Google AdWords Series: Know Your Competition and Properly Direct Your Customers
In this part of our Google AdWords series, we continue looking at some of the most common and problematic mistakes people make when using AdWords. Too many entrepreneurs do not understand what they are doing wrong when it comes to their AdWords usage, and it’s our goal to help them get the most possible out of their AdWords investment.
Here are the two mistakes we are focusing on this week.
The mistake: not checking out the competition for your ads
You should always have at least a general level of awareness about the ads your competitors are using in their AdWords campaigns. It’s important to know who you’re competing against so that you can better understand how you need to configure your AdWords to be able to at least keep up with the competition.
First, go and check out your competition’s landing pages to see what they look like, comparing the layout and content of their landing page with the keywords they’re targeting on AdWords. If nothing else, it’s interesting to see the strategies other major players in your field are using to get attention to their website.
You should try to look at your competitors’ ads from the point of view of a customer, determining which ad you’d be most likely to click on. After you’ve clicked through, compare their landing pages to yours. Some questions to ask as you analyze your competitors’ sites:
- Which pages are the most visually appealing and/or informative?
- Which do you think provides the best customer experience?
- What can I learn about my own site as a result of analyzing the competitor’s? Do I need a better design or look, better security, better testimonials, more authority or anything else?
Looking at your competitor's’ ad copy can help you figure out how you can improve in your own content marketing and ad buying. Once you’ve applied some changes to your site, test out that ad copy and see what kinds of results you get. You should be constantly testing your ads until you see improvements in your conversion rates.
The mistake: failing to direct visitors to the correct product or service page
One of the biggest and most potentially damaging mistakes that small business owners make with AdWords is not pointing their customers to the correct product, service or category page. This is hugely problematic for e-commerce businesses — the usual scenario is that the ad directs users to the company’s homepage, rather than the related product or service page.
You could have the most intuitive, well-designed website in the world, but no matter what, you’re wasting people’s time by directing them to your home page instead of taking them directly to the product page. When people click on an ad, it should take them directly to the page of the product or service featured on that ad.
So, for example, if you’re selling athletic apparel and supplies, you should create ad groups for certain sports, such as “football gear” or “soccer equipment.” Then, have your ads leading directly to pages for football gear or soccer equipment rather than the home page. This is significantly more convenient for your users; they searched for that specific term because they are interested in finding those items. The less they have to click around on your site to find their desired items, the better.
You can make these ad results as detailed as you want. Certain keywords could take users to an individual product page, or to a category of products. That’s up to your discretion as you configure your AdWords.
Stay tuned next week as we continue to discuss some of the most common and potentially damaging mistakes made by AdWords users.