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Google Adwords

Google AdWords Tutorial

If you’re a business owner or a marketing director, you’re probably familiar with Pay Per Click Marketing, Google AdWords or the acronym “PPC”. If you are, that’s good; you’re most likely using one of the most cost effective ways to market your products or services.

If you’re not using PPC or Pay per Click advertising, then you should consider it, especially if you’re operating in a niche market. Besides, there’s a good chance your competitors are already doing this and you’re missing out.

And if you are using PPC advertising, then ask yourself: “are you fully utilizing this medium and/or could you better optimize your PPC advertising campaigns?” Chances are there’s room to improve.

This Google AdWords Tutorial will cover the online marketing basics of creating an effective PPC marketing campaign.

Search Engine Marketing is a broad term that would take volumes to cover, but one segment of it – Pay per Click advertising – doesn’t need to be a “Black Box.” In fact a PPC campaign can easily be set up and running in an afternoon by virtually anyone and with practically any budget in mind. The risk is almost immaterial because you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and you set the amount of money you’re willing to spend for each click or for each day. All you need is an email address, a website and a credit card.

In this article, I’ll cover the basics of setting up an account on the most common PPC platform, Google AdWords, how to create your campaign and some of the strategy in PPC advertising.

AdWords Account Set Up Basics

Setting up an AdWords account is easy but first you’ll need to think (and I mean really think) about your business’ target market and how you want to operate your campaign. For example, are your customers segmented geographically? Are you regional, national or international? Do you want to run your ads around the clock or would you prefer not running your ads between 2am and 5am ET? What keywords are your customers most likely to type in when they search for your product or service? What’s your budget, or specifically what do you want to spend per day on your campaign? Once you’ve given consideration to those items, Google walks you through the campaign set up process. It goes like this:

To get started, go to Google AdWords and click on “start now.” If you already have a website you’ll likely want to select the “Standard Edition.” On the next page, create your Google account by selecting the option that best describes your situation and enter your email address and a password. The rest of the set up wizard is fairly straight forward. First select the language in which you want your ad to appear. Then you will be asked to target your customers by location (referred to as “geo-targeting”). Your choices will be “Countries and territories”, “Regions and cities” or “Customized”. “Countries and territories” is self explanatory. “Regions and cities” allows you to target specific cities and metro areas. The customized setting allows you to target customers within a geographical radius of your business.

Next you will create your (text) ad. For your heading (the title of your text ad) you have 25 characters. Use them well. “Power words” or attention grabbers include things like free, learn, discover, special offer, etc. Using dynamic titles can also improve response – dynamic titles ensure the ad’s title is always the same as the search phrase.

Now you have two lines (35 characters each) for your ads description. Again, that’s not a lot of real estate so make the most out of it. Your goal is to write something compelling enough that someone will click on your ad. Conventionally, line 1 is used to highlight a benefit and line 2 is the call to action.

Finally you need to add a display url (the url that will appear in the ad) and the destination url, the url that the person will actually be directed to.

Now it’s time to select your keywords. Google offers a keyword tool that automatically suggests relevant keywords but I typically recommend you spend some time and generate your own list first (before relying on Google to select keywords that will drive your business). Once you’ve created your list, see what Google recommends and augment your original list with keywords that seem highly relevant.

OK, you’re down to the home stretch now. First choose your currency. Second, identify the maximum amount you want to spend in a day (this is where you limit your exposure). Finally, choose you how much do you want to spend per click (this along with your “Quality Score” will determine how high your ad is placed).

Once you review and confirm everything – you’re done. It’s that easy to get started.

Pay Per Click Campaign Strategy and Performance Management

Now your AdWords campaign is up and running but your work is not done. You’re going to have to maintain your account. This doesn’t have to take a long time, but at a minimum, get comfortable with checking the performance of the individual keywords, the text ad creative (if you have multiple versions), and your daily budget.

As you get more advanced you’ll want to fine tune your campaigns, or better yet learn, delegate or outsource how to do this from the start. For example, you’ll want to make sure you:

  • Maintain your account – PPC advertising is dynamic and requires attention
  • Test dynamic titles in the title field (so your ad’s title reflects the search term automatically)
  • Make sure your landing page is appropriate for your ad (don’t necessarily use your home page as the default landing page)
  • Consider AdWords match types when optimizing your campaign
  • Use conversion data (Google provides the code to put on your website)
  • Understand your cost per acquisition
  • Test the effectiveness of display ads versus text ads
  • Customize your own campaign performance reports and use them
  • Monitor your cost per click (and cost per conversion) and don’t be afraid to lower bids or drop underperforming keywords
  • Test! Test! Test! At a minimum your creative and your ad’s position
  • Track everything – and analyze it
  • Be careful about competitor bidding wars – it’s better to make decisions based on your campaign’s performance and profitability metrics.

Once you’re comfortable with AdWords, and you’re confident your campaign is performing, then consider other options. Yahoo! Search Marketing is the name of Yahoo!’s PPC program. And there is Bing’s adCenter – the PPC vehicle on You can also expand your Google AdWords account in any numbers of ways (using their content network, video ads, radio ads, TV ads, etc.). But, times being what they are, I believe you’re better off getting started with a basic Google text ad campaign and managing it very well or hiring an experienced professional to do it for you.

This Google AdWords Tutorial was written by Duncan Lauder, President and CEO of Marketing Practicality, LLC – a management and marketing consulting firm. For more information, assistance with your small business online marketing basics, or sophisticated pay per click marketing, please contact: Duncan Lauder or call 302-893-4310.