I recently took on the challenge of optimizing Cari McGee´s (who is Matt McGee´s wife and a real estate agent in the Tri-Cities area of Washington) AdWords account with the implied assumption that I would use it as a guideline for how a small business should setup and manage their own AdWords efforts. This is the second post of the series…the first post is here.
When I develop AdWords accounts for my corporate clients, I create large numbers of single keyword ad groups where the keyword searched (or at least a close variant of the keyword searched) is generally placed in the headline of the ad. Over time, I rigorously test ad text with lots of relevant variants of my core messaging which has the effect of driving down the cost per lead / sale for the client and maximizing the ROI.
For PPC Geeks like me, working sophisticated accounts thusly is second nature…however, for a small business owner trying to self-manage AdWords, the time it takes to learn how to manage a campaign at this level of complexity takes away from their ability to run their business. Small business owners generally are looking to put their best effort forward the first time they create the account and not have to tinker with the details that often. Hence, use of Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a good way a small business can maximize the efficiency of their PPC ad text without spending the time doing rigorous testing.
This is Cari McGee’s standard ad. Notice the syntax of the headline. If the search query is 25 characters or less, the search query will show as the headline of the ad. If the search query is 26 characters or more, “Tri-Cities Real Estate” will show as the headline of the ad. Since a small business doesn’t have time to do detailed ad customization, DKI is an automated way to facilitate a relevant nexus between the search query and the ad shown, increasing the likelihood that a searcher might click on the ad.
As for the generic ad I created for Cari, I made sure to cover as many facets of her livelihood in 70 characters. Some people who might use her services are looking to buy a house; some might wish to sell a house; and some might be moving to the Tri-Cities from another area. Each searcher query likely only focuses on one aspect of Cari’s real estate practice. A professionally managed campaign would have different ads for buyers, sellers, and relocation…with all the possible keywords slotted in one of three buckets. Since this isn’t feasible for Cari, she had to stretch her ad to cover all types of prospects. Small businesses need to make sure that their generic ads don’t exclude any large pool of potential prospects.
Cari’s PPC efforts won’t measure up to a sophisticated competitor with deep pockets. However, she can be very visible and relevant in her marketplace with a reasonable budget and that’s all that she’s looking to accomplish.