Trawl through online forums, business networks and online advertising blogs and you will no doubt see hundreds, if not thousands of comments from people who say that “AdWords does not work” and basically it is a waste of your marketing spend.
A pretty big and bold statement it would seem, but these people often speak from experience, and rather than look at the reasons why the campaign did not produce, they blame the platform immediately, rather than looking at the quality of the campaign, the message they were producing or the website (or landing page) that they were sending people to. A bit like blaming Kia cars if your vehicle breaks down, but really, you haven’t bothered to have it serviced for three years, who is to blame then?
AdWords works if you get it right, else you would not find millions of businesses, ranging from global brands through to local plumbers using it, as if it did not work across the board, why would so many people pay so much money to use it?
Here are some of the key reasons why if your AdWords campaign did not work, or is not currently working, you should investigate and see just how you can improve to start getting results that the platform really can deliver once you get it just right.
In my experience of AdWords, both being a Google Partner and working with hundreds of campaigns, the biggest route to failure is a rubbish website or landing page, as your website really needs to be set up to convert and have relevant calls to actions in place. Far too many people think they can just turn on the traffic tap and the results will happen, when in fact, all they end up doing is wasting money, as yes, AdWords is sending them good traffic, but the website just does not complete the experience. Look at your competitors, think about your customers and make sure that you have considered just how people buy online, but most of all, do not start a PPC campaign until you have invested in a solid website or landing page.
AdWords has match types that need to be considered, including Broad, Broad Modified, Phrase and Exact, and if you start your campaign with Broad and you fail to add a wealth of negative keywords, then your budget will be spent quickly and you will get little to no reward for it. Also, make sure the keywords you are bidding on are the right keywords for your business and your website, as if you take the Google suggestions when setting up a campaign, you will often find many of them are just not relevant to your needs. Take the time to review your keywords, make sure you start with Exact or Phrase match and monitor the results, as incorrect search terms are one of the biggest reasons your campaign will fail.
Your advert is the route into your website, and if you are failing to portray the right message, the visitor will simply click your advert, see your website and leave straight away, which is why it is crucial to make sure your adverts are spot on, are engaging, relevant and above all, delivers on what the user will see when they click through. Think about how your advert reads, the message it needs to send and whether your landing page confirms this when you click through, as poor quality adverts really can lead to the wrong type of traffic.
The Wrong (Or No) Location Targeting
If you only want businesses from Bristol, yet you have set the targeting to UK, then you will end up with a wealth of traffic and few to no enquiries, which is why it is so important to get your targeting spot on and you understand where you want your visitors to come from. AdWords has a range of location targeting options, from radius through to specific postcodes, so make sure you add this in your settings and only hit the areas that are relevant to you, otherwise, traffic will be high but conversions will be few.
Conversion Tracking Issues
If you do not have conversion tracking installed then you simply cannot say AdWords has not worked for you, as if you base this claim on the fact you have had no enquiries from your website (from all traffic), then the problem is clearly your website and not the advertising platforms you are using. If, however you are basing no enquiries after asking people where they came from, this is just not effective and customers very rarely answer correctly, so make sure you have conversion tracking and goals in place, as only then, can you see where your enquiries come from and where your money is being invested well.