Every business wants to be on top. When it comes to digital marketing that means Google. With 100 billion searches a month — 2.3 million a second — a no. 1 Google search ad ranking means real dollars.
But how do you reach that top spot for ads? Or stay there?
A client came to me recently with just that challenge. As a digital advertising specialist at Chumney & Associates, I specialize in paid search marketing for customers in the automotive industry.
Our client, a car dealership outside Atlanta, Georgia, was doing well in paid search results, the ads at the top of Google results pages, but they wanted to be no. 1. So our team got to work to help them reach their goal. With our assistance they soon were not only holding the top search slot, but hitting record sales numbers.
How did we do it?
By following the simple formula below:
1. Establish a Target Radius
The first step is to look at your client’s location. Establishing the geographic boundaries of your business advertising reach is a key step to securing good search results.
In the case of our auto dealer client, our team focused on zip codes where sales numbers were largest. That helped us hone in on areas where the greatest population of potential customers might be searching for cars.
We always want to make sure the target radius is consistent with the amount of advertising and sales to cover that area. When it comes to radius and budget, you want to make sure the target area is big enough to service with your defined ad spend, but not so small you’ll be left with unspent dollars at the campaign’s end.
2. Build the Campaigns
Once we have the radius defined, we work with the dealer to build out ads that speak to the defined region and showcase core products in order to construct effective campaigns.
We don’t want to advertise a Prius, for example, if the dealer only has one model in stock. Or we wouldn’t want to push sedans if the dealership is in – truck country.
We focus on the appropriate content for that client and what the dealership wants to push with those campaigns. Then we build a template, ensuring we include the appropriate keywords, verbiage, and slogans.
3. Add Bells and Whistles
Once the client is satisfied with the creative, we make sure all the bells and whistles are attached. This can include sitelinks, call extensions, call rewrites, and making sure that things like the Google+ page are linked correctly. You also want to check to ensure your Google Tag Manager is implemented on the client’s website so you can track analytics, remarketing, and any other goals you might have.
4. Adjust Campaigns as Needed
Once the funding is in place and the advertisement is live, it’s important to keep a close eye on how the ads are performing.
Especially during the first week, you may find that you want to add a few more negatives to ensure you’re not spending your ad budget dollars attracting the wrong customers.
You also want to adjust keywords based on which are performing at a better pay-per-click rate.
And check your target radius again, as well as impression share, to make sure you’re on track to hit your budget goals.
It’s not enough to just secure that top Google search ranking for a day or two. You want to ensure your client can hold that spot, and that takes maintenance.
5. Analyze and Optimize
Although this is the last step in achieving and staying no. 1 on Google, it’s the most important.
Bid and budget maintenance ensures you can maintain your results with the budget you have established.
Now, if you’re trying to keep up with your bid and budget management manually, you’re going to get behind very quickly. There’s just no way a digital marketer or advertiser can manage budget optimization daily for several dozen clients in an Excel spreadsheet.
That’s why we use Acquisio’s Bid & Budget Management solution to stay on top of our ad spend.
Acquisio gives us the technology to practically set it and forget
The system updates every half an hour, so we can make sure we’re never under- or over-spending. This near-real-time optimization is extremely important in the automotive industry. We find that car buying habits can follow predictable patterns.
For example, many people who are in the market for a new car wait to go shopping after they get off work. So if we notice that pattern in a particular area, we will tailor our ad budget and adjust. We’ll spend our ad dollars later in the day, not first thing in the morning, so more potential customers will see the ads.
Then it’s just a matter of analyzing and optimizing.
Another aspect we appreciate about Acquisio is that the system allows for both mobile and desktop advertising. And with that we’ve been able to notice a definite upswing in mobile advertising. More and more people are using mobile for researching purchases, from doormats to Toyota Tacomas. That knowledge helps us tailor our campaigns in the future to target the search terms mobile users prefer.
In addition to its mobile capabilities, the system connects to pretty much everything we need.
We write scripts that Acquisio can then pull in and incorporate, no matter the publisher or search engine.
Acquisio also provides an easy-to-read reporting template that we can then use across the board to check a variety of factors. We’re able to customize metrics to give the client, as well as our own account executives, all the data they need. Once we’ve defined metrics and put tracking codes in place, then we can sit back and watch how the ads perform. We watch them closely in the first few weeks to make sure they’re behaving correctly. Sometimes we need to pause any keywords that are causing metrics to fluctuate. If people aren’t searching for the terms we were hoping they would use, then we have to adjust. None of this would be possible without an automated system.
So if reaching and keeping the no. 1 Google spot is important to you, find the right tools, put them in place, and enjoy the view from the top.