Bring Your Work Home: How To Use Google AdWords To Improve Your Love Life
Just in time for Valentine's Day, columnist Jacob Baadsgaard explains how you can use your search marketing expertise to keep the romance alive.
If you’re like most online marketers, you know that it can be hard to strike a good work-life balance. Sometimes, that can put a strain on your romantic situation (especially at the beginning of the year when expectations are particularly high).
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably stuck between making sure your campaigns are running effectively and putting a little pizazz back in your romantic life.
But what if there was a way you could do both? A way to put your hard-won PPC skills towards more amorous goals? What if you could get your love life back on track without leaving the comfort of the AdWords campaign manager?
The secret to romance is great marketing.
As a marketer, you’re hoping that you can make your company’s offering attractive enough to win the attention and approval of your target audience. The same idea applies to romance.
You can’t stop after you get the clicks (er, attention of your significant other), though. If you stop wooing — generally referred to as “advertising” in business circles — the romance dies.
Sure, your significant other might hang around out of brand loyalty, but if you don’t put effort into the relationship, there won’t be a lot of passion for your personal brand…
Given the similarities between marketing and love, it’s only logical that Google AdWords — one of the most powerful advertising platforms on the planet — could also be used for romance.
Now, I don’t think Salar Kamangar ever intended for AdWords to be used as a courting platform, but with a little creativity, you can use your passion for PPC to fuel your sweetheart’s passion for you.
Wooing With AdWords
So, how do you get a $60 billion international marketing platform to discreetly advertise your affections? Let’s take a look at the campaign I put together for my wife, Teresa.
First off, you need to write some killer ad copy. Whether you are writing an ad for SaaS leads or simply a sassy ad, your copy needs to:
- Make a connection.
- Engage their mind.
- Get them to act.
For example, here’s how I put together one of my ads:
This ad had a 100-percent click-through rate, so let’s examine what made it so successful.
1. Make A Connection
If you want your ad to get clicked, you have to make some sort of connection with your audience. What’s the best way to do this?
Well, as John Kurakoa puts it: “The second-best word is ‘you.’ The best word is the customer’s name.”
At the moment, it’s hard to do much better than “you” with your typical AdWords ad. For this sort of ad, however, you have a target audience of one (and if you can’t remember their name, there’s no hope for you).
So put their name in the ad!
Another great way to connect with your audience is to mention something specific to them — a pain point, interest or affiliation.
In this case, you know an awful lot about your target audience, so if there’s a particular shared memory, experience or inside joke that will catch their attention, include it.
2. Engage Their Mind
Your ad copy is your audience’s only clue to what they will get when they click on your ad. With that in mind, you need to speak to your audience’s end goal — what do they get for their click?
One easy way to do this is with a question. Asking a question forces your reader to mentally engage with your ad. For example, my ad would have been much less compelling if it had read “Rekindle the Flame” instead of “Ready To Rekindle the Flame?”
Great questions help your audience to self-identify with your ad. If you do it right, your paramour should read your ad and think, “Yes! I am ready to rekindle the flame. I’d better click on that ad!”
3. Get Them To Act
Now that you’ve got their attention, you need to give them a reason to click. That means you need to answer the question, “How does my offer solve their problem?”
Basically, reading your ad should evoke the following emotions:
In this situation, your goal is to inspire a desire for your company (double entendre intended). Speak to that with your ad copy, and they won’t be able to resist your call to action.
After putting all that work into your ad copy, it would be stupid to send your lover to your business’s home page. The secret to successful online advertising is effective landing page design — your romantic efforts are no exception.
Designing Your Landing Page
Fortunately, putting together a landing page doesn’t have to be all that difficult.
Even if you’re clueless about web design, you can easily put a landing page together using Instapage. It’s not quite as robust of an interface as, say, Unbounce, but it will get the job done. Plus, you can try it out for free, which is perfect for our romancing needs.
As an example, here’s the landing page I put together for my campaign using Instapage:
As an additional note, if you happen to be artistically challenged, Instapage also has a ton of great-looking templates that you can customize to meet your wooing needs.
Now, to make sure you get the most bang for your buck, your landing page needs to include the following:
Call To Action
A great call to action (CTA) is obvious and self-explanatory, so your CTA should make it clear what the object of your affection gets from clicking the button.
For example, as much as you might want to say it, “I love you” doesn’t really work as a CTA. That sort of mush might make a good headline or body copy, but it doesn’t provide a whole lot of clarity about the purpose of your button.
Instead, tell them exactly what they can expect if they commit.
Okay, so you might leave a few tantalizing details out to maintain a bit of mystery, but make your offer clear. Mismanaged expectations are a great way to make people angry, whether they are a potential sale or your spouse.
If you want your sweetheart to convert, your messaging needs to be consistent from ad to landing page.
For example, had this ad…
… led to this landing page…
… I doubt my conversion rate would have been good. To be honest, it probably would have created some backlash on social media.
