(x-post from /r/Entrepreneur) I’ve seen a lot of “Google AdWords” posts that lack good information. I’m here to change that and help you grow your business. Seriously. No Bullshit.

Here's a post I did on Facebook (Shit…I forgot to do the part two).

I'll cover Google Ad's, conversion optimization, copywriting and a host of other topics that will help your business. I’m NOT selling you anything, I’m NOT sending you to a blog, I’m NOT using affiliate links. I will answer any and all questions, just drop them below.

List of resources that you should get familiar with.

AdWords Guide From Google

Setting up Conversion Tracking

Match types

Conversion Tracking



Here comes a wall of text so let's get right to it.

Getting Started With AdWords

I won't spend a lot of time on this section. It’s pretty straight forward. Follow this link, click ‘Start Now’ and follow the prompts.

There are hundreds of guides that go over how to structure your campaign, match types, etc. I always stick to search campaigns, but you have to test what works for your business.

Finding Keywords

There are a few ways to find keywords. You can use the Google Keyword planner for suggestions, use Google Trends and you can ‘“Spy” on your competition.

The Google Keyword Planner is a good place to start, but I wouldn’t recommend relying on this tool 100% of the time. When searching in the Keyword planner make sure that you put yourself in the customer's shoes.

How do they search? If you’re selling red sandals they may search ‘Best Red Sandals’ ‘Cheap Red Sandals’ ‘Womens Red Sandals’ etc.

Ask your friends and family to perform a few searches and watch how they search.

I also use Google Trends to find SEO Keywords. Here’s a good article on that

Skip to "Spying on your competition to get keyword and copy ideas" to learn more about getting keywords and copy ideas from your competition.

How to find your budget

This is something that I see 90% of Small business owners fail at. They have no idea how much they should budget and end up just throwing money at AdWords hoping something will work.

First, you need to calculate your Max CPC then compare that to the Max CPC in the Google Keyword Planner. Your max CPC is based on your conversion rate, profit per user, and your target advertising profit margin.

If you don’t know these numbers then you’ll need to make an educated guess based on the industry average.

Use the formula below to calculate your Max CPC and then compare to the estimated CPC you found above:

Max CPC = (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)

For example, let’s say your average profit per customer is $500, and out of 1,000 website visitors, you convert 10 into customers. That means you have a 1% website conversion rate.

If you are comfortable with a 30% profit margin, then here’s how you would calculate your Max CPC:

Max CPC = $500 x (1 – 0.30) x 1% = $3.50

Tip: Stay within your Max CPC. If the CPC is higher than your max you either need to increase the profit per customer or move on.

Spying on your competition to get keyword and copy ideas(Competitive Intelligence)

Being able to see what your competition does and what works for them will give you a huge head start. Wouldn’t be great if you could just hack into your competitors AdWords account and look at what’s working for them? (Don’t actually hack their account, you don’t need to).

This is called Competitive Intelligence and I’ve used this data to not only beat out our competition, but it also gives me ad copy ideas.

I usually use SpyFu, but you can choose whatever tool you’d like to use. SEMRush is an alternative, Ispionage is another.

Disclaimer I have no idea how well Ispionage works.

Now go to SpyFu and type in the keyword ‘Red Sandals’(Or your keyword). It’ll show you the average CTR and the number of companies that are running ads on this keyword in the last 12 months. It will also show you other profitable related keywords.

If you click on ‘Advertiser History’, you’ll even see the actual ads that your competitors use, the ad rank, sitelinks, etc.

This is where I get my copy ideas from. You can click on ‘Cache’ for the ads and you’ll be able to see where the ad was found, the site links, etc. If it’s not broken, why fix it? Use their ad copy to come up with ideas that incorporate your brand's voice.

I’ve used this to outrank both Zillow and Trulia for my real estate startup back in 2016.

Conversions and Copywriting

"Well, I run Google ad's but I don't get any conversions". If your ads are performing well and you aren't getting conversions…….Your website and copy is probably bad.

When I say bad, I don't necessarily mean poorly designed. I see a lot of beautiful sites that are terrible on the conversion front. If your site loads fast, is mobile responsive and has compelling copy the end user doesn't give a shit how beautiful it is.

