The colourful Adam James “AJ” Marsh discusses how Adwords is still a profitable marketplace, offering insights into “killer” conversion funnels.
5 minutes required reading time
By Adam Marsh / Operations Manager.
Gone are the days when you can blow money on keywords & clicks, expecting them to pay dividends.
And let’s be thankful – those ads were terrible and should stay in the past where they belong. As time progresses, the technical aspects get more complex in what is capable – but the basics of what makes a GREAT advertisement stay the same.
Let’s talk about the new trends though, because these are always changing. It’s a new age, one that has been filled with…
Customers journeying through multi-channel conversion funnels
Higher scrutiny from customers towards services, products & offerings
Highly saturated search engine results that have huge amounts of competition, delivering more data & call to actions than ever before.
Being aware of the way people are making their buying decisions today online is important, otherwise, they’ll go to competitors who have better-
Pay Per Click Advertisements
And more of those channels, working in harmony, all with various messages and inducements towards nurturing the visitor into a converted buyer.
Simply put… it isn’t enough to SOLELY use AdWords campaigns and call it a day.
No – you need to put the time and care into meeting your target market’s needs, effectively.
Now, you might ask “why the hell would I invest money into AdWords when all my competitors are there already?”
Because they’re asleep at the wheel.
Here’s proof. Look at RAMS & UBANK’s Ads for the keyword “No Doc Home Loans”.
The “No Doc Home Loan” niche is as cutthroat as ever with $15 Cost per Click (CPC) being a standard.
Can you imagine how easy it is to compete with companies like that, in lucrative markets, when they don’t even care about their copy, or their customers enough to optimise their AdWords?
Exactly. Want to avoid their mistakes?
Give your customers the ads that help in ways your competitors don’t – by understanding them w/ Buyer Personas
Forget set up for now, because a step more important than set up is diligent research. The company that doesn’t research their customers is the company that doesn’t get engagement.
It is incumbent of you to research who your target market is and what they value. If you fail to do this, you will fail to reach your audience effectively.
This is where buyer personas come in handy.
Buyer Personas are a questionnaire that you fill out, which encapsulates each customer segment you want to target. The information will cover…
Demographics (Age, Gender, Location)
Income & Resources
Your key value proposition to them
How your Online Marketing can fit their needs & educate them
Life Stages. Etc.
There is a lot to consider, but humans are complicated. The deeper the research is, the more distilled and simpler your marketing copy can be.
Trust me – When you consider Nike’s advertising….
Whether you like Colin Kaepernick or not, the choice of him as a model has an emotional reaction to the product they sell – sporting goods.
There has been a ton of research & intelligence behind this decision. They clearly know their target audience, even if a large portion dislikes their choice of Kaepernick – yet their share price has hit an all-time high.
So, did it work? Absolutely.
Imagine how better engaged your audience would be with your business if your advertisements had buyer personas created.
Want longevity? Set Up Your Google AdWords Right the First Time
Structure, structure, structure.
AdWords is all about organisation of your products/services & the related phrases of needs which those products/services can help with.
Google’s AdWords algorithm understands more than you give it credit for.
The logical structure is rewarded, largely because that is naturally how the AdWords algorithm works (which is powered by all sorts of other algorithmic code that sorts & parses language using things like Flesch–Kincaid readability tests, Latent Semantic Indexing, Sentiment & Syntax Analysis.
This means that if your Campaigns & Ad Groups don’t make logical sense, it won’t get rewarded with a good quality score.
You must structure out your campaigns & ad groups according to your proper business operations.
Business Operations overview
Let’s take for instance that you’re a car mechanics that specialises in BMW’s. You could then split up your business offerings like such….
· Repairing BMW’s by Make
· General Maintenance
· Extensive Vehicle Repairs
· Roadworthy Certificates
· Tyre Balancing & Wheel Alignment
· Vehicle Inspections
· 120 Point Safety Checks
You’d then start to see that the business has logical areas that it can advertise in. This is gold, based on the way that Google crave structure in any AdWords campaign.
From here you would then need to look into…
· Keyword variants on the above
· Search terms related to qualified leads for the above services
· Query phrases on the above
· Branded terms (based on make & models)
· Industry terminology
· Geo-locational search phrases
This would no doubt, be the gold standard for a well-tuned Ad Words campaign.
Now – let’s see how this would work for a Sports eCommerce store.
For instance, take this table…
|Self-Branded||World of Sports Clothing|
|Men’s Training Clothes||Men’s Sports SingletsMen’s Sweatbands|
Men’s Dress Shoes
|Women’s Training Clothes||Women’s Sports SingletsWomen’s Sweatbands|
Women’s Sports Jackets
Women’s Training Bras
|Nike – Generic||Nike Sports Clothing|
Nike Sports Bags
Nike Training Gear
Nike Sports Shirts
|Nike – Shoes & Runners||Nike Runners|
Nike Cross Trainers
Nike Zoom Fly Running Shoes
|Adidas – Generic||Adidas Sports Clothing|
Adidas Sports Bags
Adidas Training Gear
Adidas Sports Shirts
|Adidas – Shoes & Runners||Adidas Runners|
Adidas Cross Trainers
Adidas NMD XR 1
|Air Jordan – Basketball Shoes||Air Jordan Generic|
Air Jordan XVI
Air Jordan XX
From the above table, you’ll notice that….
