Google AdWords is far from an exact science. It can be very highly targeted, but you also may get a few clicks here and there from people that have no interest in what you’re offering. What are red flags in your strategy that, when adjusted, would make it work better?

A few weeks ago, I was on a plane flying back home after a speaking engagement. I struck up a conversation with a gentleman sitting next to me, exchanging the usual pleasantries about the flight being delayed and watching all of the summer travelers try to stuff oversized bags into the overhead bins. We both asked about the type of work we do, and after telling him I was a marketing consultant, he told me about a recent faux pas he and his business partners made when setting up a Google AdWords campaign for their small manufacturing business.

Working in a highly specialized sector of manufacturing, they identified keywords that they thought relevant to their business and what people would be searching for in order to find them. They also included acronyms and jargon words that meant everything to them – but very differnt things to someone outside of the business.

They set the keywords, bidding, ad copy, geographic preferences, and started the campaign. Then, they went home for the night. They came back the next morning, excited to see how many people had clicked through to visit their website over the past few hours.

Surprisingly, the click results were off the chart! The problem was, the abandon rate was also off the chart. After performing a quick analysis and some light research, the problem became apparent. One of the acronyms they had used as a keyword also corresponded to an acronym people used to search for the Texas Department of Corrections system.

That translated into a $3,000 advertising “whoops!”

Digital advertising is far from an exact science. It can be very highly targeted, but you also may get a few clicks here and there from people that have no interest in what you’re offering. That doesn’t mean there aren’t red flags in your strategy that, when adjusted, would make it work better.

Here are five things to consider for improvement in your AdWords strategy:

  1. Your keywords contain jargon and acronyms. As bank and credit union marketers, we do this all the time. We push out ads, campaigns and strategies that contain too much industry speak and acronyms that don’t mean anything to the general population. If your AdWords keywords contain these, work to remove them. Or, at the very least, counter them with layman’s terms.
  2. Your ad spend budget is set too high. A great AdWords strategy is like running a marathon, not a sprint. Aim to show results in the long run, not within the first week of a campaign. Adjust daily budgets to spend wisely. There’s also the added benefit of not overloading your back-end processes when the account applications come flying in.
  3. You send visitors to a product page or your home page. AdWords strategies should not be designed around educating visitors on your products or services – or even who you are. That’s what organic traffic is for. AdWords should direct to specific landing pages that encourage conversions. Conversions equate to ROI. ROI equates to winning strategies.
  4. You aren’t measuring conversions from your ads. If you are not currently tracking conversions on your landing page links – or are not able to track conversions due to system limitations – stop spending money on ads immediately. I’m serious. Invest those dollars into improving systems or developing a solid SEO strategy to get your bank or credit union found. AdWords is not the place to spend if you cannot see the results of your efforts.
  5. You are trying to mimic your competition. It’s okay to monitor your competition and what they’re doing with AdWords – in fact, I recommend it. But don’t try to be your competition. That will only get your bank or credit union involved in keyword bidding war and lacking differentiation in your ads. Focus on what makes your organization unique.

Do you have more questions about what makes a great AdWords strategy? Want to know a few other helpful hints to make your strategy better? We’d love to talk! Fill out this quick inquiry or drop us a line.