Google Adwords explained


Implementing Google Adwords consists of three major facets, the keyword or phrase that triggers the advert, the advert itself, and the page on your website (landing page) which visitors are redirected to when they click on the advert. Getting any one of these wrong will drastically reduce your return on investment.


The original monetization of search engines was sponsored links on search engine page results. Google has been generating revenue from adwords since 2000, and in 2012 adwords represented 96% of Google’s total revenue. That 16 years of continuous investment and development means that adwords has evolved into an extremely sophisticated ad delivery engine.

Adwords is a competition between advertisers to deliver the best advert for the searcher; it’s not just a question of who bids the most to display the ad. Google needs to deliver a quality product, otherwise searchers would rapidly swap to another search engine, or not click on the sponsored links at all; in either case Google’s revenue would decline. Quality is a combination of the landing page experience (the page which the user is redirected to when they click on the link), the likelyhood that the searcher is to click on the advert (The click through rate – CTR), the relevance of the landing page to the keyword or phrase, and finally the bid.  The exact weighting of each factor is known only to Google, but experience in running adwords campaigns can give a good indication.



Let’s get started

Before getting to adwords, six questions need to be answered

The first question that you are going to need to answer is: what’s your objective? The answer to that question will determine how you are going to set up your adwords campaign. If your answer is brand building you are going to setup the campaign very differently than if you want to sell a particular product online.

The second question is: what is your daily/weekly/monthly budget? It’s very important at the outset to know your budget and stick to it, at least until the performance of the campaign can be measured (i.e. return on investment, what is working and what is not). You’ll also need to decide on your bidding strategy. The best strategy for Newbies, is to manually set your bids for clicks. Since adgroup level & keyword level bids override the campaign level bids  you can easily adjust

The third question is: should I outsource the setup of this campaign to an expert? Getting an expert to set up your campaign can save a significant amount of time and money at least at the outset. Talk to some consultants, and see what it will cost. Then make a call on whether your time would be better spent learning adwords vs running the business.

The fourth question is: what  do I know about my target audience? Knowing the demographics and habits of your target audience can really help to optimise your campaign. As a simple example if your call to action is to get the searcher to call, then it’s pointless running the campaign outside of business hours. If the objective is to sell TVs online; then a campaign to target those people who have done their homework and know exactly what TV they want to buy might be the most appropriate strategy. If the objective is to drive visitors to your website and make revenue from advertisers, then the target audience is product browsers.

The fifth question is: What are the campaign performance indicators, the indicators should be tangible, and measureable. Use a small number of key performance indicators (KPIs). A KPI could be number of visitors per day generated from adwords campaign, number of callers per day, number of sign ups per day,  number of TV’s sold per day. But the one which should be in your mindset constantly is the cost per conversion.

The sixth question is: Is my website ready? The target website pages need to clearly convey your message/product without the user having to scroll, be extremely fast, look great, and be easy to use. The  landing pages must be relevant to the keywords/phrases, and most importantly be designed to encourage visitors to click on calls to action. The website will require some code to monitor conversion tracking. The code for your site will be available from your  google adwords account. The purpose of conversion tracking is to monitor what’s actually working and what needs tweaking. It also allows you to measure the KPIs we set in question five. One of the most common mistakes people make with adwords is not turning on conversion tracking.



Answered all the questions? – We can now start on adwords.


Step  1 – get an adwords account

The first stage is to get ourselves an adwords account. To go that goto login with your gmail account if you have one, and follow the instructions. If you don’t have a google account; you can create one and yes you can use your existing email address.


Step 2 – Research Keywords and Key Phrases

Targetting the right keywords is essential for a successful campaign. The place to start is the keyword planner, this is located in the tools menu. Click on Search for New Keywords….. enter your product or service, landing page (optional), and category. The select your target countries, language, then click on “Get Ideas”. Great keywords depend on the objectives. You can input your landing page, and ask google to get keyword ideas from it. If google can’t get any keywords from your page, that’s a warning sign your page isn’t constructed properly. You may struggle to get a good score on landing page relevance.

It’s not always the words/phrases with the most searches that will be the most effective unless the strategy is purely to get visitors to the landing page. Low volume searches can sometimes be the most effective. If you are selling product online and want searchers who are ready to buy, research suggests that a four+ word phrase indicates a searcher ready to buy. (e.g. Panasonic TV 42inch OLED).  Negative keywords can be very useful in fending off unwanted searchers, as an example if you only sell TVs but don’t do adverts for jobs in tv, its possible to put in a negative keyword of -“Jobs”, that way if a search puts this in their search term your ad will not be displayed.


Step 3 – Categories

When entering product/services google adwords also asks for a category and sub-category. Using these in the URL of the landing page, can help your page relevance, and search engine ranking.


Step 4 – Ads

It’s imperative to get the ads right, they need to standout from all the other ads online, this is where you need to do your homework. Have a look at all the competitors ads, and collate all the best ideas from them. Then start building your ad. Once you have built it, compare it with the competition, what’s more get some other employees or friends to review the ads. It’s difficult to be innovative in the small number of characters that are allowed in your ad, so don’t waste time with putting in your phone number or web address, google has a number of extensions to do that for you. Use of the extensions is imperative to make your ad stand out, the call, sitelinks, and product/price extensions are all extremely useful. Google has great tools for helping you build image ads, and these can be the most effective, and allow you to be really innovative. Remember in building ads your original objectives; you only want visitors that are going to help you meet your campaign objectives, each click is going to be costing you money.


Step 5 Bidding Strategy

Set up your carefully thought out campaign,whats your bidding strategy, (cost per click or cost per conversion), when will your ad run?, make sure you are using phrase match not broad match for keyword triggers), and how much you are prepared to pay for each click or conversion. This depends on the industry you are in, and I suspect google knows roughly the margin on every product/service on the planet. But be smart think about it, if you convert 5% over visitors you are a hero, so work out the margin and then see if it’s right for you.

Time your ads too, many bidders will have run out of budget by lunchtime, so be smart about when to schedule your campagn.


Step 6 Ring Up Google and ask for advice

Ring up google, they will help you for free, the number is on the right hand side of the google adwords menu and let them help you optimise your ads, but always remember, they will be trying to maximise your ad spend too.


Step 7 – Monitor Monitor Monitor

Daily, at least at the start, monitor the performance of your ads vs your spend, and never ever let a week go by where you don’t monitor your performance. First take a look at the number of clicks, the click through rate (number of displays (impressions) of your ad and the number of clicks you got – that’s the click through rate, if it’s not at your target rate, then do a search and look at the competition, if you were a searcher which ad would you click, then take the best features of all the ads shown and improve your ad). Second look at the conversion rate, that’s the number of people who clicked your ad vs the number of people who clicked on a call to action on your landing page, if that’s low then you need to do some more work on your landing page to entice people to click. Third look at the time of day and days that you get most clicks and target your ad schedule (and budget) at those times. If you can’t work it out Ring Google, or your adwords consultant.

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