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Lead generation with Google AdWords advertising: Pay attention to targeting

One of the greatest advantages of advertising with Google AdWords is the range of targeting options that are available today. On the face of it, this means that the advertiser should be able to reach his target audience very precisely. However, let us add a word of caution for potential search marketers who aren’t as experienced with managing a Google AdWords campaign.

Lead generation with Google AdWords

Based on our own experience with managing some PPC campaigns for our clients and from what we have seen and heard from others, one could end up spending a fortune very quickly for irrelevant traffic if one is not extremely careful in closely monitoring the target settings. We believe the chances of something like this happening is higher in the ‘display’ / contextual network compared to on search, though things going wrong with the latter cannot be ruled out.

For example, during a recent lead generation campaign for a business-to-business client in a rather narrow niche, we were taken by a huge surprise with a campaign that generated a high volume of clicks within a matter of hours. However, our team noticed that not only was this traffic not converting into leads but also that there was something very abnormal about the traffic. Google Analytics showed that the visits lasted about a second on average! Digging deeper, we found that a high proportion of that traffic was coming from mobile apps, most of which were irrelevant. Thankfully, as professionals who manage SEO and PPC campaigns on a daily basis, we had our eyes on the ball and could take immediate corrective and preventive action.

Yet, this entire experience reinforced a few important lessons for us that we think are valuable for any PPC marketer.

  • Don’t blindly trust the auto settings and auto placements of Google AdWords.
  • Continue to evaluate the websites and sources that generate clicks very closely. Despite all the steps taken by Google to enforce high quality, we find that a lot of websites driving traffic (by virtue of being part of Google’s AdSense network) are pathetic to say the least. One can only guess the quality and relevance of traffic from such sources.
  • Watch your campaigns like a hawk. Look out for abnormalities like high number of clicks with very low conversion, extraordinarily high bounce rate, unnaturally low visit duration, etc. Pause, evaluate, revise and restart. Speed of detection and taking corrective measures is critical here- else, you could have wasted a lot of advertising rupees down the drain before you realise.

- By Manoj Aravindakshan

Manoj Aravindakshan is the Managing Director of Singapore search & content marketing company On Target Media. The company helps businesses in diverse industries from Singapore and overseas to build online visibility and generate leads through digital marketing, especially SEO & PPC. Contact us today to understand how we can help you get the most value out of your digital marketing.

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