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The Essentials to Maximizing Your AdWords ROI

Aug 8, 2008
AdWords can be a complicated beast, particularly if you are working in a highly competitive niche. Google has put some specific and yet vague rules and guidelines in place to guide users in constructing their campaigns. It is a bit of a strategy game to optimize and create a winning campaign.

No longer can you slap a one page landing page up and expect to drive cheap traffic through it. Not only that, but even going another step further and putting the requisite Privacy Policy, About Us, and Contact Us pages is not enough. You'll be stuck with a poor Quality Score and never be profitable.

What you need is to think as if you were building a site and doing organic SEO. Build a mini-site that is oriented towards a good user experience, quality graphic design, good content. This will please the quality score bot. You then need to tweak your pages to have carefully defined paths for the user. The advantage of the good ole' days was that the user only had one way to leave your landing page, and that was through your affiliate link. Now it is a little more complicated, but with some creativity you can strike a balance and direct the visitor where you want them to go while pleasing the Google bot. It is certainly not easy to keep the bot happy while simultaneously not killing your conversions. Carefully plan out the use of color, graphics, and visual cues in your landing mini-site.

So you have the groundwork laid for a good quality score. This will help align your landing page with your keywords, create relevancy, and help bring down your minimum bids and resultant cost per click. This is good, but you have only just begun. The next essential is to test, test, test and test some more. Create variations of your landing pages, change colors, positioning, graphics, and narrow it down to the best converting combination.

In addition to the above, you must align your keyword selection and your ad text with your landing pages to optimize relevancy in the eyes of the Google algorithms. By this point you should be well versed in keyword selection. One thing to keep in mind, do not judge keywords prematurely or artificially limit yourself. You never know what will turn out to be optimizable and profitable for you. Certainly your keywords should be directly related to what you are selling, but do not immediately dismiss the long tail or variations of your short tail keywords simply based on estimated search volume. Keep in mind that rolling up a bunch of lower volume keywords could drive some serious traffic.

In summary, in today's AdWords world the following are essential points to pay attention to:

1. Google wants to see more user-oriented landing pages that are part of a meaty site.

2. The market is hyper-competitive, you need to be creative with your keyword selection.

3. Testing is king. While building your landing pages and campaigns always build variations and test them all, then refine. You will get better at this as you build intuition over time.

4. Track everything. Log every change. Correlate your data.

5. Don't believe the hype. Be paranoid. Forge your own path, judge everything for yourself.
About the Author
For more AdWords tips and information about how you can blaze a path ahead of your competition visit Google Massacre Review.
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