Have you ever heard of Quench? It’s a Philadelphia-based company that produces eco-friendly bottleless water coolers. Pretty cool right?
But their product is not the only interesting thing about them. In 2009, they decided to try Google AdWords (now Google Ads) and within two years, they experienced phenomenal success:
- Revenue growth of 100%
- Grew from 15 local markets to 35 of the top US markets
- Increase of 75% in employee base
- Majority of Quench’s sales are now generated online
That’s the kind of result that you can get for your own business if you use Google Ads correctly.
When used properly, Google Ads can give you more leads and sales than you’ve ever seen. But the key phrase here is “when used properly”.
In this blog post, I’m going to share six powerful tips to start getting high-quality leads and more sales from Google Ads.
Are you ready? Let’s fire away!
What is Google Ads?
Before anything else, I want to make sure that you know what a Google ad looks like.
Let’s look at examples.
Each of the boxed items is an example of Google Ads. They appear on top (and at the bottom) of the search results with the little “Ad” label right below the headline.
If there are around 3.5 billion Google searches per day (amuse yourself with this live Google search counter), you can easily see why Google Ads has enormous potential to boost your business.
I’m not going to discuss the intricacies of Google Ads’ algorithm and how it works; if you’re interested, check out WordStream’s infographic.
I want to focus on action you can take to get the best results from your Google Ads campaign, which leads us to the meat of the discussion:
Powerful Tips to Start Getting High-Quality Leads and Sales from Google Ads
1. Your Google Ads account structure needs to be squeaky clean.
This is the most important thing.
Your results can only be as good as your account structure. This is because the account structure lets you control how, when and where your ads are triggered.
A properly-structured Google Ads account will help you
- Gain better quality scores, which in turn will lead to lower prices and better ad positions.
- Make sure that your ads are triggered by searches relevant to your audience.
- Stay on top of your results for proper evaluation and optimization. If the account is messy, you will not understand the reasons for your results, and you can pretty much forget about optimization.
So a messy account structure leads to a failed Google Ads campaign.
Parts of a Google Ads account
Let’s make sure you have a clear idea of the components of a Google Ads account:
As you can see, you can have many campaigns under one account, and you can have many ad groups within the campaigns.
The ad groups consist of ads that are triggered by the keywords.
How to create a well-structured Google Ads structure
Structuring your Google Ads account is much like constructing a building.
You first need to lay a solid foundation upon which the rest of the structure will stand.
In Google Ads, this is the campaign.
Each campaign should have ONE goal, which is what you want to accomplish through advertising.
What’s your advertising goal? Do you want to get calls from potential clients? Then a call-only campaign is the right campaign type.
If you want to build brand awareness for a new product/service, you may want a display campaign.
If you’re looking to re-engage past site visitors or customers, a remarketing campaign campaign is what you need.
Only after you’ve decided on your advertising goal can you configure your campaign settings:
- Language Targeting – You can specify the language of your target customers
- Location Targeting
- Bid Strategy – Automatic vs. Manual
Setting your Google Ads budget is a topic worthy of its own blog post altogether, so if you need to learn more check out this guide.
Next: The ad groups
As illustrated above, the ad group consists of ads and keywords. Ad groups control the keyword-ad association, are organized by themes, and overall create the structure within the campaign.
Ad groups are like the walls and posts of a building—they provide structure.
How many ad groups should there be in a campaign?
The quick answer here is 7-10 ad groups per campaign.
You should also limit your keywords per ad group to a maximum of 20, and the ads to two to three per ad group.
Following these ratios will keep your account manageable.
REMEMBER: Coming up with a solid account structure takes careful planning. Take your time; don’t rush!
Let’s now discuss a very important part of structuring your account:
2. Use the right keywords.
Not all keywords are made equal. Some are effective when you want to educate and others when you want to drive sales.
There are two main types of keywords when we look at it through the lens of the buyers’ journey:
- Low-intent keywords
- High-intent keywords
These keywords are found on the opposite ends of the buyer’s journey.
Low-intent keywords. As you can see above, low-intent keywords are used in the awareness and discovery stages, where people are just starting to explore their problems and possible solutions.
For example, if Ana wanted to buy a home but didn’t know the first thing about mortgage loans, she’d type “mortgage loans.” She’s not yet ready to buy; she’s just trying to understand what mortgage loans are and if she really needs one.
She might also type:
- What are mortgage loans?
- Who are mortgage loans for?
- Pros and cons of mortgage loans
- How to get mortgage loans
- Mortgage company “A” reviews
If you target your Google Ads to keywords like these, do you think you’ll reach people who are ready to hop on a call and close a deal?
People who use low-intent keywords are only interested in learning, and that’s why these keywords are best used in blog posts or other content pieces that aim to educate potential leads.
