Getting started with Google AdWords is as easy as following the step-by-step instructions listed below.
Before beginning, let's take a moment to discuss how AdWords works.
Essentially, Google is selling you advertising space on their search pages.
For example, a search on Google for the phrase “batteries” will look like this:
The “Sponsored Links” in blue at the top and down the right hand column before the organic search results are ads placed by advertisers using Google AdWords.
In this case, each of the sponsored links are advertisers who bid on the keyword “batteries.” Once your account is set up, your ads will appear for the search terms on which you bid. You will only be charged for each person that clicks on your ad.
Where your ad will appear in the Sponsored Links will depend greatly on two things:
(1) how much you are willing to bid for the position; and
(2) how highly your ad converts (in other words, how many clicks your ad gets per impression).
This will be discussed in greater detail below when you are ready to set your bids and prepare your first ads.
Setting Up A Google AdWords Account
1. Head on over to http://adwords.google.com to sign up for an account. It's as easy as clicking on the “Sign Up Now” button.
2. The next screen will give you the option of Starter Edition or Standard Edition. Choose Standard Edition. It has more features that will make managing your campaigns easier.
3. Target Customers. We will now identify our target customers. Leave this screen exactly as it is and continue to the next screen. This will show your ads with English as the language. You will then be shown a screen to choose which countries will view your ads.
The United States has already been added. While you may add any number (or all) of the list shown, it is preferable to begin by adding Australia, Canada, United States, and the United Kingdom only. Your visitors are more likely to be targeted buyers if they are from English speaking countries with higher incomes. Go ahead and choose those countries now.
4. Create Ad. This is the section where the magic begins. It is time to create your ad. While it is tempting to be creative, your first ads should be relevant and something you would be tempted to click on.
You want to list features and benefits that are strongly relevant to what your target market is seeking. The ad consists of a headline, two lines of ad copy, a display url, and the destination url (the webpage the customer will actually see). Using batteries as an example, your ad would look something like this:
Note that the ad mentions the keyword “batteries” several times. This helps increase relevancy which will ensure that potential customers know your site contains the information they want. Google also rewards relevancy.
Notice that the relevant keyword is used in the display url. If your keyword is not in your domain name, it is very helpful to add the keyword here since Google bolds the keyword in your ad each time it appears.
Go ahead and create your ad now. You can modify it, or create new ads, at any time.
5. Choose Keywords. The importance of choosing the right keywords cannot be overstated. While it is tempting to choose the keyword with the most searches, this is often not the most profitable. You will pay more for these keywords since there are so many other bidders. You will be much better off with a less searched keyword that is more tightly targeted.
Take your list of keywords and run your main search phrase through to see additional words you might want to use. In the example above, entering “batteries” presents several choices you might use.
If applicable, be sure to use both singular and plural versions of your keyword. For instance, here we will use both “rechargeable batteries” and “rechargeable battery”.
Another keyword choice is your keyword with the word “buy,” “order,” or “purchase.” After all, it doesn't get much more targeted than a customer already in the mindset to buy. Your list will probably be longer, but as you can see, in this example there are 5 appropriate keywords selected.
6. Set Pricing. This is where you set your bids. Your bid is the maximum amount you are willing to pay for each click on your ad. You want to bid high enough to place well in the listing but still make a profit.
Do not, let me repeat, DO NOT bid more than you can afford. If your ad converts well, Google will then place your ad higher in the listing. Google, as the owner of the space, will place the ads in the order of advertisers providing Google with the most money.
If you want your ad in the first, or top three positions, as a general rule, you will pay a higher cost per click. If your ad has a high click-through (many people clicking on your ad), the amount you pay will decrease. Google would rather have an ad that 10 out of 100 visitors click on at $0.50 than an ad 2 out of 100 visitors click on at $1.00. Google makes $5.00 in the first case and $2.00 in the second case. So do not worry if the bid screen's estimate shows fewer clicks than you had hoped for, stick with a bid in your budget and your ad's relevance will help it rise in the listings.
You will need to enter your daily budget and your maximum cost per click. The cost per click (CPC) is the amount you are willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
Again, stay within your budget and do not spend more than you can afford. Once you have entered these two items you may click on “View Traffic Estimator” to see how many visitors Google expects each keyword to generate based on your budget. This screen will look like this:
You may change the CPC, up or down, and see what effect it will have on the estimated traffic. You may also add or change keywords and phrases later as you refine your campaign. Go ahead and enter your bids now.
Once you have entered billing information, congratulations! Your first AdWords campaign is set!
We hope you have found this AdWords Quick Start Guide useful and informative.
Remember to stay within your budget and to keep your ad copy relevant and your AdWords campaigns will be well on their way to being successful and profitable campaigns.
If you're anything like me, or really the vast majority of pay per click users, you spend the majority of your time and money with Google. Of course, that's where the traffic and the money are right? Depending on who you listen to, Google directs between 60 and 75% of search traffic, and probably as much or more of paid traffic.
And in spite of all the features, tools, and options - not to mention Adwords Editor - it's still the easiest to use.
That being said, if you're not using part of your search marketing budget at Yahoo you are leaving money on the table. At the very least, successful Adwords campaigns should be duplicated on YSM. In fact, one of the most practical and valuable applications of SpeedPPC, the innovative software designed to speed up and optimize your ppc campaigns, is the ease with which you can put your SpeedPPC campaigns up on Yahoo, AdWords and MSN.
If you haven't kept abreast with YSM, you may also be surprised by some of the new features and functions. Yahoo is going to great lengths to compete better with Google - after all, search marketing accounts for the lion's share of Google's billions.
One new and interesting feature at YSM is the Ad Generator. Its purpose is to rapidly build multiple ads for split testing, or simply to see different copy combinations. You enter a set of titles and body text. The Ad Generator then automatically combines them into various permutations of copy and headlines to form "candidate” ads.
Ad Generator then saves the candidate ads in a “pending” area outside of the ad group, where you can review and remove candidates you don't like. An ad optimization function then moves the remaining candidate ads into your ad group, where it compares ad performance - it keeps the best performers and deletes the others. Over time, the optimization function continually tests your candidate ads, keeping the best performing ads for your ad group.
Of course there is no reason why you can't also use Yahoo's Ad Generator to build out multiple ads, let Yahoo test and optimize them, then use though those ads to populate your SpeedPPC Ad Setup. Now you get the benefit of Ad Generator for Google and MSN as well.
To access the Ad Generator:
1. In the Campaigns page, click on a campaign.
2. Click an ad group you want to use.
3. Click “Use the Ad Generator” (you'll see it above the "Keywords/Ads” table).
By the way, in case you haven't noticed, Yahoo has implemented its own Quality Score component. In my next article I'll talk about that in detail, so that you can use SpeedPPC to that same huge Quality Score competitive advantage in Yahoo that SpeedPPC gives you in Google.
Finally, there is Microsoft's bid for Yahoo. The one thing we can be reasonably sure of is that someone, whether it's Microsoft, AOL, or someone else, will end up buying or merging with Yahoo. And you can bet that however it shakes that out, search marketing will be a primary focus of attention and investment. So if you're not there in a serious way already, there's no time like the present.