“We’ve tried AdWords but it was just too expensive!”
That’s a comment often hear when suggesting AdWords to a businesses owner. The thing is, the cost-per-click is set by the market, which means AdWords is profitable for some businesses in your industry, just apparently not for yours…
Of course, in some cut-throat competitive industries, it does come down to how deep your wallet is, but even in the most competitive industries there are ways (that most people don’t know about) to make your advertising dollars go a lot further that other advertisers.
Let’s assume that you got someone decently skilled in AdWords to set up and manage your account. your ads were well written and your keyword bids were strategically set but you still ended up paying way too much, with way too little enquiries. So that’d mean AdWords doesn’t work for you, right?
If people are spending money on AdWords, then the problem’s not with AdWords, it’s most probably to do with your website
We’ve audited a whole stack of AdWords accounts, and the biggest issue we see has nothing to do with the AdWords side of things, but with the actual website that clicks are getting sent to.
So if your AdWords performance is underwhelming I suggest you consider improving some of the following ideas to improve your website.
Does your website have dedicated landing pages for your AdWords campaigns?
The first page a potential customer sees after clicking on a Google ad is called a landing page. Some advertisers choose their homepage as a landing page (bad idea), others will be a bit more strategic and select what they think is the most appropriate page on their website (usually a better idea). The most successful advertisers however, will set up a dedicated landing page, just for AdWords traffic – doing this can be the difference between an unprofitable AdWords campaign, and one that constantly brings you lots of new leads.
The reason landing pages are so important, comes down to conversion. The better your website converts (a conversion happens when a visitor takes the desired action i.e. filling out an enquiry form, or calling your phone number) the better your AdWords campaigns will perform.
Let’s explain with some simple hypothetical numbers:
As a rough estimate, a typical website for a local service based businesses will convert at around 5% (meaning out of every 20 visitors, one of them will result in an enquiry).
Let’s say your average cost per click is $3. For the average website, this means you’d spend $60 to get 20 visitors to your website, of which 1 of them would convert to an enquiry (this means a cost-per-acquisition of $60 – on average, you have to spend $60 on AdWords before you get an enquiry).
Now let’s assume your website is designed with dedicated landing pages for AdWords traffic which convert at 10% instead of 5%. Spending the same amount of money on clicks, you’ll still get 20 visitors to your website, but now you’ll get 2 enquiries instead of 1.
So, just by having a better structured and designed website, your cost-per-acquisition is down to $30 – you can now spend $30 on AdWords to get an enquiry instead of $60!
Hopefully you can now see it’s imperative to have a good landing page, one that doesn’t result in people hitting the back button. Your landing pages need to be targeted to what the person was searching for on Google so that they instantly resonate with what they’re seeing. It’ll also include elements that build trust, emphasise the customer’s current pains (the reason they searched on Google in the first place) and provide a clear enticing call-to-action.
Does your website differentiate you from your competitors?
Why should I, or your customer, buy from you and not your competitor? First of all, if you don’t know why your customers should buy from you rather than your competitor…then your customers aren’t going to know why they should buy from you either.
But let’s say you have worked out compelling reasons why your business is the best option over your competitors. Is your website effectively communicating this? Because if it’s not, you’re leaving things up to pure luck as to whether customers decide it’s your company they want to do business with.
Is your website customer-focused or is it all about your own company?
Too often websites are designed with an internal focus where everything’s about the company. “We started in 1995, our team is experienced, choose us because… etc”. Guess what, nobody cares about you, they only care about themselves (don’t believe me…what’s the first location you look at when you see a world map?).
Whenever someone comes to a website, their immediate question is, “What’s in it for me?”.
When writing copy on your website, make sure the word ‘you’ occurs a lot more than ‘we/us’, and talk about the benefits that the reader gets by using your product or service. This doesn’t mean you don’t talk about your company, but make sure it’s in a way that answers the “What’s in it for me?” question. For example, let’s say you did start your business in 1995, you can phrase this as, “Having been around since 1995, you can be sure we’ll always be around to give you support and answer your questions well after the initial job’s finished.”
Does your website make the person trust your company?
A website landing page basically needs to do three things – first it needs show that you understand the problem the person’s trying to solve, secondly it needs to explain why you’re the best business to solve that problem, and thirdly it needs to build trust so they the person is ready go to the next stage. You could have an amazing website with compelling sales copy, but if the potential customer doesn’t trust you, their not going to do business with you!
There are lots of ways to build trust on a webpage, but the main ones we recommend are:
- adding testimonials from past clients
- displaying logos of companies you’ve done business with
- including any relevant certification details
- showing photos of your premises and pictures of your staff
- prominently displaying contact details
- including any guarantees or warranties you offer
- showing how long your company has been in business for
Once you’ve got a potential customer to trust your business, you’re 90% of the way to turning them into a paying client!
Are you getting the most enquiries you can from Google AdWords?
If you’re looking to get more bang-for-buck from what you’re spending on AdWords, then you need to make sure your website’s been strategically designed to sell your product or service, and present you as the only logical choice in the market.
Yes, make sure your AdWords campaigns are optimised, but also realise that any improvements you make on your website, will automatically improve everything with your AdWords campaigns.
Remember, your website doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to be doing its job – converting website traffic into paying customers.