Or can you?
I recently came across this article from The New York Times, where a few small businesses spoke of their experiences with AdWords. If you read the full article, the general unsatisfaction with AdWords centers around an issue I’m sure many other small businesses have and aren’t sure how to solve: How to not only generate leads, but generate quality leads that could actually turn into sales.
Unfortunately there is not a direct, easy-to-find setting to enter audience qualifiers you want from AdWords. At this time, you can’t build an audience in AdWords the same way you can in Facebook or LinkedIn. However, I disagree that there is absolutely no way to pre-qualify leads from the platform. Here are a few solutions for pre-qualifying your leads from AdWords:
What better way to narrow your audience down to those who are ready to purchase then by only targeting people who have already been to your website! Better yet, you can set up a remarketing list for visitors who perform certain pre-qualifying actions on your website, like filling out a form or downloading information. You can use remarketing lists on the Google Display Network or on the Search Network. You can learn more about how to use remarketing by watching this webinar.
Think about how your dream clients/customers would search. What are their needs and how are their needs different from those who don’t qualify for your service? For example, if you are selling a corporate offering for enterprise companies, think about adding the word “corporate” or “enterprise” to your keywords.
Using the same logic as adding keyword qualifiers, add negative keywords to exclude those who don’t qualify. These could be people searching for “cheap” options or “free” services, especially if your business offering is on the higher end of price.
Sneak some qualifiers distinguishing your audience into your ad copy, so those who are unqualified don’t click on the ad in the first place. The example below shows an ad that added the starting price of their dresses in their ad copy. Additionally anyone who clicks on this ad knows to expect a custom made dress, not one that is ready to wear.
Make qualifiers clear in the landing page copy. Again, listing the starting price of your service can help filter out leads who can’t afford your services. The example below places qualifiers in the form itself. Visitors can get an idea of the capabilities of the business with the drop down options provided. I know when I searched for “event planning” and I clicked on this ad from Disney, that this page is for corporate events, not birthday parties. Images on landing pages are also a good way to hint to the audience what is provided. Notice how there are no kids in the image and the people are dressed in business casual attire.
If you’re a B2B company and your target audience is at work when they are searching, then you don’t need to be showing ads and spending money on clicks that take place outside of working hours. Cut out the weekends, and those overnight hours.
A lot of the comments and feedback on the Time’s AdWords article are similar. Remember: AdWords is not a strategy, it’s a tactic. Do your research on the platform before you dive in with your entire budget. Perhaps look into outsourcing a professional to manage it for you. If you already have an agency working on your AdWords campaigns, are they providing the solutions above? AdWords is a flexible ad platform that done right, can produce great results. Whatever you do, explore the options before announcing your AdWords efforts as a failure.