Adwords for Business: The Ultimate Guide
Google Adwords is one of the front-runners in online advertising, which also includes Facebook, Bing, LinkedIn and banner ads. But as every advertising platform has a specific audience and setup, understanding Adwords in greater detail, will help your business increase clicks to the website, gain visibility in searches and improve online goals.
The business case for using Google Adwords
- Google Adwords have 15.4% share of the online advertising market ($2.31 billion) (Marketingland)
- Around 97% of Google’s total revenue comes from Adwords advertising (Google)
- Google had over 1.2 million businesses advertising on its search network in 2012 (Wordstream)
- Ads in the top position gain 10 times as many clicks as side-position ads (Practical ecommerce)
The Google paid search model remains the most popular online advertising platform and it isn’t difficult to understand why. Google’s search engine dominates over 87% of online searches. Google Adwords is PPC advertising. This means that every time someone clicks on your advert, you pay. Each time a user types a search query on Google, Adword ads are listed above organic (main) searches and to the right of them. It’s an auction-style form of advertising in which you set keywords that relate to desired searches and then set a maximum bid that you are willing to pay for a click.
Objectives and marketing impact for Adwords
Now that you have identified a need for advertising online, it’s important to plan your objectives and define a purpose. What do you hope to achieve?
- Greater visibility online (branding)
- Global market penetration (same product, new market)
- More sales (general or specific)
- Brand penetration (more mentions of your business)
- Click throughs to your website or online pages
- Opportunity to promote your product, service, news or resources
- More email sign ups / Competition entries
When you know your objective/s you can plan your ad around this. If sales, then you may write about a product in a positive way or draw attention to the product features or reasons to purchase. You might mention a % off or USP.
To set up your Adwords account go to adwords.google.com.
If this is your first time, then you will be taken through the steps of creating your first campaign. Before the campaign is set live you will be prompted to enter a form of payment.
In campaign settings, set your ‘campaign type’:
- Search only (Google search engine only)
- Display network only (On websites which are part of the Adword display network like New York Times, Gmail, etc.) – Note: You can still select search as well as the display network
- Search + Display networks (Visible on mobile devices)
- Online video (Upload a video as an ad)
You will then select country, language and other settings like when your ads will be live and how; whether they will appear as quick as possible or whether you would prefer them to be evenly distributed throughout the day, based on your budget. The most important settings are daily budget and bidding options.
If you prefer control, then select manual. If you are happy to leave bids to Google, then let Adwords set your bids for you. Your daily budget will have an impact on your ad visibility, so calculate the amount of times your ad can be seen, based on the maximum bid per keyword. This will only be a rough guide however.
When setting up multiple ads, you will need to create them as either independent ads or ads that use the settings and budget of another. Remember – if you are sharing a daily budget, you must calculate for combined clicks (on all ads that share settings).
Adwords advanced options
If you select an ‘All features’ ad, you have additional options that include:
- Ad extensions (extra spot for location information, phone number, additional links, etc.)
- Schedule (A calendar that allows you to select days of the week and times during the day when ads are live)
- Dynamic link option
None of your ads will be published until you have set up your payment option.
Step 1: Enter your details as requested and remember to include tax details if you’re a business.
Step 2: You have two choices for the method of payment. The first is manual payments and the second is automated payments. With manual payments, it’s up to you to top up your account to pay for ads. Automated payments mean that Google will deduct a set amount from your card when it hits a certain buffer or if 30 days have been reached.
Step 3: Enter your credit card/debit card details.
Writing Adwords ads (copy)
The copy within your ad needs to be:
- Relevant to your audience
- Clear and concise
- Optimised in relation to your keywords AND the landing page it is linking to
- Enticing enough for viewers to click on
Ad writing is usually the downfall of many ad campaigns as it must be written with a multi-purpose.
The ad also has defined character limits for the title, two lines of main copy and link.
- The title is set to 25 characters
- The next two lines are 35 characters each.
- The fourth line is reserved for the URL of your landing page (web address)
The URL that is visible is restricted to a certain length, so if your landing page URL is too long, you will need to shorten the visible URL (but still set the correct one as the actual URL).
Check Google’s Adword policy when creating ads as they can be disapproved.
The way Google Adwords work is to align your Ad with specific searches. In short, you add the keywords that you wish your ad to appear for and Google will assess ‘relevancy’* to determine your positioning (page and order on page) of your published ad.
*Relevancy is determined by many factors, not just the relevancy of keywords chosen.
Contrary to popular belief, less – when it comes to keywords – is better. Select few keywords and use these terms to guide your advert writing. That means that your keywords should feature in your ad copy. As part of the keyword selection process, research keywords that are high search, yet as low competition-wise as possible. This will give your advert the best possible chance of being shown against your selected keyword searches.
To assess keyword suitability, use the Google keyword tool. From the main menu in Google Adwords, select ‘Tools and Analysis’ – > ‘Keywords Tool’. Simply type in a list of keywords OR use the landing page URL (address). Filter options like location, devices and ideas, then click ‘Search’.
The results are shown below, although it’s much easier to extract the data (in full) and assess/sort. You can also instantly select keywords and add them to your campaigns and view the traffic estimator (Menu above searches). Look for terms that are high search, yet not overly competitive. Use keyword strings like ‘Online Marketing Consultancy Dublin’ and be as specific as you can.
When adding keywords, you have three ‘match’ options:
- Broad match i.e., Online Marketing Consultancy (match any term, in any order)
- Phrase match i.e., “Online Marketing Consultancy” (match the sequence ‘online marketing / marketing consultancy’)
- Exact match i.e., [Online Marketing Consultancy] (match the sequence exactly, in this order)
Settings bids (Cost)
Google Adwords are PPC (Pay Per Click) ads, which means that when a viewer clicks on your ad, you are charged. The amount charged is based on a variety of factors:
- How competitive the selected keywords are
- Your maximum bid
- Balance at the time (Tip: Top up before your balance drops to 50% of your total campaign term budget)
To guarantee outstanding ad performance you will need to optimise:
- The advert text
- The landing page (that the ad is linked to)
- Check what the suggested bids are and either equal or increase yours
- Choose only keywords that are relevant for your ad AND landing page
Google Adwords has in-build tools to help you check and optimise your ads.
- Keywords (Mouse over each keyword and it will open this window to tell you if your ads are showing and what you can do to improve the quality score and visibility).
Within your Adwords campaign, you have your statistics graph. Keep an eye on trending patterns – when clicks peaked and dipped and analyse what may have happened for this result to occur. Use the filters for deeper analysis and to segment data groups.
- Leads: Chevrolet increased leads by 350% by combining tradional media with Google Adwords
- Traffic: Cisco achieved 0.5% website traffic referral via a dedicated Mobile Adwords campaign and all ads were translated for various geo-locations
- Revenue: Revenue driven by paid search on Black Friday rose by 31% as advertisers invested 21% more in search ads
- Aquisition cost: Google Adwords reduced the client aquisition cost by 91% for AccuraCast
- Media Spend: Media spend dropped by 17% for Rocky Mountaineer
We hope that this information will help with your business and it’s use of Google Adwords. What are your experiences of using Adwords? Do you use objectives to drive Adwords activities?
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If you would like to talk further about how Online Advertising and Adwords can benefit your business, or if you would like The Ahain Group to help you along this path please feel free to contact us.