6 Surprising Ways to Use Google Adwords You Haven’t Tried Yet

(AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

There’s a legend in the digital marketing world of a college graduate who wanted to work at a large digital agency.

This enterprising young graduate submitted his resume, and when he didn’t hear back, decided to leverage Google AdWords by bidding on the names of executives at the large company.

When those executives Googled themselves and curiously clicked on the paid search adverts, they were taken to the graduate’s resume. The executives were both peeved and impressed, and the graduate was ultimately offered the job.

Pretty inventive use of Adwords, right?

It defies the classic way businesses use the platform: bidding on keywords with commercial intent and convincing potential customers to click through to visit your website. Dermatologists bid for keywords like “fix my acne” and “dermatologist nyc” while lawn care businesses bid for “grass cutting service.”

It’s quintessential cost-per-click (CPC) advertising, and it’s often a great way for business owners to allocate their advertising budget.

The only problem is that Google Adwords can get really expensive when your competitors are bidding on the same keywords with the highest commercial intent. (The keyword “asset management” goes for $49.86 per click, and “lawyer” goes for nearly $55 per click.)

Thankfully, this isn’t the only way to use Adwords. In fact, it’s not even close. Here are six unusual ways to use Google Adwords that you probably haven’t tried yet.

Poach Your Competitors’ Clients

When your consumers get really close to making a purchase, they Google the vendors they found along the way to do some final comparing. But what if your business isn’t one of the vendors on their shortlist?

Don’t fret. With a little clever engineering in Google Adwords, you can intercept customers during this final research phase.

Instead of bidding and focusing on industry keywords, try setting up your ads on the brand names of well-established competitors. By inserting your business into the conversation when consumers research your competitors, you give yourself the opportunity to attract purchases from those who are still on the fence.

In fact, a little Googling shows this is pretty common practice. When you Google the content discovery platform “Outbrain,” you find an ad from its competitor: Taboola. And when you search “Taboola,” you find an ad from Outbrain. 

Tuft Needle’s Google Adwords campaign that shows up when people Google Casper.

The mattress company Tuft Needle takes this a step further. When you Google “Casper,” Tuft Needle’s advert suggests there is a shocking flaw in the competitor’s product. “Do Not Buy a Mattress,” it reads, “Before You Learn the Truth.”

When you click through, you land on a custom Tuft Needle landing page with explanatory videos that discredit higher-priced competitors and offer a potentially better solution. Ethical quandaries aside, I have to admit this is a pretty genius use of Google Ads.

This can all get wildly expensive, especially if other competitors are trying the same tactic, or if the established brand is protecting itself with its own Google Ads. If this means poaching is out of the budget, another clever option is to bid on misspelled versions of your competitors’ brand names.

“Bidding on a misspelled version of your competitor’s brand can produce wonders, especially if your competitor is a big name in your industry,” explains Nick Ilev, Director of Marketing at Gabriel Marketing Group. “In some cases, more than 10% of searchers misspell brand names. If you capitalize on those misspellings, you can shoot to the top of the page with relatively low ad spend.”

Target People Who Aren’t Ready To Buy Yet

It sounds counterintuitive, right? Why would you want to go after the people who aren’t ready to buy yet?

According to John Leo Weber, the VP of Marketing at ProjectManager.com, it all boils down to different interpretations of the value Google Adwords provides.

“Most advertisers bid on high buyer-intent keywords because they see Adwords as a conversion engine,” says Weber. “Instead, advertisers should treat Adwords as a traffic engine. You can bid on lower buyer-intent keywords to bring traffic to your site, and put people into funnels to be targeted in other ways.”

In this mindset, a non-conversion on the first visit is an opportunity, not a loss. As long as you have marketing funnels in place to capture and nurture your leads, you can get potential customers for a faction of the cost, and then use those other marketing channels to convert them down the line. In other words: remarketing with a twist.

When you have high commercial-intent keywords going for $50+ per click, this top-of-the-funnel tactic starts to seem pretty appealing.

Figure Out Who You’re Not Selling To

Imagine you sell software that helps independent physicians manage their medical practices. Your product is not designed for large healthcare systems, so you wouldn’t want one as a customer.  

If you target keywords like “medical office management software,” you’ll reach your target audience. That’s great, but you may also get people searching for software to support the management of large practices.

This exact scenario happened to Beth Cooper, Marketing Manager at KNB Communications.

“The fact is, no matter how great your product is, there are some people you simply aren’t selling to,” said Cooper. “The trick is to figure out who those people are and think of keywords around them. AdWords lets you add them as ‘negative keywords,’ meaning they will not show your ad to people who use those search terms.”

By using negative keywords such as “hospital” and “large,” Cooper weeded out people searching for things like “hospital management software” or “large medical practice management solution.” She also used negative keywords like “free” and “open source” because the client wouldn’t want to pay for clicks if people were looking for a free software product.

Why is all of this important? Negative keywords can save you money, big time.

Remember: you pay for each click in an AdWords campaign. You don’t want to pay for clicks if the clicker most likely will never be a customer. So further targeting your campaigns will give you better bang for your buck.

Using negative keywords also improves the quality score Google assigns each of your ads. A better quality score means higher ad rankings and — you guessed it — a lower cost per click. The ultimate win-win.

Support Your Organic SEO Initiatives

According to 2017 data, Google searchers click on Google ads about 15% of the time. The other 85% goes straight to the organic results — that is, the search results that are not Google ads.

That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) remains a cornerstone of digital marketing initiatives. By creating valuable content and optimizing it to rank for carefully-considered keywords, you convince Google to rank your website for key terms and phrases in the long run without having to pay each time someone clicks.

Of course, writing high quality content is incredibly time-consuming, and it can sometimes take months before the results of a SEO campaign come to fruition. So how do you know which keywords are worth your attention before you dedicate months of writing, optimizing, generating traffic and building backlinks?

Google Adwords can help.

“Adwords data is invaluable for SEO keyword research,” explains Elliott Brown, an SEO and marketing consultant. “If people are willing to pay for traffic from certain keywords, it’s worth making an effort to get that same traffic for free.”

While it may take weeks or months to push organic results higher in search, you can see the results of your PPC ads the same day you launch a campaign. And writing an advert in AdWords takes way less time than developing long-form blog content.

Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanerskine/2018/02/28/6-surprising-ways-to-use-google-adwords-you-havent-tried-yet/

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