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What Top Ten ’90s Songs Can Teach You About Google Adwords


Hey … remember the ’90s?

It’s hard to believe Google was nothing more than a big idea that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had in 1998. I wonder what music they were listening to?

As Element’s Director of Digital Marketing, it’s my job to stay up to date on digital advertising strategies, and Google AdWords is easily one of the most important platforms. Keeping up with best practices allows us to provide our clients with the expertise they need for success online.

I also happen to consider myself somewhat of an expert on ’90s music. So why not combine AdWords and ’90s pop songs?

Here’s what we can learn about Google AdWords from 10 hit songs.

1. R. Kelly – “Bump ‘n Grind”

To get the most out of Google AdWords, you need to get up close and personal and understand the process. If you decide to partner with an expert, you don’t need to become AdWords certified or comprehend every facet of how it works, but you do need to know why certain decisions are made, limitations, and what the overall expected outcome should be.

While you may have to invest a bit of time educating yourself, it will make the initial setup go more smoothly, and working relationships ultimately produce better results. At first your mind might be tellin’ you no, but the outcome is tellin’ you yes.

2. Backstreet Boys ­– “I Want It That Way”

You can’t always get what you want, and unfortunately the same is true when creating Google AdWords text ads. You cannot always predict how your ad will appear each and every time within the search results.

With Google’s new expanded text ad format, there are two headlines, but there is no guarantee on how the second headline will display. Both headlines could appear on the same line, break into two lines, or the second headline could even be truncated. It is important to consider these possibilities and develop text ads strategically that avoid including important information in the second headline.

3. Whitney Houston – “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay”

Crafting the right ad copy is challenging enough, and even more so with Google AdWords because each text ad is limited to 140 characters.

With the new text ad format, copy is split into two longer headlines (30 characters each) and a longer description line (80 characters). While this provides a better opportunity to craft the right message, sometimes you’ll need to sacrifice the exact copy you want for something that is still effective and fits within the character count.

4. Smashing Pumpkins – “Mayonaise”

Though the band decided not to spell Mayonnaise correctly, it’s an important reminder that Google AdWords isn’t just for creamy condiments and other consumer-based products. Many C-level executives and other professionals use Google to conduct research for new business services and tools during the beginning phase of their overall path-to-purchase.

5. Radiohead – “Creep”

Be a creeper. And no, not the kind who attends a party they weren’t invited too.

Just take it slow and walk before you run. There are different tools within Google AdWords that need be considered, and selecting the right ones will lead to a successful campaign. A strategy should be developed, which will help you make the right choices. Consider your target audience, geographic reach, lead conversion tracking, cost of acquisition, and competitive landscape before investing in pay-per-click costs.

Your bottom line will thank you.

6. Spice Girls – “Wannabe”

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want. If it’s a back rub or free babysitting, I can’t really help you, but if you’re looking for a Google AdWords campaign, you bet I can.

And more importantly, I will also let you know if I don’t think it’s the best marketing tactic for you. AdWords is not a solution for everyone. I value open and honest communication, and it’s important to do marketing right. Your success is my success. And in a pinch, I’ll watch your kids for $9 per hour, but I’ll need full access to your pantry.

7. Sugar Ray – “Every Morning”

Running your Google AdWords campaign 24/7 may not always be the best use of your budget. Sometimes you can save pay-per-click costs by bidding during off-peak times, or you may be able to increase conversions by increasing your max bid during other portions of the day.

While I am not a morning person, your target audience might be.

8. Celine Dion – “My Heart Will Go On”

Near, far, or wherever you are, I believe you should work with someone who is passionate about what they do. That includes your paid digital marketing efforts.

A passion for Google AdWords and other digital media will naturally drive ongoing education, creating expertise in an area that is constantly changing. That translates into ensuring your AdWords campaigns are created using the latest best practices and provide the appropriate solutions to overcome your marketing and sales hurdles.

9. Beck – “Loser”

Underperforming ads and irrelevant keywords will impact the quality and success of your Google AdWords campaign.

So get rid of the losers, they are hurting your Quality Score! Or at least evaluate your website user experience, rewrite copy, or conduct additional keyword research to fix the issues.

Quality Score is determined by the overall quality of your text ads in relation to the keyword and landing pages that the ads link to. Why does this matter? Higher quality scores typically lead to lower costs and better ad positions.

10. Proclaimers – “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”

One feature of Google AdWords is location targeting, which allows your text ads to appear in the geographic location(s) that you choose: countries, areas within a country, a radius around a location, or location groups.

Location targeting helps you focus your efforts on the areas where your target audience is located, and restricts it in areas where they’re not. It is considered a best practice to target a location within the campaign settings, not necessarily within the keyword. In most cases, adding the location to the keyword will result in a low search volume, making the keyword ineligible to populate ads, and/or impact your Quality Score.

Whoomp, there it is! Thanks for reading, and if you’d like to learn more about Google AdWords or have a casual conversation about the greatest decade ever, please send me an email.


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