Do you ever feel like AdWords works for everyone except you?

You spent hours meticulously making sure that your campaigns followed best practices. You researched your potential buyers, whittled down a keyword list to just the right words, and created engaging ads. Now your campaign is launched and you have not made a single sale.

This isn’t how it’s supposed to be.

You heard stories of people making millions of dollars from AdWords campaigns. The whole AdWords system seemed easy, and logical. However, your adWords campaign drains your bank account with no insight into why these customers won’t buy. If this is happening to you, you have missed something very important about AdWords.

And it’s probably not what you think…..

 You Are Making An Offer They Can Refuse

This may come as a bit of a shock – but users don’t want what you are offering. I don’t mean this in a mean way like I am Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank, or that your actual product stinks. What I mean is that your offer on your landing page may not be correct for where the user’s stage of the buying cycle. Think about what you actually offer the user on your landing page. Are you offering a free consultation, are you asking them to make a purchase, are you giving away a free eBook? If a user is in the evaluation stage don’t offer them a sale, offer them a way to help them with their research. On the same note if a user is in the purchase, don’t offer them a tool to help them with research offer them the produce. A user is enticed by different offers as they advance in what is known as “The Buying Cycle”. Hubspot identifies three universal stages in the buying cycle:

  1. Awareness – This is where a lead either knows you have a product or service, or they know they have a need for this product or service.
  2. Evaluation – Leads are aware that your product could fulfill their need, and they are trying to determine if it is the best fit.
  3. Purchase – Leads are ready to make a purchase.

Each of these stages needs different offers.

The Solution: Create Offers Based On the Keywords Intent

Now that you understand the buying cycle, lets look at how this relates to your offer and why you are not getting sales or conversions. Here, I provide an example from a business that many people are familiar with to walk you through the process. Let’s say that you are an above ground pool company and you want to get people to become leads from your adWords campaign. Most new advertisers to adWords simply have a landing page with a “contact us” form. That is great if the user is in the purchase stage, but what if they are just in the research stage? At that point you need to present them with a different offer. Here is how I would quickly recommend you come up with some offers to match the stage in the buying cycle:

  1. Awareness – Your keywords probably are along the lines of above ground pool. In this stage you want to provide something informative to the user in exchange for their contact information. An offer along the lines of an eBook that describes the benefits of above ground pools in general.  You are not talking about your specific product with specifications, but rather the overall need for above ground pools. Make sure that the offer is high quality and actually informative. Once you have users contact information you can either put them in an email drip campaign or you can contact them in a couple of days.
  2. Evaluation – Your keywords at this stage are along the lines of Types of above ground pools or Difference between (your company) and (company X). The user compares differences between the companies and wants to evaluate. At this point they know an above ground pool is for them, it is just a matter of proving that you are the company for them. In this case you want an offer along the lines of a spec sheet, or an eBook with detailed examples of the type of above ground pools that you install. Talk specifics and use details in your offer. Make sure to also gate this offer to receive the users information. Once you have the information call them in couple of days to see if you can further assist them with their buying decision.
  3. Purchase – Your keywords along this stage have high purchase intent. They are along the lines of above ground pool Philadelphia or Coupon above ground pool Philadelphia. This is the stage where you want to have the contact us form. This is also the right stage for coupons and consultations. The user already knows they want an above ground pool, they know the differences, and they are ready for the sale. Your offer capitalizes on this.

How to Create the Right Offers

1. Segment By Buying Cycle

In an excel sheet take all of the keywords that are active in your AdWords campaign and segment them by where you think the user is in the buying cycle. It doesn’t have to be exact, and it is better to get close than to have no idea at all.

2. Create An Offer Based On Your Buying Cycle Segment

Now that you know the buying cycle segment for each keyword, create an offer for them. Lots of companies do it the other way around where they create an offer and look for an audience. You have outsmarted them by having an audience and creating an offer. We gave some examples before, but here are some additional ideas for an offer:


  • Whitepaper
  • eBook
  • Tip Sheet
  • Checklist
  • How-to Video


  • Spec sheets
  • Samples
  • Demos
  • Case studies


  • Free Trials
  • Live Demonstrating
  • Coupons
  • Consultations

Bonus Tip – Be a weasel: The hardest part can be coming up with ideas – that is why you can be a weasel and spy on your competitors. Use a tool such as SpyFu (though there are others which are probably as good), which allow you to see what the competitors run for their keywords, ads and landing pages. Look at each of the top five competitors and in an excel sheet note the keyword, the phase in the buying cycle, and the offer. From this you will begin to see a pattern. If you are using SpyFu you can also see how long the ad/offer have been running. If the ads and offer have been running for a long time, it is probably a good offer. Create something similar to their offer.

3. Produce the Offer

Once you have the idea for the offer you need to produce it. It can take a very long time to write an eBook, checklist, or webinar and I recommend outsourcing it. There are three ways to do it:

  1. Do it yourself – You can write your own eBook or create your own webinar. The benefits are that you have complete control, the negatives are that it takes a lot of time and effort. Also they often do not look professional
  2. Use a private label rights (PLR) eBook – These are pre-written eBooks that you are allowed to rebrand and edit. The pros are that they the company that created the PLR eBook has done most of the heavy lifting with the writing. The cons are they vary widely in their quality.
  3. Hire it out – I recommend this the most. You can get a decent eBook or checklist made on a site like eLance for around $250. This may seem like a steep price to pay, but it is much less effort and is usually of better quality than you can do yourself.

4. Launch and Test

Once you have your offer produced, put it in the ad rotation and A/B test it  vs. your current offer. If you see a lift in leads or sales than you know it is the right offer, if not create another one. Continue A/B testing until you have the right offer matched with the right stage of the buying cycle.

What is the best and most innovative offer you have seen from a PPC campaign?