You may have an impressive website and absolutely wonderful products – but if customers don’t find you, it is not much use.
The advantage of Google AdWords over conventional banner advertising is that you meet customers at the very moment they need a specific service. There are other providers of keyword advertising, including Yahoo, but Google enjoys almost monopoly status in Denmark. In addition to Google AdWords, you should think about search engine optimisation.
Targeted advertising on Google
When people search for your business or your product on Google, your ranking in the search results decides how much traffic you drive to your website. Of course, being number one on the list of search results is best, but it is not always possible, for example if you want to be number one in search results for accountants. An alternative is paying to have an advertisement shown when people search for an accountant. This system is what Google calls Google AdWords.
With Google AdWords, you can target your ad to people who are looking for exactly what it is that you sell. AdWords are shown as part of the search results on Google, but you can also choose to have your ads shown on what Google calls Content Networks.
Content Networks are sites which, in addition to their own content, also display ads from Google AdWords. One example may be a website on angling which also displays ads from shops selling angling gear.
How an ad campaign works
Once you have created a Google AdWords profile, you can adjust a number of parameters which affect the footfall resulting from your campaign – and ultimately how much you sell. You can run one or more campaigns, and under each campaign you can have one or more ads.
It is a really good idea to use several different ads as part of the same campaign. In this way, you can learn what works and which ads users click on. You can get a complete overview of how many times an ad is shown and how many people click on it.
For each ad you must choose what keywords it should be shown for. You must be very specific: You will waste a lot of money choosing 'spare parts' as a keyword, rather than the more specific 'spare parts for mountain bikes'.
When using AdWords, you indicate how much you are willing to pay for Google to refer a potential customer to your website. If you are currently paying DKK 3.00, and your ad is displayed only rarely and perhaps only on page 2 or 3, you can up your CPC and ensure a better positioning of your ad.
Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up
Your work is not done once you have set up your campaigns. Your business may run up substantial bills if you do not regularly follow up on your ads and your costs. You should also check regularly whether your ads make a difference at all if you want customers to buy your products. Google AdWords can generate HTML codes which you can incorporate into your sites and which can help you check whether a click on an ad results in an order.
Use Google AdWords' built-in statistical tools and supplement with Google Analytics or another web statistics program. If you decide to use Google AdWords, you must allocate time each week to monitor developments.
It is not the ad copy which decides your ranking in the Google system, but it is an advantage to repeat your keywords in the ad. After all, these are the words which the user has just searched for, and another advantage is that Google actually highlights the words searched for.
Of course, the ad copy decides how many people actually click on your ad and thereby visit your website.
Note: Budget ceiling
- One of the most effective ways of making sure that costs do not get out of hand is by setting a budget ceiling.
- How much are you willing or able to spend on this type of advertising each month?
Note: Check results
- The three best bought positions generate most clicks as they are displayed at the top of the search results. In this context, the choice of keywords is important.
- Test the results by searching on Google, but do not click on your own ad as you will be paying for each and every click.
Can you do it yourself?
It is important to stress that the whole concept behind Google's products is designed for users to do everything themselves. Starting to use Google AdWords is quite easy – as long as you remember that it is not enough to just set up campaigns and then letting them look after themselves.
However, at the same time, there is a bit of art in making the most of your advertising budget and actually designing your ads and keywords in a way which will generate sales. Consequently, using a professional agency to run your Google AdWords campaigns may be a worthwhile investment for many people. Just remember to state a maximum amount you are willing to spend each month.
You can try this step-by-step guide for getting started with AdWords on Google