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Some advice to those of you using Google AdWords

A quick refresher, here's how AdWords works.
As an AdWords subscriber you "buy" certain keywords and as a result you show up in the Google listings on the right hand side. If someone clicks your ad, you pay Google a certain amount.

It's pay per click.

You pay every time someone clicks.

Regardless of what they do when they get to your site.

So you want the after-the-click experience to be the best it can possibly be. You want it to convert to a sale. That sounds obvious, but based on my experience this morning clicking some AdWords ads with money to burn, it's not obvious enough. If you pay for that click, and then frustrate/annoy whomever lands there, you've wasted your money!

I just saw about 10 companies waste their money today. On me. With a miserable after-the-click experience. And it pained me. So here's some advice to keep you from making the same mistake.

1) Go look at everyone else buying your same keywords. Don't go nuts clicking because they are paying for it, but click through all the ads. (The best ones are usually near the top.) What do you notice about the page that results from that click? What are the best ones doing that you aren't?

2) When someone clicks, they want instant answers to these three questions:

  • Does your product meet my need?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What does it look like?

If you aren't answering every single one of those questions, in three seconds or less, you lose.

3) Do not just drop someone on your home page! Unless your home page is selling the exact product you are pitching in your AdWords, do not just send them to your site with a "keep looking, you'll find it" attitude. They won't find it! They won't look! You'll waste your money. The good AdWords ads pop me to a single page that answers all the three questions above, specific to the AdWords keyword I bought.

4) You better darn well offer exactly what I'm looking for. Don't buy up a bunch of peripherally related keywords in the hope that clickers will land on your site, be overcome with all your wonderful related products/services and become a customer. No one cares about you! (sorry) No one cares about your related stuff. Clickers have a very, very narrow focus - anything that distracts from that is wasted money. Buy keywords specific to your related stuff instead.

5) Let me buy!Make it brain-dead simple to buy from you the second I answer my three questions. "Add to Cart" or "Set up a call" or "Buy Now!" -- whatever fits, but let me make the purchase, let me convert!

6) Don't use AdWords to "build brand awareness" thinking that if you get clicks, and they see your logo you're getting your money's worth. You're not. You're upsetting people and wasting money.

7) Bonus if you let me sample/try you out before I buy. Get something in my hands, I'm much more likely to convert if I've seen first hand that it will work for me.

This also happens to be pretty good advice for your website in general, but that's a different post. Hope this helps you keep from wasting money.


Phil Gerbyshak

As always, great suggestions. This is an excellent money saving tip for all those buying AdWords. I couldn't have said it any better myself!

Carson McComas

Thanks Phil.

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