It works by allowing advertisers to bid on keywords for their product or service. You can generate some quick and good leads with Adwords, but it is not cheap. Worst of all, if you are in a competitive market, you can end up in a bidding war on keywords and the advertiser loses (while Google laughs all the way to the bank).
It’s easy to waste money on Adwords if you are unclear about how to best use it, or how the various settings work. For a lot of people, refining a campaign can be trial and error. You may lose a bit of money during this refining process, but certainly not as much as you would if you blindly set up a campaign and don’t work on it or monitor it.
Recently I’ve spent weeks working on our Adwords campaigns. I’m not going into the detail, only because what I’ve learned is out there on the web. You can find loads of information about Adwords if you Google the term Google Adwords. Then, become more specific with Adwords-related searches as you learn more and want to focus in on key areas of how to best use Adwords, or how to solve problems.
Your research can be a bit frustrating at times, because you will read contradictory advice. Even search engine optimisation (SEO) experts bring different points of view to the table. Some things will work for some websites, but not for others. I’ve dealt with this by trying out the different suggestions and seeing what works for me.
Here are my top tips for working with Adwords:
1. Be patient and do a lot of reading and research. Look through Google’s Adwords blog and help sections. Lots of the info I found people searching for on forums etc is already provided by Google.
2. Check out the competition. Google your keywords and see what’s coming up. How are the ads worded? What’s your first impression? Would you want to click for more information?
3. Tools such as Google’s keyword suggestion and keyword spy software should be used with caution. Google will suggest dozens of keywords, some of which are very general. In our campaign general doesn’t work, and I’ve read this from other advertisers too.
4. To elaborate on point 3, pick targeted keywords specific to your product and service. With datepositive.net, you might think that dating is a good keyword to use. It isn’t, and it’s very expensive to bid on too.
5. Use the Google matching option tool with your keywords. There are three choices: broad, phrase or exact. Our campaign works best with exact, for obvious reasons. We want the ads to appear when people are searching for herpes dating, or hiv dating. From what I’ve read, most other users only use exact match too. Using the exact setting has increased our click through rate (CTR). There is a connection between CTR and cost – a higher CTR means you pay less for a keyword.
6. Think long and hard before using Google’s content network for your advertising (as opposed to their search network). The content network consists of publishers who are running Google ads (Adsense) on their sites to earn advertising revenue. Your Adwords ad will appear on sites with content related to your service/product. However, how many people use content sites when searching for a product? If you do use the content network, set up a separate campaign and read Google’s advice on how to have success on this network.
7. Again, on the subject of targeting, use Google’s geographic targeting and age targeting tools where necessary. You can also select what time of day you’d like your ads showing.
8. Write your ads with care. Put your mind in the customer’s position and aim to be persuasive and have impact. But don’t exaggerate. If this isn’t your forte, ask for help. We run more than one ad in our campaigns so that we can monitor which ones are really working.
9. Constantly monitor your campaign and tweak the settings, but make sure you know what you are doing! Use your campaign reports – they contain loads of useful information that can highlight problems. Most small firms can’t afford an SEO specialist, although there are some out there who offer good service at a competitive cost. If you are going it alone, use forums such as www.webmasterworld.com