The keywords are split by generic (broader keywords with more traffic), brands (which people identify & shop for specifically) & functional use (basketball – you could also find football, soccer and other sports shoes to build campaigns into)
You could argue that sports clothing could be its own campaign, but it’s missing the point. The less specific your campaigns are – the less control you have over ad budget spends.
I have not split “men’s sports singlet’s” into its own campaign, because that would be unnecessary. I would then need to create nearly 20 campaigns – which isn’t feasible nor efficient.
This is a hell of a way to structure an efficient AdWords campaign.
A few more pointers around this include…
Time of Day Scheduling
Landing Page Optimisation
Negative keyword matching
Create profit from qualified AdWords traffic using effective conversion funnels that don’t annoy.
Your ability to sell is only as good as your conversion funnels. Period.
If you cannot successfully reach your customers in multiple ways, via a different medium, then you will not be able to convert them successfully. This is so true with regards to AdWords – particularly when every click can cost you $
So how do you create a conversion funnel that doesn’t annoy? I’ll explain using one of our customers, Guardian National Mortgage.
They service a very particular customer type that looks like this….
“Heath the Low Income Earner”
BACKGROUND – Job? Career Path? Family?
· Self-employed working as a Carpenter, Concreter, Electrician
· Completed his apprenticeship 10 years ago and set up his own business.
· Went straight from secondary school into the apprenticeship
· Recently married to high school partner
DEMOGRAPHICS – Male or Female? Age? Income? Location?
· Male•Age: 31+
· Dual HH Income: $70,000
· Business Turnover: $250,000+pa
· Lives in Suburban areas
GOALS – Primary Goal? Secondary Goal?
· Has a residential mortgage would like to purchase an investment?
· Would like to consolidate debt, pay off the credit card using the equity in the home
· A limited ability to show consistent income
CHALLENGES – Primary challenge? Secondary challenge?
· Minimising tax
· Cash tied up in the business not necessarily available for income when required for lending from any of the major banks
This is a snippet of one of our buyer personas (which spans over 16 more headlines like above). Getting this specific will help you understand what kind of funnel you need to give them.
Call to Actions Options for Leads
A customer can become a lead by many different ways including…
· Subscribing to the email database in exchange for information
· Filling in an application form
· Filling in a pre-approval form
· Calling up Guardian
· Emailing Guardian
From the above, we want to keep it simple. Our ideal conversion funnel would cover phone calls, emails & application form submissions.
This is the way that we want to get people in touch with Guardian National Mortgage.
So how does this help create a great conversion funnel?
Well, we are utilising a funnel that looks like this…
Looking at step 1 – we give the visitor every option to convert if they’re wanting to contact or call up regarding a Home Loan straight away using Ad copy that looks like this…
Note how we are talking to the buyer persona by talking to them “struggling” to get approved. This is the core value proposition of Guardian – helping those who are hard to get approved, approved for home loans.
If they choose not to call (via the phone number) or click the contact site link or the location extension, they will come to the 2nd step landing page that looks like this…
On this landing page, we keep it very short and to the point, with limited call to actions that repeat themselves.
We talk right to the buyer – who is typically a “self-employed business owner”
One thing that Guardian National Mortgage had at their disposal was an endorsement from Shiran, a contestant from the Channel 9 show ‘The Block’. Utilising Shiran’s honest testimonial of Guardian’s Mortgage Broking services was another arrow in the quiver to letting the customer identify with the home loan searching journey.
Furthermore – we used the logos of the Big Four banks, as many of the key customers have had harsh experiences with these banks – sometimes getting rejected for approval for home loans.
These images are awesome as social proof & value building as customers have a major need to get approved by them to buy a home, thus signalling the “carrot on a stick” in the journey of a positive outcome – demonstrating Guardian’s experience getting potential home buyers approved.
Lastly – the conversion is a simple form that only requires 3 bits of information before converting. The easier it is to convert, the better & more profitable it will be for AdWords.
For the 3rd step – the customer then receives an educational email sequence, which helps nurture them towards getting a home loan via Guardian. Which proves massively helpful compared to only a phone call.
This is far more efficient & less costly than a standalone AdWords landing page.
In Summary – Why is Adwords still a massively profitable Goldmine?
Because your competitors refuse to
1. Understanding the customers with well-researched buyer personas
2. Structure AdWords campaigns correctly & logically for semantic understanding.
3. Use tailored & helpful conversion funnels to nurture & convert AdWords traffic easily.
Incorporating those three steps will be a major key towards AdWords conversion success.
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