Building your AdWords account is sort of like building a house. No house is sturdy without a solid foundation, and that’s where your Google AdWords strategy comes into play. Once you have a good base, it’s time to construct the frames and floors—and that’s what I want to focus on in this article. These are the ideas and tactics that will help you achieve—and track—real results. Of course, the number of walls and rooms you create is up to you; there’s no one-size-fits-all floor plan. But, here are the elements to consider as you lay out your Adwords blueprint:
Once your AdWords account is live, you’ll start seeing clicks happening—which means you’re spending money. And while clicks are great, they don’t mean anything unless you know what’s happening after you drive people to your website. Are they calling? Filling out contact forms? Or, are they simply turning around and leaving? Unless you’ve installed conversion tracking, you won't be able to see what is happening after each initial click. This feature really helps you identify which campaigns, keywords, and ads are performing well—and which ones aren’t.
You can adjust your conversion tracking to measure whatever event you deem important to your business. In other words, you might choose to define a conversion as a visitor (more specifically, a searcher who clicked on your ad) who fills out a “contact us” form or calls you.
To get started with conversion tracking, log in to your Adwords account and go to “Tools” and then “Conversions.” Here, you will click on the red Conversion button, as shown here:
This will direct you to a page where you’ll have the option to choose your conversion source, which will likely be “website.” You will then select the options that best suit you. Finally, you’ll receive an HTML code to add to your website (I recommend contacting your website master to add this code). Visit the AdWords Conversion Tracking support center for more information on how to set up conversion tracking.
When you complete a search on Google, you’ll see that there are only four paid ads showing at the top of the search results. Some of them take up more space than others. This is due to AdWords Extensions, which allows your ads to display more information to the searcher right off the bat. That means the searcher immediately sees the value you provide to him or her. Here’s an example using the search term, "air conditioning repair near me”:
As you can see, some ads have more information than others and thus, may have a better chance of capturing the searcher’s interest.
The Benefits of Ad Extensions
- Better click-through-rates
- Leaving less search-engine real estate for competitors
- Better user experience for the searcher (which gives them more reason to click on your ad)
- More valuable clicks
- Ability to customize ads for mobile
- Everything explained in this Google article
Different Types of Ad Extensions
To see the different options for ad extensions, go to your account and click “Ad extensions” in the top toolbar. Then, use the “View:” dropdown to select the type of ad extension you’d like to set up.
You’ll then have to pick a Campaign or Ad Group to which you would like to apply the extension. From there, you’ll fill out the information you’d like potential clients to see.
When it comes to ad extensions in AdWords, sitelink extensions are the top dog. What's great about sitelink extensions is that they expand the size of your ad significantly—meaning it’ll stick out more prominently on the search engine results page. Sitelink extensions display based on your position and ad rank; so, make sure that you are bidding enough to have your ad at the top of the search engine (where the top four paid results appear). Other benefits of sitelink extensions include increasing your click-through-rate, improving your quality score, allowing you to incorporate extra landing pages, and gaining immediate trust with the searcher.
Google gives you a limit of 25 characters for your sitelink extension headline. You then get a total of 70 characters (35 characters per line) for your description. Note that you don’t have to use all of the allotted space; in fact, according to Google, you should aim for a baseline of 18-20 characters for desktop links and 12-15 for mobile. This ensures that your messaging isn’t truncated on the search engine.
Callout extensions give you the opportunity to put extra information in your ads in the form of non-clickable text. You can enter up to 25 characters for a callout extension. I’d suggest using these extensions to highlight some of the unique services you offer that other therapy clinics in your market may not provide—such as weekend hours or additional services like aquatic therapy or stim therapy. The benefits of callout extensions include higher click-through-rates, additional ad real estate, and low—actually no—additional cost.
Call extensions allow you to add your phone number to your ads. The benefit of using a call extension is that searchers who want to access your services immediately have the option of calling your business without clicking on your ad. This is especially helpful to potential clients who are searching on their mobile devices. Because physical therapy clinics and many other small business greatly benefit from phone calls, I highly recommend using call extensions. As mobile traffic grows, so too will the importance of call extensions.
Location extensions allow you to display your address as part of the text in your ad as well as in the form of a map marker. This makes it extremely easy for searchers to know where you are located. That way, if you are too far from where they are, there’s a good chance they won’t click—which means you won’t waste money on searchers who are unlikely to convert.
When you set up location extensions within your account, Google AdWords will sync directly to your Google My Business page. If you don’t have a Google My Business page set up yet, you absolutely should get one. (Need help? Check out this Google My Business guide.)
Be sure to test out different extensions for each category above to see which ones perform the best! And keep in mind that as your business evolves, your extensions will, too.
Day Parting and Ad Scheduling
Many small business owners prefer not to set large budgets for PPC—at least not initially. Luckily, there are ways to trim your costs in certain places. One way to save some budget is day parting. Day parting and ad scheduling allow you to:
- choose which days of the week you’d like to show your ads;
- choose the time of day you’d like to show yours ads; and
- increase or decrease the amount of money you are spending based on when you are running your ads.
For example, you could choose to run your ads only during your business hours. Conversely, if it is valuable for you to receive phone calls and messages when you are closed, you can change your bids to include those hours.
To access your day parting go to a Campaign → Settings → Ad Schedule
Within your Ad Schedule, click on the red Ad Schedule button, as shown here:
Your schedule will open, and you’ll be able to adjust it based on your preferences. If you’re new to AdWords, I’d recommend holding off on setting an ad schedule until your account accrues a solid volume of clicks and conversions. That way, you can base your schedule on actual performance data. You may be surprised to see which times of the day you are receiving calls and conversions.
With these tips, you’ll be building a mansion out of your AdWords account in no time. Until next time, happy PPCing!
About Josh Golden
A proud Rhode Island native and diehard Boston Celtics fan, Josh uses his five-plus years of online marketing experience to keep WebPT’s PPC game in tip-top shape. When he’s not optimizing WebPT’s online presence, he enjoys playing soccer, dominating interoffice Nerf wars, and being an uncle.