Ignore the Competition When Using Google Adwords
Record numbers of businesses are using Google Adwords, but there is a danger in focusing too much on the competition while jockeying for the No. 1 spot in one's market. When Google Adwords first hit, it was a godsend for companies that could not afford to hire an ad agency or a marketing firm, but needed a way to get the word out about their offerings. In the last several years, Google Adwords has gotten considerably more feature rich and, of course, more complex. The first step toward optimizing your Adwords campaigns is to ignore your competitors or, more specifically, ignore their ad positions.
Columnist Joshua Steimle urges more emphasis to be placed on conversions. "A conversion is not just when someone clicks your ad and comes to your website," he writes, "but when they do what you want them to do on your website." Invite people to fill out forms of conversion online that can be tracked. All other activities in online marketing are a means to this end. By focusing on the click-through rate (CTR), conversions, cost per conversion, and value per conversion, marketing professionals will get the most traffic with the most conversions at the lowest price while bringing in the highest overall revenue.
Put another way, conversions coupled with other data can tell you how your campaign is truly performing. By contrast, benchmarking against competitors may give you the wrong data and lead you off-course. "By focusing on conversions," Steimle concludes, "you will also focus on the total customer experience, rather than only the part that happens before a potential customer clicks on your ad."
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