If there is one thing that Google is known for is that it is constantly tweaking and updating its offerings. If SEO is part of your job, you know this all too well. For the most part, this is a good thing as new changes nearly always mean improved experiences.
Google has certainly not ignored AdWords in their continuing efforts. In fact, if you’ve been using AdWords the same way all along, you may be missing out on the opportunity to leverage some great features. Check out these 5 Google AdWords tricks to create even more powerful campaigns.
1. Check Out Dynamic Ads
Let’s say a customer visits your site. If you use normal retargeting practices, you may target them with an ad later on, but you have no idea if you are really advertising the exact product they were looking at. As a result, it’s more than a little hit and miss.
The good news is that now you have the ability to drill down to specific products in your retargeting efforts. This is because Google has the technology that will help you determine the specific products people are focused on. Then, you can target those same customers with ads for those products again. This feature can be very beneficial to retailers especially.
The details of accomplishing this involve setting up a feed that lists all of your products or services in Google Adwords, creating parameters, and creating dynamic ads using the ad gallery. It isn’t simple by any means, but Google provides some pretty clear instructions.
2. Adjust Bids by Geography The Smart Way
The Dimensions tab was once the go to place for geographic targeting. Instead of doing it this way, it’s time to move into the future. The best place for geographic optimization is under the locations tab in AdWords settings.
This has significantly better features. For one thing, you can lower your bids when you find low performing locations, and up the ante where you think performance will continue to be high. This capability is due to the fact that you can drill down, not just into countries, states and cities, but into specific locations. These include universities, neighborhoods, airports, even specific regions within a city. For example, if you find that your ads are really gaining traction in northern part of Chicago, you can bid more aggressively there.
This can be a tricky process to manage. In fact, if you plan to use this feature extensively, it may be time to look into a PPC management firm that specializes in AdWords.
3. Run Your Ads During Business Hours
A customer sees your advertisement encouraging them to call one of your salespeople to set up a free trial/get a cost estimate/arrange for a product demo. They’re intrigued enough to make that phone call. This great! There’s just one problem. It’s after midnight, and nobody is answering your phone.
Thankfully, AdWords has a scheduling feature. You can use this to ensure that your ads go out at the right time.
4. Don’t Let Competitors See Your Ads
If you are in an extremely competitive market segment, you can make book on the fact that your competitors are clicking your ads and looking at your landing pages. Lots of A/B testing is done based on what competitors find on one another’s ads and landing pages. Don’t give them an edge, and certainly don’t allow them to force you to pay for their clicks.
The IP exclusions feature allows you to block certain IP addresses from seeing your ads. Your first trick is to get the IP address. You can do this by locating the IP address for the company’s domain name, or getting the IP address information from an email header. Once you have found the IP addresses you wish to block simply find IP Exclusions in AdWords and enter the addresses you want to block. You may use the asterisk as a wild card in the event that you have an entire block of addresses to ban.
5. Use Real Time Updates
Creating a sense of urgency and fear of missing out can make ad campaigns much more effective. The problem is that this means going into ad content, breaking campaigns into pieces with multiple promotions, and dealing with other hassles that most people simply don’t have the time to tolerate.
Google has created a set of scripts that you can use to auto update your ads. Even better, you don’t have to be a ‘coder’ in any way to understand these.
Let’s say that you are advertising a twelve hour sale. By using the scripts provided to you, each ad can display the exact number of hours left in the sale. You simply put in the ‘12 Hours Left!’ text, with the number 12 encoded and the number of hours will reduce accordingly.
Not every one of these tactics will be for you. However, you should be able to try out at least a couple that will benefit your next campaign. As always, remember that testing and data collection are key.