Overview of Google Adwords
One of the fastest ways to get your website in front of your target customer is to use Google Adwords. Google Adwords is Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Using PPC wisely, you can transform a no-traffic website into a high-traffic profit machine literally overnight. However, you can also waste a whole lot of money if you don't plan your PPC campaign carefully.
Let me fist explain what PPC advertising is. Basically, it's a form of advertising in which you create a small 2-3 line text-based advertisement. The ad will have a headline, which is clickable and links to your website.
Here's an example:
Top Cruise Deals
Great deals on all types of cruises.
30% discounts for online purchases.
You can see examples of these ads in action by going to Google.com and running a search on any search term. After you run your search, you'll find the PPC ads on the right-hand side of the screen. The owners of each of the ads pay Google a fee each time someone clicks on their ad. This fee can be anywhere from .10 cents to several dollars depending on the popularity and demand of the keyword.
The goal of the ad owner is to maximize the number of quality clicks. A quality click is a click from someone that has an interest in what you're trying to sell. A low-quality click is a click from someone that really doesn't have any interest in what you're trying to sell.
Since the space in the Google Sponsored Links area is limited (about 10 slots per page), and the number of people using PPC to advertise their products is fairly large, there has to be a way of controlling who gets what placement (also called Adrank) in the Sponsored Links hierarchy.
Google controls this placement by 3 mechanisms:
2) Bid price
3) Quality Score
The goal is to get your ad in the Sponsored Links section of the first page (or at most the second page) of the returned Google search results. That means your ad can be anywhere in the Sponsored Links position from 1-10, or 1-20 if you take into account the second page. People don’t normally search beyond the first couple of pages of returned search results, so having your ad appear on the third page (or beyond) diminishes your chances of the ad being seen.
To get your ad in the first or second page of Google’s Sponsored Links, and to maximize the number of quality clicks, you need 3 things:
1) Good Keywords/keyphrases
2) Bid in an active bid range
3) Good Quality Score
Using Good Keywords/Keyphrases
Keywords (or keyphrases) are the words that people type into Google when they run a search. You need to select the keywords that relate to your product so Google will know when to display your ad. From your perspective (the online Marketer), good keywords are the words that relate to your product. For example, if you run a Google PPC ad campaign and you're selling a course on how to train dogs, then a good keyword list might consist of:
"Train my dog"
"Training for dogs"
Note: using quotes instructs Google to show your ad only when the searched keywords appear in that particular order.
The above keyword list is then applied to your Google PPC campaign. Now, every time a user runs a search for any of these keywords on Google, your ad COULD be returned in the 'Sponsored Links' section of the returned search results in Google.
As we mentioned previously, the keywords are not the only determining factor governing which ads appear in Google. Keep in mind, there are likely many other people running their own PPC campaigns that have the same keywords as you. And since there are only about 10 slots to place the sponsored ads in Google's first page, the ads that get a position in one of those 10 slots are the ads that are willing to pay the most for each click and the ads that have the higher Quality Score.
A good way to find keywords for your product is to use the Google Adwords Keyword Finder at: https://adwords.google.com/select/main?cmd=KeywordSandbox
Bidding in an Active Bid Range
All popular (and many not so popular) keywords have an active bid range. The active bid range is the cost per click (CPC) range that results in your ad appearing in a preferred position within Google’s Sponsored Links area (usually position 1-20). Obviously, the higher your ad is in the position, the more active (more clicks) will likely result.
So how much should you pay for each click to make sure you're ad is in the actice bid range? You should first find out what the going rate is for that particular keyword. You can get a good idea of what people are willing to pay for a given keyword by using Overture’s Bid Tool at: http://uv.bidtool.overture.com/d/search/tools/bidtool/
Note: your goal is to get a position anywhere on the first page of the Google search result, or second page at most, so you really don’t have to make sure you have the highest bid. In fact, you can even make more money by bidding much lower than the highest bid. For example, say you’re bidding on the “dog training” keyphrase and you find that the 1st position for that keyphrase is going for $1.50 per click. You may very well find that the 4th or 5th position is going for $0.30 - $0.40 per click. In this case, I would opt for the 4th or 5th position. The cost savings is quite significant.
Getting High Quality Score
What is a Quality Score? Well, it’s a few things... The Quality Score is derived from the keywords Click Through Rate (CTR), relevance of the text in the ad to the keyword, how well the keywords has performed in the past, and other things that Google has kindly decided not to share. Since there are some unknown factors here, it’s best to focus on what you can do to increase your Quality Score.
One thing you can do is aim for a high Click Through Rate (CTR). A CTR is a percentage that is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of times your ad appeared. For example, say your ad appeared 100 times, and out of those 100 times, 1 person clicked on your ad. Your CTR for that ad would then be 1/100=1%.
Another thing you can do is make sure your ad's text is relevant to the keyword. For example, if you were advertising a dog training course and your keyword was “cars”, then the relevancy of the keyword to the ad is low.
All right, that’s the basics of Google Adwords. Give it a try! There's no better way to learn than through doing!
About the Author: Michael Ellis is an Internet technology expert that specializes in marketing products and services online. Be sure to visit Michael's website http://www.VictoryKey.com for FREE Internet Marketing articles, tips and discussion forums.