Google Search processes over 3.5 billion queries per day, and each one of those queries represents something vitally important to marketers: an individual with a need, looking for some kind of solution. Good marketers recognize a golden opportunity when they see one and seek to capitalize on the portion of these searches that relate to their own product by bidding on relevant search terms in AdWords. It’s no surprise that 89% of Alphabet’s revenue comes from Google AdWords alone.
Can AdWords benefit your business as well? Yes. Even though your particular product will only be relevant to a tiny percentage of the 3.5 billion Google searches, that small percentage could end up being millions of searches per month. In this Google AdWords Tutorial, we help you ask yourself two important questions: Which of these searches should you target, and how should you try to reach those targets?
Determine the Who
With 3.5 billion daily searches, you’ll only be able to compete for a relatively tiny slice of the entire pie at any given time. Even within the searches relevant to you, you’ll find countless variations that provide little or no value for your company. Since AdWords is run primarily on a cost-per-click basis, it becomes supremely important to decide which relevant keywords are worth paying for.
So how do you decide? Two variables: volume and intent.
Volume is straightforward—how many monthly searches exist for this term and similar terms? There are a few good tools you can use to determine volume, including the Google Keyword Tool, SEMRush, and other keyword research tools.
But how much volume is sufficient? This depends largely on the value of a conversion and your product. By doing some initial keyword research, you’ll be able to get an idea about which keywords in your particular situation have acceptable volume.
Intent is more difficult to determine, but it is paramount to a successful AdWords campaign. It helps you understand the underlying desire behind every search so you can advertise accordingly. This diagram from McKinsey illustrates the principle of intent:
This visual is a simplified version of a typical customer journey, starting with awareness and ending with purchase and loyalty. Every individual searching keywords relevant to your product will be somewhere in this journey. For example, if your company sells flowchart software, somebody searching “what is a flowchart” is likely in the awareness phase—they have not decided to make a flowchart. Many of the people searching this term have no intent of purchasing and are looking it up for informational purposes only. Somebody searching “make a flowchart online,” on the other hand, is more likely in the consideration phase. Their search implies that they already know what a flowchart is, and they want to make one online.
The phase you should focus on in your AdWords campaign depends on your overall goal, but generally speaking, AdWords is a channel that is most successful in the consideration phase. Because you pay for each visitor, you should only pay for the visitors that are likely to convert to revenue, and those in the awareness or familiarity phase are two or more steps removed from making a purchase. Your AdWords efforts will be most successful if you focus on consumers in the consideration phase, so try to understand your potential keywords accordingly.
Decide on the How
Once you have decided which keywords you would like to bid on, the next decision you will make is how to best communicate to the individuals searching those keywords. Your ads and landing pages should focus on keywords and the implied intent of those keywords. For example, when targeting individuals in the awareness phase, your communication should be very informative. Your goal is to be seen as the authority on a question they have.
For those in the consideration phase, which will likely be a majority of your AdWords visitors, your communication should be optimized to drive people to conversion. Include clear calls-to-action, informative infographics, and limited distractions on the page. Remember, many people coming to your page are actively looking for a solution, so you should minimize the friction in converting that visitor.
Test, test, test
These rules are just a jumping-off point. Once you start advertising on terms, you should immediately start tracking the results of those ads. Test everything—landing page content, calls-to-action, ad text, different keywords, etc. These principles should inform you directionally, but you’ll have to learn the specifics through rigorous testing and analysis.
AdWords is a powerful way to get in front of millions of highly qualified consumers every day. By understanding both who you want to target and how you want to communicate to them, you can turn AdWords into a major stream of revenue for you and your business.