If you have a business, you already know how important advertising is. Today’s online world means more and more of your advertising dollars are going to be dedicated to digital marketing.
If you’re just getting started, you may be surprised at how the advertising world has changed. Advertising online doesn’t have to be intimidating, though. This beginner’s guide, explaining how to advertise on Google AdWords, can have you rolling out your new campaigns in no time.
What is Google AdWords?
We’ll start with the very basics. If you haven’t heard of Google AdWords before, it’s an advertising platform hosted by Google.
When you’re setting up your AdWords account, you’ll be able to bid on keywords. Your job is to identify what keywords you think best represent your business. If you’ve earned those keywords, then your site will be returned to a searcher if they use your keyword.
Once your site is returned, of course, it increases the likelihood you’ll draw business to your page. The more accurately the keywords represent your business, the more likely it is the searcher will need what you’re selling. Of course, this will increase the likelihood of a sale.
Where to Start
Before leaping into the nitty-gritty of your advertising campaign, you need to head over to Google and create an AdWords account.
The great news is, this account is entirely free to set up. Once you have an account, you’ll be able to move forward with your advertising campaign.
Don’t worry if you haven’t launched an official campaign before. There are some easy steps the process can be broken into:
- Determine your advertising goals.
- Identify your buyer personas.
- Research the keywords you’re interested in.
- Determine your budget and bid accordingly.
- Create a concrete plan for your advertising campaign.
- Create your ad copy.
- Design and implement your landing page.
- Plan your conversion tracking system.
Address each individual component, and in very little time you can have a campaign up and running on Google AdWords.
Is That All There Is to It?
Wondering if it’s really that simple? The truth is, it is—and it isn’t. Setting up the campaign and implementing it is just one piece of the advertising pie. You don’t just want to advertise for the sake of advertising, you want to advertise successfully.
With that goal in mind, let’s take a closer look at the inner workings of Google AdWords.
How AdWords Works
You know the very basics already. Google Analytics is incredibly powerful, though, and there are other factors that play into your AdWords campaign.
AdWords is a pay-per-click platform. In fact, AdWords is the biggest pay-per-click platform. This means you’re charged every time someone clicks on your AdWords link.
In theory, this is a straightforward concept. However, Google factors in additional information to determine how your advertisement is returned to a searcher.
How much you’re paying per click for the advertisement is a piece of that information. The quality of the provided material is also relevant. Don’t think of this as a bad thing, though. This just means that producing a high-quality advertisement may result in better placement, even if you’re paying less per click than a competitor.
Google AdWords isn’t rooted in display advertising, where you pay for the spot your advertisement is placed in. Instead, AdWords relies on that formula—your chosen keywords, your quality, and your budget—to determine the order results are returned in.
Your responsibility when it comes to successfully advertising on AdWords? Produce high-quality advertisements that encourage your future customers to click—and buy.
Hearing about the auction process can be intimidating. However, it’s not your traditional auction. There are no fast-talking auctioneers or rapid out-biddings. Instead, you simply bid on a keyword you want to claim for your campaign.
You can bid on virtually any word and for any amount. Just know that, in a pay-per-click market, those words can be quite pricey. You’ll also want to consider that more generic terms will result in a greater number of competing users.
Remember, you’re not the only one running a business here. Google is running one as well. Google won’t return non-relevant sites for search queries, as that could hurt its reputation—as well as a sense of its reliability.
This is why the quality of your advertisement matters as well—Google doesn’t want to let down its clientele. Consider what you’re paying to advertise through AdWords—and what would happen to the advertising platform if searchers weren’t provided with satisfactory results.
This piece is quite important to your campaign. Your ad ranking will determine where in the lineup your web page is returned. Frequently, searchers don’t move beyond that first page of returned results. Your goal is to have your search returned as close to the top as possible.
To determine your ad rank, Google will use the following formula: maximum bid times quality score equals ad rank.
Let’s look at these individual pieces a little more closely, so you know how to get the best ad rank possible.
Your maximum bid is, unsurprisingly, the greatest amount of money you’re willing to pay for a targeted keyword. The more words you can claim, the greater the likelihood your results will be returned.
Your quality score is found by taking into consideration your keywords, your website, and your landing page. AdWords will assess each component and give you a score between 1 and 10. The higher your score, the better off you’ll be.
This is the piece you should really invest effort into. You can’t always make more money appear in your advertising budget. You can, though, improve your quality. This can allow your website to be returned in a prominent position—even if someone else’s maximum bid is higher than yours.
The best news is that this quality score isn’t a secret. It can be monitored through your Google reports. This enables you to make necessary adjustments as needed to remain at the top of your game.
Why Advertise on Google AdWords
Aren’t sure that Google AdWords will be an effective advertising platform for you? Here are a few compelling reasons to consider AdWords one more time.
- Google has an incredible reach. In fact, Google handles more than 40,000 searches per second. With minimal effort on your part, your business can be delivered directly to a waiting consumer.
- AdWords allows you to target your ideal consumer. You won’t be wasting your advertising dollars on reaching people who aren’t interested in your product. The detailed setup of AdWords enables you to carve out exactly who you want to reach.
- Advertise on any budget. Even a small budget for advertising can be used effectively on AdWords. There are no minimum package deals and you remain in control of what you’re spending.
- Get results quickly. Once your campaign is live, you can expect to start seeing your advertisements in action. This can lead to quick results and potentially enable you to expand your advertising strategy.
There are many advertising platforms out there for digital marketing. However, few can measure up to the kind of reach, quality, and reputation Google AdWords has.
Using AdWords Effectively
We’ve gone over the detailed inner workings of AdWords. You know the hows and the whys of using Google AdWords as your advertising platform. Now you need to apply that knowledge to create a highly effective advertising strategy.
Yes, using AdWords effectively boils down to some key components we’ve discussed here:
- Choosing the perfect keywords.
- Making appropriate bids.
- Putting together high-quality advertisements.
Don’t be intimidated by the process. Get the ball rolling and know that there will be a learning curve. It’s okay to acquire a new perspective and make appropriate changes as you learn more about using the platform.
The following tips and strategies can help get your advertising campaign off to a great start.
- Make a great landing page. You want your landing page to be more than just a page full of links. This is your first opportunity to snare a sale—keep your page professional, relevant, and eye-catching.
- Keywords are crucial—even the negative ones. Helping Google understand what your product isn’t is just as important as identifying what it is. You want Google to return your information only during relevant searches to improve your return on investment.
- Use geotargeting. Your business can likely benefit from targeting an audience within a certain geographic region. Don’t be afraid to set up parameters to target a particular location.
- Design your campaigns to be mobile-friendly. Many people use their mobile devices for google searches. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to reach new customers because your campaigns fall short for mobile users.
- Bid on the competition’s name. Have a company you know is working with the same products you are? You can bid on the competition’s name so your website is returned when someone searches for it.
- Scrap advertisements that aren’t performing. Whether you think an advertisement is great or not doesn’t matter if it’s not performing. Don’t be afraid to pull advertisements that aren’t performing well and introduce new ones instead.
- Opt for specific keywords. Non-specific and one-word keywords frequently bring in potential customers who are just beginning their search. More specific and multiple keywords are usually used by those who’ve done their research and are ready to make a purchase.
It’s undeniable—Google AdWords can be a great asset for your business. With a little bit of trial and error and some significant planning, you can roll out the next great ad campaign.