What the heck is Google AdWords?

We’ve all heard the term and some of us may have even received a Google “gift card” in the mail, but what is Google AdWords and what can you expect from a Google AdWords advertising campaign?

Google AdWords is sort of like advertising in the printed Yellow Pages: it simply helps your customers and potential customers find you.  However, unlike the Yellow Pages, Google does not search for businesses using the alphabet, it searches using keywords or searchable terms that describe your business or offering.

Google AdWords is an advertisement using only words called “keywords” that best describe your products or services.  Once you have your keywords, you can create your advertisement and then decide on exactly how much money you want to spend on this advertisement. With Google AdWords you can set a daily budget or a monthly budget and you can also adjust it as you go.

There has been much discussion about Google’s pricing for these ads, as you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.  This means for your ad to be successful, people will click on it, come to your site and hopefully buy what you have to offer.  However, if nobody clicks on your ad, although you wouldn’t have spent any money, you also wouldn’t have increased your site traffic or realized any revenue from it. To me, Google AdWords is a great marketing tool but like any tool, you need to know how to use it correctly to ensure your desired results are realized.

Here are a few tips you might want to consider from this marketing expert before jumping on board:

Tip 1
Planning your marketing:  Make sure that your online marketing plan fits well with your marketing strategy.  In other words is this the only online marketing you will be doing or can you tie this into another campaign?

Tip 2
Keywords are key: Do you know what your keywords are for your business?  Ensuring the proper search terms or keywords for online advertising is crucial as these are the words that people use to search Google for your business. You’ll need to spend the most amount of time at this stage establishing clear and decisive keywords for your ad campaign. You might want to consult an expert for this.

Tip 3
Target the ad to your audience: Potential customers tend to search by topic and location whereas current customers are more likely to search for your business by name.  So when creating your ad, you need to be clear about whom you are targeting including where they are located. Do you want to run a local, national or international campaign?

Tip 4
Clearly identify your goals:  What do you hope to achieve using Google AdWords? In other words, are you hoping to use Google AdWords to increase traffic to your site, increase revenue, or just increase brand recognition?

Tip 5
Monitor your budget: Like any advertising campaign, you need to track its success; with Google AdWords it is very easy to burn through your “Google gift card” amount in minutes, so keep an hourly eye on your Google campaign and adjust as you see fit.  Remember the great thing about Google AdWords is you can stop the campaign whenever you want.

Setting up an effective Google AdWords campaign can absolutely drive traffic to your website, increase your brand recognition and generate interest in your business, but to make it an effective campaign you’ll need to invest time and resources. If you’re a small business without internal marketing resources, you might want to consult with an expert to ensure your ad will meet your goals.

Has Google AdWords worked for you?  I look forward to hearing your success stories!

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