How to Improve Google Landing Page Experience and Ad Quality Scores

If you run a small business, transitioning from print ads in local media to Google Ads can involve a steep learning curve. When you purchase an ad in the alt-weekly people grab as they leave the grocery store or the coupon mailers that come in the mail every Tuesday, you know exactly what to expect — you know when, where, and how often your advertisement will appear.

With Google Ads, there are no guarantees. You create an ad and set a budget, but will anyone see it? This is a source of frustration for many businesses that are new to using Google Ads, and it’s one of the reasons why a lot of people end up throwing in the towel.

Today, I’m going to demystify Google Ads by explaining one of the key factors in getting Google to display your ads: Landing Page Experience.

Ad Quality Scores and Landing Page Experience

While search engine ranking algorithms are essentially a mystery, Google Ads has a little more transparency when it comes to their Ad Quality Scores. The better your score, the more often your ad will be displayed to users searching for your keyword.

Landing Page Experience is one of three important criteria Google uses to assign an Ad Quality Score. Many people agonize over finding just the right keywords and crafting the perfect copy for their Google Ads, but they spend no time working on their landing page — this is a huge mistake. Google wants to ensure that there’s congruence between your ad copy and your landing page; they also want to see that once people click through to your site, they’re not quickly leaving because they’re not finding what they need.

What Does Google Look for in a Landing Page?

If you’re struggling to get your Ad Quality Score up so more people see your ads, it’s time to take an in-depth look at your landing page. Take a step back, look at your site from the perspective of a user, and ask yourself the following questions:

Is your landing page clear?

Your landing page should be easy to read, with the information people need front-and-center. Include calls to action and be judicious with the number of links on the page — you don’t want it to be too easy for people to click away from the page and leave.

Is your landing page useful?

Remember: your landing page needs to serve your customer’s needs, not yours. You may want them to sign up for your newsletter, but what’s the benefit for them in doing so? How are you helping the user? How will following through with your call-to-action (CTA) improve their lives?

Is your landing page related to your keyword?

Your landing page should be specific, not generic. If you’re an HVAC business and you’re advertising air conditioner repair in Houston, but you’re sending people to your homepage instead of a page specifically tailored to that keyword, you’re losing business. Every additional click people need to make in order to find what they need increases your drop-off rate.

Is your website transparent?

In both search and in ads, Google is increasingly looking for transparency. They want to know who you are and why people should trust you — in other words, they want to vet your business to make sure it’s legitimate. Providing links to social media, customer reviews, and other social proof can give Google (and potential customers) confidence in your business.

Does your website load quickly?

Your landing page isn’t the place to pull your Instagram feed, have display ads, and showcase ginormous high-res images. Instead, your landing page should be streamlined. Optimize it for mobile, reduce image sizes, and remove all scripts that cause lags.

Does your website have intuitive navigation?

In addition to optimizing your landing page, you’ll also want to make sure your entire website is organized in a way that makes sense. Implementing a website taxonomy with clear page hierarchies and logical categories is also great for SEO, so it’s worth taking the time to get right.

Learn More About How to Perfect Your Google Ads Campaign

Your landing page is just one of the key factors in your Ad Quality Score.  If you’re struggling to increase your Quality Scores, then click here to grab a copy of our Ultimate Google Ads checklist to help uncover areas to improve your campaigns.

Understanding Your Google Ads Metrics With the Latest Interface

How do you know what the metrics in Google Ads mean and which ones matter the most? The latest version of Google Ads’ interface has a particularly large number of metrics, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you first log on.

How do you know what the metrics in Google Ads mean and which ones matter the most? The latest version of Google Ads’ interface has a particularly large number of metrics, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you first log on.

Each page has a table full of data, including a graph of metrics and various reports. It’s a little like looking at an airplane cockpit for the first time, with all its lights, switches and gauges. However, experienced advertisers know that all the information in Google Ads allows you to dig into your campaign performance and find ways to improve it.

Which Metrics Really Matter?

The most important Google Ads metrics include the following:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Clickthrough rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA)

CPC

CPC is an advertising model in which an advertiser pays a website owner each time a user clicks on an ad. First-tier search engines like Google Ads typically use a CPC model, because advertisers can bid on key phrases that are relevant to their target market. In comparison, content sites typically charge per 1,000 impressions of the ad.

