If you haven’t had a lot exposure to AdWords and digital marketing, spending cash on clicks can be a scary proposition. Just log into Google’s AdWords interface and the number of screens and tabs can make your head spin.
Now, imagine you’re working for a business that hasn’t yet dipped it’s toes in this space but you know you need to be there. Maybe you see your competition starting to up their game. Maybe you're in an industry that hasn’t been on the front lines of digital marketing and your website is a little dated.
AdWords, if done correctly, can quickly help you rise to the top.
Tip 1: Target Your Competitors Brand Name
I’ve seen lots of companies in the manufacturing industry that have the most sophisticated parts or services but poor marketing. Their sales have traditionally been driven by their reputation not their website. These are the types of companies that may be using the latest polymers or materials in their products, but it looks like their website hasn't been updated since the Bush administration.
How can you capitalize on their brand recognition and showcase your offerings and products? It’s simple. Start a pay-per-click campaign and bid on their name as a keyword.
Lots of times manufacturing companies aren’t as digitally savvy as they'd like to believe. They aren’t playing in the Google AdWords arena. If you're smart, you can use that to your advantage.
The fastest way to check if this is an option is to do a quick google search of your competitors brand name. If you do the search and there are no ads displayed then it might be worth opening an AdWords account and bidding a few cents on their name.
How do you tell if there is an ad? Just look for the the little green Ad boxes at the top of the search results.
Tip 2: Is there a specific product you are competing against? Buy that Keyword too!
This is the same story. If your competition isn’t in AdWords but you know their products are popular you might want to consider bidding on the name of your competitions product as a keyword.
Again, do a quick google search for the product by name, and if you don’t see any ads it might be worth going after. Even if there are ads, it may still be worth checking the current bid price for these branded keywords.
These are just 2 simple examples of quick AdWords tactics that could result in increased traffic. What should you check before you place bids on those branded keywords? How do you know if its worth the effort? Let’s look.
What Should I Check Before I Bid on A Branded Keyword?
This concept sounds simple, and it is. Before you get ahead of yourself check these points to make sure this technique is right for you.
Is There Search Volume for the Branded Keyword?
Use a tool like Google’s free Keyword planner to check if there is enough search volume for the keyword. If for example your targeting “Honeywell” just type it in and check.
If you are seeing only a couple of searches a month, forget it. If you are seeing a couple of thousand it might be worth it. If it’s 100 or slightly more, consider all the factors. Sometimes with niche products, low search volume keywords might still be worth pursuing.
Check the Current Bids for the Keyword
If you don’t have access to a subscription keyword planning tool like SEMrush, you may just want to run a quick test with an AdWords campaign.
If you have access to SEMrush, it can provide an estimated cost per click. While these estimates are notoriously inaccurate, it will give you an indication if anyone is bidding on the words.
If there is any bid action on your target keywords, others may be finding value in paying for the keyword. This is usually an indication that it's worth pursuing to understand what kind of cost per click you can expect to pay.
If there are no bids, there are one of two possibilities. If the search volume is there it’s a potential untapped niche. If the volume isn't there, its a search people probably aren't conducting. That’s a nice marketing way to say it might be a waste of your time.
But how do you tell? Easy. You run a quick AdWords test.
Run a Pilot AdWords Campaign
If you’ve gotten this far you’re likely thinking this might be something worth pursuing. For a few bucks you can quick tell if this is going to be worth your time and money.
To check, create a quick AdWords campaign. Write an ad related to your products or services. Point the ad at a relevant product or service page, and put in a low daily budget. I sometimes start with only 5 or 10 dollars a day, depending on the starting bid. If possible I like to keep starting bids under $0.25 until that data can be analyzed. With some high value keywords you'll obviously need to start with a higher bid, but at 25 cents and a daily budget of 5 dollars you won't loose too much in a brief test.
The goal here is to see if you get any impressions. Impressions mean there is sufficient traffic on the keyword and it’s worth going even further and optimizing your campaign.
Of course, any experienced AdWords specialist will realize I’m glossing over the entire area of ad optimization and ensuring you get the best quality scores. This is of course something to be aware of and that is an entirely different post all by itself.
If you don’t have a deep understanding of quality scores and ad optimization you can check this out. Better yet, get someone with a little experience to help you out. It could mean turning a relatively meager ad budget into a treasure trove of leads.
Until next time, keep on marketing.