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How To Use Google AdWords Effectively

  • By Brad Poirier
  • 22 Nov, 2016

Most SMB's are wasting their money with an ineffective PPC campaign.

How To Use Google AdWords Effectively
Did you know that only 1% of internet searchers actually click on the Ads that appear in a Google search result? So why bother with a pay-per-click advertising campaign ? Because 1% of 64,000 searches PER second is a BIG number. (640 clicks per second) Over $52 BILLION of Google's $75 Billion in revenue came from AdWords in 2015. It's safe to say, people CLICK on the ads, whether or not you yourself are an ad clicker.

Google AdWords continue to be a cost-effective way to reach your customers when they are in-the-moment searching for your type of business. You still should be maintaining your website's SEO or search engine optimization , but nothing beats getting a competitive edge by advertising direct to the consumer. With Google Ads, you place a bid amount on the keywords you want to target with a daily budget of what you are willing to pay for those keywords. You only pay when your ad is clicked. If it doesn't get clicked, you don't pay. Placing an expensive ad with something like the yellow pages, you pay even if no one ever responds, and that might be likely, considering: How many people use a phonebook these days?

Why Hire Someone To Manage Your Google AdWord Spending?

Yes, anyone can set up an AdWords campaign all on their own. There's no "special" site we use. Here it is:  - That's where we go to start and maintain all of our campaigns. However, just because you CAN install your own water heater, should you? I leave that stuff to the professional plumbers because it would take me far longer, more frustration and most importantly more time and money invested to get the job done, if at all . Here's a great post by the way on how to set up your own pay per click campaign . Here's why hiring a marketing agency like us will save you time, money and produce better results.

1) Copywriting - Creative Ad Copy

Google offers a maximum of four ads to be displayed at the top of the page on any search result. They recently removed the "sidebar" ads. As of November 2016, there's also been many enhancements to the amount of ad copy available on mobile devices . The ad copy is the #1 reason someone will click on your ad and not the other three ads your competition puts out. Google AdWords is all text-based. There's no appealing photo you can attach. Your ad must be the most attractive from a wording standpoint. Also, a well written ad will help  reduce  the cost of your bid. Google ranks ads not just by your bid price but how relevant the ad is written according to the keywords targeted. Think of it as SEO for AdWords. Here's an example screenshot from, a plumber. (In case I have to call someone for that water heater!)
google adwords search engine results page
Which of these ads would  you  click on if you needed a plumber? There's a good chance you would click on the third one. Notice the "$40 Off Any Service" call-out. The entire ad is well written (with one exception).
Here are the components of a great ad for Google AdWords:

• Main Title
To the point, relates to your keyword. Does not include your business name. Wasted space!

• Web address link

You can get crafty with this one. The actual destination link can be different from what's shown. This is great for landing pages, which you should be using. In this case, a link should say: , even though if might actually go to .
This is helpful because it helps the clicker identify where they will end up. Never send them to your homepage.

• Phone extension
You can also add your phone number to this area, which is great because a desktop searcher might simply dial the number from their phone and never click on the ad. Boom, FREE lead!

• Description
You have a short area to write some more ad copy here and get them hooked. 

• Site extensions
You have an opportunity here to put up to four site link extensions, gives the user an idea of your services or areas they can go to instead of just the intended web address.

Here's why the third ad outperforms the others (IMHO)
1) Titled correctly: 'Providence Plumbers - $40 Off Any Service'
2) Web address is clear where it's going to, even though when I actually clicked on it, it went to a specific landing page.
3) Description gives me a reason to choose them: Expert plumbers, available 24/7, available nights and weekends.
4) I have the option to browse current offers (let's me know they have offers), I see they work with residential, they offer a scheduling service, and look at that - they offer water heater repairs!
5) Geography: I see that they are in the Providence, RI area as I see the map pin icon, and further they are open right now.