However, my actual landing page was overtly romantic (complete with candles — a nice subtle visual reference to flame) and filled with information about Jake Baadsgaard, so my wife’s landing page experience was exactly what she was expecting when she clicked on the ad.
So if you talk about a special memory or moment in your ad copy, put pictures of it on your landing page. If you talked about visiting a romantic location, slip in a picture of the spot… you get the idea. Be consistent!
Lastly, your landing page should fill your target audience with confidence. You might not need all of the following, but they can all help to make your offer more appealing.
- Make sure your unique selling proposition (USP) — or what your significant other gets for signing up — is clear. Your USP should be short enough that it can be absorbed in a glance. For example, on my page you can instantly tell what I have planned for my wife — Romance Awaits!
- Capitalize on the potential of your hero shots. Your hero shots should reinforce your USP and feature the product, so I included a romantic dinner photo and a picture of the great-looking guy who would be taking her (just to make the offer a bit more compelling).
Together, the combination of a great CTA, consistent messaging and confidence-inspiring page elements should create a page with a great conversion rate from the get-go.
All The Right Ads In All The Right Places
Okay, so you’ve written some great ads and put together a landing page that could set a Shaolin monk’s heart all a-flutter. It’s go time, right?
If you’ve done your job right, your ad will drive clicks and conversions. But if you don’t set your targeting up right, you’re going to get clicks and conversions from a lot more people than just your significant other.
Unfortunately, Google isn’t exactly designed for targeting a single person, so we’ll have to get creative.
Under normal circumstances, we’d use highly-specific keywords to improve the relevance of our clicks, but in this situation, you don’t know what the love of your life is searching for, so your ad needs to show up for any search!
Google’s new customer match option would seem to be a perfect fit for this — all you have to do is upload their email address and target them on search — but unless your sweetheart happens to have more than 1,000 email addresses, you’re out of luck here, as well.
Obviously, Google hasn’t made this easy. But that just means we’ll have to be a little more inventive.
Setting The Stage
Obviously, the easiest way to get your loved one to see your ad would be to simply ask them to search for something specific that you’ve rigged your ad to show up on, but where’s the magic in that?
If you’re going to go to all this work, you want to create some mystery and mystique around your ad. Where did your ad come from? How long have you been trying to catch their eye?
Creating the illusion that you have gone to great time and expense to show your affection is a great way to win romantic brownie points, so you want your sweetheart to find your ad organically.
Fortunately, this part is fairly easy. After all, you should know your target audience well enough to know what they are likely to search for online.
Create a broad match keyword list around those potential searches, pop it into AdWords and set the bid for $50/click. Your ads will start showing up in no time.
Here are some of the keywords I picked for my wife:
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Jake, this approach will get my ads in front of my “target audience,” but broad match will also put my ads in front of everyone on the internet! I don’t want to pay $50 every time the internet trolls do a search on Google!”
Don’t worry, there’s a unique AdWords hack for this problem.
For Your Eyes Only
To keep your ad from showing up in front of the world, you need your loved one’s ZIP code and their IP address.
I assume you already know their ZIP code, but to find their IP address, visit this website while logged into their internet.
Once you’ve got their ZIP code and IP address, open your campaign and click on the Settings tab. In the Locations section, enter their ZIP code.
Scroll down to Location Options (advanced) and change the targeting to “People in my targeted location.” That way, your ads will only show up for people who search from within your loved one’s ZIP code.
Now things get a bit more difficult. To avoid advertising your advances to the whole neighborhood, we need to get a little crazy with IP address exclusions.
Building Your IP Address List
Narrowing down your targeting to just cover your sweetheart’s ZIP code gets our IP address count down to something manageable. Now we just need to exclude every IP address but your honey’s.
To do that, we need to identify all of the IP addresses in your loved one’s city. The easiest way to do this is to use this database. Generally speaking, IP addresses within a city tend to fall into specific ranges, so identifying those ranges will make your job a lot easier.
Exclude The Nosy Neighbors
With your IP address list in hand, go back to AdWords and scroll down to the Advanced Settings section of your campaign’s Settings tab. Expand the “IP address exclusion” section, click Edit and copy over your list of IP addresses.
One important note here: AdWords only allows you to exclude 500 IP addresses. However, they do allow you to use a wildcard character (*) to account for a block of IP addresses, so use that to block out those broad IP ranges I mentioned earlier.
That’s it — Your ads are safe from the world and will show up the next time your sweetheart types in anything even remotely related to your chosen keywords. (And look, we just found a use case for broad match!)
Putting It All Together
With one simple hack, your work life and your love life are now one and the same. Launch your campaign and get ready for some lovin’!
By combining eye-catching ad copy, heart-stopping landing page design and a bit of AdWords magic, you’ve created a campaign that’s certain to win your loved one’s heart (and their click).
And if at first you don’t succeed… there’s always retargeting!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.