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Traffic and profits with Google Adwords: Get your keywords right

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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Google Adwords is your passport to instant, qualified worldwide web traffic. But it could also be a shortcut to insolvency if you don’t keep on top of your costs and optimise your campaigns properly.

Getting it right:

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Google Adwords is your passport to instant, qualified worldwide web traffic. But it could also be a shortcut to insolvency if you don’t keep on top of your costs and optimise your campaigns properly.

Many beginners make the simple mistake of not including keywords in their headline or in the body of the ad.

Type a search query into your browser – any query and look at the ads which are shown.
Typically, there will be the top three ads which are most relevant and the ads in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page. The most relevant ads are shown at the top.

Using only one search term I will show you the most common beginners Adwords mistakes you should avoid – for example if you search for – Cosmetic Surgery Thailand

 

adwords keywords choosing picture

 

All of the ads have the keywords in the headline but they could have made more effort to include the keyword in the ad text too. What Clinic could replace the word plastic with cosmetic to give the searcher more consistency which increases their chances of the ad being clicked on it will also improve their quality score meaning they will pay less for a click on that ad.
 
“All of the ads have the keywords in the headline but they could have made more effort to include the keyword in the ad text too”

If using cosmetic makes the line exceed the character limit they would need to look at replacing commas with hyphens to maximise-available-characters.

Now, let’s look at the ads at the bottom of the page – the ones that didn’t quite make the grade and to be honest it’s quite clear why that is.

 

key-words adwords choosing right picture

 

Not only do they not have the critical keywords in the headline, they are also missing the all important call to action. This shows us that their past click through rate could be quite low and will have reduced their quality score which makes their ads quite expensive.

The next fundamental mistake which we see so many times is only sending your ads to the homepage – if someone is searching for cosmetic surgery in Thailand, not only do they want to see relevant search results for cosmetic surgery in Thailand but even more importantly they want to land on a page which is about cosmetic surgery not a generic home page.
“Their past click through rate could be quite low and will have reduced their quality score which makes their ads quite expensive.”

Let’s see how our example sites score on this point:

 

cosmetic clinic adwords campaing

 

So when we click on one of the ads this is what we see, I’m a little confused as in a critical area in the right hand top corner has a mention of Korea – but I am looking for cosmetic surgery in Thailand and I see no mention of this treatment on the page???

I’ve now been on the page for more than three seconds and although the page has great aesthetics using the golden ratio rule ( a technique which uses proportionally different sized rectangles to direct attention to a specific part of the page. It isn’t clear that the page meets the searchers needs and is not clear what they need to do next – if I was the searcher then I would be bouncing right back to the search results.

Let’s see if the others can do any better:

 

adwords-keywords-choosing

 

Excellent job from this clinic – a clear heading, keywords on the page, prices and strong calls to action!

Only using broad match keywords

The term broad match keywords certainly  does what it says on the tin’ by mixing and matching your specified keywords with synonyms, variants and somewhat closely related search terms meaning that an ad for cosmetic surgery could end up showing for a host of terms including plastic surgery, facelift, tummy tuck which the clinic may not even offer. Make sure that you either use modified broad match keywords which is where you add a + sign in front of an important word or words meaning that they can appear as part of another search query but only when the query contains those exact specified words which can appear in any order.

“Avoiding tire kickers by using negative keywords and including action keywords such as buy, order, now in your ads.”

For example +cosmetic +surgery +thailand would show ads based on queries such as: find Thailand cosmetic surgery clinic and how much for cosmetic surgery in Bangkok Thailand but not for plastic surgery Thailand.

Or use phrase match by adding “speech marks around your keyword phrase” meaning that the words must appear in that exact order but can have other words on either side too.

Could we add a summary of around 200 words on the importance of highly relevant ads and tight adgroups.

Avoiding tire kickers by using negative keywords and including action keywords such as buy, order, now in your ads.

 

Any last words?

Adwords is not easy, there are an unlimited number of ways you can set up your campaign, choose your key words, design your landing page, etc. The important factor here, that which will allow you to create a profitable campaign, is too try all the examples above, see if there are any changes in your CTR and stick to what ever seems to have a positive effect. There aren’t magic solutions or wondrous action plans, its all about trying and adjusting until we start seeing the results we expect.

Take all the tips given in this article and try them on your own camping! You never know, you might start really enjoying your Adwords efforts once you start seeing those positive results. Good luck!

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