Get your Google Adwords going with 8 Easy Steps.
Google Adwords can be one of the most exciting and most beneficial channels to gain exposure and grow your business. It’s flexible and can be applicable to many types of businesses. But, Adwords is a beast of a topic and can be intimidating for those who are just getting started. Furthermore, it is easy to make a mistake that can be very costly and rack up a big Adwords bill.
So, we put together the 8 Simple Steps to your first Google Adwords campaign to get you up and running in no time.
To start your campaign, go to https://adwords.google.com, find the “Get started now” button, and sign up for an AdWords account. Once you’re logged in, click the “Create your first campaign” button.
- Select your campaign type and name. Choose the campaign type—for now, we highly recommend the “Search Network only” option, then give your campaign a name. Also remove the tick next to “Include search partners” for now (you can always change this later). Make sure your campaign is responsive to ALL devices, i.e mobile. You may be setting up many more campaigns, so make sure to properly keep your titles relevant in order to stay organized.
- Choose the geographic location where you’d like ads to show. Decide how large or small a geographic area you want to target. You can choose whole countries, regions of countries, states or provinces, cities—even U.S. Congressional districts. You can also choose custom-designated geographic areas, such as latitude-longitude coordinates or the radius of a set number of miles or kilometers around a specific address. Click “Let me choose …” and then search for the most appropriate area(s) for you.
- Set Your Bid Strategy. Your daily budget is the maximum that Google is authorized to charge you per day. You can manually set your bids or allow Google to automatically set your bids. Keeping in your budget, we recommend, at least for your first ad, that you leave the default bid strategy. Setting your daily budget this way is a safety net, so that if you screw up big-time your checking account won’t get emptied out. You can always change to one of the many other options later.
- Keywords and Negative Keywords. This is the most challenging part of advertising on Google for new advertisers. A keyword is simply a word or set of words that you think people will be typing into Google to find your product or service. For example, if you are selling shoes, you might pick keywords like, “red shoes,” “Nike shoes,” and “buy new shoes.” Negative keywords are words for which you don’t want your ad popping up. If you are selling Nike shoes, a negative keyword might be Reebok or Adidas.
- Create your first ad group. Once you have your campaign set up, ad groups are the next step. They allow you to keep keyword groups and ads separate within the same campaign settings. This group should be specific. If you are selling sporting goods, you don’t want to include everything in this, but break it up into specifics. Let’s say you want to advertise a sale on Golf Clubs, you wouldn’t include basketball hoops in this group. This will help you stay organized and navigate your campaigns and groups in the future.
- Write your first ad. Write something catchy that makes your readers want to click on the ad. In the ad, tell people about your business, include a call-to-action such as “Call Us” or “Buy Tickets” and use relevant keywords within the ad text. More people click on ads when the headline includes the keyword for which they are searching. You’re limited to 25 characters here, so for some search terms you’ll need to get creative. The second and third lines allow for 35 characters of text each.In most markets, you’ll be more successful if you describe a benefit on the second line, followed by a feature or offer on the third line. Later on, you can test which order converts better. Even though Google places the field for your display URL—the web address people see in your ad—below your main ad copy here, when your ad displays on the search results page, its URL will actually show up right below your headline. The display URL has to be the same domain as your site, though the URL itself doesn’t necessarily have to be the specific landing page that you take people to. The last line is your actual destination, or your specific chosen landing page. You can also use a tracking link here.
- Testing. A/B Testing is the best way to see which ad works, when and where. You’re probably aware of the benefits of A/B testing in activities like email campaigns, but did you know that you can also have your PPC cake and eat it too with the Google AdWords A/B testing tool? Formally known as AdWords Campaign Experiments, or ACE, this tool is one of the most sure-fire ways to improve key metrics like click throughs and conversion rates. By using the ACE tool to run your A/B tests, you’re putting yourself in a win-win situation where you can test even the most radical ideas in a low-risk environment. And since A/B testing for AdWords is relatively unused, mastering this tool will also put you a step ahead of the competition. You can run one experiment per campaign at a time, testing the performance of different keywords, ads, and ad groups. Your experiment can include existing keywords, ads and ad groups, new keywords, or both. When you set up your experiment, you can choose how long you want it to run and what percentage of searches will see your experimental changes. Whether you want your experiment to start on a scheduled date or start manually is up to you.
- Monitor Your Analytics. Once your ad is up and running, you will want to keep a watchful eye on how it is performing. Monitoring results should be part of your daily routine. Pay close attention to Cost Per Click (CPC), Click Through Ratio (CTR), Quality Score (QS), and Conversion Rate (CR). You can also link Google Analytics with Google Adwords to analyze customer activity on your website.
Follow these eight simple steps and you’re off to a great start! However, your job is nowhere near complete. Throughout the life of your PPC campaign, you will be adding and removing keywords, testing ad copy and landing pages, adjusting bids, and maybe even changing the focus of the entire campaign (it happens). Nonetheless, this is just the beginning. Go get ‘em!
Trial and error is the name of the game here. Stay on top of your Ad groups and keep trying different variations of keywords. Having a comprehensive marketing presence online is essential, and PPC is an important piece to the puzzle. When it comes to search engine marketing, you cannot rely on your rankings alone; you need to support it with a solid advertising strategy. Always stay tuned for more tips.
When all else fails, call Google (or us). Google actually has a phone number for Adwords. 1-866-246-6453