2) Keyword Selection and Modifiers

Keyword Selection
Just like search engine optimization, you have to choose the right keywords, or else it will cost you. This is probably the bigger reason a DIY PPC campaign is wasted money. Even if you write the best ad, poor keyword selection will result in your ad being clicked for the wrong type of lead, and they will never convert. Remember, just because they click your ad, doesn't mean they're a customer at that exact moment!
Let's take our plumber example again. For instance, if you are a new plumbing company, you might not be able to fulfill certain services like excavating or major repairs. You might be limited to water heaters and other smaller jobs. You also might not be a 24 hour plumber!
If all you do is, create an AdWords account, put your credit card in, add the keyword "plumber in RI" and set it to go: It's sending money down the drain (all puns intended). We might want to use instead: "water heater installation ri" for example.
Keyword Modifiers
One of the most awesome features about Google Adwords, is their keyword modifiers. You can actually modify a keyword so it has a "+" or a "-" attribute. Using the "+" attribute, this tells Google that keyword MUST be in the search in order for your ad to appear. Using the "-" attribute, it tells Google that your ad should NOT appear if that keyword is used in the search. This will save you lots and lots of money (and pain). Next there is a phrase match modifier, meaning you can have Google filter results that are similar to your keyword selection. We also have an exact match modifier. If you put your key  phrase in brackets, you're telling Google, you only want your ad showing when the search is identical to a specific search, spelling, grammar and all. Let's take a look at a couple quick examples, based on Google's article on modifiers
No Modifier
plumber ri
 • will show all results with ANYTHING with PLUMBER and/or RI in the search, including searches like "plumbing laws in ri"

Positive (+) Match Modifier
+plumber +ri
 • will show results within those parameters. So a search for "plumber IN ri" will yield your result, potentially

Negative (-) Match Modifier
-laws -law -jobs -excavating
 • will eliminate your ad from showing when someone is searching for plumber, ri when they are also searching for plumbing jobs, plumbing laws, or plumbing excavation for example

We are experts at all modifiers, and this is a key differentiator in setting up a campaign. On average, for one campaign, it takes us roughly an hour to set everything up, from geo-targeting to ad copy to keyword selections and modifiers. We do this for several clients, and if it takes us an hour, how long will it take you?

3) Using Of Specifically Designed Landing Pages

I clicked on all of the ads shown to me. Only the third one (go figure) had a special landing page attached to it. The other three? It brought me to a regular page on their website about plumbing. What is a landing page? It's a page on your website, inaccessible from the regular navigation area designed specifically for users  landing  on that page to convert them into a buyer/client. A landing page generally consists of these elements, and these only: Headline, short description, your phone number (and a call-us button), and a contact form. We work with just about any CMS system that your current website has, but we prefer to use our own landing page software. We just need a login to your website, if we did not build it for you.

Most of the SMB's I talked to, send their Google Ads directly to their homepage. Your homepage at that point is now like a buffet of choices for them, instead of a fine crafted landing page, which is specific to the service they were clicking for. 

Bidding For Mobile vs. Desktop

This topic is more thoroughly covered in another post about adaptive design and adwords , but the short of it is this: You can set a different bid for mobile verses a desktop bid. If you do this, you better make sure your mobile website is designed to handle a mobile specific user. Unfortunately, most web designers today lack the ability to design in a mobile first environment like we do. We build Responsive Websites that are adaptive. What this means is, your website automatically scales up and down based on the device size being used, but further, we use a server to detect WHAT TYPE of device is being used, so we can tailor the content to that device. Essentially, we are saying: "If they're viewing from a mobile device, lay the web page out this way" - all of the same content, but just optimized for mobile. Furthermore, we can add or remove certain elements just for mobile. We can for instance, place a "CALL US NOW" button, but only show this on mobile, and for the desktop, make sure the contact form is front and center with your phone number listed as the number in a larger font.
Either way, Google allows you to bid differently for mobile verses desktop, and they just gave you a bonus extra line of ad copy to use on mobile. We use that extra line very wisely.

Call Tracking 
Google actually gives you free call tracking built right into the AdWords platform. It's somewhat basic, but's its also free. We're just tracking where the call was placed, so we can better monitor your campaign. Which ads are working and which ones aren't.

So, again, why hire a pro-marketer to maintain your AdWords campaign?

The short of it is, we know advertising - you know plumbing. (Or whatever service you provide). We know what keywords work, which ones don't. Which ones cost more or less. We create beautiful landing pages that convert clickers into clients. When you hire us, we hold ourselves to a high standard for the outcome of your campaign. We want your ad to work, since you'll be getting more work and that means more ad management for us. We are in the business of growing your business. It's that simple. Really.

Contact us today for a free quote on an AdWords campaign .