CTR

CTR, or clickthrough rate, is the ratio of users who click a link to the total number of users who view the ad. CTR generally indicates a marketing campaign’s effectiveness in attracting visitors to a website.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the ratio of goal achievements to the number of visitors. It’s essentially the proportion of visitors who take a desired action as a result of your marketing activity. The specific action that a conversion rate monitors depends on the type of business you’re promoting. For example, online retailers often define a conversion as a sale, while services businesses consider other actions, such as a request for a quote, a demo sign up or a report download, when measuring conversion rate.

CPA

CPA, or cost per action, is the total cost of your ads divided by the number of conversions. Again, the specific action depends on the type of business you’re promoting. For example, CPA for online retailers is typically the cost per e-commerce sale. Services businesses typically measure CPA as a cost per lead. This number is critical, because it tells you if your campaigns are profitable or not.

How Can Metrics Help You Improve Performance?

Poor metrics can indicate courses of action that can help you improve your Google Ads campaign performance.

CPC

A high CPC could mean that you need to raise the quality scores for your ad, which could reduce the cost of each click. You can also accomplish this by using ad scheduling and geotargeting to ensure your website doesn’t show ads during times or in locations where you don’t do business. Additional strategies for reducing CPC include using demographic targeting, in-market audiences and remarketing to narrow your audience to just the people who are interested in your business.

CTR

A low CTR can indicate that you need to review the keywords and ad copy in your Google Ads account. For example, you should ensure that you’re only bidding on keywords that relate to your offers. You should also perform A/B testing on your ads to determine the factors that interest your prospects the most, whether it’s features, benefits or some emotional trigger. You can also improve CTR by ensuring that your ad takes up as much room as possible by implementing ad extensions.

Conversion Rate

A low conversion rate can indicate that you need to take a closer look at your landing pages, where visitors go when they click on an ad. These pages should be very clean and quick to load to ensure visitors don’t lose interest after they click. Your ads should always send visitors directly to a dedicated landing page, rather than just your home page or even a general landing page.

CPA

A high CPA means that you aren’t getting a good return on investment (ROI) from your ad spend. Possible causes of a high CPA include a high CPC or low conversion rate, which often means a poor choice of keywords and ad copy. Concentrate your budget on high-converting keywords with a high intent to buy.

Conclusion

Google Ads provides many metrics that can tell you how to improve website performance. However, this information can also be daunting to interpret if you don’t know what it means.  Follow the tips above to monitor your key metrics and make adjustments to improve your Google Ads performance.

Want more tips to improve your Google advertising? Get your free copy of our “Ultimate Google AdWords Checklist.”

 

Why Page Speed Matters for Google Ads

Don’t let slow loading pages cost you money in Google Ads. Use these two tools to test your landing pages and then follow the instructions to improve landing page speed.

google adwordsImagine for a moment your friend just told you about an amazing supplement that boosts productivity because it helps you stay alert and focused. You can’t wait to get your hands on it because you’ve been struggling for a few weeks with your concentration, which has caused your productivity to plummet.

The problem is that you don’t remember the name of the supplement. You type into Google’s search bar, “supplement for productivity.”

You still don’t recognize any of the names, but decide to click on the first result to see if it could be the one. The landing page for that brand’s supplement loads excruciatingly slowly.

You can’t stand waiting, so you hit the back button and decide to click on the second result. Bam. The landing page loads nearly instantly and you decide to go ahead with the purchase.

What you may not have realized is that the first two links you clicked were Google ads. The first click made the advertiser lose money, while the second one made that advertiser money.

Missed Opportunities With Slow Landing Pages

This is an example of how landing page speed is incredibly important to the success of your Google ads.

Google Ads continues to be an effective way to promote products and services. Billions of searches are performed each day on Google, which means there are billions of opportunities to sell your products and services.

Every click someone makes on one of your Google ads is an opportunity for you to make or lose money.

Don’t let your landing page speed be the reason you lose money.

How to Know if Your Landing Page Speed Is a Problem

There are many tools available that you can use to test the speed of your landing page.  One is GTMetrix.

This tool not only gives you a letter grade for your page, but it will then tell you how to fix it.

