In ‘Million Dollar Listing’ Lessons to Improve Your Online Advertising, I explained how important it is to “stage” your offer so it matches exactly what the market wants.  In this article, I’ll explain how to do that (“stage” your offer) using the information readily available in Google AdWords.

Once you dig into the data, you’ll find that you actually know much more about your prospect than you probably thought you did.  The key to this process is to first assess all the data you have, and then create the most compelling offer for each of your prospect segments.

1. Keyword Phrase

The most important and most revealing source of data is the keyword phrase typed into Google.  The keyword tells you what your prospect is looking for.  If the keyword is “how to run barefoot” then that person is most likely looking for information in the form of an article or video.  If the keyword is “barefoot running clinic” then that person is interested in taking a class to learn how to run barefoot.

See the difference? If you’re selling a barefoot running clinic, then the keyword “how to run barefoot” is probably not going to work because the offer is not in line with what the person is looking for.  Use the keyword phrase to figure out exactly what your prospect is looking for.  Then match your ad to the intent of the keyword phrase.


2. Time of Day

In a lot of markets, the time of day when your prospect is searching online plays a big role.  For example,  I tend to search for a restaurant for lunch around 11am.  Clearly, an ad with a special lunch offer will work better around 11am than at 5pm.

What else do you know about your prospect based on the day or time of day of the search?  Can you tailor your offer differently for workdays versus weekends?  Does your prospect research at night and make purchases during office hours?  If you aren’t sure, then dig into your historical data to see when your ads perform the best and when they perform the worst.


3. Location

The physical location of the searcher obviously gives you valuable insight.  One of my private clients analyzed their entire database of US customers to determine their top performing zip codes.  And based on this information, we now bid differently and tailor the ad messages accordingly.

How could you change your ad copy if you knew where the prospect was searching?  Would you offer a different product based on location?  In AdWords, you DO know where the person is located and you CAN bid and/or change your offer to improve response.


4. The Device

Not too long ago, everyone searching online was on a desktop computer.  Then came laptops.  Then smartphones.  Then tablets.  Then glasses…

The device now needs to be a factor in your advertising decisions.  When someone searches “sushi” on their smartphone, then what are they really looking for?  They are looking for a sushi restaurant.  If it’s 11am, then they are probably looking for a sushi lunch special.  And if they are on the Upper West Side of NYC, then they are looking for a sushi lunch special in the Upper West Side.  See how much info you already know just from someone searching “sushi” on their mobile device?

5. Previous Visitor Behavior

The final piece of data is only available if the person previously visited your website.  This is called an Audience in Google AdWords and you can use this to further refine your ad copy.  Let’s use the same example above.

Your prospect is on a mobile device searching for “sushi” at 11am on the Upper West Side of NYC.  Now with Audience data, it’s possible to know whether or not this person already visited your website.  In fact, you may have an Audience only for previous customers and you could use that information to create an ad only for existing customers.

As you can see, when you combine ALL 5 of these data points, you start to get a very clear picture about who you’re targeting with your ads.  Next, it’s up to you to create the perfect ad that will outperform all of your competitors.