With Google AdWords
Win With Google AdWords
Most businesses want a cost-effective way to bring in more customers.
The challenge is to find prospects who are thinking about your products
at the exact time that you reach them.
With the advent of Google AdWords, it is now possible to target
prospects at the very moment they are thinking about buying your
products or services. If someone does a Google search on digital
cameras, they only see ads for digital cameras. If someone does
a search on organically grown coffee beans, they only see ads for
organically grown coffee. Google AdWords enables you to implement
precisely targeted advertising.
Read on to learn how to maximize your success with Google AdWords.
With proper preparation and execution, starting Google AdWords can
be like planting a money tree that will provide your business with
a steady stream of revenue.
What is Google AdWords?
Open up a Web browser and go to the Google website. Type in the
search term coffee and click search. Essentially, two types of search
results come up: on the left and below are the organic search results
that nobody has sponsored. On the right side of your browser window
and sometimes above the organic results are the Sponsored Links.
The Sponsored Links are paid advertisements. Sponsored links are
always identified as such by the heading Sponsored Links.
As participants in this automated auction, each of these advertisers
is bidding for the keyword coffee. They only pay if someone is interested
enough to click on the advertisement; if nobody clicks on the ad,
the cost is zero. The higher the advertiser bids on a keyword, the
higher in the rankings the ad appears and the more likely web searchers
will see it. Ranking means visibility, though you do not have to
be at the top of the rankings or bid the highest amount for prospects
to see your ad and click on it. Your goal is to get the lowest Cost-Per-Click
(CPC) and the highest quality clicks (sales and leads) for your
Find your Niche
Sometimes with popular keywords (e.g., coffee) there are many companies
competing. On the other hand, popular keywords get millions of searches
so there might be enough clicks to go around. The only way to find
out if a particular keyword will work for you is to try it. The
problem is that many other advertisers are bidding for the popular
keywords so your CPC is likely to be high. You are more likely to
get a low CPC with more obscure, highly targeted keywords. It will
take some thought to come up with the right keywords.
Our coffee roaster would probably want to try the keyword coffee,
and watch it like a hawk as it could result in many low quality
clicks (not many conversions to leads or sales). If a keyword does
not produce high quality clicks after a reasonable trial period
(a couple weeks), then remove it; it may even be obvious sooner
that a particular keyword is costing money but not producing results.
Perhaps our coffee roaster sells shade-grown coffee that protects
Central American songbird habitat. While far less people are searching
for shade grown coffee than just coffee, it is likely to yield a
lower CPC and higher quality clicks.
Do some brainstorming and write down an initial list of keywords
that matches your market niche. This process of finding targeted
keywords will be a useful exercise to help you focus your campaigns
and maximize your return on investment.
The first thing you need to get started with AdWords is a goal.
Is your goal to make direct sales via e-commerce on your website?
Is your goal to capture sales leads that you can follow-up with
and make the sale? Alternatively, is your goal a combination of
both of these outcomes? Once you have determined a goal you need
a website that helps you achieve that goal.
Your website should be eye-catching and well organized, and include
landing pages for your products or services. To see some examples
of landing pages, do a search for your services, and look at what
other companies in your market are doing. The landing page can be
your main website if your website tightly focuses on one product
or service you are advertising (e.g., this permission-based email
marketing website). Otherwise, the landing page should be a page
within your larger website that focuses on the specific product
or service you are advertising (e.g., this page for web hosting).
If you are selling directly from your website, your site should
include a secure e-commerce system. Any good, technically competent
web design firm can set this up for you.
If you want sales leads, then your site should include a call to
action to persuade people to request more information. The way they
submit a lead is to click on a link to a lead capture form. You
need a form that at a minimum sends you—or the appropriate
sales staff—an email but ideally should also create a lead
for you in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system such
as SalesForce or SugarCRM.
Whether you are selling directly from your website or capturing
leads, your website should always have obvious ways to contact you
using whatever method the prospect feels most comfortable using:
a contact form, email, or telephone. Some company websites make
it hard to figure out how to contact them for more information.