For example, when I entered in a page URL, I discovered I could improve the site speed by doing the following:

  • Add Expires headers
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Make fewer HTTP requests
  • Reduce DNS lookups
  • Use cookie-free domains

These fixes are to load your page faster on desktop devices.  But what about mobile devices?

Mobile Site Speed Is Just as Important

As the title states, mobile site speed matters for Google Ads. The reason is many people are more likely to use a mobile device rather than a desktop to search Google. You may be surprised to know that mobile device searches surpassed desktop searches 3 years ago, and the number of searches performed on smartphones and tablets are just increasing.

Chances are, many people clicking on your Google Ads are on a mobile device.  That brings me to the next tool to use – PageSpeed Insights.

PageSpeed Insights by Google provides information on the speed of your page for mobile and desktop as well as what needs to be fixed to boost the speed.

Some of the recommendations from this tool are to:

  • Reduce server response time
  • Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Optimize images

Plus, this tool shows how to fix these issues. All you have to do is click on the “Show how to fix” hyperlink.

Conclusion

People don’t want to wait for a website page to load. If they do have to wait, they will likely go back to Google’s search results and click on the next one. This costs you money because with Google ads you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.  Plus, over time Google will lower your quality score due to slow loading pages, which means you’ll have to pay more and more per click to keep advertising.

To make sure your landing page loads at an adequate speed, use GTMetrix and PageSpeed Insights. Then follow the instructions to fix the issues slowing down your pages.

Want more Google AdWords tips to improve your performance? Click here to grab a copy of our Ultimate Google AdWords Checklist.

6 Tips for Starting an AdWords Campaign

Taking the plunge into Google AdWords can seem overwhelming, especially for small businesses that lack the resources of large companies. AdWords can appear extremely daunting, but it’s actually not as complicated as it seems once you get the hang of it. Still, there are many moving parts, and finding success takes time and effort. How do business owners with no Google advertising experience get started?

6 Tips for Starting an AdWords CampaignTaking the plunge into Google AdWords can seem overwhelming, especially for small businesses that lack the resources of large companies. AdWords can appear extremely daunting, but it’s actually not as complicated as it seems once you get the hang of it.  Still, there are many moving parts, and finding success takes time and effort. How do business owners with no Google advertising experience get started?

Here we’ll review six tips for new businesses that are starting up AdWords campaigns. When you finish reading this, you’ll feel less like you’re falling and more like you’re taking your first steps toward a worthwhile goal.

Tip 1: Do Your Homework

Before you log in and start setting up a Google AdWords campaign, it’s critical to take a step back and do your homework. For example, you’ll need to answer the following basic questions:

  1. Who exactly are you targeting with your ad campaign?
  2. Where (which geographic locations) are your ideal customers?
  3. Which product or service are you promoting?
  4. Are you going to present a special offer in your ads?
  5. Why should a prospective customer choose to click on your ad and purchase from you versus all the other options?
  6. What is your monthly budget?
  7. How much can you afford to spend to generate a lead or sale from your ad campaign?

As you can see, these questions are not specific to Google AdWords. They are specific to your business and your advertising goals and the answers will determine how you set up your campaign.

Tip 2: Set Up Conversion Tracking

How will you measure the success of your Google AdWords advertising campaign? Is it the number of phone calls? Or the number of online sales? Or the number of demo requests?

Once you identify the goal(s), then you need to set up conversion tracking so that you can measure whether or not your AdWords campaign is meeting expectations. Think of conversion tracking like a report card. You need to have a report card so that at the end of every month you know if your AdWords campaigns are passing or failing.

Luckily, AdWords has built-in conversion tracking to measure just about any goal you would want to track. But you need to set this up before you turn on your ads!  It’s not retroactive.

Tip 3: Get Into the Testing Mindset

No matter how much you invest in planning, researching, and meticulously setting up your ad campaigns, there is a very good chance that your ads will not be profitable right away.

That’s because it’s impossible to know until you start to collect data from your target keywords and ads.  For this reason, I recommend all new advertisers get into the “testing mindset” for the first 1-3 months of a new campaign. During this testing period, you’re essentially investing in research data that you can then use to improve the performance of your ad campaigns.

It’s OK if your ads are not profitable right away as long as you’re actively collecting data and making improvements that will later make the ads profitable.

