Pay Per Click June 15th, 2012
There is an expression in traditional media that says, 50% of your money for an ad goes to waste, but you don’t know which 50%. If you own a small business or work in marketing, reducing the waste and inefficiency in your traditional media ads and improving your return is critical to marketing success. Print ads are expensive and even more so if the ad is not producing results, which many are not. I define results as leads, phone calls, sales, sign-ups etc. Google Adwords can quickly improve the success of your traditional media ads by allowing you to effectively test different variations of your ads. So pull up your chair a little more closely and let’s talk about how you can make your traditional media ads more effective with Adwords.
For this post I’m assuming you have a basic understanding of Google Adwords. Google Adwords has a nifty feature that allows you to split test ads. Because you are able to evenly split test your ads in an ad group you can test variations on headlines, offers, and price points before you publish your print ad. You need of course to have enough data to statistically conclude a winner, but there are online tools that make it easy to determine statistical significance without having to crack open a college stats book.
Where do I turn on this feature in Adwords?To turn on this feature in Adwords choose the campaign you’re interested in and click on the “Settings” tab. Once on the Settings tab scroll down to “Advanced Settings” and then “Ad delivery: Ad rotation, frequency capping” section, click “edit” and choose “Rotate evenly.” Once enough clicks have accrued you can determine which ad was more successful and had a higher click-through-rate (CTR) and thus better response. Once you have the feature turned on at the campaign level you can create 2 different ads in an ad group varying one element of your ad and run both ads against each other.
For the most part there are very few limitations in using Adwords to improve your traditional ads. The one caveat, however, pertains mostly to the headline. People that are searching in Google that use keywords to search are pre-qualified leads and have a good sense of what they are looking for. People that see traditional media ads in magazines or postcards, for example, are not pre-qualified leads, and herein lies the difference. Headlines for traditional media ads need to stand out and break through the clutter, whereas search-based ads need to be focused and targeted to the product or service and the person’s query. As an example, if I were selling massage therapy services and using direct mail postcards I might write my headline like, “Got stress or tension?” Who doesn’t have stress or tension? This type of headline breaks through the clutter and forces the reader to answer it. With search-based ads in Google people would be typing into Google, “massage therapy services” or “I need a massage therapist”, so your headline needs to align with that search and a traditional media headline would not work well. Imagine typing in Google, “Massage therapists near me” and you see a headline like, “How to relieve stress and tension”…it’s not going to work as well as one that says, “Massage therapy near you”.
In conclusion, traditional media ads are expensive, often costing thousands of dollars targeting people that may or may not be searching for your product or service. Google Adwords can be used to effectively hone your ads effectiveness by testing some of the most critical elements in an ad. I have run some very inexpensive tests in Google, sometimes spending less than a $100, and the results drove ad copy for traditional media buys that were in the thousands of dollars and the improvement in results showed. New to Adwords? Need help testing or setting up campaigns? For more information contact me.
Photo credit: Nationaal Archief, Flickr