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By Brad Poirier 07 Mar, 2017
Did you know that the average consumer checks your website at least two times from two different devices before they journey into your location? Over 60% of searches start  from a smartphone device , but there is still a great amount of desktop and tablet traffic coming in. Why is that? Some of that desktop traffic is the original, organic traffic yes. However, a lot of it is a returning customer. Perhaps you're a kitchen remodeler , someone searches for "kitchen remodeling" and they find your website from their smartphone. They're not ready to buy yet though. So they bookmark or they email their significant other the web address. When they get home, they venture to their desktop or start using their tablet to continue the research.

Most (amateur) web designers only pay attention to the desktop view. Sad face: many web designers still build websites that are desktop only, they're not building responsive websites that are mobile-optimized. The worst part is they're often designing this on a 20" or larger monitor. Of course it's easy to design a great site when you have 20" of a digital canvas to work with. The real Picasso comes out when you can take that same great experience and display that on a 4" screen, AND to optimize it for as slow as a 3G connection. There's a big difference between your site being mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized. Mobile-friendly usually just means making sure the content is formatted to scroll up and down and no content stretches beyond the width of the smartphone screen. Mobile-optimized is taking the same content from your desktop and optimizing it for a mobile experience. This is important now more than ever, as Google has started to ONLY SEO Index your mobile site and not your desktop site.

So that's the why I design websites using four screens. You might interested in knowing what are the screens I design with, and how I use each one of them to turn your website from blah to Yahhh! I only build websites that are responsive. I check how the content looks and how the content interacts along the way. Below are the screens that I use to check this with and more importantly, the order in which I do this.

Screen #1 - Smartphone
You might be shocked to think that the first screen I check my work on is a mobile device. If you were a bakery and 60% of your revenue came from donuts, would you start your morning by prepping the cookies and pastries? You start with your money maker! Well, since over 60% of all Google searches start from a mobile device, why would you start with the device that people aren't using as much? I'll tell you why, it's because you're working with an amateur designer. Or perhaps you're working with a legacy designer who won't budge. When I design in a mobile-first environment, I can truly focus on that experience and maximizing it's potential. We focus on getting the most important information right away. For most businesses this means placing a "TAP-TO-CALL" style button at the top of the page. Nothing is more frustrating than having to remember the number in your head and quickly double-tap-your-home-button to get to the phone dialer and attempt to get every number in there correctly. If location visits are important we also make sure there are easy-to-find buttons for loading your bulit-in GPS navigation.

What do you think the next screen is going to be?

Screen #2 - Tablet
Did you guess that correctly? It's only natural to work my way up the screen size. Now that I've mastered the experience for mobile, I can open up canvas a little here and work on the tablet view. Tablets today range from about 7"-10" and yes there are those two outliers that are around 13" , but they're still a tablet, at least according to the internet browser being used. A growing trend for the tablet view is using what we call the "hamburger" menu. That's the 3-line menu button you might see in the upper right or left hand corner of the screen. We layout the navigation in both the hamburger format and the traditional horizontal navigation. It all depends on the business and the goal of your website. That's why we custom design all of our sites starting with a 1-on-1 consultation . Since a tablet is still inherently a mobile device where the user interacts using only a touchscreen, we still are focusing on easy, tappable buttons. Consumers are used to tapping on items with their tablets, we make it super easy for that to happen. Gone are the days of only making links available from within the text. Consumers need clear call-to-action buttons to guide them along their buying journey.

Screens #3 & #4 - Laptop & Large Monitor
Technically I'm designing and coding everything on my large monitor, but the testing is being done on multiple screens. However, when I start to design for the desktop, I'm using my laptop which dual outputs to a 21" cinema display. This allows me to have the freedom of design but to see how it will interact on a 13" monitor (which is about the average monitor size for a small laptop). The most important content is "above the fold". So if it's not designed right, some of the content that looks good on 21" would normally get cut off on a smaller screen. We make sure that doesn't happen. The desktop design is where it does get a lot more fun, and more roomy. It's like trying to pack a bunch of moving boxes into a cargo van when you've been using your 1988 Corolla earlier that day. Ahh, you can breathe a little. However, use this space carefully. Remember, with great space comes great responsibility. I've seen many web designers who came from a graphic design background. It is honestly a natural progression, but it's an entirely different approach. Use a white space or negative space is critical here. So if you're used to working with that graphic designer who loves using tons of colors and turning text into metal like beveled art and everything else that came with cheap Photoshop work from 10 years ago, they're in the wrong arena. You have about 5 seconds to capture someone's attention before they'll decide to leave the website. Now, a lot of that comes from excellent copywriting and headline writing , but bad design choices will confuse the consumer and cause them to leave and go to the next result in line.

