Mastering Google AdWords in 10 Minutes – Part 1

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 29, 2010 in: Business Marketing, Tips in 10

There are lots of different kinds of marketing you can do online, depending on your products and services and target audience. In some cases, Google AdWords are a good choice and in this article of Tips In Ten, I want to give you some pointers to become proficient with AdWords in short,10 minute segments.

I should point out that I’m focusing on Google AdWords here but there are other text-based pay-per-click ads out there. I just happen to like Google AdWords (although I have used others, including Facebook ads which are text-plus-picture PPC ads). If I were you, I’d consider starting with Google AdWords because Google is so ubiquitous so you can reach a larger audience; later, you can branch out to other PPC channels when you get comfortable with creating ads.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of ad creation (in the next issue), I want to address two questions: “Why Google AdWords?” and “Is Google AdWords right for me?”, and then I want to get you into the Google AdWords account and familiar with it.

Answering your questions

My answer to “Why Google AdWords?”: There are lots of marketers who prefer to use other types of marketing – blogs, articles, press releases, etc. Those are very good and I use them and swear by them. But they aren’t perfect for every situation, and I fully admit that they have their flaws. For example, once you put them out there, they’re out there and you can’t take them back. So if you have any changes in your business, such as a shift in what you sell or you revise your thinking on a particular topic or you change your domain name, these stop working for you. As well (and some would say more importantly), they aren’t easily measurable. Depending on where these blogs, articles, and press releases are posted, you can sometimes see how many views they have received, and if you run analytics software on your website, you can sometimes see who has clicked to your site from these sources . But that’s it, and even then it’s not perfect. You don’t know how well they are converting so it’s very difficult to calculate the return on investment.

Still, people frequently choose them over Google AdWords because it seems like a better value to put a little bit of money up for an article and then publish that article for potentially unlimited views on the web. That article could do very well for you, or it might not, and it takes some effort to calculate. But with Adwords, it’s easy, partly because of the very clear cost/benefit analysis you can quickly observe and partly because of an AdWords/Analytics tie-in you can do. Yes, you definitely have to pay every time someone clicks your ad but you know that they have seen your ad and considered it worthwhile enough to click.

My answer to “Is Google AdWords right for me?”: This is a more difficult question to answer but here is my general recommendation: Use AdWords to sell something very specific – a specific product or a specific service. You will increase your sales and clarify your ad’s return on investment by doing this. If you just drive visitors through AdWords to your general website, you are going to lose money because the call to action isn’t clear. They might call or they might not or they might call later, and you don’t know.

However, if you drive visitors through AdWords to a page on your site that has one specific service or product for sale, you’ll easily see how people are receiving your offer – either positively with a purchase or negatively by clicking away.

If you have a bunch of services and you’d like to sell them all, or increase awareness about your business, you can still use AdWords, but I would make this recommendation: Write a free report and make it downloadable from the landing page and then drive traffic to it through Google AdWords. Although this may not have an immediate revenue-generating impact, you’ll at least get some marketing material out there.

(Now, some of you might email me and point out that there are exceptions to this rule so let me say up-front that there are. But I believe the exceptions are rare. Most of my audience will benefit most by following this rule).

Getting started with Google AdWords

STEP 1: Setting it all up
Google AdWords are easy to set up and run. And, what I really like about them is that you can start getting immediate feedback from your target market based on just a day or two of running ads.

Before you create your ads, the first thing you’ll want to do is set up your sales page. Again, you’ll want to identify one single offering so that people will be more likely to respond to it.

Set-up will, admittedly, take longer than 10 minutes and it really depends on your offering and your web design and your target market. These factors will influence how your sales page is crafted. (Oh, and be sure to read through this whole issue first because it may influence what you write in your sales page.)

STEP 2: Keyword research
Next, you’ll want to do some keyword research. Go to Google’s keyword tool and type in some of the keywords you’re thinking about. You’ll get a list of additional keywords and keyphrases to consider. Pay attention to the Global Traffic Volume number because it tells you how many people are searching for those keywords. And, pay attention to the little line-graph that indicates the number of competitors competing on that keyword because that will suggest to you that the more competitive keywords will cost more to bid on.

This step should probably take you ten minutes. I suppose it could take you longer but there’s a good chance that you’ll hit the most important keywords in the first ten minutes.

STEP 3: Divide your keywords into groups
When you sign into Google AdWords, you’re not just going to see a whole bunch of ads. Google makes it a little more manageable for you. They have Ad Campaigns, which are made up of Ad Groups. And their Ad Groups are made up of AdWord ads. You can have several AdWords ads in an Ad Group and you can have several Ad Groups in an Ad Campaign and that way you have several levels of control. For example, you might want to pause just one AdWord, or just one Ad Group or the entire Ad Campaign; you can easily do that.

Here’s how you might use these tiers: Let’s say you are an executive coach and you are selling an ebook about getting promoted. Here’s what I would do: I would create one Ad Campaign for this ebook. Within that campaign I would create a series of Ad Groups around different sets of keywords. I might have one Ad Group focused on keywords relating to “getting promoted” and another Ad Group focused on keywords relating to “career success”. Then, within the “getting promoted” Ad Group, I would create a series of AdWords ads around related words (“get promoted”, “getting promoted” “get ahead”, “get the job”, etc.) and within the “career success Ad Group I would create a series of AdWords ads around related words (“job success”, “career growth”, etc.)

You don’t have to divide it up like this but I just wrote this here and an example to illustrate. There are many ways you can use Campaigns and Groups. For example, you might focus on your target markets or seasonal buying patterns or specific keywords.

This step will probably take you less than ten minutes.

STEP 4: Go to Google AdWords
Next, sign in to Google AdWords (you can use your Google Account username and password). Go to the Campaigns tab and click “New Campaign”. You’ll be prompted to name your Campaign, choose the geographic locations you’re targeting, and set a budget.

When it comes to your budget, you can manually set your bid per click as well as your budget per day. This is a good place to start. Eventually you can adjust these numbers but I’d start with something that is affordable but still gives you a good amount of data to tweak your pages. For example, if you set a budget for ten cents per click, and you set a budget of $20 per day, you’ll get up to 200 clicks per day (or less, if there aren’t enough people clicking your ad). If you want my opinion, $100 ($20/day for 5 days) is a small price to pay to understand your target audience’s behavior. You might make some sales but even if you don’t, you’ll still learn a lot.

Don’t be afraid to go exploring around this part because you can really zoom in on who you want to target, including countries, languages, and devices. When you’ve got your Ad Campaign set up, press Save to continue.

And this step, too, will likely take less than ten minutes.

STEP 5: Create an AdGroup
Next, you’re going to create an AdGroup by simply giving it a name and starting to write ads. (You’ll be able to create more ads later).

And that’s it. You’ve got your first AdWords marketing campaign started, although it’s not running yet because you don’t have any ads. In the next issue I’m going to show you how to write good ads and how you can increase your sales.

Heather Recommends:

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