6 Critical Steps Before Adwords

6 Critical Steps to Complete Before Starting Your Adwords Campaign

Every business should consider using Google Adwords as a part of its online marketing plan.

But creating a successful Adwords campaign begins without Adwords.

It’s relatively easy to create a new Adwords campaign. And you’re just itching to see those clicks to your site. So you get your first ad created and wait excitedly for those new customers. And nothing happens.

This is a common pitfall that many businesses and marketers fall into. You wouldn’t start building a new house without first having a solid foundation. Ad you shouldn't start your Adwords campaign either, until it has a solid foundation.

Let's take a look at 6 critical steps that are required before creating that first ad:

1. Define what success looks like

You can’t run a successful Adwords campaign (or a successful anything for that matter) unless you’re clear on what success looks like. For Adwords, the fundamental question to answer is – can you acquire new customers at a price that you can afford? How much is a new customer worth to you and what would you pay, if you knew for sure that would let you acquire a new customer?

Action #1: Write down a goal for the cost per conversion i.e. new customer, that you're willing to pay and a goal for the number of conversions that you want each month.

2. Understand your customers

Do you understand your customers? I mean, do you really understand them? What are their most important needs and emotional pain points? If you don’t, then you probably need to spend more time thinking about and talking to your customers. More importantly, does whoever's managing your Adwords campaign have those insights? Because if they don’t, then you could just be pouring money down the drain.  Your ads need to resonate with your target audience, meet their needs and address their pain points.

Action #2: Write down a brief persona (e.g. age, gender, background, preferences etc.) of your target customer. And then list their top 3 problems and fears.

3. Choose the right keywords

Doing good keyword research is critical to building an effective Adwords campaign. Firstly, do you understand your keyword intent? E.g. does the keyword “coffee” mean that someone wants to buy coffee beans or that they're looking for a local coffee shop?  Secondly, do you understand your keyword competitiveness? E.g. If you're an attorney who wants to pay $10 per click, but your competitors are willing to pay $50, then you're probably not going to get a lot of traffic because most people won't see your ads.

Action #3: If you're currently using Google's keyword tool, then consider using a tool like Market Samurai to help you take your keyword research to the next level.

4. Understand what your competitors are doing

Do you know what your competitors are doing with their Adwords campaigns? What are the key features or benefits that each competitor is highlighting in their ads? What is their call to action? What type of headlines are they writing? How are they using the keyword in the ads? Your goal is not to create great ads. You goal is to create ads that are more effective than your competitors.

Action #4: Make an inventory of your competitor's ads and list the key attributes (features, benefits, headlines etc.).

5. Develop a strong unique selling proposition

Now that you’re armed with information about your competitors and have refined your understanding of your customers, you are ready to refine your unique selling proposition (USP). What makes you different and better than your competitors? And what's the best guarantee that you can offer your customers? This is not easy to do, but without a solid USP, you will struggle. How will you stand out from your competitors?

Action #5: Write at least 3 different versions of your ads that highlight your USP and will resonate with your target customers.

6. Create an effective landing page

Even the most effective Adwords campaign is useless if your landing page can't convert those clicks into leads/sales.  Firstly, your landing page needs to communicate your compelling offer and solid guarantee. Secondly, your landing page needs to be highly relevant i.e. it should elaborate on the promise made by your Adwords ad and do that in a consistent manner. Thirdly, your landing page should provide a clear call to action.

Action #6: If you completed the actions in steps 1 to 5 above, then you're ready to work on your landing page. If not, then review steps 1 to 5.

So how about you?

So whether you're starting your first Adwords campaign today or are trying to improve an existing one, you can use these 6 steps as a guide to strengthen your foundation.

What else do you see as a critical step to complete before starting an Adwords campaign?

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