Don’t Cast Your Google Adwords Net Too Wide

Image from wormwould via Flickr

Google Adwords is a great cost-effective way to market your business locally, nationally and around the world.

One of the aspects of Google Adwords is selecting what search keywords to target that will trigger your ad to appear.  Some consultants may suggest to cast your keywords net wide to ensure maximum exposure and get the most clicks.  Google may even suggest various keywords in their Opportunities section (as shown below). Be careful with which keywords you target.

As you can see in the above example, Google is suggesting to target “auto mechanic shops” and “auto mechanic software”.  While both these keyword phrases may widen our reach, people using those terms likely are not looking to enrol in an automotive program – the goal of our ads.

For some time we had an outside firm manage our Google Adwords account.  I recently reviewed the account and noticed that there were many keywords that may not attract prospective students. For example, “heavy equipment rentals” for a heavy equipment program ad.

This blanket approach to attract as many people as possible is folly.  There needs to be strategy in your targeting.

This past month we’ve reduced our Google Adwords spend by 68%.  Yes, this resulted in fewer clicks and far fewer impressions, but the amount of goal conversions only reduced slightly.  So for a fraction of the cost we are still achieving the same end result – conversions.

Here are some tips to ensure your Google Adwords dollars are spent wisely:

  • target keywords that your prospective customers would use
  • monitor your Google Adwords account and don’t accept every keyword suggestion
  • have a customize landing page for each ad – don’t just direct them to your homepage
  • if you work with a consultant – make sure you’re informed and monitor their activity

If you’re not using Google Adwords, you should be.

  • Jayne Reddyhoff

    Sounds like you had a pretty appalling AdWords firm! No-one who knows what they are doing should make such an elementary mistake.