Google Adwords Setup Guide for Beginners

Google Adwords Setup Guide for Beginners

How to start a pay-per-click advertising campaign

Are you confused by PPC (pay-per-click)? Do you want to give it a try? This guide tells you how to get started.

General information
What is it?
Pay per click advertising is exactly what it says, typically an advert for your site / product / service is shown on another website then when an internet user looking at the advert clicks on the ad two things happen.

The user is taken to a page of your choosing on your website
You are charged a fee
This form of advertising has its advantages and disadvantages. Firstly it costs money, the cost can vary based upon several factors but in competitive areas the cost per click can be very high (although prices usually start at around 5 pence per click). However it is more targeted than methods like banner adverts, this is because usually the ads shown are relevant to the content on the rest of the page. For example on a page about ?Good Parenting? you might find ads for nappies or pushchairs and alike. Also usually the user will only click on the ad if they are interested in what the ad is selling (this is why its important to word you ads well ? and truthfully) you might get lots of clicks but if they are costing you money you only want people who are interested in the product or service to click (otherwise you just wasted your cash) its no use getting tons of clicks from a misleading advert when as soon as the visitor lands on your site and realises they were misled then just stop looking and browse elsewhere.

There are many pay per click advertising programmes out there, try the ?Computers > Internet > Web Design and Development > Promotion > Pay-Per-Click Advertising? section in the open source directory (http://www.dmoz.org). But the main three programmes affiliated with the search engines are.

Google AdWords (http://adwords.google.com/)
Yahoo Search Marketing (http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/)
MSN adCenter (https://adcenter.microsoft.com/)
The benefit of Adwords is that it is easy to set up and ads appear instantly, also the ?Campaign Management? area of Adwords has some very nice features and is easy to get to grips with. Also Adwords ads appear on the Google search listing page (you may have seen them ? or clicked on them) they show above and to the right of the main listing in little coloured text-only boxes. In fact Adwords ads will show on many additional sites in addition to this.

Yahoo Search Marketing ads (you may have seen them on Yahoo search listings above and below the main results ? labelled ?SPONSORED RESULTS?). Overture's system is a little more complicated to use and all ads require editor approval (which can take a day or so) to go live.

MSN adCenter is a relative new coming to the scene. MSN adCenter ads run alongside MSN search results.

As you can see it is possible to get wide coverage of virtually all search engine traffic this way ? at a cost.

Both programs work in fundamentally the same way. You choose a keyword (or keywords) and set a price you are prepared to pay per click when a user searches using that keyword they get the usual search results and are also presented with your ad at the same time. Pretty simple. If they click on it you are charged a price (up to the limit you set ? the way the system works out how to charge you can be based on many factors but you wont pay more than your limit).

Where it gets more complicated is where you have competition for keywords. As in many cases lots of people will want the same keywords as you, and this is where the amount you are prepared to pay for a click comes in to play. In general the how much you are willing to pay dictates how often and how high up the list your ad is shown (other factors are taken in to this calculation such as your ads click through rate ? a more relevant ad with a higher click through rate will get more exposure).

I won't go into too much more detail as both systems have comprehensive help and tips sections, I have just covered the basics here, but here are a few tips to remember.

Start with a low bid (price per click) amount and work up once you have got a good campaign running and you know how much you can afford
Use the tools available to you in the admin areas, especially the keyword suggestion tools, these will help you find more keywords you haven't thought of but that are applicable
Don't forget common spelling mistakes of words and product names, you can get the edge on your competitors here as people will quite often misspell words
Use your search keywords in the text of your ads because they are quite often made ?bold? to stand out this will draw attention to your ads. For example if you are selling teapots you want your ad to be shown when the user searches for ?teapot? if you include the word ?teapot? in your ad it will be shown in a bold typeface ?teapots for sale?
Use the conversion tracking where available, it gives you extra information on what results your ads are generating. It can tell you what keywords are resulting in sales and can help you target accordingly
Be prepared to invest lots of time at the start to get things running well, tweaking ads and adding new keywords. Once you are happy with the results you are getting you can ease off a little but remember to check and modify ads and keywords where necessary at regular intervals

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