Our marketing series has touched on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and PageRank, which both take time to implement and gain traction. But what about having a presence on Google while you’re getting your SEO up to speed? Here are the Five Things You Can Do Today to Start Your Google AdWords Campaign to get your brand out in the virtual world right away. In the first installment of our marketing series, we addressed Search Engine Optimization and PageRank. Since Google is the largest player in the search sector, and since so many of today’s couples are using Google to find wedding venues, we needed to start with that critical site. But as your SEO strategy starts to develop and work for you, remember SEO is a marathon not a sprint. To flesh out your online presence, you’ll need a comprehensive Search Engine Marketing campaign (SEM). In pursuit of a developed SEM, let’s again address Google. More specifically, Google AdWords. AdWords are what you typically see highlighted on the top and on the right of the page when you search for something. You want your brand to show up in AdWords at the top of potential customers’ search results. But how?
Five Things You Can Do Today to Start Your Google AdWords Campaign: 1. Develop Your Key Word Strategy: Decide the search terms you want your venue to be associated with by thinking about what your customers are likely to Google. Typical search terms might be the city or state where your business is located and your specific industry. (For example, “Miami wedding venue” or “New York wedding locations.”) It might be difficult to compete in search engines with broad terms and locations, so try and use terms that are specific and local. Refer to Google’s search-based keyword tool for help. For example, here is list that I use for my Portland, Maine wedding venue clients: Maine Wedding Venue, Portland Wedding Venue, Maine Wedding Locations, Portland Wedding Locations, Wedding in Maine, Portland Maine Wedding, and so on.
2. Open An AdWords Account: https://adwords.google.com/um/StartNewAccount You will need your Google email address and password handy or be ready to sign up for a Google account if you don’t already have one. You’ll then set your time zone and currency and verify your account via email.
3. Create Your First Campaign: Once you’re logged in, you’ll complete four required steps. There is a great set-up video to help when you enter the site. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get rolling:
- Name your campaign
- Manage your networks – I suggest removing “content networks” for now. This tends to drive more unqualified leads than useful ones.
- Locations -- you will want to limit where your ads appear according to the location of your venue and where your typical client comes from geographically. Limiting this will help your ads be more targeted and also likely reduce the cost.
- Choose your budget – I suggest starting with $5/day to get to know the system. Contact us for a promotion code to get $100 free when you open your AdWords account with $25!
- Create your ads -- I recommend starting with one and a variation on that one to see which attracts more attention.
- Enter your keywords -- See step 1
- Enter your billing information
4. Optimize: Once you have your ad running, return daily at first to see what is working and what is not. Try other keywords and fine tune over time. As you optimize you will reduce the amount of low-quality ads and effectively target couples searching for what you have to offer.
5. Analyze Your Results: Use Google Analytics to measure your results. These analytics will allow you to see how people arrive at your site, what pages they view, how long they stay, which pages they leave, and which search terms brought them to your site either by SEO or AdWords. Understanding this information will help you make small adjustments to your strategy that can make a big difference.
Have questions? The Google AdWords support team is particularly good at answering the phone or getting back to you in a timely manner. And why not? You’re trying to spend money with them after all!
Bonus: Three Tips for Writing Your Ad
- Be Relevant -- The more relevant your ad copy is with your keywords and what you do, the more traffic it will create. So include keywords like “wedding venue” and “wedding locations” in your ad.
- Be Specific -- What makes your venue unique compared to your competitors? Are you on the ocean? Do you provide in-house catering or something else that makes you stand out?
- Call To Action -- Ask the potential customers to do something. It could be signing up for newsletter or a promotion or telling them more about their wedding.