So there you have it. The method to my madness. Some people look at website design and say why not , I look at website design and say why ? Rule of thumb: Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. I'm on the web all day long. I can easily spot a badly performing website, in terms of conversion. Today, you're website is all about conversion . Your business can't afford to run a wiki-pedia website. It needs to be a lean, mean, lead-generating machine. This applies to all business websites.

What are some examples of good and bad website design that you have seen?
By Brad Poirier 20 Feb, 2017
BONUS: See how your website stacks up with your competition. Get a free website audit .
By Brad Poirier 13 Feb, 2017
The great Don Draper once said "If you don't like what is being said, then change the conversation." So while it may be super frustrating to see one of those pesky millennials leaving you a bad review because their Valentine's dinner didn't go as planned, this presents a great opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade. Negative reviews are just as important as positive reviews. How could that be?

Google loves reviews. The more Google loves you, the better chance you have of another Taco.. or three.. four. A bad review isn't always a bad reflection on your business, it's just consumers way of giving you feedback or reaching out for a listening ear to make a wrong, right. In all the years I've been on Yelp and Facebook, what I've seen that most people want when leaving a review, is just to have a voice. When I go out to a restaurant or to any retail business these days, if there's a problem and I muster up the courage to speak to a manager, I have no idea how that manager is going to take that feedback. They might be too busy to pay attention or just lack the customer service skills required to actually care.

That's where online reviews come in. Some may think that it's a case of anonymous bravery behind a computer screen, but when someone is leaving a negative review, they might just want to get in touch - on their own terms. You have to be prepared to communicate with them on those terms.

Below are some general do's and dont's on how to respond to negative reviews. By the way, this could apply to positive reviews in many ways. You should respond to every online review, both positive and negative. Yes, it require a little bit of time, but you would never ignore a customer that's right in front of you. It can be a daunting task, however, to scour the internet for every review out there. That's why there is Online Reputation Management available. Reputation Management involves software that automatically finds any mention of your business on the internet and provides an alert and a tool to respond to them, regardless of which social media directory they left the review on. Learn more about Online Reputation Management here .
By Brad Poirier 28 Dec, 2016
Quick Question: What's the first thing you did this morning when you woke up. I'm willing to bet it involved picking up your smartphone and performing some sort of mobile action, wether it's checking email or scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. We are in a mobile-first world. If you're still trying to figure out how to get ahead in this "digital world", this article is well beyond that. The world is (rapidly) shifting to a mobile world. You need to provide an incredible experience on a 4" display as you would on a large display. That's the trick and the problem SMB's have faced. You're not paying attention to your mobile experience.

You might be immediately saying: "Well my website is already mobile." Great, you're (slightly) ahead of the game. It is very likely though, that your website only uses a "mobile site" and not a responsive website design. Mobile-sites are simply optimized for viewing on a phone, they're not optimized for the user experience. Starting pretty soon, you're website's traffic will get killed for it. Listen up.
By Brad Poirier 20 Dec, 2016
Let’s face it. Personal New Year’s resolutions are made for one thing: to be broken. Only 8% of people are successful at achieving their resolution. The #1 resolution each year is to lose weight . The struggle is real when you are faced with eating a 3,500 calorie pizza for lunch and a wedge salad. Pizza. Always. Wins. Your business resolution, however, has a much better chance at success. In fact, this article will show you how to have a guaranteed 100% success rate in your business resolution for 2017.
By Brad Poirier 12 Dec, 2016
Hearthside is an award-winning historic house museum presenting historically themed exhibits and original programs. Costumed docents guide visitors on tours, furnished throughout in period style. Hearthside is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and operates under the stewardship of the all-volunteer nonprofit Friends of Hearthside, Inc.

The website for utilized old web standards and was not mobile optimized. The website could not be edited by the museum stewards and thus was a tedious process to get new content.

Breeze Digital Media created a responsive website for Hearthside House and implemented an easy to use Content Management System so the stewards can make regular calendar and event updates on their own.
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