The Basics of Google Adwords
In case you are not at all familiar with Adwords, here is a brief history. Beginning in 1999 the Adwords platform would begin its journey to the top of all PPC platforms. The original version charged advertisers to pay for each 1,000 views that there ad received. This is known as pay per impression and is still an option today across many pay per click platforms. Just a year later in 2000, Adwords would implement the cost per click model that so many of us use today. Early cost per click advertising allowed the highest bidder to occupy the top spot, but thanks to the inclusion of the ad quality scoring system, that was only a passing trend. Now it is the job of PPC Advertising agencies to help users create a high quality and relevant ad to improve the quality score and decrease the average cost per click. Now that you have a good top level overview, let’s take a closer look at some of the details.
Creating Your First Adwords Account
If you are about to create your very first Adwords account, then I am glad you asked “how does Adwords work” prior to getting started. You are on your way to learning the ropes and potentially saving yourself a lot of wasted ad spend. Signing up for your account is very simple so we won’t cover that here. After you have created your account and filled in all the details, you are now ready to create you first campaign and ads. While here at Adficient we use a 9 Step PPC process, you will most likely be using a shortened version on your own account unless you have the knowledge to implement split testing and do a detailed analysis of your results. Even so, you can still put together a pretty decent Adwords campaign and here is how.
Conducting Keyword Research
It all starts here. If you do not select the proper keywords then your campaign will not do well. Identifying keywords can be somewhat difficult but tools like the Google Adwords Keyword Tool help you get started. In order to begin, you need to think about how consumers would search for your product of service. Many people search in the form of a question, so that is a good way to start. You will enter your ideas in the keyword tool and you will be able to see if people are in fact searching for them. You will be presented with data that tells you the local and national search volumes in addition to the competition level of desired words and phrases. You will also see suggested terms that are related to your seed keywords. In the perfect world, you need to choose keywords that describe what you offer perfectly and have a high search volume. Once you have selected some keywords and phrases, copy them down somewhere as we will return for them later.
Setting Up Your Ad Campaign
Forget about the keywords for a moment, it is now time to setup the details for your ad campaign. When you create your campaign you will be given several options including: geo-targeting options cost per click bid options, daily budget settings, and ad extension options. If you are not comfortable with Adwords, I suggest you leave the bidding option on auto, manual bidding requires a better understanding to use effectively. Aside from that setting, you will want to use the geo-targeting option to make sure you ads only display in your service area. If you ship goods or offer remote services, this is less of an issue than for those of you targeting only one location. The next step will be to decide a daily budget for our campaign; you should consider what amount you are comfortable with for this. Remember though, setting your budget too low can result in missed display opportunities for your business. You are able to later adjust the daily budget, so do not obsess over it too much at this point. The last major step in building your campaign is selecting which, if any ad extensions you want to use. Some of the common ones include adding a phone number and a Google +1 option. You can go through the list and determine which ones may work best for you. After you wrap that up, it is time to move onto creating your first ad.
Developing Ads on Google Adwords
Once you have gone through and selected the details of your campaign, you are now presented with the ad creation screen. It is my recommendation that you create multiple ads for each group of keywords as it will allow you to compare ad variables. When it comes time to create your ads, it is now time to pull out the list of keywords that you made earlier. In order to boost the click through rate, and thereby increase the ad quality score, you are going to need to include your target keyword in your ad. If you can add it into the title and text of your ad, that is the best scenario. Since you have limited characters to work with, it is important to deliver a clear and concise message with your ad while making someone want to click it. I find that special offers are a great way to get more clicks, just make sure your landing page delivers on the promise.
Developing Targeted Landing Pages
Once you have created your ad copy and added the keywords you selected earlier to trigger those ads, you now need to ensure the pages you have pointed the ads too are relevant. If you have pages created already you still need to take a moment to review them and look for a way to improve upon them. The keyword (s) from your ad should be included in the title of the landing whenever possible. A landing page should also make a clear offer to your visitors. If you want them to sign up for something, tell them why they should and how to do it. If you made an ad mentioning 40% off of shoes, the headline of your landing page should deliver on that message. Taking the time to perfect your landing page is going to help you it two ways. The first being a better ad quality score, meaning a lower cost per click for you. The second and even more important factor is increased conversion. If your page is clear and concise, you are going to see more conversions and that is after all the entire reason you are advertising. If you have the technical knowledge, split testing can help you dial in the perfect landing page for your ads.
Review and Improving Your Campaign
You have put a lot of time and effort in creating your Adwords campaign and landing pages. What is happening for you? Are users not clicking your ads? Do you have a high click through rate but little or no conversions? Is your bounce rate high? How are users interacting with your website content? These are just a few of the questions you need to be asking yourself when you are reviewing your Adwords campaign. If you do not understand how to analyze your PPC campaign, you may want to hire a professional for this part of the process.
Hopefully we have answered “how does Adwords work” and giving you the information to create your very own advertising campaign. If you are confused, have questions, or would like professional guidance, contact us today for help.