By Jeff Kline


5 Steps To Google AdWords Success for Chambers

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It’s Week 2 of the Summer of Search, and it’s as hot as ever! How are you staying cool? Do you spend the weekends at a pool, lounging on a comfortable chaise? Or are you beaching it, enjoying a natural body of water?

Natural or commercial, both get the job done.

Here’s another question – how are you performing your search engine marketing? The organic, all-natural way (SEO) or the commercial way (paid search)?

Different situations call for different tactics. Even though SEO is often the more effective method (according to Inbound Marketing, 75% of searchers click on organic results while only 25% click on paid results*), there are still situations when paid search is the better tactic for reaching marketing goals:

When to implement paid search:

     1. At the launch of a website (to generate initial traffic quickly)

     2. During a mini-campaign (for one week, send clickers to a landing page)

     3. While ROI is positive (get out when you start losing money)

The most popular paid search platform by far is Google AdWords. Today’s blog post is a chamber’s step-by-step guide to succeeding on Google AdWords.



Step 1 - Picking the right location

When you set up your first campaign on Google AdWords, you will be asked for a target location. If your campaign goal is to recruit local businesses, set your location to the city or county that your chamber represents. If you are trying to encourage outside businesses to relocate to your city, you might want to set your location to United States

Step 2 - Writing a compelling ad

The better quality your ad, the more impressions Google is likely to grant you.

Your headline should be short (no more than 25 characters) and attention grabbing, and include one of your (non-branded) keywords. Let’s say you’re running an adwords campaign to promote a lower rate for new members during a two month period. A good title would be Join your Chamber 15% off.

Include a call to action in the text of your ad – particularly something with a sense of urgency: Join Charlotte’s top business network. Save on enrollment July & Aug.


Step 3 – Link to a landing page

Your ad just hooked a local business owner who is interested in joining your chamber. This individual clicks the ad and is sent, not to your chamber’s homepage, but to a separate landing page with the headline Charlotte Chamber – Business Member Benefits and a form with a call to action that reads Join today.


Step 4 – Choose the right keywords

It is important to be logical when choosing keywords. Consider your audience’s point of view. They might not think to search for “chamber of commerce.” Maybe, instead, they’re searching for “business networking in Charlotte.” A better keyword to target might be “business networking”. (Also, if someone searches for “chamber of commerce,” your website should be showing up in the organic search results anyways – no need to pay for placement!)

A general best practice is to choose keywords that contain two to three words (so they’re really more like keyphrases). One word (ex: business) is too vague. On the other hand, a phrase that’s five or more words (south charlotte business network benefits)  is often too specific..

You can also use the AdWords keyword tool to discover ad group and keyword ideas. Check out Google’s keyword help section to learn how to use the tool.

Google AdWords keyword tool

* [NOTE: According to an article quoting WordStream founder Larry Kim"The click-through rate of paid search advertisements on Google now outnumbers 'free' organic search result listings by nearly a 2:1 ratio for high commercial intent keyword searches conducted in the U.S." When people are ready to buy, they are more likely to click a paid ad. So consider keywords that evoke an intent to buy, like "Join a business network."]


Step 5 – Measure ROI

In the simplest terms, paid search ROI is the difference between cost per click (CPC) and the revenue gained as a result of those clicks. Things get tricky when you begin to factor in offline revenue (such as a mailed check), but a clever use of landing pages and analytics tools will enable you to track success. (Search Engine Land’s Matt Lawson offers some great tips for measuring the offline ROI of paid search.)

One of the best ROI tools out there is HubSpot, an all-in-one software that allows you to build custom landing pages and track success.

In addition to the metrics provided in Google AdWords, you can also use Google Analytics to track every page on your website. (Learn more about Google’s conversion tracking capabilities.)


Paid search, implemented properly, is an effective tactic for generating qualified traffic. Chambers can utilize paid search ads to generate leads, convert those leads into members, and continue to encourage participation in chamber events.



Interested in using Google AdWords to enhance your web performance? Click to sign up for a free consultation with one of our digital strategists here at Accrisoft! You’ll also receive a few tips on how to write your ad. 


 Accrisoft for Chambers


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