This leads us to tip No. 3 …

What You Must Know About the New Google AdWords Redesign

If you don’t log into AdWords often, then you may be surprised when you do. Google is completely revamping its advertising platform’s user interface (UI) in an effort to streamline features while optimizing for smartphones. After announcing the new interface last spring, Google started rolling it out to advertisers in August — ahead of schedule — with the goal of being fully rolled out by the end of 2017.

google adwordsIf you don’t log into AdWords often, then you may be surprised when you do. Google is completely revamping its advertising platform’s user interface (UI) in an effort to streamline features while optimizing for smartphones. After announcing the new interface last spring, Google started rolling it out to advertisers in August — ahead of schedule — with the goal of being fully rolled out by the end of 2017.

Why did Google feel the need to change the UI? For starters, the last major redesign was back in 2008, when more people still used desktops and laptops. Smartphones were popular, but market penetration wasn’t what it is today. Marketers interacted with AdWords differently, while also taking completely different approaches to their campaigns. Meanwhile, Google was expanding AdWords by hundreds of features per year without UI changes to make those features more intuitive. AdWords was easy enough to use in its most basic form, but unlocking the platform’s true potential wasn’t nearly as efficient.

3 Goals for the Redesign

News of the redesign caused quite a stir after being unveiled last spring. Samantha Lemonnier, Google’s Director of Engineering for the AdWords Platform, outlined the purpose of the overhaul during the company’s May 2016 summit. She highlighted three goals specifically:

  1. The data that business owners and marketers need must be immediately accessible. Under the old UI, too much of that data was buried under layers of screens.
  1. AdWords campaigns must be easier to optimize. It needs to be about advertisers’ businesses, without Google’s products getting in the way.
  1. The old UI was too cluttered. The new UI is designed to be more simple and intuitive.

In a nutshell, Google set out to make AdWords leaner, more intuitive and more efficient. The previous UI was none of these things. The old Campaigns tab had a sidebar navigation with sub menus, a top menu, menu tabs with subtabs and a host of other clickable links — all of which culminated in a nightmarish mobile experience, especially on a tiny smartphone screen. Meanwhile, the most easily accessible campaign data (after clicking on the Campaigns tab) included impressions, CTR, CPCs, costs and other superficial metrics. These metrics are important, but they don’t truly reveal how campaigns are performing, especially given today’s mobile marketplace.

A Simple, Smarter User Interface

Log into AdWords now. If you’re looking at the new interface, you see the changes are night-and-day. Gone are the stark greens, the confusing menus and the graphs of costs, traffic spikes and clickthrough data. The new interface is much cleaner and far simpler, almost minimalistic by comparison.

The top-level account home page has been completely revamped. Right away, you see important insights about your top-performing campaigns. These insights include conversions and costs as well as whether your campaigns are performing best on smartphones, tablets or desktops. You also see which times of day your campaigns get the most traffic. And that’s pretty much it.

But what’s more striking than the data itself is its presentation. Gone are the tables and numerous clickable links and tabs. Rather than overwhelm with numbers, the new UI presents a simplified focus on graphs and charts using soft-yet-discernable reds, blues and yellows.

Go beyond the pretty visuals and simple navigation, and you’ll find all-new campaign creation tools that can better help you meet specific marketing objectives. Do you want visitors to convert by calling your business, signing up for emails, making a purchase or downloading an app?

If you’re like me, then you’re likely freaking out about losing the numerous tools available in the old AdWords interface.  Well don’t worry — you can still use them. They’re all still there, but you’ll have to relearn how to get to them. For example, you’re always just a single click away from your ad scheduling and device/location targeting settings.

Conclusion

Google AdWords will look significantly different than it did a year ago, but you know what they say — the more things change, the more they stay the same. In many ways, this is true with AdWords, despite the new UI. Google’s ad platform is going to be cleaner and (hopefully) easier to use, but most of what changed is ultimately cosmetic. The core functionality of AdWords remains unchanged.

Want to learn more about how to improve your Google AdWords campaign performance?  Click here to grab your copy of our Ultimate Google AdWords Checklist.

