As marketers, we know that data is essential in driving growth and optimization within campaigns. Without it, marketers would be throwing blindfolded at a dartboard, hoping to get lucky every once in a while. Well, fortunately, we are given an abundance of information about our marketing efforts through many platforms, including AdWords, Bing Ads, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, etc. Today, I will to walk you through some ways that you can use all that data to help drive CPC down and increase your conversion rate. While there are many ways to target your ideal audience, the features I will focus on are AdWords location targeting, ad scheduling, and device bid adjustments. Each of these AdWords targeting features work together to provide an optimized campaign that will stretch your dollar the furthest, while providing focused lead generation and sales.
Location, Location, Location
Most of us have heard the phrase, “location, location, location”, when it comes to home buying. In the real estate world, location is arguably the most important factor when deciding on a house, and it affects the value tremendously. For example, if you take two identical houses, put one on a lake, and one in a rural community, the house on the lake will have a higher value because of its location. Now, in the digital marketing world, location is just as important, and it has a large effect on the potential value of your e-commerce campaigns. AdWords allows you to target by cities, states, countries, and even a radius around a specific location. By putting your ad in a location with more potential customers, you are going to increase the value of that ad for your campaign.
This feature allows you to get very granular with your targeting and can help decrease your CPC and increase conversion rate. For most campaigns, it takes time to collect data and understand which locations are best and which locations you can exclude. Once you pinpoint these locations, you can make bid adjustments by making a positive or negative percentage bid changes depending on their performances. For other campaigns, especially local businesses, you may know exactly where your target audience is at and you can implement specific location extensions and targeting during your initial setup. So be sure to put your ads in the best position to succeed by using data to drive your location optimization.
Timing Is Everything… To An Extent
To make your AdWords targeting even more granular, you can customize ad schedules so that they show up only on the days or hours that you want them to show. You can also increase or decrease your bid by percentage during certain days or hours. The dimensions tab in AdWords gives great insight into specific days or hours and how your ads are performing during those times, and using this data can help you make the best decision for your campaign. For example, lets say that you have a business management software company that does online advertising and the majority of your sales are done over the phone with an experienced sales staff. Through analyzing the past three months of data, you realize that every evening between 7-9 p.m. your leads drop considerably while costs remain the same. Your business is also closed on Sundays, but you still want to have an online advertising presence even when the sales staff is not available. Here is an example of what an ad schedule may look like for this scenario.
The darker blue areas represent a time slot that are bid down -50%, so from 7-9 p.m. and all day Sunday. Depending on your budget and how much you value the impressions that you get while your sales staff is not available, you can bid down those times more or less.
Click or Tap, AdWords Targeting Has You Covered
Whether it’s a click on a desktop computer or tap on a phone screen, AdWords gives us the ability target users by the type of device they are using. The option to target by desktop, tablet, or mobile device allows marketers to exploit strengths, but also find areas that can be improved in terms of website usability. For example, if half your budget is being eaten up by mobile devices with no conversions over a consistent period of time, you may have an issue with being mobile friendly. An adjustment like the one below could be performed to counteract this issue, at least until the website becomes mobile friendly.
The Google AdWords targeting features can be very effective in lowering CPC and increasing your conversion rate. Remember, it usually takes time to understand the market and how your campaign can be optimized in terms of location, ad schedules, and devices. It is an ongoing project managing a campaign, and consistent analysis can reveal trends and opportunities for continued growth.
I hope this article gave you a better understanding of some ways that you can better target your audience and get the most out of your budget. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter with any questions! @_robedmonds