Truth be told, Google AdWords campaigns are not a core service at Sprk'd, but being well-rounded inbound marketers we know a thing or two that help out our clients in the paid marketing realm as well. We thought we would share a few simple tips with you too in the hopes that your ad dollars go a little further. And leaving some extra budget for that content marketing you should be doing more of...ah but I digress.
If you would like your landing pages and Google ads to perform better you will want to optimize things a bit so they are the better aligned. You'll basically want to improve what Google calls your "Quality Score." This is what Google uses to determine how relevant your keywords, ads, and landing pages are to your potential customer. The higher your Quality score, the better ad placement you will get in the search engine results pages (SERPS). Additionally, the higher you can get your Quality Score, the lower your ad bid will generally be as Google will see your ad as more relevant.
Use your keywords
Be sure to use your keywords within the text in the ad. In general, three-word phrases or longer perform better. A very targeted search phrase such as this that contains 3 or more words is referred to as a long tail term. Adwords aside, these are what you generally want to target for your website as well over highly competitive and therefore expensive "head" terms.
Optimize your link to the landing page
Optimize the URL that the ad will point to. To do this, use your most relevant keyword in the URL. For example, "www.[your-website].com/long-tail-terms-convert-better.html" rather than "www.[your-website].com/landing-page-1"
Tidy up your landing page title
Use your keywords within the landing page title and avoid all temptations of putting your brand name first. According to SEOmoz, "the closer to the start of the title tag a keyword is, the more helpful it will be for ranking and the more likely a user will be to click them in search results". For example, "Convert with Long Tail Keyword Terms | Super Awesome Brand Name." You do however, also want to be mindful that anything over 70 characters will get cut off by Google in the search results. My previous example makes that mark with 7 characters to spare.
Verbs are your best friends in marketing. Use a strong call to action. What do you want your potential customer to do? Save, sign up, purchase, download.
Successful text ads tend to contain words that match a person's search and tell them what they can expect when they click on the ad. (From Google AdWords Help)
Please, just avoid "click here" at all costs. Every time you use "click here" an adorable puppy dies. Of course that's not true, but I hope it makes you think twice the next time you want to use "click here" as your call-to-action. It is over-used, non-descriptive, and hurting your search engine optimization (SEO). People know to click on links by now, in fact, more and more are actually touching links so why not inform your users?
You should also be A/B testing multiple ads to learn what specifically is working best. Ad testing is a topic for another day and another post but there is plety of great help available directly from Google.