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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Understanding Google AdWords

Google AdWords
Unlike many search engines Google, to its credit, clearly denotes search listings that are paid placement. In fact, Google AdWords appear in a separate section down the left side of the screen.
Google AdWords provide an inexpensive advertising venue for businesses to advertise products or services to a targeted audience. Advertisers have the ability to control their budget, target their advertising based on keywords. Advertisers are also free to determine the ad contents.
Google AdWords allow for nearly instant traffic, which can be turned on and off. Traffic results can be measured, providing information on what is successful, what isn't and what needs to be changed. AdWords can be found that work by running a test campaign.
Benefits to AdWords
Advertisers bid on keywords, the more an advertiser is willing to pay the higher the likelihood the ad will appear higher in position in the list of ads served. Google, invariably wanting to make the most from advertisers, determines placement based on a combination of click through rate, bid amount and budget. Of course, in order to maximize revenue and please searchers Google does have guidelines for ads served and all ads must receive a minimum percentage click through or they are removed.
AdWord Guidelines
Clearly and accurately describe the website, this is to the advertiser and searchers benefit. Ultimately, the more qualified the visitor who clicks the ad, the higher the likelihood the clicker will convert into a sale. By providing clear and accurate information, searchers who click the ad are qualified leads, which tend to convert more consistently than unqualified leads. The most effective advertising communicates a clear message to a targeted audience.
Avoid excessive capitalization, superlatives and lavish exclamation marks in the ad. By doing this you are not only serving the visitor you are filtering unwanted clicks from non-buyers. Due to space limitations your ad message will need to be concise. Select keywords that are relevant to your product, service or content. Call to action phrases are not allowed (i.e. you cannot use phrases like "click here" in your ad copy.) There are also no pop-ups.
Steps for AdWord Campaign
1.) Open an account
2.) Target language and country - This is very important because if your product or service can not be exported you do not want to pay to advertise in those countries for which your product or service can not be sold.
3.) Create Ad Group - design an ad, select keywords, determine maximum cost per click that you are willing to spend and define bid amounts.
Title
The title tag is generally the most important part of the ad be sure to use a short phrase that gets the attention of your target audience. An underutilized feature at Google allows you to put a question mark in the title, the term searched on automatically replaces the question mark in the title of your ad.
Define max click - Google will suggest a cost per click, but the recommendation does not need to be adhered to. Arguments have been heard that #1 position does not always mean increased sales; sometimes a second position will filter useless clicks and provide targeted traffic with a higher conversion ration. The rule of thumb is positions 1-3 garner the most traffic and best results. Increasing either your maximum cost-per-click or the ads click through rate will generally improve the ad's position.
Use keyword variations to reach more prospects. A variety or spellings and derivatives of keywords will increase the chances of your ads being served. Be sure to use common misspellings and plurals in your keyword list.
Broad match - is targeting keywords in a loosely defined manner. Ads appear based on keywords that have been queried by search users. For instance, if the keywords you are planning on broad matching are "mountain bikes" and users search for the terms "bikes that can climb a mountain", your ad will appear; as opposed to exact match, which requires that the keywords selections must exactly match the query.
Phrase match - is indicated when quotations are used in the phrase. A keyword phrase set to phrase match will only appear when the exact phrase is searched on. For example "mountain bikes" will appear when searchers search for "brand name mountain bikes".
Exact match - is when the keyword or phrase is entered with brackets. The phrase will only serve ads when the entered search phrase is identical to the keyword phrase. "Mountain bikes" will only appear when searchers search for "mountain bikes"
Negative keyword - is helpful in filtering unrelated phrases. A dash is entered before the filtering phrase. "Mountain bike -races will not appear if mountain bike races are searched on.
Landing Page - is important because this not only helps with tracking, but also provides a focused and specific landing page for searchers. Information can be related to the actual search, while also increasing the conversion ratios for sales. A focused landing page with content related and using the same terminology as the actual search, will show the searcher that your solution is relevant to their needs.
3.) Define budget - in order to maximize exposure Google recommends a daily budget for each campaign.
Google's suggested budget is helpful in receiving consistent traffic throughout the advertising campaign. Keep in mind this is only Google's recommendation; ultimately it is up to you to determine a budget that is affordable and suitable.
Google supplies tracking tools that assist webmasters in determining their return on investment based on keyword searches and phrases. While the technology is not perfect and cannot track phone and purchase orders, it should give advertisers a sense of what phrases and keywords are converting well in their advertising campaign.
While Google AdWords should not be your only advertising campaign, but should be a significant part of your campaign. Google AdWords can certainly help send those important targeted searchers to your website. Get started with Google AdWords at http://www.google.com/ads/

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