Joy Gendusa
Joy Gendusa

I’ve heard from a number of HVAC professionals that they would love to understand how to navigate AdWords and make pay per click (PPC) a valuable marketing option for them, so this is the second article in a three-part series where I break it down for you and show you how to do that.

• Part 1 provided a quick overview of what AdWords is and how it works.

• Part 2, this article, supplies five ad creation tips on how to maximize your cost per click (CPC).

• Part 3 will explain how to navigate the many targeting options Google provides.

Let’s do this thing!

Five Ad Creation Tips for Maximizing Cost Per Click (CPC)

So we’ve discussed what PPC is and how the system works, but the process of actually creating your ads can be confusing and stressful. Plus, if you do it wrong, you could be wasting most of your budget. Cost per click (CPC) is the metric that Google tracks to show you how much you are paying for every click you get. And the thing is: you can cause this number to go up or down by implementing some fundamental best practices. So here are some ad creation tips to make sure you are getting the most from your funds:

1. Make Your Ads Relevant to Keywords

Google uses something called “relevancy” to rank where ads appear on the page. So it’s not just your bid. Because, newsflash: Google only makes money if people click on ads, so they want the best ads at the top. Relevancy is comprised of a number of factors, but the big ones are the wording of your ad and how much people like what they find after clicking your ad. Google has a useful article on how to increase the relevancy of your ads, but here is what you really need to know:

• Get specific – If you have more than one product, create an ad group (group of keywords to target) for each specific product. To borrow Google’s example, a grocery store would be better off running separate ads for “cookies” and “cereal” and “milk” than one ad for “food.” Make sense? If you want to attract new clients through PPC, you should create separate ad groups for those prospects using the specific keywords they are searching for (i.e., commercial air conditioning, residential heating, etc.).

• Put Keywords in Ad Copy – People are more inclined to click on an ad with the exact wording they typed into Google. And more clicks equals better relevancy.

• Review Your Performance – Check in regularly to see which ads are performing well and which aren’t. Stop the losers. Test the winners to see if you can improve even more. Shutting down losing campaigns improves your relevancy with Google, as well.

2. Add Large Phone Numbers to Banner Ads

So you know you only pay for ads people click on. So what if you were able to get a lead from your PPC without the user even clicking on your ad? Score! You can do that by putting your phone number on the ad, like the examples in Figure 1 above. If the prospect is ready to call, they might just give you a ring without even clicking.

3. Control Your Display Hours

In AdWords, you can tell the system when to show your ads. In other words, you can set it to run ads only during business hours, which makes it more likely for you to convert clicks into calls by cutting down on the number of people who go to your site and don’t call simply because it’s late.

4. Use Ad Extensions

Text ads (like those in the search results) also have five “extensions” you can use to improve the efficiency of your campaigns. They are:

• Location Extension – Opens up a map on mobile devices, so people can find your office.

• Sitelink Extension – Displays different pages from your website so prospects can jump right to what they are interested in.

• Call Extension – Gives mobile browsers a click-to-call option that facilitates appointments.

• Social Media Extension – Shows how many +1’s you have on Google+.

• Seller Rating Extension – Adds credibility by showing how well you are rated by previous clients. (It won’t show your rating if it is less than 4 stars.)

The Sitelink and Call extensions are probably the most useful for HVAC pros. But if you are rated highly on Google, you definitely want to use the Seller Rating extension to build trust and affinity with prospects.

5. Maintain Consistent Design Flow

People should be able to get their bearings on your landing page within 7 seconds, or they’ll be headed for the “back” button. You need to maintain a consistent design, message, and tonal flow throughout the process. In other words, you don’t want something that looks like Figure 2 above.

That’s confusing. And it is not at all what they wanted when they clicked on the ad. You want something more like Figure 3 above.

If you do these five things, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your relevancy score with Google and lowering your cost per click. Just think: the same (and probably better) results for less money. If you have a question about any of the five tips above, shoot me a question in the comments and I’ll do my best to clarify it for you.

And don’t forget to look for the next post in this series next month, where I’ll help you improve your results with the targeting settings available in AdWords.

To learn more about pay per click, download this free report: Google AdWords: 12 Targeting Options Most Businesses Don’t Know About