Google AdWords pay per click (PPC) is a sponsored link that appears to the right of search results in Google and its partner websites. It's a highly targeted way to advertise on the web because it's generated based on specific search terms, and you only pay when your ad is actually clicked.
Running an effective AdWords campaign can be expensive, but with thoughtful design you can easily maximise the effectiveness of your campaign. Here are some tips to help you create a cost-effective and successful campaign.
Set your goals first
Before beginning your campaign, come up with a list of clearly defined goals. For example, "For every $50 I spend, I would like to see 20 new sales" or "I want to increase traffic to my website by 20 per cent". Setting goals will guide you in your efforts and help you keep track of actual results.
Select the right keywords
Selecting the right keywords is the most important aspect of any AdWords campaign. Start by writing down all the words and phrases that come to mind when describing your product or business. Ask yourself, "If I were searching for my product or business, what keywords would I use?"
In general, the more relevant the term, the better off your searchers and you will be. For example, if you are a reseller of high-end mountain bikes and you use a general term like "bicycles", you'll get people searching for everything from tricycles to rental bikes. A more specific search term like "Trek mountain bikes" would probably be better (if that's what you sell, of course).
It's advisable to use analytical tools to help you narrow down the list to find the right keywords based on your particular campaign and target market. Probably the most popular of these is Google's AdWords tool, which ranks words on search frequency and provides valuable insight on different search terms.
If you're a business that operates within a defined geographical area, it's important to use geotargeting in your campaign. There's no point in generating leads outside of your business area since you'll have to pay for these clicks.
Write a great ad
Next you need to write a compelling ad to go along with your keywords. Here are some tips on writing good ad copy, according to CleverClicks1:
Include your search term in the ad heading. For example, if someone searches on "St. Kilda bakery", they are more likely to be drawn to your ad if it has "St. Kilda bakery" in the heading.
Highlight the benefit of your product or service in the ad.
Include a strong call to action, such as "click", "download" or "register".
Be sure your URL is prominently displayed.
Create different versions of your ad copy, as Google will determine which ads have the best CTR (click-through rate) and start running that ad more frequently. You can delete the less popular ads later.
Decide how you want to pay
Google offers a few options when it comes to paying for your AdWords:2
CPC ,or cost per click, only charges you when someone clicks on your ad and is a good option if you want to increase traffic to your website.
CPM ,or cost per thousand impressions, is used in the display network and is good for getting your ad in front of as many eyes as possible.
CPA ,or cost per acquisition, charges you when the click converts, usually into a sale.
Which one you select depends on your budget and the goals of your particular campaign.
Additionally, you'll need to set a budget for your campaign and decide the amount you're willing to spend per click, i.e. your bid. Your budget establishes a charging limit for an individual campaign, and your bid is the most you're willing to spend per click.
Monitor and revise
At the end of the day, AdWords campaigns do require active monitoring and feedback. Check your Google AdWords account frequently to add and delete keywords, update your ad copy and adjust your bids and daily budgets as needed. Good luck and happy advertising!
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This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Kathleen has a degree in marketing with over 10 years experience in the IT field as a database developer and web designer. As a freelance writer, Kathleen has written for several publications across Australia as well as for various business and hi-tech blogs online.