It is important to have a number of people – both inside
and outside of your company – test your website for usability
and ease of use. Prospects should never have to wonder how to buy
from you or how to contact you to ask a question about your products
Sign-up for Google AdWords
Once you have a goal, website, and landing page, you are ready
to sign up for Google AdWords. Learn by doing. It is easier to write
the advertisement and select keywords using the tools that Google
provides during the sign up process. In addition, some Web hosting
providers have collaborated with Google, and can offer you a free
AdWords coupon to get you started.
If you plan to spend at least $30/day on AdWords, Google offers
a JumpStart program to help you get started using AdWords. Google
JumpStart specialists will help you create a campaign. The cost
of the program is $299 but Google will apply that as a credit toward
the cost of your initial clicks. Not having used JumpStart myself,
I cannot vouch for its quality though Google generally offers high
Campaigns and Ad Groups
The Campaign level is where you set your daily budget, language
targeting, location targeting, ad distribution preferences, and
the start and end dates for your campaigns (if applicable).
The Ad Group level is where enter your keywords and the advertisements
themselves. Each Ad Group has one or more ads. Write at least two
ads for each ad group so you can try different approaches and compare
In my experience, it has been beneficial to create multiple campaigns
so I can experiment with different parameters and compare the results.
Campaigns that work well I keep; campaigns that do not work well,
Choose the language you want to target, and then the countries
or territories. This requires some thought. Can you offer your product
or service globally, in just the United States, or in just your
city or region? You can target your campaign to the world or to
specific countries, regions, states, or cities.
For even more precise targeting, you can even target your campaign
to a certain number of miles from your business or even an area
bounded by coordinates.
Write your Advertisements
You have just a 25-character title get their attention, and a 70-character
ad to get people interested enough to want to click on your ad.
It is not a lot of text so make it pithy.
Write the Headline, the text of the ad, and enter the Display Link
(always link to main page of your website), and then enter the Destination
URL (your landing page). The Destination URL might be your main
page or a page within your main website dedicated just to selling
the product at hand. Below are a couple of fictional ad examples.
I do not work in the coffee industry but I do enjoy a good cup of
Headline: Shade Grown Coffee Beans Description line 1: Shade grown
coffee. Tastes Description line 2: better & saves valuable rainforest.
Display URL: www.goodshadegrowncoffee.com
Destination URL: www.goodshadegrowncoffee.com?&utm_id=coff1
Headline: Shade Grown Coffee Beans Description line 1: Coffee
that tastes better and Description line 2: protects valuable rainforest.
Display URL: www.goodshadegrowncoffee.com/
Destination URL: www.goodshadegrowncoffee.com?&utm_id=coff2
To track the conversion rate of your campaigns – i.e., how
many sales or leads you get for your investment – requires
a little preparation. You will need to have your webmaster embed
snippets of code to the appropriate pages on your website.
In the fictional advertisement examples I gave, you may have noticed
the codes in the destination URL’s: “coff1” and
“coff2”. These are tracking codes that facilitate the
tracking of a wealth of information by Google Analytics.
Google Analytics, which Google integrated with AdWords, is a very
powerful service for tracking the success of both your organic and
paid search results for your website. It will help you better understand
your website visitors experience in detail. In addition, you can
learn what keywords bring in the best prospects, and which of your
campaigns are delivering the best return on investment. You can
use Google Analytics to track marketing campaigns other than AdWords
Google Analytics is too big a topic to cover much here but I will
devote a future article entirely to this powerful marketing tracking
Choose Your Keywords
As I mentioned earlier, it is important to pick good keywords.
Initially, choose both general keywords and narrowly targeted keywords,
and carefully evaluate the results. Keep keywords that are getting
you results, and remove keywords that are not working for you. You
will probably need to run your campaigns for a while before you
will have enough information to determine which keywords are succeeding
In the keyword space provided in the setup process, list the keywords
or keyword phrases you would like to use. Because people tend to
type fast when they search the web, be sure to include common mis-spellings
of your keywords. Here are some example keywords that our fictional
coffee roaster might use:
shade grown coffee
shade grown coffe
coffee shade grown
shade grown coffee migratory birds
benefits of shade grown coffee
gourmet coffee beans
gourmet coffee beans
organic coffee beans
certified organic coffee
coffee beans organic
mail order organic coffee
To get more keywords enter a keyword into the Keyword Tool Box
and click on Get More Keywords. This will generate additional keywords,
some of which will be relevant to you and some of which will not
be relevant. Keep the relevant keywords and toss the rest.
