AdWords is Google's advertising platform which is used by millions of businesses across the world. It gives your tour and activity company the power to show ads to potential customers who are searching for the product you sell, through Google. AdWords search advertising works on a pay per click (PPC) basis, so you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad.
When giving AdWords advice to clients I like to point out the best practices so that their campaigns will have the strongest chance for success. When you pay for advertising you want to make sure every relevant tool is being utilized so you get the most bang for your buck. With this in mind, I've decided to put together 10 practical tips that you can put into practice when creating your AdWords campaigns.
1. Plan your keywords
Planning strong keywords can take some work. If you have a limited budget you will want to reserve your ad spend on keywords that are most valuable to you. You should include the region of where your operation is based in all your keywords so you avoid general searches that are not location specific. Say you sell walking tours in Florence, it is good practice to add Florence to every keyword so people looking for walking tours in general don't see it.
2. Plan your negative keywords
Negative keywords are essential to all comprehensive AdWords strategies. Unlike regular keywords, which you want your ads to show for, negative keywords insure that search terms with specific words don't trigger your ads. Why would want your ad to not show? Say for example you offer kiteboarding lessons and are bidding on the term kiteboarding school. Some searchers could be looking for kiteboarding school jobs, therefore it is good to negate the term jobs from your campaign.
3. Use different ad copy
It's always good to use a variety of different ad copy in your campaigns so you can see what approach works best. When writing ad copy it's good to think along two styles: benefits and features. Benefits ads aim to convey the experience that the person will have from purchasing your product. Features ads aim to outline what is actually included in the offer, for instance a tour guide, vacation or equipment rental, meals etc.
4. Use Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI)
DKI allows you to dynamically insert the keywords you are bidding on into your ad, when that keyword is triggered in a search. This enables you to show very relevant ad copy to your recipients as a close variant of what they searched for will be in the ad. This can save you a lot of time if you are trying to make ads for tours that have different variables like beginner, intermediate and advanced. DKI will increase your click through rate as your ads will be more relevant.
5. For every ad you create, make three more
This is a best practice strategy that you should keep in mind when creating a new ad. You will need to direct mobile searches to mobile optimized landing pages and desktop searches to desktop landing pages. Therefore you should create a separate ad for each device type so the user experience is friendly.
You should also create a DKI ad for each device type ad in conjunction with a static ad. So for every new ad you create you will have one DKI ad for desktop and mobile, and one static ad for desktop and mobile. TrekkSoft websites are automatically optimized for mobile devices.
6. Use all available ad extensions
Ad extensions enhance your ad copy with more information that encourages potential customers to click. Ad extensions include sitelinks, callouts, call extensions and location extensions. Each extension serves a different purpose. Ad extensions help you occupy more ad real estate on the search results page of Google, which will make your ad more prominent.
7. Create a brand campaign
Many advertisers overlook the need to bid on their own brand name. But it's a good strategy as you can direct potential customers to a particular page on your site that your organic results may not. You can also inform them about new promotions you are running very easily by changing your ad copy. Bidding on your own brand name has a low cost per click as your quality score will be high.
8. Create a competitor campaign
Competitor campaigns are a great way to reach out to customers who have heard about another tour and activity company in your area but not yours. It will give you the opportunity to win them over with more competitive offers and value for money. To do this, simply bid on your competitors brand name as a keyword. This is one campaign that you should not use DKI with as it will insert your competitors brand name into your ad.
9. Think about re-marketing
Re-marketing is always a good feature to include in your AdWords strategy. It allows you to show ads to people who visited your site but then left. Say you want to engage with people who didn't make a transaction on your site with a new special offer like 5% off one of your products. This will incentivise them to return to your site and potentially make a purchase. TrekkSoft's quick re-marketing deployment tool allows you to set up re-marketing on your whole website in minutes.
10. Set up conversion tracking
Conversions are the most important feature to analyze when measuring your campaigns' success. A conversion is a pre-defined action undertaken on the page that you choose. Most tour and activity companies will track purchases but you can also track contact submissions and brochure downloads.
The easiest way to set it up is by having a confirmation page after an action is undertaken that contains the conversion tracking code. TrekkSoft's agent desk allows you to copy and paste tracking codes straight into the checkout confirmation page of your site.
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Written by Marcel Whelan
Marcel grew up in Ireland but is also half Dutch. He has a BSc. in Marketing and is a Google AdWords Professional and Google Partner. After working for an Ad Tech startup in NYC, Marcel moved to Interlaken, Switzerland to manage all PPC advertising for TrekkSoft.