A Complete Guide to Google AdWords

Understanding AdWords

This online advertising platform generates the adverts you see on a Google search page. They use a formula that makes your advert come up when a potential customer searches for something within your businesses scope. When used effectively it can be an easy way to direct your target audience towards your site.

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The Pros and Cons

Like all marketing platforms there are some pros and cons to AdWords.

Google AdWords is easy to use, affordable while still generating good exposure for your business. In terms of budget, you can set how much you wish to spend which is very beneficial for small businesses. You only pay Google when your advert is actually clicked.

However it won’t be effective for every business. AdWords relies on keywords, so when you have a new product that isn’t commonly searched for your ad will not come up often. Another effect of the keyword search is that it is hard to reach a very specific audience or group. Although you can set parameters there is a limit to how specific Google AdWords can go.

While it will take you some time to figure out the best keywords and parameters to use, when you get it right AdWords can be a very effective way of increasing traffic on your site.

Getting Started

  1. Goals – as with any marketing campaign, you need to have clearly defined goals of what you wish to achieve by running this marketing campaign.

  2. Website – it is key to have a good website to which potential customers will click through. Tip: Use Build. to setup your online shop and also read out article on Landing Page Optimization.

  3. Commitment – AdWords often doesn’t produce the results you want instantly. You need to make a commitment to continue using AdWords for a couple of months before assessing its performance.

  4. Create an Account

The Next Step

Before you create your first ad, read through these tips:

  • Don’t take Google’s advice. You are looking to minimize costs while Google wants to earn money. The obvious conflicts of interest means that Google will not be helping you to create the most effective ad setup.

  • Research your Keywords. Using the right keywords is the only way to make your campaign profitable. First you need to build a keyword list – start by using the main and sub-categories on your website. Once you have compiled this list, use the Keyword Tool to find related terms and phrases. Now you will have a list that will cover most of the variations your customers might use.

  • Once you have entered the keywords, Google generates a list of related search phrases. Select the ones which are suitable for your area of business and budget. Download these to an Excel spreadsheet for later.

  • Choose Keywords Carefully. You want to only choose keywords that are relevant to your business and will attract the right people. AdWords works on cost-per-click, so every time someone who isn’t a potential customer clicks your advert you will pay. Once you have started to work out the more effective keywords, you can expand your list.

  • Raise Your Quality Score. The higher your quality score (1-10) the less you will pay per click. Your quality score is worked out on the potential of your adverts click-through-rate. You can start raising your quality score simply by choosing relevant keywords.

  • Target vs. Volume. Very targeted keywords will be able to find exactly the right audience. However you need to balance this with search volume. While you want to find the right people you also want your keyword to be searched.

  • Choosing Match Types. You need to look at your budget and desired reach before choosing which match type to use. Exact and phrase matches are usually the most profitable when starting on a smaller budget.

    • Broad Match – this is the default option, however not the best. It provides the least control, thus you will often waste money on clicks that are never going to convert to business.

    • Phrase Match – While reaching a smaller audience, this match type eliminates some of the irrelevant searches. It will only show your ad when the searcher types in the keywords in the same order you did.

    • Exact Match – the search input will need to match exactly to the keywords you put in, for your ad to be displayed. This obviously means it will reach the smallest audience.

  • Using Negative Keywords. Using negative keywords will prevent your advert from being shown when these certain keywords are searched. For more on this read our article on saving money with AdWords.

  • Creating More than One Campaign and Ad Groups. You may want to create multiple campaigns depending on how many products or services you are advertising, different budges and different target locations. For each campaign you need a minimum of 3 ad groups. If you only use one campaign or ad group your adverts will be too general and less appealing. You will also only be able to send visitors to your websites home page rather than the page on the product they looking for. You will be losing opportunities to convert searches to customers.

Now for your First Campaign

  • Choosing a Campaign Type. You will need to choose between Search and Display Networks, Search Network only (recommended when starting out) or Display Network only.

    • Search Network – your advert will display on Google when a search query is entered.

    • Display Network – AdWords campaigns are displayed on the huge websites in Google’s network. This will target people who are browsing websites that are similar to your business services or products.

  • Choosing Targeted Devices. One of the advanced options is targeting specific devices. However, as long as your site is multi-device friendly, you should rather just advertise on all devices.

  • Choosing Targeted Location. You can also choose where (geographically) you would like to feature. This is important if you are a local business and do not have structures in place for shipping.

  • Setting your Budget and Bidding.

    • Budget – you will need to look at how much you can afford to spend on the campaign, depending on the cost-per-click of your keywords and the length you are willing to run it initially. It is set per day so you need to divide your amount by the total number of days you will run it and then allocate that to your different campaigns. Remember you can change the budget once you see each campaigns performance.

    • Budget – you will need to look at how much you can afford to spend on the campaign, depending on the cost-per-click of your keywords and the length you are willing to run it initially. It is set per day so you need to divide your amount by the total number of days you will run it and then allocate that to your different campaigns. Remember you can change the budget once you see each campaigns performance.

Writing the Ads

When you begin to write your ad imagine yourself as a searcher. Think about what sort of words they will input when searching for your product.

  • Headline – You need to create a short punchy headline that will attract attention. Check out our article on headlines for some ideas.

  • Why You? – You need to make it clear to the searcher why they should click on your link. Make sure you focus on your unique selling point.

  • Keywords – Be sure to include your carefully selected keywords in your advert, especially the headline. Google will highlight these words making your ad even more eye-catching.

  • CTA – It is important you include a CTA button or a URL that will take your customer to the right page on your website. (For tips on effective CTA buttons, read our article)

Tracking

Like any marketing campaign you need to keep track of your focus metric to make sure the adverts are performing as you expected. AdWords has a built-in conversion tracker. You can keep track of what happens after searchers click on your advert, cost per conversion, conversion rate and total conversions. You can then identify the ads that are doing well and exploit them.