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5 Google AdWords Best Practices to Boost Content Marketing

Date published: May 17, 2016
Last updated: May 17, 2016

You've created an amazing piece of content, you've shared it on your social media channels, and you've blasted it out in your email newsletter. It's still not getting the type of traction you want, though, even though the piece contains really useful information that could spread like wildfire if the people who need it had the chance to see it. A Google AdWords campaign may be just what your content needs to propel it to viral greatness, after targeted users who are searching for your solution see it pop up in their search results.

For budgets as little as a couple bucks, your content could get clicked on by engaged users who share it with all their friends and purchase from your business. With a variety of choices you can experiment with to continually optimize a campaign; here are five guidelines to use with Google AdWords campaigns to boost your chance of success at increasing visits to your content marketing efforts.

Consider the Google Search Partner Network

If your target customers use sites like YouTube or, expand the reach of your Google AdWords ad by testing the Google Search Partner Network, recommends Disruptive Advertising. By selecting “Include search partners” in your ad, your ad will still be shown to relevant users who just might not be on Google.

Google partners with hundreds of other websites for its Search Partner Network. While you won't be able to control the other networks your ads are shown to, as long as the ad is optimized with relevant keywords and includes a clear call to action, it can still garner powerful reactions. For content marketing efforts that have a localized angle, the Google Search Partner Network might be especially valuable, since it includes Google Maps placement.

Use Keyword Research to Drive Ad Content

Just like keyword research is essential to drive the strategy of the content itself; it's also a vital component in a successful Google AdWords campaign. Using keywords your users are searching for makes the ad more likely to appear in their results. It also means it's more relevant to the user, which will increase the likelihood of users acting on the ad.

When devising keywords for your ad, Google recommends:

  • Thinking about what your current customers are searching for
  • Choosing keywords that relate to what the customers you want are searching for to increase relevance
  • Selecting keywords that are less specific and more general if you want to increase your reach

You can segment these different categories of keywords into different ad campaigns to measure which keywords perform best for your content.

Constantly A/B Test to Optimize Ads

If you're not continually testing ads against each other, you'll never truly realize what's working and what's not for your ad. By testing and evolving Google AdWords strategies, you can maximize your budget's effectiveness. There are so many ways to test Google AdWords campaigns, including:

  • Type of ad: cost per click versus cost per impression, for example
  • Type of keywords: keeping the entire ad the same, but switching one keyword
  • Type of content: switching up calls to action or headlines
  • Type of landing page: varying where the ad takes the user to gauge conversions
  • Type of audience: targeting ads for the same piece of content to different audiences

Testing and measuring success should be based on specific goals you set before launching each campaign, recommends former Google employee Frederick Vallaeys on Search Engine Land. Tracking multiple goals is beneficial because it shows you how to focus your ad on increasing return on investment.

Put Your Landing Page to Work

While it’s important that the type of content itself you are promoting is engaging and provides benefits to the ad recipients, it's also crucial to make sure the page those who click on the ad land on is optimized to boost your business. Don't just show people a blog post that's text-only. Include:

  • A link to your business
  • A call to action on the post to learn more by visiting a product or service page
  • Buttons that allow people to share the piece of content on their own networks
  • Social media icons that lead people to your social network pages so they can follow your updates and add to the conversation
  • A commenting feature that enables log-in through social media so content consumers can discuss the content and be motivated to return to it to monitor the discussion
  • A call to action that benefits your business, whether that's to sign up to an email newsletter so the visitor never misses another piece of great content, or it's to claim a special offer

People who click on your Google AdWords ad and are led to a page that is not relevant to the ad may experience anger or frustration, which damages brand sentiment. You could actually be paying to turn potential customers off if you have a landing page that does not meet customer expectations based on the content of the ad.

Keep Mobile in Mind

With Pew Research Center reporting 64 percent of American adults own a smartphone as of April 2015, a whopping 29 percent increase since 2011, building a mobile strategy for your Google AdWords ad helps you reach people

who are searching on their smartphones. This means considering the following mobile factors to ensure mobile Google AdWords success:

  • Make sure your landing page is optimized for mobile, and consider the best types of content that look great on mobile and deliver an optimal user experience
  • Feature a clickable phone number on your landing page so ad consumers can immediately get in touch with your business
  • Keep the mobile user in mind when writing copy and choosing keywords
  • Test times the ad appears on mobile based on when people are using their smartphones to search for specific keywords

Like all Google AdWords campaigns, use the same testing and evaluating methods to constantly improve your mobile ads. Mobile versus desktop is another metric to measure, and it may even lead your business to exclusively run mobile Google AdWords campaigns.

A Google AdWords campaign is an excellent tool in the content marketer’s arsenal. Using these best practices ensure that every chance at success is optimized.

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