How Google’s Paid Search Layout Affects Organic Search Results

Changes to Google’s paid search results are making it harder for SEO experts to get traffic to their websites the old-fashioned way. As always, though, online marketers are finding ways to adapt — but with less real estate available, it isn’t easy. The big change came earlier this year, when Google stopped showing paid search results on the right side of its search engine result pages (SERPs).

search-engine-76519_640 googleChanges to Google’s paid search results are making it harder for SEO experts to get traffic to their websites the old-fashioned way. But as always, online marketers are finding ways to adapt — but with less real estate available, it isn’t easy.

The big change came earlier this year when Google stopped showing paid search results on the right side of its search engine result pages (SERPs). Google made the change to streamline the user experiences for mobile and desktop, following the announcement that mobile searches now outnumber desktop searches worldwide. But all changes have consequences. To make up for losing side-rail ad placements, Google added extra ad space to the top of some SERPs. Organic search results had already been forced down the page by videos, images, news listings and the Knowledge Graph. The additional ad listing is enough to force organic results completely below the fold, requiring users to scroll down to find them.

Obviously, the change is a huge win for marketers who invest heavily in AdWords. The prices for those top-ranked positions have increased, but suddenly you can buy your way to what used to be the top organic search result.

What does this mean for marketers who focus on organic results? The short answer is “it depends.” The full answer is a bit more complicated, and it starts with understanding Google’s goal of delivering the best possible experiences for people that use its search engine.

Imagine that it’s the dead of winter and your furnace stops working. If you don’t know much about furnaces, you might immediately grab your smartphone and search Google for “furnace repair” or “emergency furnace repair.” Try this now, and you’ll likely see four above-the-fold ad placements above a map with nearby companies beneath it. You’ve got to scroll pretty far down to find your first organic listing.

On the other hand, folks who are handy around the house might do their own troubleshooting before finding a repairman. They might end up making search queries such as “Bryant furnace blower won’t turn on.” They’re not actively seeking help; rather, they’re looking for answers for a DIY fix. Try that search query, and you’ll probably see a full page of organic search results without a single ad in sight.

Starting to see the big picture?

Organic SEO definitely took a hit when Google reshaped its ad layout, but only for buyer-oriented search queries. By showing more ads with these queries, Google realized it could increase its profits while still providing a high-quality user experience. Meanwhile, Google users in search of product details, research materials or other types of information are more likely to value organic results.

This leaves online marketers with several approaches to the change, and we’ll consider each one below.

Solution No. 1: Invest in AdWords

If you’re not already using Google AdWords, now is a great time to get started. Getting a top placement in the paid results can be much easier than organic SEO. In fact, savvy advertisers with compelling ads, strong landing pages and high bids can instantly get top-ranking placements.

Of course, paid search results have an obvious downside: They cost money. The days of converting tons of free traffic directly into sales are long gone. That said, don’t be intimidated by the thought of paying for traffic. With help from Google Analytics and tools offered within AdWords, it’s easy to monitor your advertising accounts and determine which campaigns are boosting your bottom line.

7 Common Ways to Kill Your Google AdWords Campaigns

When used correctly, AdWords is a powerful, efficient advertising platform that brings scores of visitors to your business. However, campaigns are doomed to underwhelm when not properly optimized — and folks who are new to AdWords often make the same mistakes.

Self-inflicted wounds in Google AdWords can lead to frustration, fewer customers and less money — not good things.

When used correctly, AdWords is a powerful, efficient advertising platform that brings scores of visitors to your business. However, campaigns are doomed to underwhelm when not properly optimized — and folks who are new to AdWords often make the same mistakes.

In this article, we’ll review seven of the most common errors that can kill your Google AdWords campaign. As you’ll see, these easily made mistakes are luckily also fairly simple to fix.

Mistake 1: Not Using Keywords in Your Ad Copy

People who search for products and services online are much more likely to click on your ad if it contains the exact phrase they were looking for.

Make sure at least one of the ads in your ad groups include your top performing keyword phrase. This will lead to a higher click-through rate (CTR), which means more potential leads and sales.

Mistake 2: Not Creating New Ad Groups for Different Keywords

Novice AdWords users often rush to set up campaigns. Rather than create ad groups for the different aspects of their businesses, they just throw all of their ads and keywords into a single ad group. This is a huge mistake!

The solution is to create different ad groups for all of the different keyword phrases you find during your keyword research. This allows you to write more targeted ads that will boost your CTR. Also, each of your ads can contain their most relevant keyword terms as we discussed above.

