You have a business that you’ve just started. You are excited about the products and services that you can offer to people everywhere. There is only one problem – no one knows about your business or what great benefit it can be to them. What now?
This is where advertising and marketing come in. All businesses need a marketing plan. That’s how others will learn about you. Depending on how much money you have available, your initial marketing plan may be small scale, until a profit begins to be realized.
What will your marketing plan include? There are so many choices for advertising these days. And, it all carries a risk. There is no perfect equation for gaining customers, selling products or expanding your enterprise. It is all trial and error. Even with diligent research and preparation, the process takes time to perfect for your business needs. So, advertising is not an exact science but with greater innovations in the area, the chances of finding success are increased.
With the advent of the internet, advertising has been taken to an entirely new level. For home-based businesses or small mom-and-pop shops, the new opportunity has made it possible for them to advertise without spending lots of money. If you wanted to become an entrepreneur, you could do so without a lot of overhead costs by becoming an internet business owner.
Even successful brick and mortar businesses have found that their reach can be expanded exponentially with the use of the online world. Those who have established a presence in the world have become a household name to many new customers through online advertising. It is the wave of the now and the future.
That brings hope to you, the small business entrepreneur. With a limited budget, you can draw traffic to your website, increase your online visibility, connect with local customers and venture beyond the boundaries of your home office, backyard workshop or small office space. Advertising is the key, but how can you use it to your best advantage?
Like we said, there are so many choices out there for advertising and some cost more than others. Also, all won’t yield the benefit that you want. You may lose money before you make it. What can you do?
Just about everyone has heard of Google. It’s a favorite search engine for millions. They also have other applications that are useful for businesses. The one you might be interested in if you want to grow your business is Google AdWords. It is a revolutionary online advertising system that can help you and your business to gain a larger clientele.
What types of online advertising have you read or heard about? There are all sorts of ads (banner, text, etc.), keyword marketing, article marketing, blogging, social media marketing, social bookmarking, affiliate programs, and many more. It can be like choosing the winning lottery numbers to find a combination that will yield the best results.
AdWords by Google can help you to put your best foot forward in the advertising arena. Before we go any further, please take note. We are not advocating that you use AdWords exclusively to fuel the marketing campaign for your business. That would be unwise, like putting all of your eggs in one basket. What is being presented to you is a viable place to get started that takes some of the guesswork out of the marketing process – especially for newbies.
Are you ready to get started? In this report you will learn exactly what AdWords is. You might have heard of Google AdSense but that is not the same (we’ll briefly let you know how they differ). Keep reading to find out how AdWords works and what you need to do to get the most out of it. But, don’t stop before you find out how this system can benefit your business, as well as common mistakes made by advertisers that you’ll want to avoid.
WHAT IS ADWORDS?
What Is AdWords, and How Do AdWords and AdSense Differ?
We are going to start at the very beginning. From the basics, you will gain an introduction to Google AdWords so that you can understand how and why its implementation will help your business.
In simplest terms, AdWords is an online advertising system powered by Google. With it, you can create ads for your business that will appear on search engine results pages and other websites that are part of the Google network with interest similar to your business products or services.
So, how do AdWords and AdSense differ? AdWords allows you to create your own ads. You are given tips and pointers for how to convey the most effective message in the least words possible that will capture the attention of your targeted audience.
The purpose is to drive traffic to your site. You are an advertiser. When someone clicks on your ads, you pay Google for the privilege of their service.
With AdSense, the focus is a bit different. You are a publisher. Google pays you when someone clicks on the relevant ads that are placed on your site. AdSense is a way for bloggers and website owners to bring in some extra income for their site. Ads targeted to their website focus are placed by Google. When someone clicks on them, you receive money.
How AdWords Works – Constructing Ads
AdWords is a pay per click system (PPC). What that means is that when someone clicks on your ad, you pay Google for the privilege of featuring your ads on their search engine results pages and sites within their AdWords network.
AdWords uses text ads. These are simple clickable messages that are short and to the point. They contain three lines: headline, display URL and description.
