategy

What is one tip for improving the outcome of your Google AdWords campaigns?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

google adwords strategy

photo credit: SolucionaFacil.es via photopin cc

1. Test Before You Invest

Run a test Google AdWords campaign to discover what keywords and copy convert the best. Once you’ve discovered keywords and copy, you can take your test campaign and roll it out to the several different markets. This will maximize your budget and your results.

- Brett Farmiloe, Digital Marketing Agency

2. Take Advantage of Dynamic Keyword Insertion

By using dynamic keyword insertion, keywords are automatically inserted into your description or title, which creates a customized title. This is especially good for larger AdWords campaigns.

- Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

3. Check Your Search Term Report

For search campaigns, check your search terms report. For display campaigns, check your placement reports. Know what your customers are searching for and which placements (sites) they show interest in.

- Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net

4. Know the Key Metrics

The way we’ve been able to really improve our AdWords campaigns (besides constantly testing different ad groups, keywords and ads) has been through looking at what we believe are the key metrics to profitability with PPC. We look at ROI and margins, drilling all the way down to the keyword level.

- Pablo Palatnik, ShadesDaddy.com

5. Try Retargeting for More Leads

We found out that our customers liked to convert more after they came back than on the initial click. Re-targeting brought down our CPA drastically almost immediately, and they were more qualified leads since we had multiple touches before the conversion.

- Sam Saxton, Salter Spiral Stair and Mylen Stairs

6. Track Everything

We use dynamic phone numbers to track calls in our AdWords campaigns. This lets us see which keywords generate phone leads. With e-commerce sites, I always recommend setting up a funnel in Google Analytics so you can see if you are losing customers in any step of your shopping cart process. In both cases, having the tracking in place lets us make better data-driven decisions.

- EricMcGehearty, Globe Runner SEO

7. Perfect Your Landing Page

The perfect landing page can make the same daily budget bring in 150 leads per day versus 80. Think like the visitor! What is he seeing first? What is his main focal point? Is the form or lead capture method easy enough to fill out? Are you giving him enough reason to convert? Don’t put external links on the page; that gives him the opportunity to click away.

- Eli Ostreicher, Regal Wings

8. Experiment With Your Approach

Be Darwinian in your approach. Think of it like a series of small science experiments: try lots of different keywords, landing pages and conversions in different combinations, and scientifically track to see what works. Kill the ones that don’t convert, and double down on the ones that do.

- Danny Boice, Speek

9. Look at Search Queries

It might seem obvious, but it’s essential to remember that all AdWords campaigns are ultimately driven by human questions.

- Zach Clayton, Three Ships Media

10. Monitor Campaigns

A lot of clients come to us with their campaigns established but on autopilot. You have to monitor your campaigns! Set up conversion tracking and check ROI in terms of cost per conversion — selling costs versus the cost of the item — and see the overall value gained.

- Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing

11. Focus on Bottom-Line Metrics

Having a well-defined target CPA or margin goal is vital to a successful AdWords campaign. It ensures a profitable campaign in which expectations are set at a reasonable level and provides a metric with which to evaluate all aspects of the campaign. By focusing on bottom-line metrics rather than top-line numbers such as revenue and traffic, marketers can ensure a campaign is always under control.

- Robert Glazer, Acceleration Partners

12. Build Your SEO Rankings

The more relevant your content is to a search term, the lower your effective cost of advertising will be. As you uncover keywords that you want to invest in for the long term, take the time to improve your organic search rankings for those words, too.

- Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

About the Author: The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
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