In case you haven’t noticed, we’re officially in “football season.”  That means you’ll now see the Manning brothers in every other TV commercial followed by a plug to play and win millions in a fantasy football league.  There’s no escaping the football madness. :)

Not even here…

That’s because there is a lot of similarity between the positions on a football team and the different components that make up a successful Google AdWords campaign.  So put down your fantasy football app, close the ESPN browser window, and turn off Sports Center on the TV.  It’s time to put all that football knowledge to work to improve your advertising.



What Are the Key AdWords Players?

In football, each of the 11 players on offense and defense play critical roles in the outcome of a game.  The lineman block, the quarterback throws, receivers catch, and running backs run the ball.

In a Google AdWords campaign, there are also key positions.  For example, you have your keywords, ads, and landing pages that all must work together as a team.

OK, now that you know the key players, let’s move on to the first important takeaway.


All Players Must Be Aligned

When you see your favorite football team give up a big play like a wide open touchdown pass or a long run then what happened?  That usually means a player was not aligned properly, which created a gap in the defense.  Alignment is critical in football and every defensive position plays a key role in filling “holes” to prevent big plays.

The same thing is true with your AdWords “players.”  If your keywords, ads, and landing pages are not all aligned properly with your overall campaign, then your ad performance will suffer.  Alignment in this case can also be called congruence.  The copy and layout of your landing page must be congruent with the copy in the ads, which also must be congruent with the keyword your ads are targeting.

For example, if you’re targeting a keyword like “bulk books for teachers,” then your ads should obviously make an offer specifically for teachers to buy bulk books and your landing page should reiterate that same offer.  See how everything needs to be aligned?  Alternatively, if you create a “hole” in your campaign by using a generic landing page that is not specific to teachers, then your conversion rates will plummet.

Now on to the second key takeaway…


Each Player Has One Role

One of the main reasons a football player will get out of alignment is because he’s trying to do too much.  For example, you might see a defensive safety sprinting forward to help make a tackle even though his job is to cover the receiver that runs right by him and makes a touchdown catch.  In that case, the player was trying to “play two positions at the same time” instead of focusing on his own position.

In Google AdWords, your “players” can also only play one position.  For example, the job of your keywords is to ensure your ads are targeting your ideal prospects. The job of your ads is not to close a sale; it’s to get clicked on by your ideal prospect.  Finally, the job of your landing page is to get your prospect to take the next step in the sales process.

Remember these jobs, or roles, because it impacts which keywords you select, how you draft your ads, and how you create your landing pages.

As you can now see, AdWords set up and optimization really boils down to two key tasks:

  1. Align your key AdWords “players” in the ad campaign.  Make sure your keywords, ads, and landing pages are all congruent and there are no “holes” in your campaign.
  2. Find the best AdWords “players” for each position.  Test different keywords, ads, and landing pages to find the ones that perform their job the best.



Take a Time Out

On Thursday, September 24 at noon Eastern time, I urge you to take a time out from your busy schedule and attend our live training, How to Create a Profitable Google AdWords Campaign.  During this 90-minute training, I’ll walk through how to set up an AdWords campaign from scratch so you have confidence all your “players” are aligned properly.

Click here to register today.