But, we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. It all begins with the text ad. You create your own ads. A well-constructed ad is very important. You have a small space within which to capture the attention of your target audience.
Use keywords in your ads. When people search using Google or any other search engine, they type in certain words to return the results that they want. If you are looking for sellers of fine chocolate, you might enter words like “chocolate companies,” “fine chocolate,” “local chocolate shops,” and so on. You will want to use those same keywords in your ads so that when someone enters them, your Google ad will appear in a particular spot on the search engine results page.
What is the benefit? You have a website that is searched by Google and other search engines. But, what if your site doesn’t show up on the first page of search results? Most people don’t look beyond the first page. You are lucky if they even browse the second page. With AdWords, your ad can appear on that first page even if your website has not reached that level of placement yet.
Do the work of finding keywords that are not overused. Describe your products as best and as specifically as you can for best results. Don’t rely on one or two sets of keywords, however. It is best to begin with at least five groups of keywords (up to about 20).
When you set up your ads, choose keywords that are specific to your niche market. With the example above, simply using the world “chocolate” is too broad and overused. The more targeted you can get, the greater the chance of attracting the people who will most likely click and buy your products.
Your ads may also appear on other sites in the Google network. This will most likely be someone’s site that is using Google AdSense to bring in more money for their website. Beyond that there is also a display network. These are companies that are owned by Google, like YouTube. If your ads are relevant to search results there, then they can appear in these places as well.
The Structure of Your Ad
So, what goes into your ad? You need a headline. Here is where you targeted keywords come in. Use them here but make sure that the keywords match those being used in the search engines. The ad will show up to 25 characters for your headline.
Next is your URL. This is where you are sending them when they click. It can be your home page. Because you are so limited in your ad as to what you can emphasize, this is the place to elaborate on what service or product you can offer and its benefits. From here, you give your visitors a “call to action” that usually includes clicking through to take advantage of an offer on your website.
Some may choose to send their customers directly to the relevant page on their website so they can view the products that they are specifically searching for. That’s fine too. Your website address may be the display URL but you can designate a different “destination URL” behind the scenes so that clickers land on a certain website page. The ad space will show up to 35 characters for your URL.
How would you creatively describe your products? That is the last line of your ad. Only 35 characters can be displayed for your audience so say something catching that will make them click your ad as opposed to others on that page.
Not sure how to go about your ad? Ask yourself a few questions that can get the ball rolling. What is your business all about? What products does it offer? This answer can spawn the keywords needed for line 1.
What makes your product better than another that is similar? What can you offer that other companies cannot? The answers here can fuel the description on line 3. Give people a taste of what they will get when they choose you.
Don’t try to do too much with one ad. If you are using a group of ads for certain keywords, focus on a different selling point in each ad. For instance, one ad can focus on your low prices while another can describe the wide range of products or great customer service. The idea is to appeal to the needs of your customers so that they can identify with your product.
Choosing a Bidding Option
How much you spend per day depends on how much you will bid for each ad that you want to place. There are three bidding options: CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per impression) and CPA (cost per acquisition). Most start with cost per click.
Ask yourself what your goals are. Most want customers to visit their website so they can see more. That can be accomplished with a CPC campaign.
Bidding entails setting a price that you will pay for someone to click on your ad in a certain position. Of course you want your ad to appear at the top or side of the page where it is readily visible. This is also how you control your advertising costs. If you are willing to pay $0.50 per click on your ads per day, then that is all you will pay.
Now, where on the page your ad appears depends on your competition. This is evaluated by Google. If someone else has the same or similar keywords but bids slightly higher, they could take the top spot. However, Ad Rank takes other factors into consideration as well. Suffice it to say, you set the prices for your ad campaign.
Your Ad Rank is based on different criteria: your bid for the bidding option chosen and your quality score. The quality score is determined by the quality of your ads, your landing pages and your website as a whole. So, it pays to have a keyword-targeted landing page and quality website content and construction. This increases the chances of your ads being placed in prime spots on search engine pages as well as other Google network sites.
