Step Up Your Google Adwords Game

Step Up Your Google Adwords Game


Google’s AdWords service is one of the most powerful marketing tools any online based business can have. It allows you to target potential customers and put your product or service directly in their line of sight. Unlike conventional advertising platforms, you only pay for the type of exposure that you want.

For instance, if you are trying to push consumers to a product or certain page on your site, you only pay when someone clicks on your advert and sees your specific page or product. Sounds groovy right? Well it sure is… However, you can easily waste your ad spend if you don’t optimise and target your ads correctly.

Here are a few tips to help you get the biggest bang for your buck.

Keyword research

To ensure that the right consumers find your brand, you need to identify what keywords or phrases they are searching for. By utilising the AdWords keyword tool, you can identify how often a keyword or phrase is searched and the level of competition the term or phrase has. While you want to target low competition, frequently searched phrases that apply to your product, it is wise to target more competitive terms too.

Utilising long tailed keywords such as “Buy Ferodo brake pads online” instead of “brake pads” can help you target consumers that are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer as the search phrase is more specific. Try setting some of your phrases to exact match instead of broad match.

This will reduce how frequently your ads will show, but will expose your offer to a more specific and targeted audience. Google Trends and Google Insights are great tools to get information on what keywords are popular and to find new inspiration for your current campaigns.

Identify negative keywords

Negative keywords are search terms that you don’t want to trigger your ads. If you are selling tables you would want your ad to trigger when someone searches ‘buy tables online’, but not when someone searches ‘make your own tables’. By adding ‘make your own’ to your negative keyword list, you can exclude the individuals who are unlikely to buy your product

Write engaging adverts

By effectively targeting your audience with the right combination of keywords and negative keywords you can put your ads in front of the right people. Now you need to convince them to click on your advert. A few basic copywriting skills can persuade potential consumers to choose your ad over your competitor’s adverts.

  • Highlight your unique selling points: ‘Buy discounted spanners’ or ‘Spanners at reduced rates’ is more likely to attract consumers than just ‘Spanners for sale’.
  • Target consumers with emotive phrases and appeal to their desire for instant gratification. ‘Become number #1’ is likely to entice action from a consumer looking to improve their current ranking or position.
  • Use words that are trending. Google trends will help you identify phrases that are hot at the moment and you can piggy back on their popularity.
  • Start your ad with a question to help single out high prospect customers. The phrase “Want a new digital camera?” will attract the attention of someone looking to buy a new digital camera.

A/B testing

Testing your ads and landing pages allows you to identify what specific words, images and layouts convert more. By running two similar ads that have one or two word variations, you can learn which words entice action from your audience. Each consumer group has specific characteristics and by studying their behaviour, you can tailor your ads to their preferences.

Target your target audience

If you are a car mechanic based in Boksburg, you can target your ads to people in your immediate area. The location settings allow you to target your audience specifically and avoid people who may be interested in your service but are too far away to take advantage of it.


There are a variety of free 3rd party tools that help analyse your campaigns as well as Google’s free services.

  • The WordStream account grader is great place to start and helps identify any weaknesses your account may have.
  • Google’s set of tools are a great resource and should not be overlooked. Often 3rd party paid services use data that is freely available using Google’s free tools.
  • Constantly analyse your account and improve your performance as you go along. The AdWords opportunity tab provides new ideas to help improve your campaigns.

The importance of Quality Score

Quality score is Google’s overall rating for your user’s experience. It takes account of the quality of your keywords, ad structure and landing page to provide an overall rating for your ads. A high quality score can make your ad spend go further and help your ads place higher than your competitors.

Improve your quality score by:

  • Using your keywords in your ads and on your landing page.
  • Putting keywords in the meta content of your landing page
  • Sending users directly to the items they are looking for. If your ad says “Buy cameras” and your landing page communicates and allows them to do this, Google will reward you with a better quality score.

By the taking time to research, test and assess your AdWords campaign as you go along, you can help ensure that you get the most out of your ad spend. Campaigns are most effective when run for a decent period of time under the watchful and certified eye of someone who knows what they are doing.

Mark Wright
Mark Wright is co-founder of Cavalry Media. As a communication graduate, he cut his teeth in PR before founding his own business. Email Mark at or visit