Now, you have a good starting list. Later, you will want to add
new keywords, and remove non-performing keywords. A good keyword
is one that yields you conversions into customers or good leads.
Google Search versus Google Content Network
Google AdWords can place your add in essentially two places: Google
search and the content network. Google search are results from searches
that prospective customers do directly using www.google.com. The
content network consists of Google partner sites and sites that
run advertisements through Google’s AdSense program.
In my experience, Google search has yielded much more quality clicks
than the content network. The content network is worth trying but
I recommend putting it into a separate campaign so you can measure
its results against your Google search campaign.
The content network is opt-out, and is not possible to opt-out
during the setup process. However, to opt-out of the content network
for a specific campaign, you can go back to campaign settings and
uncheck the checkbox for content network.
Then setup a separate campaign where you focus on the content network
and opt-out of the search network. Compare the results between the
two campaigns. It is possible that you will find Google search is
more productive than the content network but, of course, your results
may be different from mine.
If you want to keep it simple until you are more comfortable with
AdWords, I recommend starting with just the search network. Then
come back in a few weeks and setup a separate campaign to try the
content network, and compare the results to what you are getting
with the search network.
Your Daily Budget
Your daily budget for your campaign is the ceiling on your daily
spending. You can set this number at whatever you want. It is a
good idea to start out with a relatively low daily budget while
you refine your AdWords effectiveness. As your ad campaigns succeed
and bring you more business, you will likely want to increase your
Start with a daily budget of about $10 to $15 per day and gradually
increase that amount as you fine-tune your approach. Your Bid
In addition to your daily budget, you will need to set a maximum
bid that you are willing to pay as a Cost Per Click (CPC). This
require some trial and error to get right. Being the highest bidder
is not really what that you want. Instead, you want to get the most
quality clicks you can for your budget. If you bid too high, your
CPC will be too high and will eat up your budget too fast; if you
bid to low you will not get enough clicks and hence enough sales.
You might try starting with a bid of $2.50, and see what happens
for a day or two. Then gradually raise or lower the bid, depending
on results. If clicks consume your daily budget in a couple of hours,
then lower your bid. If the advertisements are not getting many
clicks, then raise your bid. Continue this process until you find
the optimal bid.
Leads and Sales
What if visitors are clicking on your ad but are not buying or
contacting you? That likely means your ad is working but your website
or landing page is not persuading prospective customers to take
the next step. It can also mean that your product or service needs
some work to become more competitive. Compare what you are offering
to your competitors.
The simplest things can make a dramatic difference. When your landing
page is not getting you conversions, change one thing and see what
happens over the next day or two. That way, you can determine which
changes work. Do not be afraid to try possible solutions, knowing
that some changes will fail and some will work well.
Recently, one of our landing pages was not getting enough conversions
so I made some minor changes to the wording on the page and conversions
started going up the next day. On another page, we replaced our
very simple order form with a much more elaborate version. Our sales
for that service immediately plummeted. We simply changed the order
form back to the simpler version and sales picked up again immediately.
Harvesting From the Money Tree
The Google AdWords money tree is now planted, optimized, and working
to bring you leads and sales. What do you do now? Harvest it, of
course, by solid follow-through and providing the best possible
service for your clients.
Go back from time to time, and take a look at your results. Make
adjustments to your budget and bids as needed. Write another advertisement
that takes a slightly different tact. Remove an ad that is not producing
high quality clicks for you. Make some improvements to your website
to see if you can increase your conversion rate.
Practice Kaizen – a Japanese word for continuous, incremental
improvement. Even if your Google AdWords money tree is providing
good yields, there are always ways to improve its performance.
So pour yourself a cup of good coffee, and get started using Google
About the Author
Neil Anuskiewicz is
the Marketing Manager for EZ
Publishing. The firm specializes in helping businesses harness
the power of the Internet for marketing and to automate business
processes. In addition to custom web applications, EZ Publishing
offers web hosting, web design, and permission-based email marketing.
Please email questions or comments to Neil at firstname.lastname@example.org.