Mistake 3: Ignoring Negative Keywords

Not only do you pay for every click on your ad, but in a sense you’re also paying for folks who don’t click on your ad. Low CTRs lead to low quality scores, and low quality scores lead to higher costs. So you really want to make sure your ads are being seen by people who are most likely to click.

Negative keywords can help here.

By adding a negative keyword, you’re instructing AdWords to not show your ads when a search query includes that keyword. How is this helpful? Imagine you own a garage door repair business, and you realize you’re getting an extremely low CTR from people who are searching for “garage door openers.” Most of those folks would have no interest in getting their garage doors repaired — they just need new door remotes. So why market to that crowd? Adding “openers” as a negative keyword solves the problem.

Mistake 4: You’re Not Advertising to Relevant Locations

Online advertising is amazing because people around the world can see your ads – but that is a double edge sword…

7 Google AdWords Features You Probably Aren’t Using, But Should Be

Google AdWords is loaded with potential — and if you haven’t explored the platform’s latest features, then you’re probably missing out on opportunities to improve your advertising performance. Hundreds of new features launched over the past couple years, and there’s a good chance you missed a few of them.

Anchor Man AdWords Features MemeGoogle AdWords features are loaded with potential — and if you haven’t explored the platform’s latest features, then you’re probably missing out on opportunities to improve your advertising performance. Hundreds of new features launched over the past couple years, and there’s a good chance you missed a few of them.

In this article, we’ll review seven AdWords features you should consider testing in your ad campaigns.

1. Google AdWords Editor

First things first — learn about the Google AdWords editor. Thanks to this tool, you can download all of your campaign data to your desktop hard drive and make all kinds of adjustments without the lag from page loads or slow connection speeds. It’s especially handy if you’re dealing with several campaigns or accounts at once.

When finished, just upload your data back into AdWords. It’s as if you were working online the entire time. This tool won’t single-handedly improve the performance of your campaigns, but it can certainly boost your productivity.

2. Ad Customizers

Including details about sales and limited-time offers is a great way to drive interest in your AdWords ads. Few things are more motivating than the thought of missing out. However, including this information in your ad copy used to be a tedious (and sometimes monumental) chore. Counting down with a limited-time offer meant manually updating your ads on a daily basis; large store-wide sales meant writing unique ad copy to match every discounted product.

Fortunately, Google unleashed its Ad Customizers. These tools allow advertisers to dynamically change ad copy according to certain conditions. If your ad mentions a limited-time sale, simply list an end date in the Ad Customizer tool and the countdown will be automated.

The Ad Customizers tool saves a ton of time while helping your ad stand out from the competition.

3. Callout Extensions

Experienced marketers are familiar with sitelink extensions, but many people aren’t yet familiar with callout extensions. A callout extension is an extra line of text that appears beneath ad copy and above sitelink extensions. Unlike sitelinks, callout extensions are not hyperlinked; it’s simply a chance to double-down on product benefits and customer incentives.

For maximum impact, try using callout extensions along with sitelink extensions. Your ad will be 20 percent taller if both extensions appear, and that can attract eyeballs and boost clickthrough rates.

4. Website Call Conversions

Want to learn how many phone calls you get as a result of your Google ads? Until recently, that wasn’t possible from within AdWords — you could only track calls when visitors clicked on the click-to-call extension button. If the extension didn’t show, or if visitors clicked through to your website before calling, then their phone calls wouldn’t be tracked as AdWords conversions.

That has changed, thanks to Website Call Conversions. With this feature, you can dynamically place a Google forwarding number on your website that will keep track of phone calls from your ads. Setting up this feature is fairly simple, although you’ll need to place a piece of JavaScript code on webpages where you want your forwarding number to appear. Anyone with web development experience can handle this easily.

8 Creative Ways to Write More Effective Google AdWords Copy

Writing tight, compelling ads is one of the biggest challenges of Google AdWords. You get 25 characters for a headline, then two 35-character lines for description text. That’s too little room for carelessness, but more than enough to pique your prospects’ interests — if you know what you’re doing.

Writing tight, compelling Adwords copy is one of the biggest challenges of Google AdWords.

