How to Attract High Value Clients Using Google Adwords
Back in 2002-2003 I was working on websites that were riding high in Google organic search for highly in-demand terms. Then Google started to work on their algorithm updates and the landscape of organic search listings began to change forever.
But still, I wanted to increase lead flow for the sites I was working on and thought that Adwords was the way to do that. Wow, was that an expensive experiment!
I thought all I had to do was design an ad, point it to a page on the website, bid high enough to outrank competitors and a flood of new clients would come my way. Big expensive mistake. Back then I quickly formed a habit of spending thousands of dollars a month on Adwords, heck, Google even started sending me gifts (I still have my Google blanket!) for being such a great client. I thought it would be simple, it was, it was a simple way to go broke if I didn’t stop.
Fast forward to 2014 when, after suffering once again from Google’s relentless pursuit of customer experience improvement, (code name “How can we extract more money from advertisers”) with their ever changing algorithm and here I was willing to dive back into the Adwords world once again.
What are your options? If you have been getting traffic from organic Google listings and then it stops your choices are close down, scale down or start spending money to acquire clients for your business. So I choose to pursue, once again, the Adwords route to fame and wealth on the Internet (that’s me being a little facetious, sorry if it offends you)
This time I was determined to do it right.
So, I started by creating a few ad variations, after having carried out some extensive keyword research. (Keyword research is absolutely essential if you want to get the rest of this system into place successfully) I worked hard learning how to use the Adwords interface, (wow, what a learning curve that is! They sure don’t make it simple; I wonder why? Could it be just another way to extract as much money as quickly as possible from confused customers?), and started having some success. And, as my goal was to stick with it this time, I was determined to learn everything I could about how to cost effectively use Google Adwords to my advantage, rather than it become a money pit once again.
So, while I was using the Adwords interface I started to experiment and read everything I could about various important things subjects such as congruence of ad to landing page, A/B testing of ads and landing pages, some mysterious Google calculation called Adwords Quality Score and everything else I could learn about this system that can seem so cryptic when you first step into the world of online advertising.
I did find a great book “Advanced Google Adwords” (some 600 pages long) which I studied. Then I found that Google had something called an “Adwords Qualified Individual” so I studied for that, took the exams and got a Google Qualification too!
What did I learn, well, it’s rather a long list but I think I can offer you at least an overview and some useful tips to using pay-per-click, otherwise known as PPC, to help you avoid some of the mistakes I made and perhaps save you some time and money in the process. I can’t promise you I’ll make you an Adwords expert but here is what I think you can do.
Do it Yourself or Hire Someone?
First you need to decide, even if you intend to pay a specialist to manage your Adwords account, to educate yourself with ALL the basics. You can do that by using Google’s helpful educational tools that can be found here.
If you are going to do-it-yourself you will definitely need to do your keyword research. Fortunately Google has a keyword planner. You can start learning about this here or try searching for keyword planning tools, of which there are many. Don’t overlook this crucial aspect. It can start to become a little daunting when you first dive into keyword research but persevere; it’s worth it I can assure you.
Second, and this is such an important point, Do Not, under any circumstances have your paid ads lead to the homepage of your website! Let me say that another way as it’s so important; you will definitely need to create a purpose built Landing Page for each ad you run. Right now you would be right to ask why, why do I need to do that when the home page of my website is the perfect place to bring clients so they can find out all about me; surely that’s want they want to do if they clicked on my ad?
No, No, No!
The front page of your website might be the best in the industry but, and I’m guessing here, it probably has links to all sorts of useful pages on your website like About Us, Testimonials, Our Location and perhaps many other very useful parts of your website; am I right?
Why then is it so bad to bring prospective clients to a homepage? It’s because of something called Attention Ratio. Think about it this way. You are spending money on your ads, you want a result from running that ad, what is that result? Well, you probably don’t just want a prospective client to think, “Ah, what a wonderful person this is they ran an ad, brought me to a website that has loads of information that I can use without ever having any contact with them”. That’s not your goal is it?
No, you want a prospective client to make contact with you, to give you the opportunity to earn their business, That is what you want right?
