On an average month, Canada sees between 100K to a million Google searches for the term “plumbing services“.
If you operate a plumbing business, you want your business to rank on top of these Google searches. This way, people can visit your website, discover more about your plumbing business and reach out to you to solve their plumbing problems. However, there’s one glitch – 90% of users don’t go beyond the first page of Google. And ranking your plumbing website on the first page is a tedious and difficult task.
What’s the alternative? You run a Google AdWords Campaign. But run a wrong campaign and it’s an investment down the drain. There are plenty of Google Adwords mistakes that you can make. What are they?
1) Selecting the Wrong Keyword
Your Google AdWords campaign is only as good as the keywords you select. You want to pick keywords that are used most often by your target audience.
Here’s an example: you run a Google ad for users searching for “plumbing tools”. However, users searching for plumbing tools do not require plumbing services. Quite simply, they are not your target audience. While this may be a drastic example, there are similar such instances.
It is crucial that you select keywords that your target audience is searching for. Here’s how you can do that.
Google Keyword Planner is the perfect place to start with. Type in a keyword which you think your audience is searching for, like Plumbing Services. Google will give you a range of Ad Group Ideas.
Keyword Planner also tells you the search volume for every keyword. This tells you whether people are searching for the keyword and whether you should bid on it.
Use your intuition. You know your customers and plumbing business better than anyone. If a customer was using Google, what would they search for? Use Google Suggestion and Keyword Planner to check whether people are searching for that keyword.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask your customers face-to-face on what search queries they use.
After you select several keywords, you create a keyword group and launch your Google ad. A good keyword group will enhance your Google ad and ensure you reach out to the right audience. This brings us to the question – What is a poor Keyword group? A poor keyword group is a jumble of keywords with no strong relation with each other. Here’s an example: plumbing services, clogged drain, toilet repair, plumbing problems.
The overall relation between all the keywords is plumbing, however, you need to create a tighter contextual relationship. A good keyword group contains a single keyword with different variations. For example: toilet repair, toilet plumbing repair, clogged toilet. Use Keyword Planner’s Ad Group Ideas to discover keywords that you can club together.
You must also understand the intention behind the search phrase from the user’s perspective. While the overall intention of a person searching for plumbing services, clogged drain, toilet repair, or plumbing problems are the same (they are all experiencing plumbing problems), the search query has different intentions, as in, a person searching for clogged drain and toilet repair are experiencing two completely different problems.
A good keyword group ensures that the keywords contained within are similar to each other, and the intention of the user is the same.
If you want your plumbing ad campaign to be successful, you have to account for the competition. It will impact your ad campaign in a manner that can make or break it. Once you have created your ad group, select a keyword and Google it. What advertisements do you see? Here’s what turned up when I googled for “water heater repair”.
If your ad campaign also targets the same keyword (water heater repair), you need to assess why these three have come out on top. Is it because the ad copy is keyword optimized well? Or, are there numerable, relevant ad extensions?
These are the ads that you have to beat to get an Average Position of 1-2 and ensure that your ad beats the competition.
4) No Keyword Optimization in Content
The higher your quality score, the better the chance of your advertisement appearing on a Google Search. There are many factors that help your ad appear on a Google search and Quality Score is one of them.
A critical factor to a good quality score is ensuring keyword optimization in the ad itself. As a marketing expert, I have seen Google ad copy with excellent content. For example:
Your tap sprung a leak? We just sprung a plumber to fix it for you
The content is fun, exciting to read and sure to grab the reader’s attention. HOWEVER, it does not contain a keyword phrase – and that’s a problem.
Google needs to determine how relevant your advertisement is for the query. This is done by connecting the keywords mentioned in your ad copy, the keyword group and the search query. This is why it is extremely important to mention the keyword in your ad copy. Ensure that you have keywords mentioned in the title and main body. Also, try to have a keyword in your landing page’s title and URL. By doing this, you can increase the quality score of the ad.
However, a word of advice – avoid keyword stuffing – do not add all the keywords in the ad copy. Too many keywords will compromise the quality of the ad copy. Here’s an example of good ad copy:
Leaking Tap? Hire a professional plumber to fix it for you.
