Google AdWords is the most effective, budget-friendly, and powerful way to generate futures leads. Ads can be displayed not only on Google but on websites of all sizes from CNBC and Bloomberg to individual bloggers. Add the ability to view informative reports and set your own-budget (and stop-and-start on the fly) and you see why AdWords is the advertising method of choice.
However, in the ongoing quest for futures leads, many of the brokers we speak with have tried Google AdWords or other Search Engine Marketing tools but have been disappointed with the results. Common complaints are that they spent a lot of money, didn’t generate many leads, and it was harder than they thought to set up. In our experience of executing and managing Search Engine Marketing campaigns for futures brokers, here’s what we’ve identified as the top 10 AdWords mistakes:
AdWords Mistake #1: Buying Too Many Keywords
When you first set-up a campaign, Google suggests keywords for your campaign. Blindly selecting all of them without reviewing them will lead to clicks that may not be relevant. Keep your list of keywords tightly targeted to the offer.
AdWords Mistake #2: Buying the Wrong Keywords
Is your list of keywords specific enough? Buying broad terms such as “futures trading” can be cost-inefficient for the quality of click that results. Similarly, you may be tempted to buy broad keywords for a narrow campaign. For instance selecting the keyword “coffee trading” for a generic Options Trading campaign could trigger an ad about “Fair trade coffee.” Make sure each term is appropriate.
AdWords Mistake #3: Setting a Budget Too Low
Being able to set any budget on the fly with AdWords is a huge benefit. But a monthly budget of $100 won’t get you many leads. We suggest a monthly budget of at least $1000. If you can’t swing this, shorten your ad cycle to spend more per day but for a shorter length of time (say $50/day for 10 days).
AdWords Mistake #4: Ineffective Ads
Are your ads compelling? Do they quickly tell clients what they’ll receive? Are they professional looking and do they read well? The message has to succinctly tell what you’re offering and not come across as gimmicky. These are keys to getting clicks.
AdWords Mistake #5: Not Creating Multiple Versions of an Ad
Unlike other forms of advertising, you’re able to create multiple versions of an ad that link to the same landing page—and Google will show you which one performs better. In fact, over time, it will automatically “lean” toward ads that will help improve your performance.
AdWords Mistake #6: Offers that Generate Clicks, not Leads
Getting a whole lot of clicks but not lead conversions? This shows interest in the ad is high—but the offer or landing page is not working. Is your offer truly desirable? Does it make sense? “Open an Account” is not a good offer for lead-generation purposes; try “Free Guide to Managed Futures” instead to gather lead-contact information. Do the design and text of the landing page look professional? Only ask for the bare minimum amount of info from the lead.
AdWords Mistake #7: Not Making Changes
Many give up here. One of the best things about AdWords is that you can change every aspect of your campaign on the fly and see how it performs. No other advertising method lets you do that. So tweak and launch, review again, tweak and launch—until you get it right.
AdWords Mistake #8: Not Sticking with a Campaign Long Enough
You’ve just launched your campaign, or made some changes to an existing one based on feedback from your reports. Now give the campaign enough time to work before making heavy modifications. Google’s algorithms adjust quickly, but they also need a lot of data, so be sure to let your campaign run for a least a week or two before modifying.
AdWords Mistake #9: Not Reading Your Reports
You will need to do your homework to have a successful campaign. Other than the number of leads you’re getting, reports are the lifeblood of what you’re doing. Google gives you an incredible amount of reporting tools to help you optimize and improve your campaigns. And if you’re getting leads, you can still glean new ways to reduce your cost-per-click and gain even more leads!
AdWords Mistake #10: Not Implementing all forms of Tracking and Analysis
We see a number of accounts with only the base tracking set-up. There is code for tracking conversions, retargeting cookies, goal funnels and much more that are key to getting vital data. It requires more work and maintenance, but is absolutely worth the effort.
Google AdWords is like trading. You have to do your homework, be creative and implement all of the features properly. Once you commit the time to research, monitor and review you will be able to successfully create an ongoing pipeline of leads for your brokerage. Kevin Greene is a certified Google AdWords Professional, and manages Search Engine Marketing for Gate 39 Media (www.gate39media.com), a Google AdWords Certified Partner specializing in Web Design and Marketing for the futures industry. Kevin can be reached at 312.715.1475 or email@example.com for questions and comments.