Get better results from paid search advertising

Paid search has been an important tool for financial and healthcare companies for a long time.  Google is a great place for you to be when a potential customer or patient is looking for a product or service you offer.  But just as AdWords has great potential for lead generation, it also can waste a lot of valuable media dollars.  How?

A truly successful and cost-effective AdWords campaign takes a good amount of time and energy on the part of both the marketer and the AdWords provider.  And given that AdWords providers are simply paid my commission (with no incentive to put in extra effort,) this often does not happen.  Here’s an example.  Let’s say you want to advertise mortgage loans.  Your AdWords provider purchases a long list of keywords and sends you reports every month as to how many clicks you’ve received.  Many clients think they’re doing well if they receive a lot of clicks and a low CPC.  But at the end of the day, it’s all about conversion, isn’t it?  It’s all about how many mortgages you open in relation to what you’ve spent.  How do you know if your campaign is the most successful it can be?

For AdWords to be most effective, two things need to happen.  First, your AdWords provider should be sharing with you the actual search queries they’re seeing.  These are what potential customers have actually typed in to see your ad.  Someone who has typed in “mortgage with bad credit” is not likely to turn into a sale because you can’t provide a loan to someone with a poor credit score.  Or let’s say you see a lot of queries like “What are the payments on a $200,000 mortgage.”  People who type this in are more interested in a mortgage calculator than a mortgage, and will use up your valuable clicks.  By regularly reviewing these search queries, the campaign can be optimized to remove keywords that are leading to wasteful clicks.  Unfortunately, most AdWords providers don’t optimize this way, but simply optimize to receive a lower CPC.

The second part of the equation is tracking back your sales.  You can really see much more impressive results if you can track back each sale to the keyword it came from.  We’ve been surprised in many cases to see that more than 75% of sales in a certain category can come from a single keyword, and the rest of the keywords simple chewed up the budget.  If your AdWords provider isn’t asking you for sales data, you’re working with the wrong provider.

AdWords is a great tool and top provider of high quality leads.  But to generate the best results, a good partnership and sharing of information must exist between you and your AdWords partner.  If that isn’t happening, it might be time to find someone new.