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September 27, 2013

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How to use Google AdWords for Beginners

For a newbie, using Google AdWords may be intimidating, but it’s really not as complicated as it looks on first sight.

There are many factors involved, both within AdWords itself and externally, that you may want to consider if you’re just starting out. If you’re going to use it, then you may as well use it to its full potential, so just follow these 10 steps and you should be on your way to having a mighty fine pay-per-click advertising campaign.

Check your site

The most important step, before you do anything else, is to ensure that your website is in good working order. You’ll need to make sure that the site doesn’t have any broken links, and that it has basic site content like a privacy policy, a terms and conditions section and a ‘contact us’ page. Also make sure your site navigation is easy to follow, or the fact that the site is advertised with a higher priority than organic search results will be pointless.

Using keywords

Make sure that any keywords you select are relevant to your site. This might sound obvious to some, but if Google doesn’t think your keywords are suitable then the website won’t be displayed. Sometimes the smaller the oversight is, the worse the impact.

Landing pages

Don’t just link your Ad to your website’s homepage, particularly if the Ad is for something specific, like a particular product you sell. If this is the case, link the Ad to the relevant page or your customers will either spend an irritably long time trying to find what they’re looking for or get put off entirely.

AdWord groups

Ideally only have one keyword or phrase per AdWord campaign. If possible, set up different Ad Groups for each individual phrase you want to use. It may seem petty, or not that big a deal, but having the exact matching text will mean users find exactly what they want. Having too many keywords per Ad will reduce the potential scope for similar Ads in the future.

For example, ‘home insurance’, ‘cheap home insurance’ and ‘home insurance Wales’ all being included in the same Ad will unnecessarily complicate and bombard users with possibly irrelevant content. Splitting them up into separate Ads will make the Ads themselves look more aesthetically pleasing and focused.

AdWord text

Relate the Ad text to your keyword. Again, this might seem like an obvious thing to do, but it’s one of the most important factors to remember. Google emboldens the searched keyword to make it stand out, and users are more likely to click on something if the Ad text flows on consistently from the searched keyword or phrase. A good idea is to have the keyword placed in the Ad heading and once again in the body text. This will emphatically show how relevant your site is to what the user has searched for, without the Ad looking like spam.

Planning

Only choose the keywords that you can actually afford. There may be a particular keyword that is the exact phrase you would like to include in your Ad, but check how much it costs per click first. Google’s Keyword Planner will help you to find the best alternatives which will be more financially beneficial to you at the budget you’ve set.

Budget

Following on from that point, it is important to have a budget mapped out which you’ll rigidly adhere to. Like everything else in life, AdWords could work out to be more expensive than you thought, if you haven’t decided how much money you or your business can afford to fork out on it. It’s possible to set budgets within AdWords, and you should always set an end date for a campaign. You’ll be notified when the end date is near and if it’s financially viable to continue the campaign for a longer period of time, you can do so.

URLs

Make any URLs in your Ad relevant. You’re allowed to show any URL in the Ad, so ensure you’re showing users a link to what they want. You can add a forward slash (/) after the main address, with the keyword used in the Ad. For example: www.insure.com/homeinsurance. People will be more likely to click on the Ad if the link shows exactly what someone has searched for.

Spelling

Consider catering for misspellings and errors. There is lots of traffic available for misspelt keywords, and they’re available for much cheaper than correctly typed keywords. There are lots of people out there who’ll spell their search incorrectly or group it all as one word, so it won’t do any harm to give them with what they’ve searched for, as long the misspelling isn’t too glaring and damaging to your credibility.

Check performance

Finally, keep reviewing your AdWords campaign throughout the duration of its life. It’s important to keep optimising it according to changing trends, so get rid of poorly performing keywords which have a limited amount of clicks. Also, triple check you understand why your high performing keywords are doing well, before considering a bid increase, or you may end up wasting your money unintentionally.

It won’t do you any harm to check out Google’s help centre if you don’t understand anything, especially when money is involved. You could end up throwing your money down the drain if you head straight into an AdWords campaign without being confident that you know what you’re doing! Of course, ideally, this is something that will be handled by the marketing professionals within your company or SEO professional.

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