Google Ads do’s and don’ts to deliver a successful Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategy

PPC traffic is 50% more likely to convert than organic traffic[1], so it has become a popular way for businesses to start advertising online.

With over 85% of online searches completed on Google it’s the world’s largest search engine[2], so when it comes to pay per click (PPC) advertising, Google Ads is a popular choice for small businesses wanting to invest in online advertising.  Google Ads is one of the best tools for lead generation and if your campaigns are set up properly, it has the potential to send targeted leads to your website, giving you the opportunity to convert the prospects into sales.

If you haven’t participated in any form of PPC before, then Google Ads can feel like a daunting and complicated process.  It’s as important to know what not to do in addition to those things which are necessary to do, so with this in mind follow our key do’s and don’ts to help deliver an effective PPC strategy.



Do – Ensure you know your audience

As with any marketing activity, it’s imperative that you understand your target audience to allow you to reach them effectively.  Ask yourself questions such as;  What do your ideal customers do?  Where do they do it? and when and where are they searching ? These will help you to deliver a more concise and targeted plan and will increase the efficiency of your Ads campaign.

With 3.5 billion[3] daily searches on the Google platform it’s tempting to ‘go big’ and try to get your ad in front of as many people as possible.  However while it may sound counterintuitive to limit the number of eyeballs eligible to see your ads, doing so will ensure that your offering and messaging are as relevant to a searcher as possible, ensuring your ad’s reach  the right audience. Understanding who your customers are allows you to use demographic information like gender, age and location to adjust bids and develop a more targeted approach.


Do – Conduct keyword research

Keyword tools can help you discover cost, competition and volume for search terms.  Finding those relevant keywords which best represent your business can be a difficult task.  There are synonyms to consider, alternative meanings to negate, and long tail terms to unearth, all of which take time and the navigation of specialised tools.  Without this research, you can end up overpaying for unrelated keywords or worse, identifying queries that are searched for so infrequently that you never get the chance to do any advertising.

Spend time researching what keywords are going to be best suited to your products and services.  Ask yourself how much a keyword is worth to your website?  For example, if you own an online car store, do you make more sales from visitors searching for “red cars” or “black cars”?

The keywords that visitors type into search engines are often available to webmasters, and keyword research tools allow us to find this information. However, those tools cannot show us directly how valuable it is to receive traffic from those searches. To understand the value of a keyword, we need to understand our own websites, make some hypotheses, test, and repeat—the classic web marketing formula.


Do – Write killer ad copy

Not every advertiser also happens to be a copywriting expert.  The key to success is a healthy balance between qualitative and quantitative components.  To write copy that converts, focus on maximising click-through rate by ensuring every text ad has a pair of compelling headlines, a call to action and includes the keyword you’re bidding on. Use extensions where possible to make your ad bigger and more informative.

Part of writing killer ads is to ensure you’ve designed a great Landing Page, ensuring that your customer follows a strong call to action and embarks upon a sound customer journey and experience with your brand, hopefully converting into a sale.  Follow these 5 guidelines for high performing Landing Pages:

  1. Minimise form fields
  2. Focus on benefits, not just features
  3. Use multiple high quality product images
  4. Make your call-to-action really clear
  5. Make sure your Landing Pages work on a Mobile device. If you cannot do this or you do not have a mobile-friendly website, change your call to action to be a phone call



Don’t – Bid on broad keywords

Don’t try to be all things to all people.  It’s wonderful to deal with keywords that have 5,000 searches a day, or even 500 searches a day, but in reality, these popular search terms actually make up less than 30% of the searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% lie in what’s called the “long tail” of search. The long tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that might be conducted a few times in any given day, but, when taken together, comprise the majority of the world’s search volume.

Another lesson search marketers have learned is that long tail keywords often convert better, because they catch people later in the buying/conversion cycle. A person searching for “Ford Focus” is probably browsing, and not ready to buy. On the other hand, someone searching for “best price on Ford Focus 1.6L” practically has their wallet out!


Don’t – Drive into Google Ads without setting clear objectives for your business

It’s important to set out clear goals and objectives before you begin, otherwise how will you know if you have been successful?  How you structure your Google Ads account and the features you choose to take advantage of will impact on the response you receive.  Realistic measurable goals are the foundation of every good AdWords account.  It’s likely you will have a specific goal in mind. Common ones include selling more products and services, improving lead quality and lowering cost per acquisition.  The key is to make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed), which will enable you to more effectively measure the success of an Ads campaign.

At the beginning of your journey, take the time to step back and reflect on your overall business goals, as reaffirming these will help develop parallel goals for your PPC efforts.


Don’t – Forget to activate the conversion tracking tool

Testing, reviewing and evaluating performance is one of the most important aspects of PPC and if you fail to do this you will not reap the rewards in your future PPC plans. The Google Ads conversion tracking is a powerful tool that lets you identify how well your ad campaign is generating leads, sales, downloads, email signups and other key actions for your business.

The data recorded by conversion tracking allows you to identify which areas of your campaign are working and which are not, so you can optimise your bids, ad text and keywords accordingly.  The whole process relies upon placing a ‘tag’ on your website and then watching conversion data roll into AdWords.  It sounds easy enough, but it can be tricky to get this linked.  Getting it right is something you really need to do, because the only thing worse than no conversion tracking is inaccurate conversation tracking.


Avoid the pitfalls

Google Ads can be a minefield for small businesses wanting to promote their business online, but many recognise the need to participate and develop a PPC strategy.  So if you are thinking of investing in Google Ads, it’s key to understand the key do’s and don’ts to avoid the common pitfalls.  Honing in on these elements will help create a solid foundation and deliver a stronger and more effective PPC campaign which has a higher rate of converting sales.