What it’s about
Andrew Breen of Outshine LOVES Google AdWords. While SEO is interesting to him, it’s the immediacy, measurability, and amount of data AdWords offers that fascinates him. He definitely hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon that AdWords is overpriced or on its way out.
To Andrew, AdWords is the gold standard for digital advertising effectiveness. “AdWords will not be a homerun of value, but it will be a solid single every time. What you’re doing is capturing people when they’re actively looking for the problem that you solve.”
In this interview, Andrew talks about some common misconceptions around paid advertising, mistakes people are making, and how to get more from AdWords.
Don’t bid on competitor search terms without a landing page
Andrew recommends that if you’re going to bid on a competitor’s brand term, you must be willing to create a dedicated landing page that says,“Here’s why we’re better than the competitor” and plant your flag in that space.
The landing page has to match the ad you wrote, which has to match the keywords you’re bidding on. If you’re not prepared to create a dedicated landing page, then don’t even bother trying to bid on competitor terms.
Start with a great offer BEFORE doing AdWords
If you want to do AdWords, you can’t just jump in and be immediately successful. You have to think about the offer you’re promoting, and how can you use that offer to nurture your leads along to buy. So, think about what your offer might be - an ebook, a free trial, or a white paper - craft the offer, and THEN start AdWords.
The search query report is EVERYTHING
Andrew says that a really important thing people miss with AdWords is the search query report. This gives you information on which terms people are actually searching that trigger your ads and then what they’re clicking.
People bid on keywords they think are being searched by their customers, but it turns out they’re not at all. You need tight control on your keywords and what’s triggering ads. You should be reviewing your search query report every week to see what’s happening. “AdWords is won and lost at the search query level,” says Andrew.
AdWords can tell you a lot about your customers
AdWords can give you incredible data if you take the time to look. Data that can help you develop customers personas, for example. People assume a lot about their customers and their behaviour, but AdWords can give you information on what your personas are REALLY doing.
So if you’re running a remarketing campaign, look at the placement report.
When someone visits your website from an ad, AdWords can tell you where else that customer is going on the web and where your remarketing ads are showing up. Everyone thinks, ‘Let’s run ads on the Wall Street Journal because that's what my customers read’, but your customers read a lot of other sites as well. “There’s incredibly insightful data to be mined,” says Andrew. “But people aren’t looking because they think it’s boring.”
It’s not AdWords vs. Facebook.
According to Andrew, 99 cents of every dollar of new digital advertising spend is either on Facebook or AdWords, so it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. AdWords capture people when they’re actively looking for the problem that you solve. With Facebook, you’re targeting people who you think are the right fit for you. AdWords work. Facebook works. They can work in tandem.
Don’t chase shiny balls!
If you’re a company that has an agency doing AdWords for you, go into your account and find the search query report. Look at the last week or month and really understand whether these are the right searches that you want your businesses to show up for before you decide that AdWords doesn't work and flip over to some new, unproven platform.
People tend to gravitate to the new thing but there’s a reason AdWords has been around for over a decade - it works. Focus on what you know works and what you can measure and prove that works. Don’t reinvent the wheel, don’t chase shiny balls. Focus on marketing fundamentals that are provable and can scale.