For example, you can write a blog post around the keyword phrase “what are mortgage loans?” to serve as the initial contact with your potential lead. Blog posts are a great way to make yourself known and to establish some form of trust before visitors are even ready to buy from you.
If you want to target people who are ready to take out their wallet, you need to target this type of keyword:
High-intent keywords Once Ana gets to know more about mortgage loans and becomes convinced that she needs one, she’ll go to the purchasing stage where she’s ready to sign a deal with the right company.
High-intent keywords are used for people who have decided to actually buy the solution, or at least to initiate contact with a solution provider.
These are examples of high-intent keywords:
- Mortgage loan providers
- Low interest mortgage loans in New York
- Where to get mortgage loans
- Mortgage loans New York
Let’s have a different set of examples. If Adam wants to get a haircut, these will be the low- and high-intent keywords that he’ll most likely use in his purchasing journey:
- Trendy haircut for men 2018
- Haircut for square-faced men
- Men’s haircut to look more professional
- Celebrity men haircut 2018
- Men’s haircut salon New York
- Cheap men’s haircut New York
- Men’s salon near me
- Salon for Mohawk hairstyle New York
As these examples show, the low-intent keywords are used to learn more about a problem and solution while high-intent keywords are used when people are ready to buy.
It goes without saying that you should always use high-intent keywords in your Google Ads because you don’t want to spend money to attract people who aren’t ready to buy yet.
That’s exactly how a lot of companies are flushing money down the drain!
Let’s now move on to how to actually find keywords:
3. Use the right keyword research tools.
There are both free and paid keyword research tools on the market, and I’m going to give some recommendations for both.
Google Keyword Planner: Free Keyword Research Tool
If you’re just starting out in building a keyword list, Google’s Keyword Planner is a great free tool to start with.
This tool gives many useful metrics that you can use to assess a keyword’s strength for your campaign.
First, head over to Keyword Planner You should see two options:
Click “Find new keywords,” and you’ll be taken to a form where you can enter a keyword that is related to your business.
For example, if you’re an emergency plumber in New Jersey, you can enter “emergency plumber New Jersey” and click “Get Started”:
You will then be taken to the results where you’ll see tons of related keywords and their metrics:
You can set the location, language, and search network on the toolbar at the top.
In the tabulated results, you’ll see each keyword’s average monthly search, the level of competition (influenced by the number of companies bidding for that keyword), the ad impression share, and the low and high range for the top of page bids.
You need to look for keywords with:
- A decent level of monthly searches
- Low level of competition
- Bid ranges that fit your budget
Keyword Planner is a great tool, but the fact that it is free makes it a favourite among your competitors.
And if you want to find keywords that your competitors aren’t privy to, you might need to use paid keyword research tools.
Some of the best paid keyword research tools are:
- SEMRush (from $99.95/month)
- Ahrefs (from $99/month, has a 7-day trial for $7)
- LongTailPro (from $25/month, has a 7-day free trial)
For a thorough discussion of the best keyword research tools in 2018, check out Brian Dean’s list of 15 best keyword research tools.
4. Use “Keyword Matching Options” to control your keywords
Google Ads have four separate types of keyword-matching options to control the keywords that will trigger your ads. It’s very crucial to understand how these work in order to get the most out of your Ads campaigns.
These four matching options are
- Broad match
- Broad match modifiers
- Phrase match
- Exact match
This is the least desirable option because with this option your ad will trigger all sorts of irrelevant keywords. From experience it results in low quality scores and wasted clicks.
Broad Match Modifiers:
This is a much better option than broad match which allows you to control your keywords a lot better and is actually our preferred option in maximizing leads and sales. If you use a keyword phrase like +red +widgets, your ads will not trigger when someone searches for widgets.
Instead, the ads will trigger when the user has included the word “red” and “widget” inside the phrase.
Therefore your ad will trigger for “red widgets for sale”, “affordable red widgets” “I want to buy widgets that are red” and so on. The words red widgets do not have to show up right beside each other.
The good news with broad match modifiers is that your ads will trigger for lots of long tail and targeted keyword phrases, which will allow you to generate a lot of targeted search traffic, both related to the phrase, and the exact match.
However, you still need to add in so called “negative keywords” because your ads will sometimes be triggered for irrelevant queries.
This option has a tighter control compared to broad match modifiers. With phrase match, your ad will trigger when the user types in the exact phrase, but it will also trigger if there are words prior or after the main phrase. For example, if your phrase is “red widgets”, your ad will trigger for “red widgets” but it will also trigger for “affordable red widgets” and “red widgets for sale”.
This option has an even tighter control compared to phrase match, which means your ads will only trigger when the exact keyword phrase is entered.
If you want to learn more about the way each of these options works in detail, make sure to check out this page https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/7478529?hl=en&ref_topic=3122868.