Check out this article from Wordstream on landing pages

This is a common mistake I see when I consult with startups. They run their ads and the link for the ad is literally the homepage.

This is a BIG no. Don't do this. You only have 7 seconds to capture the attention of that user, don't waste your time sending them to your homepage. Make a lander that is specific to your ad!

Here are the common mistake when it comes to conversion optimization.

  • Terrible copy (we will touch on the "bandage theory")
  • Ignoring your site speed (You need to do everything you can to decrease load times)
  • More than one CTA (I see this ALL the time, you don't need TWO CTA's in your header, you're taking away from one of them)
  • Your ad's don't match your lander (Keep it simple stupid)
  • You don't test! (Test button colors, text copy, site color, etc. TEST, TEST, TEST!)

These are the mistakes I see daily. The biggest one has to be people having two CTA's, you are killing your conversion rates. You want people to take ONE action, which (hopefully) is going to make your business money.

If they want to learn more, they will do their own research but you need to hold their hand when they are on your site and lead them to the conversion action you want them to take.

You need to test everything from your ad's to your lander, to the copy, to the color (men and women respond to certain colors in different ways).

You have to test people.

I NEVER use broad match for anything but testing. You should use broad match to test out your keywords and get data on what users are actually searching and from there you can easily sort out your negative keywords as well. Once you get those keywords, you want to switch them into Exact Match.

Don’t spend too much money on this if you don’t have the budget.

I used to use VWO to run my test, but I recently switched over to Google Optimize.

I’m still playing around with it, but so far it integrates well with all of the other tools I use.

Always be testing. ABT. If you aren’t testing I can assure you that you will fail. Not trying to be a dick here, but the truth hurts.

This leads to the "bandage theory" and 85% of startups I help completely ignore this. Your lander copy should play into the emotional appeal.

Think about it like this… You cut your hand and I come up to you and notice that cut. Now maybe it's been an hour and the cut doesn't really hurt anymore, right? If I grab a stick and rub it on that wound, you're going to be reminded of that pain real quick.

Apply that to your copy!!!!

What pain are your customers feeling? Grab a stick and poke that damn wound. For example, think about student loans. Most young Americans have them and they are a burden for a lot of people.

If a student loan consolidation company focused on features (we served 1M people, which no one gives a shit about) and didn't play up on the pain, they wouldn't have a high conversion rate.

Now, if that same company had copy that read something like this "When I went to XYZ university I thought I was ready to take on the world and that an accounting degree from XYZ would land me a decent paying job."

"I was wrong, I haven't been able to land a decent job and I'm getting embarrassing calls about repaying my loans. What makes it worse if my parent co-signed on the loans and I feel like I ruined my parent's retirement". There's a huge difference in terms of copy.

That's all for now. Please, ask anything you'd like below and I'll try my best to get to them!

Edit – Let's talk about Ad Extensions for a second. You absolutely NEED to use them. Read this article. You want to take up as much real estate as possible with your ad. For example, take a look at this ad from Wix and then take a look at the ads below it. Wix is taking up a lot of real estate using Ad Extensions and they have more information in their ads. Why wouldn't you want that? Which ad is the consumer going to click on?

Edit #2 – Pushed a few links up to the resources. Adding conversion tracking link.

Edit #3 – Location, Location, Location. Set your location and exlude other locations that aren't relevant to your business. If you're selling a product in the US why would you pay for clicks from China or Russia? You're wasting money. You have three options based on your campaign here:

  • People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location. (I don't use this)

Which means – Your ad can appear for anyone who is likely to be physically located in your targeted location. Your ad can also appear for anyone who shows interest in your targeted location. People can show interest through terms used in their searches, content that they view online, if they were recently in a location, or other methods

  • People in my targeted location (I use this)

Which means – Your ad can appear to people who are likely to be physically located in your targeted location, even if they show interest in other locations.

  • People searching for my targeted location

Which means – Your ad can appear for anyone who shows interest in your targeted location. For example, people can show interest through terms used in their searches. This would be good for hotels, tourist attractions, etc.


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