Pay-per-click (PPC) – a service invented in 1998 by Bill Gross of Idea Labs – allows advertisers to bid on how much they are willing to pay on having the top results in specific online searches. GoTo.com later became Overture, which was bought out by Yahoo and later renamed Yahoo Search Market.
It didn’t take long for Google to respond; in fall of 2000, Google introduced its version of paid search – Google AdWords. Within a few years, AdWords, which shows advertisements that are triggered by keywords on Google and its syndicate partners, became the largest PPC advertising platform in the USA – and this is true to this day.
Whereas search engine optimization, or simply SEO, ranks organically for any given keyword, advertisers can bid against each other for a particular keyword or phrase. These Pay Per Click advertising usually appear above and to the right of organic (non-paid, natural) results. The optimal business plan for a company’s online marketing efforts is through both high organic and Pay Per Click Google rankings, which not only increases web traffic, but also brand credibility.
As LSEO founder Kris Jones says, if you think of the search results page as a piece of real estate, a powerful strategy is to get your company’s name onto that piece of property as many times as you can.
A basic Google Pay Per Click account features three major levels – Account, Campaign and Ad Group. Some advertisers open multiple accounts, and sometimes Google requires an advertiser to open multiple accounts (explained later). After you have created a slick business website, you are now ready to promote your product/services with a Google AdWords account.
Also – make sure to set the campaign daily budget correctly. Select a “standard” or “accelerated” basis. When using the “standard” budget, Google will spread your clicks throughout the day. When using the “accelerated” budget, the ad will be exposed for the most clicks in the less amount of time. When using “accelerated,” if all your budget is gone within an hour, your ad will not run for the remaining 24 hours of the day.
Before opening an account to create your initial AdWords campaign, have your keywords prepared for the ad.
Following are the steps to building a strong Google AdWords campaign (click on each title for further explanation).
When creating your AdWords campaign, Google provides many targeting tools, including ones that allow you to specify languages and locations. Many times, you’ll want to create a new campaign rather than a new ad group to target different locations with relevant text driven towards that locale. The Google AdWords Keyword Tool allows you to target your PPC ads to virtually any geographical location needed, including local, regional, state, national, and international location targeting.
A Google AdWords text ad contains only four lines of copy – a 25-character headline, display URL, and two lines of description (up to 35 characters) – so make it all count. The is the direct line to your website, and can make or break a success of a product or services – regardless how great the product or service is. Creativity in this short-term form of writing is tough, so constantly study the competition. Perform some competitive analysis, and see what the others are creating – are your competitors mentioning things like prices? Shipping deals? Exact service details? When creating ad text, develop a few variations, and test them against each other. Remember to use words that focus on credibility and value, such as “official website.” And remember – just like in organic search, keyword selection is the most vital factor to success.
OK, you are happy with your Google AdWords copy – now it’s time to optimize. One of the most significant aspects is correctly matching keyword options; these AdWords matching options determine the amount and kind of traffic your ads will receive. There are three basic Google AdWords keyword matching options – Broad Match, Phrase Match, and Exact Match. By selecting AdWords broad match, your ad will show up in searches for similar phrases and similar variations, including singular and plural forms, common misspellings, synonyms, related searches, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), related searches, and other relevant variations. Google AdWords Broad Match Option Examples:
Term: Red ShoesSearches that can match: Red Shoes, Red Sneakers, Maroon Flip Flops
When using the AdWords Phrase Match option, only searches for that exact phrase (or close variation) will show your ad. Google AdWords Phrase Match Option Examples:
Term: Tesla for SaleSearches that can match: Tesla for Sale, Tesla for Sale in Wilkes-Barre
The AdWords Exact Match Option will only show your ad when the exact phrase is typed into Google. Google AdWords Exact Phrase Match Option:
Term: BMW for SaleSearches that can match: BMW for Sale
There is also a negative match option. If you put in -used, for example, your ad won’t show up in searches for “Used Tesla for Sale.” The use of negative-match option eliminates unwanted clicks from users who will not benefit from your website products or services.
Google AdWords Bidding is straightforward – you set the bid for how much you are willing to pay for a click. This amount is for the maximum you’ll be charged for a click; you will be charged less based on what other advertisers are bidding for the same keyword. Setting the correct bid will help the success of your PPC campaign. Don’t be afraid to bid more if needed – and monitor bids daily.
A major benefit to using a Google AdWords is the ease of running PPC reports on any element – from account, campaign, ad group to even a keyword level. Spend much time experimenting with the art of reporting, which will surely help you master PPC advertising.
Google AdWords allows you to install a tracking code on your website that allows you to track all behavior of visitors from a PPC ad. The tracking code allows you track all that the visitor did, and if the click results in a conversion, the the transaction will be reported on the AdWords interface. Besides monitoring an e-commerce transaction, AdWords allows you to track sales and lead form completions, among others.
Google AdWords Editor is used by many professionals within the paid advertisement industry, but the tool is easy enough to learn for anyone. Basically, the AdWords Editor makes larger AdWords accounts easier to manage. The Editor tool – available offline – is available for free and is simply makes life easier when running larger PPC campaigns.
Monitoring and maintaining your Google AdWords campaign on a daily basis will help you achieve the most optimal results. Experiment with different approaches, including a variety of keywords, to see what works best. How many people see your PPC ads is completely up to you – and remember, this is real money being spent in real time. Carelessness can quickly equal loss of money. Also remember that your Search Engine Optimization efforts are parallel to your PPC efforts. If you can’t rank for a certain keyword organically, PPC is the only other way. Above all be creative! Find the keywords that no one is bidding on, and construct ad copy that is much different from the competition. And always make sure to drive the PPC ad traffic to the most relevant destination page on your website.
Before 2007, the bigger the budget, the more control an advertiser had over the top position in Google-sponsored results. But Google recognized this problem, and introduced Quality Score in early 2007. The algorithm was changed, and advertisers must now optimize for their respective quality score. The quality score algorithm takes many factors into consideration, including the quality of your landing page, ad group structure, click-through rate, and keyword bid. The more optimized these are, the better the quality score. The best part? The higher the score, the lower overall cost-per-click and the higher the placement on Google.
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