5. To maximize leads and sales from Google Ads, you need to have a dedicated landing page for each ad group.
This is the secret sauce that many advertisers seem to be overlooking.
Since each ad group will have an individual set of keywords and audience in mind, each of your ad groups should have a dedicated landing page.
This will lead to tighter message matching and an overall more targeted funnel.
For example, say your Ad Group A uses the seed keyword “men’s haircut New York” while Ad Group B has the seed keyword “men’s haircut Las Vegas.”
Message matching means that you want your landing page to reflect exactly what you promised in your ad copy.
So if you’re promising a voucher for men’s haircut in New York, that exact offer and exact location should be reflected in your landing page.
Not all companies do this, but then again, that’s what separates the best from the rest.
You can’t do it if you’re going to use the same landing page for both Ad Group A and B.
So, resource-consuming as it may be, more often than not you’ll need one specific landing page for each ad group.
Now I also want to touch on what a proper Google Ads landing page looks like.
Parts of an excellent Google Ads landing page
Here’s a short list of what your Google Ads landing pages should have:
- A headline that matches the message of your ad’s headline and catches people’s attention.
- A tagline that supports or expounds on the headline.
- Engaging copy that features both the features and benefits of your product or service.
- A clear, easy-to-see call to action.
- Trust builders like testimonials, customer badges, secure payment icons, etc.
- Media elements like images or videos that demonstrate the use of a product/service or make an emotional appeal.
- An optimized lead capture form.
As I mentioned before, it’s really important that your landing pages match your ad copy.
If you’re promising a free mortgage calculation in your paid ads, then that’s the first thing visitors should see on your landing page—not a blog post about the benefits of a mortgage, not an e-book about how to apply for a mortgage loan—but a free mortgage calculation.
Let’s look at some examples.
Say I need a real estate agent in California. I go to Google and search for “real estate agent California.” I see a bunch of ads come up:
I click on the boxed ad because it promises that it will help me find a real estate agent in California for free. And quick! Once I click on it, I land on this page.
Let’s analyze the elements of this landing page.
- In my opinion, the headline is not good enough because it doesn’t match the message of the ad, which states that it will help me to find a real estate agent in California – in two minutes
- The way the heading is phrased is also a bit vague, and the tagline is not helpful at all.
- It could have worked just fine if the CTA button were within the header where people can quickly see it without scrolling down, but that’s not the case here
- Also, the testimonials at the bottom aren’t from people in California but in other states. That doesn’t do anything for me in terms of building trust that these guys can really find me a good agent in California. They could have found agents in other states, but what about in California?
- Lastly, the landing page contains buttons at the top which are really nothing but escape routes. If you’re going to spend money on ads, why would you want to give people ways to escape from you?
This is where the 1:1 ratio rule comes in. For every conversion goal, you should have only one call to action. If you want people to find real estate agents using your site, there is no need to include a link to your Professionals page.
Now let’s look at another ad:
This ad promises a top-rated, expert-referred agent, so I click on it, and this is where it leads me:
Now this is what an ideal landing page looks like.
- There are no other buttons or links aside from the CTA button, which contrasts and stands out well from the rest of the page. It’s also placed in the heading so that people will easily see it.
- Theheading is also clear and on-point as it tells me that I can find local real estate agents here.
- The statistical figure below works well in telling me that they can be trusted.
Do you now have a clear idea of what a great landing page looks like? There is a lot more that goes into creating a terrific landing page, and if you want to learn more, this is a great place to start: 21 Ways: How to Create Landing Page/Google AdWord Combos That Convert.
6. A/B test the ad copy (and many elements of the landing page).
The bread and butter of any marketer, traditional or digital is A/B test or split testing.
A/B tests are experiments that allow us to see if a certain element is working or not and is an important part of discovering the ads that drive the most leads and sales.
For Google Ads, the elements of the ad are limited to copy (which is comprised of the headline and description) and extensions.
In the image below, the box labelled with #1 is the headline, #2 is the description, and #3 is the extension. You can test these elements to see which ones bring in the best click-through rate.
To A/B test
- Run your first version of Google Ads for a certain period; seven to ten days is usually enough.
- Then change the element that you want to test (e.g., headline) and keep the rest of the elements the same. This is the second version of your ad. It’s really important that the only element you change is the one that you want to test. Keep the budget and other aspects of the ad the same.
- Run the second version of the ad for the same period that you ran the first version.
- Compare the results.
This is basically the same process that you’ll follow when A/B testing elements of your landing page, too.
In your landing page, the most important things you need to test are the headline, CTA, image, video, and trust symbols.
Now It’s Your Turn
And those are six proven techniques to make sure that your Google Ads campaign will get you high-quality leads and more sales.
I hope you now have a clearer idea of how you can maximize your campaigns and make a money-machine advertising channel.
Do you have any questions at all? Leave a comment below; I’d be glad to help.