Other forms of advertising give substantially more room to convey your company’s message. But AdWords simply isn’t built for drawn-out sales pitches. You get 25 characters for a headline, then two 35-character lines for description text. Considering the average English word is about five characters long, you’ll get maybe five to seven words per line at maximum.

That’s too little room for carelessness, but more than enough to pique your prospects’ interests — if you know what you’re doing. Here, we’ll review eight tips for writing lean, compelling ads that grab attention and boost conversions.

1. Fulfill Needs

People are easily attracted by what they’re looking for — that’s why you should always test including your target keyword in your ad copy.

But why not go further? People don’t use Google looking for keywords, do they? No, they go online looking for answers. They have needs that must be met. If you can write an ad that promises to meet their needs, then you’ll likely get their clicks.

Here’s an example. Imagine you owned a plumbing business, and you’re advertising your around-the-clock clog-removal services. Your ad could claim “We’ll clear your drain fast, 24/7.” It’s what your customers would want to hear.

2. Wield the Fear of Missing Out

If you’re looking to make a purchase, then what’s worse than missing out on the best deal?

The fear of missing out — known as loss aversion — is a powerful motivating factor that you can use to your advantage. AdWords is equipped with an ad customizer feature that lets you create countdowns for when sales start and expire. If you’re advertising a big sale, or if you’re providing a limited-time service, adding a countdown can create a sense of urgency that drives more visitors to your website.

3. Create a Strong Call to Action

A call to action, or CTA, is the part of your ad that tells your reader what to do. And by that, we don’t mean telling the user to click your ad (that would be against the AdWords terms of service). The CTA is where you say “order today!” or “request a free quote.” It could even be something that’s not directly linked to sales, such as “read our amazing reviews!”

4. Timeliness Is Important

Breaking news is always more exciting than old news. It’s fresh. It just happened. It’s way more relevant to the here and now.

Bring that same sense of timeliness to your ads with references to the month or season. Say how many customers you served the month before, or mention a big seasonal sale. Don’t hesitate to invoke the holidays if they’re relevant to your ads.

6 Tips for Optimizing Google AdWords Keywords

SEO KeywordsOptimizing keywords is an ongoing task for anyone who uses Google AdWords. While there’s certainly a right way to research your initial keyword list, the simple truth is that no one knows for sure which keywords are going to perform the best until you test.

And that’s why we must optimize. Don’t panic if you realize that several of your keywords are underperforming — in online marketing, that’s par for the course. What matters more is that you constantly work on your keyword list to weed out the weak links. In the long run, this is how you’ll put your ads in front of the most appropriate, likely customers.

Here we’ll review the six most important tips when optimizing Google AdWords keywords lists.

1. Don’t Rush to Judgment
It’s tempting to hit the panic button when your ads go live and you don’t get the results you want. However, getting enough data to gauge the effectiveness of your keywords takes time. Even the best keywords have stretches when they’ll underperform. Nobody wants to spend money on ineffective advertising, but you won’t do yourself any favors by killing off keywords too soon.

Instead, relax and give your campaigns time to collect data. You’re better off setting a modest advertising budget if you’re worried about wasting money. But you can’t optimize your keywords without a good amount of data, and you won’t get that by making premature changes to your campaigns.

2. Find the Most Relevant Keywords
Everyone loves relevant keywords. Perfectly relevant keywords help online shoppers find the goods and services they want most, and that’s what makes Google’s search engine so valuable for Web users. And when Google rewards relevance with cheaper costs per click, then that’s great for online marketers like you — not to mention you’re more likely to connect with more customers.

Review your keyword list and add potential long-tail keywords, which are keyword phrases (often three to five words) that shoppers are likely to search for verbatim. Focus on buyer-intent keyword terms that include words such as “buy,” “find” or “deals,” these tend to be used by potential customers who are looking to make purchases. Focusing on relevance can help you convert your Web traffic into sales.

3. Make Sure Your Keywords are Relevant to Your Landing Pages
Sometimes, a perfectly viable keyword can be hamstrung by your website. When people who search for that keyword in Google click your ad, are you showing them the most relevant page of your site?

If your answer is “no,” then you have two options: You can revise your landing page content to be more relevant to your keyword, or you can move your keyword to a more appropriate ad group. The best way forward depends entirely on your keyword list. Be careful about making changes to your landing pages that might diminish the relevance of other strong performing keywords.