The best thing about Google AdWords and price is that you will only pay the least you can, compared to your next closest competitor. For example, with CPC, the bid taken into consideration for each ad is the maximum amount that you will agree to pay for a click on a particular ad. If you bid $1.00, but the ad beneath you has bid $0.50 for their placement, then you end up paying only $0.51 for your ad placement above them. This is assuming that most other variables are equal between the two ads. In a nutshell, you only pay the amount needed to beat out that ad for ranking.
Showing you Ads
We already discussed some of the places that you ads can appear. By appearing on Google search engine pages, your website can draw traffic that a searchable website alone couldn’t just yet. Your ad may also appear on websites within the Google network. These can be sites of customers that use Google AdSense or other of their apps.
We did briefly mention placement ads. Companies that are owned by Google like YouTube and Families.com can also display your ads if pages are relevant to your keywords. That widens the area of your advertising dollars through the AdWords system.
You might not have known that you can also find your ads displayed on mobile devices. Smartphones, tablets and other capable devices contain browsers that use Google to search. Your ads may even show up here. The display is a bit different with mobile devices because of the space, especially if your ads are showing up within Google apps. They would most likely scroll along the bottom of the page. With tablets, the space is comparable to viewing a page on a laptop or PC, so ads show up at the top and on the sides of search results and other visited websites.
Why is this important? People use their mobile phones to search for not only general information but more specifically for local businesses in their area that can serve their needs. Having your ad show up here can lead to a click that sends them to your site where they can again, with one click, access your telephone number (by adding a call extension to your ad) and talk directly to you or someone in your office. You can set up ads that can target to certain locations to take advantage of potential local customers. All of that can come from a mobile phone browser search.
Learning Your Way Around
We’ve discussed ads and where they can appear and how they should look. You can dictate all of the parameters of your ads from the text to how to run your campaign, budgeting and much, much more. This can all be done from your Google AdWords account.
For instance, you can set up different campaigns. If you want to see if certain keywords will drive traffic, then you can create ads using them and set a start and end date for them to run. Give yourself enough time for the ads to do their job before pulling them or you won’t receive an accurate picture of how well they work or don’t work.
Just a note: All ads have to be approved by Google for viewing. This can take up to three business days. Once they are approved, they can run. You can set them up to run immediately according to your account parameters, or devise a campaign strategy as we discussed above.
An email is sent when ads are not approved detailing the reasons, so you know what needs to be fixed for further review. You can resubmit a disapproved ad once you have fixed the problems to comply with Google’s policies.
In order to gauge how well your ad campaigns are working, you’ll want to perform some sort of analytical analysis. Google AdWords can assist with that through your account. Customize modules to track certain parameters that will give you the information you need to mount a better, more targeted campaign.
Google AdWords provides a number of tools at your disposal to help increase your chances of success with their platform. For example, using the keyword tool leads to better constructed ads that can lower your advertising costs, create more targeted campaigns and valuable data to analyze how well you are doing.
Extension features allow you to add more information to your ads. Investigate how you might want your ad to look and then choose those features so that your customers see exactly what information will attract them to you.
BENEFITS OF USING GOOGLE ADWORDS
How can It Benefit Your Business?
So, why use Google AdWords in the first place? Here are a few tangible benefits to consider.
Customizable – You begin with a simple three-line text ad but you end up with so much more. Google matches your keywords to find the best places for your ads. There are also ad extensions to display just the information you want depending on the locations of your ads.
Fast – Using your chosen keywords, you can find results of your work faster than with SEO like you use on your website.
Different formats to choose from – Google is always looking to better their platform. With more engaging ad formats, your target audience is more likely to click on your ads.
Works with any budget – You are only limited by your creativity and cash. Increase your budget when you can or as you see positive results from your campaigns.
Measurable – Track your results using the parameters you find important.
AdWords can be the starting point for your marketing campaign. It is not an exact science but Google does offer a wide array of tools and options to start you off on the right path to advertising success – whether you are a seasoned marketing veteran or a relative newbie.