So, don’t let a prospective client land on your home page where you might have 20-30 links that they can follow and then get lost on your site. What you want is for the prospective client to contact you. How do you do that? Well that’s a question with a multitude of answers that we can explore deeply in another article. But, for right now, let’s at least give the client two distinct things to do and then one action that you positively need to take 1) give the potential client a reason to contact you 2) only have one very clear option on your landing page that will encourage them to contact you and most importantly for you, a plan of action for how you will follow-up with the prospective client in a progressive manner for a given time period after they have contacted you.
Landing pages should have all navigation and extra links removed so there is only a single action for your visitors to take. Click your call-to-action.
If you want to really dive into the importance of landing pages you can start here with an 11-part course on landing pages from a company called Unbounce (this is not an endorsement as I don’t use them). This is very in-depth and will teach you a lot about landing pages and how very important this element of pay-per-click advertising is for your success and profitability.
All right, so lets move on. You have opened your Adwords account, created some ad’s, created congruent landing pages for your ad clickers to land on; what next?
Some might argue the order of what I say is the next step but I’ll tell you why I think it’s so important to do it this way around.
So, in my opinion, I would say that you need to create your follow-up system next. Now I’m not talking about an ad-hoc spreadsheet or diary system. I’m talking about an automated follow-up system that will allow you to “touch” your prospective clients somewhere between 30-50 times (if that is what the clients timescale dictates).
How do you do this automated follow-up? With an “Auto responder” system. Having used both Aweber and Mailchimp I would suggest you take a look at both of them and decide which is best/easiest for you to set up and use going forward. Now it will take some pretty extensive work on your part to prepare either of these choices but it’s an integral part of your success. You will need to create, or hire someone to create, the follow-up messages that will go out to your prospective clients at predetermined intervals. What should these predetermined intervals be? This is where it comes down to testing, testing and more testing. Rest assured that no one, and I mean no one, gets this right straight out the gate. It will take some work on your part.
A/B Split Testing
Now, if you subscribe to the alternate order of play, you would first be doing your A/B split testing of the landing pages you have created prior to setting up your auto responder. I don’t agree with that because I don’t care how bad your ads and landing pages are, they will bring you some potential clients. Following up with those clients in order to retain and capitalize on their enquiry will depend upon your auto responder. Do you see now why I think it’s important to get the auto responder set up first and then go into A/B split testing. (Some call it variant testing, it’s the same thing. You are trying two or more variations of ad and/or landing page to ascertain which converts better).
Now you have the basics of using pay-per-click advertising to bring you high value clients.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. Everyone has to start somewhere and yes, you do have a lot to learn. This article was designed to give you a simple overview of the process. Don’t be afraid to get started. If you want success on the internet, and by success I mean make a profit, then you should use what I have explained here as a starting point.
One other important point; you might ask why I refer several times to high value clients; some people have asked, “will this system not work on other types of clients?” Yes, I’m sure it will. It just happens that both my early experiences, and my most recent experience, have been based on attracting high value clients to several different types of offers including, real estate, finance and immigration.
You only have to look closely at what types of Adwords campaigns are successful to see that many types of industries and products use the system on a long term basis; something you cannot do unless you are either successful at it or you have very deep pockets. As I said earlier, it is very easy to get carried away and spend an awful lot of money using the PPC system and not get the results you deserve if you are not well prepared and willing to either put in the work to learn the system or hire someone to do that for you.
So that brings us to my an important question: Can you really attract high value clients to your business cost effectively by using Google Adwords?
I say a resounding YES, you can use pay-per-click to cost effectively attract high value clients to your business IF, as I said earlier, you either take the time to learn the system or pay someone to set up and manage the whole process for you.
Here is an outline for you to refer to for a successful start to your pay-per-click campaigns.
For success you need to:
- Do your keyword research
- Create ad’s using applicable keywords that you have researched
- Make variants of your ads for A/B split testing
- Create your landing pages
- Create variants of your landing pages for your A/B split testing
- Set up your auto-responder for automated follow up
Stephen Parnell is the founder of CanEye, a digital marketing agency specializing in acquiring customers using PPC, SEO and social media. He works with clients on both sides of the Atlantic and has offices in the USA and UK. Areas of specialty are the legal, immigration, real estate and business sectors.