How to Succeed with Google AdWords

How to Succeed with Google AdWords

Think like a customer, be relevant, and do research, Google executive advises.

March 21, 2016

Using Google AdWords can help credit unions attract more customers, and reach people when they’re searching for financial services.

But credit unions need to define their goals and strategy before entering this arena, Ben Polk, a senior account executive with Google, told CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference attendees Monday morning.

Google AdWords uses keywords and targeting to connect your ads with users and their searches, Polk explained. That’s why it’s important to use keywords that consumers use to find you.

“Think like a customer, be relevant, and do research,” Polk advised, offering these best practices:

  1. Choose a strategy that aligns with your main business goal. Automation will help you manage your account to focus on that goal above all else.
  2. Automate your bidding based on the most accurate conversion data available. “Better conversion data means smarter automated bids,” he said.
  3. Understand that the true value of automation is saved time. Automated bids might save time that can be spent on other areas vital to your account’s success.
  4. Organize like-performing keywords into bidding portfolios. Well-defined portfolios give you more transparency and control.

“Start with your business goal and work down,” Polk said.

Mobile is the future of AdWords, he added. “Google is dealing with mobile in ‘micro moments,’” where search results target the person’s location.

Location is one of the most important variables when using AdWords, Polk said. That’s why users should:

  • Think holistically about the different ways consumers can reach you. “For most advertisers, keywords power their AdWords accounts,” he said. “If you’re located in one place, don’t target elsewhere unless it’s a national campaign.”
  • Align keywords with your business goals. “Think about your local market sweet spot—and then think larger. Go to google.com/trends to find where people are searching for you the most.”
  • Be present on mobile, and make sure your mobile site is high-functioning. “Consumers are always on the go, so stay with them by targeting their devices,” Polk said. “The quicker your mobile site the better. If you have a fast mobile site, people are much happier.”
  • Don’t change your AdWords strategy too often. “Be patient with the system,” he said, adding that AdWords may take a couple of weeks to appear. "If you change things too much, your data will be scattered and your performance may suffer.”
  • Protect your brand. Don’t compete against other companies’ keywords.

“Make sure you’re at the top of search results," Polk said. "Otherwise, people might scroll right by you.”