If you’re a new PPC marketer, creating and optimising your first campaign can be a daunting task. Getting comfortable with the Google AdWords interface and understanding the importance of key features inside the platform will be crucial to your success. The sheer volume of these features can be overwhelming, but understanding what I believe to be 3 integral features of the platform will give you a solid foundation to rely on when building future campaigns.
Sitelinks are the multiple page-specific links that appear below your website’s homepage on a search engine’s results page. Activated within the AdWords platform, you can create a pool of sitelinks which Google will then autoselect to show the user after determining relevance to the user’s search query.
Sitelinks are an important feature in AdWords for a few main reasons. Firstly, they’re multiple links to popular pages on your website and are available as a free attachment to an Adwords paid advertisement. Secondly, they offer a greater presence for your website on the results page, which can result in increased traffic. Thirdly, each sitelink has its own set of metrics, meaning that you can perform regular analysis.
A good practice to optimise your sitelinks is to regularly and consistently analyse those metrics. These metrics will show which sitelinks are performing well (getting lots of clicks) and which are performing poorly (not getting lots of clicks) which will allow you to add or remove sitelink options from the pool that Google is choosing them from. While you can’t dictate which sitelinks are shown every time, you can remove the options that Google chooses from, and replace it with a new sitelink to test.
While Ads is a fundamental feature of AdWords, it’s important to understand that there are numerous factors that contribute to the success of that Ad. At the heart of a successful Ad, is a clear, concise message that engages your targeted audience. To have an Ad with no, or poor copy, is to essentially have no Ad at all. At the same time, a good Ad is not about high traffic, it’s about quality traffic. So ensure your copy is optimised to attract the people that you want to be clicking, not what you think will simply get the most clicks.
Similarly to sitelinks, and the majority of features in AdWords, regularly monitoring the performance of your Ad is integral to achieving the right traffic to your website. If you are finding that there’s a high volume of people clicking on your ads but are then leaving your website immediately after, you can assume that your Ad is too general and attracting the wrong traffic. On the other hand, if your Ad is not receiving many clicks at all, you will need to edit the copy to better attract your ideal customers.
Negative keywords are words that you define are irrelevant to your objective. For example, if you only sold red shoes in Newtown, you’d want to negate all the colours which aren’t red, by defining them as negative keywords.
The primary advantage to negative keywords is that it allows you to funnel the best traffic to your website. In the example above, the ideal situation is someone searching “red shoes Newtown”, being served your Ad then landing on the most relevant page of your website. This would be a worthy spend of your budget as you know that this person is looking to buy the product you offer.
In order to best optimise your negative keywords, consider all the possibilities that an unwanted user could search. In the above example, some negative keywords aside from colours could be the name of brands you don’t offer, or sizes you don’t offer. Another example would be if you only sold ladies red shoes in Newtown, then you’d want to add “mens” as a negative keyword.
Optimising your AdWords search campaign
Understanding the value of these fundamental AdWords features when you first start to create , and manage campaigns will undoubtedly save you a lot of headaches down the road. So remember to activate your sitelinks, craft engaging Ad copy, and remove unwanted traffic with clever use of negative keywords. Doing so will have you well on your way to a high-performing AdWords campaign.