In this example, the keyword phrases are ‘leaking tap’ and ‘hire a professional plumber’. It blends in well with the ad copy.
5) No Dedicated Landing Page
Does your ad lead to your home page? While this can work, a landing page gives you far better results. In the previous point, I spoke about quality score. Another element that helps improve quality score is the landing page.
A good landing page, which brings a high traffic rate, high session duration and low bounce rate, will tell Google that your page is answering the user’s search query. For the user, it is vital that your landing page tells her that this is exactly what she’s searching for. For example, the user clicks on an ad for water heater repair and goes to such a page:
The page contains nothing about water heater repair and the user is not going to take the time to check if the site offers it. Quite simply, your home page should not be the landing page. Rather, the landing page should be crafted to answer the specific search query of the user. If the search query is “water heater repair”, the landing page could be:
Your landing page should answer the search query without beating around the bush.
Additionally, having keywords in the landing page (keywords which are used in your ad group), will increase the quality score of your ad. Have keywords in your page title, headline and main body text.
6) Lack of Negative Keywords
Negative keywords help ensure that you reach out to the right audience. For example, let’s say that “water heater repair” is the target keyword, and in your AdWords search terms you find that your ad is appearing for the search query – ‘water heater repair diy’. The problem is that you don’t want to target users who want to fix the water heater themselves.
Using the negative keyword feature, you can immediately command Google AdWords to not show your ad on such a search query. You tag [diy] as a negative keyword.
Frequently take a look at the search terms on Google AdWords and identify which are the search queries you don’t want your ad to appear for and use negative keywords to refine your campaign.
Chances are that you offer your plumbing services to only a particular city. If that’s the case, you don’t want your ad to appear in a search query of ‘heater repair in Toronto’, especially when you only offer plumbing services in Edmonton. How do you make sure this does not happen?
In the setting of your Ad Group, make sure that you correctly select the geo-target location of your ad. This is the best way to prevent users outside your business area from seeing your ad.
Additionally, ensure that the keyword Ad Group also includes geo-local keywords.
8) Not Reviewing the Data and Experimenting
What’s the biggest mistake you can make for your plumbing ad campaign? It’s probably that you never took a second look after the ad campaign was launched. If you want your campaign to be successful (read: get more clicks and sales), you need to refine it. This includes two aspects:
Review the Data
Google AdWords and Google Analytics will give data on how users interact with your ad and landing page.
Does your ad get a high number of clicks, CTR, Quality Score, and Average Position?
Does your landing page have a high number of unique visitors, numerous sessions, high session duration, and a low bounce rate?
Does your ad campaign have a high conversation rate?
If you answer yes to all of these, then your ad campaign is on the right track. If you answer no to any one of these, then there is scope for improvement as your ad campaign is not doing as well as it could. Any ad campaign is an investment and you must ensure you are getting the best return possible.
Experiment with your Ads
The only way to improve your ad campaign is to experiment.
You have to find out which ad copy works best, which bid strategy brings you the best average CPC, which keywords get you the right audience and so on.
Similarly, for your landing page, you need to experiment with the design and assess which landing page-design brings you longer session duration and higher lead conversion.
To do so, you need to experiment. By learning about A/B testing, you can discover which ad formula brings you the maximum number of clicks, conversions and sales. AdWords has a great feature called Experiments that you can use to conduct your testing.
Google AdWords can be a very powerful platform for you to launch ads, gain more customers and increase sales for your plumbing business. However, there are certain Google AdWords mistakes which you should avoid. I can not state this enough – ensure that you are regularly reviewing the data and conducting experiments to improve your ad.
Before signing off, there is one mistake that I frequently see with AdWords novices and this is having the wrong expectations. Do not expect to launch your Google Ad Campaign to result in an immediate increase in sales. It takes at least a month to gather data about how well your ad campaign is performing and another month to conduct experiments. It’s only by the third or fourth month that your ad will actually start bringing in revenue. The key is to be patient.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.