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Mastering Google AdWords

Dec 13, 2007
Many people think that Google AdWords is simple: you create ads, your ads appear on Google (and content sites), and you attract customers to your website or affiliate link. I am hear to tell you that it is not that simple. Building a website for PPC is a much different process than building a search engine optimized website. Although a profitable website should be balanced to function well for PPC and SEO, since with PPC you're spending your hard earned money on traffic, you need to make sure that your web design is achieving results.

However, if you can understand Google AdWords (and really master it), you can achieve that best targeted traffic in the world and have the greatest control out of any other advertising source on the market today. It is my goal to teach you to master this difficult task in this chapter, so you can prevent making the same mistakes 99% of internet marketers make when they start out.

Introduction to Google AdWords

Before you get started, you need to know the nature of a Google AdWords campaign. First, and I know that what I am going to say might be controversial, Google AdWords is NOT Pay Per Click. At one time, it was Pay Per Click, but Google has made significant changes to its system in the past few years.

The reason Google is not Pay Per Click is because the prices you pay are not directly related to a set amount or what others are paying, but rather the amount of traffic you actually send to your website. In other words, you could be paying $0.50 cents per click one day (for maybe 10 visitors per day) or $0.10 cents another (for maybe 500 visitors per day). Basically, you're not paying per click, per say, but per 1,000 impressions. This is called Cost Per Mille (CPM).

The amount of clicks and impressions your ad gets do not solely determine your cost per click, however. Google determines the price you pay with a technology called a Quality Score. Not only does it affect the price you pay, but it also effects the position of your ads and the amount of impressions people see your ads. The quality score is made of the following elements (and in my experience, in the following order):

Your keyword's Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

The more people that click on your ad, the lower you're going to pay per click. If you are targeting a specific keyword, you should get your CTR up in the beginning, even if that means going outside your budget a little, so that you're cost per click will stay low. This is important so that Google trusts your "relevancy".

Your daily budget

Believe it or not, having a low daily budget will result in a high cost per click. Sometimes, when I'm first starting out on a campaign, I will change my daily budget to $1,000 in an effort to get lower prices on clicks. I know that I will never reach $1,000 dollars because the keywords I bid on are pretty targeted, but I always watch my AdWords account all day long in the beginning.

The relevance of the keyword and ad text to its ad group

This is one of the most important things, because it is directly related to your CTR. Your keywords need to me directly related to your ad text and each relevant keyword or set of keywords should be organized into their own ad groups. This is the number one mistake internet marketer's first make, you must separate all of your ads into groups. Google will initially charge you more per click if it knows by past performance of the keyword that it will fail with the ad/keyword arrangement.

Your landing page quality

Finally, your landing page does make a significant impact on your CPC. The days of throwing AdWords on Google straight to sales pages are over, you need to have a content driven website or you will not survive at this business. Even a small articles section will make a huge impact on your CPC.

Now, if you dive into Google AdWords right now with no experience whatsoever, you will most likely loose thousands of dollars, trust me, I made the same mistakes everyone else had in the beginning and I'd like to give you some tips to ensure that you don't go broke.

Not having a keyword appropriate display URL

In Google AdWords, there are two URLs: the display URL and the hyperlink URL. The display URL is restricted to a small length and can be any URL of your choice (even if it's not the same one you are using to send the user to). The problem is that most people simple type in "www.yourdomain.com", which is common sense to do. However, by doing this, they are missing out on some valuable advertising space. Remember, Google will bold keywords in your advertisement that the user searched for, so you need to have the keyword scattered in as many spots as possible. So, instead type "yoursite.com/YourKeyword" or "Keyword.yoursite.com". Also, remember to remove the "www" because it is not necessary and also capitalize beginnings of words in a phrase or domain name.

Not separating Google Search Advertisements from those on the Content Network

You need to have an entirely different campaign for advertisements that are used on the Content Network (a.k.a AdSense). You should also bid differently on the Content Network than you would on the Search Network. Unlike the Search Network, the Content Network does not place relevancy based on your quality score, rather, what content is on your website.

Not turning Optimized Ad Serving off

Google, by default, will serve your ads using their algorithm so that you maintain your budget and not run through all of your money all at once. Although it's beneficial, because it automatically determines the effectiveness on how their served, it's a better idea to turn the option off so that you can make the decision yourself. Remember, Google is trying to make money, that is their bottom line.

Not organizing your keywords into Ad Groups

This is the mistake most people make. By default, Google creates one campaign with one Ad Group and all of your keywords go into that one Ad Group. The problem you are not able to stay organized so your ads are created to be vague enough to work with every keyword BAD IDEA! I recommend having hundreds of Ad Groups if you have to, so that your advertisement is as targeted as possible. This will lower your CPC, lift your Quality Score, increase your CTR, and hopefully increase your conversion rate.

Not split-testing your advertisements

Create two advertisements for every Ad Group. Google will automatically rotate them and choose the one that performs best. Continue to change out your lower performing ad for a one better than your higher performing ad until you achieve the results you're looking for. You can also turn this ad serving capability off and rotate 50% of the time and you can almost instantly see which one performs better.

Not using negative keywords

Negative keywords allow you to not show your ad when the negative keyword is in the search phrase. This is important when you want to weed out disqualifiers, such as "free".

Not having a relevant website

So many beginners think they can create an ad, set up a page to collect e-mail addresses or make a quick sale, and throw AdWords money at the website and make an income off of it. If you do this, Google will penalize you almost immediately In fact, if you do not have relevant content on your website, good luck getting that past Google because in my experience it ALWAYS lowers your Quality Score. Even though you're selling a product, it is very important to have a website full of quality content that people want to read. This could be fixed by creating a blog on your website that is free and full of great articles. Just make sure it's updated frequently!

Allowing the campaign to continue when you're not making money

If you're product costs $20, spending more than $20 on one Ad Group is causing you a significant loss. Keep your conversion rates high by fixing what breaks quickly. Remember, you could go through a significant amount of money before profits begin to rake in.

Not split testing your website content

It's amazing how much a headline can make an impact on a sale. Use Google's Website Optimizer and randomly change content throughout your sales page to get the best conversion rate.

Finally, the last mistake is giving up

So many beginners quit because they don't understand what they're doing and they're loosing a ton of money. Don't quit, just ask for help!
About the Author
Article written by Andrew J. McClary, of Amazing Design Secrets. http://www.amazingdesignsecrets.com - Learn HTML, CSS, Graphic Design, and Internet Marketing This article can be distributed without any previous authorization from the author. However the author's name and all the URLs mentioned in the article and biography must be kept.
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