Monday, December 10, 2007

Improving Google Adwords Results

In the world of B2B marketing, just about everything happens "on the Net" these days.  And Google is at the top of the list.  Adwords are being used to advertise just about anything and everything on the web today and our company spends a significant amount of money on Google Adwords.  The number of click-thrus is impressive, but some lower level analysis is needed in order to make sure that the clicks are valid.

Here are some insights that I have learned over the years from both my prior and current jobs.  Nothing is rocket science here, but it is often overlooked.  The best marketing is simple and well thought through. 

First things First.  If you are not breaking up your Google Adwords spend into campaigns, then you have no visibility.  Use campaigns to create a laser focus on WHO you want to attract and WHAT will attract them.  Assume you sell sporting goods and want to advertise footballs.  Instead of just targeting footballs. create different campaigns with similar ads and do some A/B testing to see which ads perform better.  Focus your efforts on a certain type of buyer - adults with male children ages 6-10.  Sounds difficult, right?  But, figure out where they go and then you will get better results.  Make a buyer persona.  Spend some time identifying what the hot buttons are for your customer.

For us, there are multiple hot buttons and they are clear:

  • They have been raked over the coals by Oracle and need an alternative
  • They want to use open source, but MySQL just can't get it done
  • They are using Postgres, and they need some help

Next, make sure that your ads don't just drop them on the home page.  This is probably the single biggest mistake that people make.  You have a targeted ad, you need to send the prospect to a targeting page.  That page needs to reflect the message found in the ad and need to provide some compelling content.  Back to the football.  Instead of dropping the prospect on your home page that may advertise lots of different things, send them directly to the page with the football.

And finally, give them something to do.  There needs to be a call-to-action and it needs to be "above the line".  When I say "above the line" I mean that the user should not have to scroll down to see the call-to-action.  Maybe its an offer to download your product or read a white paper.  In the case of the football, it should simply be a way to order the product right there.  Depending on the cost and complexity of the item, the call-to-action may or may not be a "Buy Now" button.

Check out your current Adwords campaigns and see if you have done these three things.  If so, great.  Now run some A/B testing and improve upon it.  Keep up with Adwords, change the ads frequently, experiment with different offers and call-to-action. 

If you are not, then spend the time to do it now.  You are throwing good money away.  You may get clicks, but I guarantee they leave quickly and never get your point!


Anonymous said...

Funny, AdWords runs on MySQL.

Anonymous said...

Is the above thinking the reason why, for the longest time, a search for "MySQL" would result in an Adwords entry on EnterpriseDB?

Derek M. Rodner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Derek M. Rodner said...

Deleted my last post because of a typo:

Really, Adwords is a perfect example of a non-OLTP application. MySQL is just fine for that. Adwords is more about reads and less about writes.

But, if you have anything more complex, like triggers or stored procedures, you are out of luck with MySQL. Unless you are Google and employ more DBAs and developers than Oracle.