Google AdWords can take your small business marketing to the next level. Think of AdWords as the old-school newspaper classifieds updated with the power of the Internet.
It’s easy to get lost in the numbers and optimization aspects of AdWords. There are opportunities with every step to customize and target your customers, if you know what to focus on. These three tools are just as important as deciding whether pay-per-click or pay-for-impressions is right for your business.
When creating an ad campaign, do your homework on keywords. If no one is searching for your keyword, your ad won’t show up at all. Using Google’s Keyword Tool can help you determine which keywords to use. Enter your term in the search box and Google will tell you how popular the search is. The flip side of this is you’ll be paying a a premium for more popular keywords.
To use this tool most effectively, read through your web copy. Pull out 10-15 keywords and run them through the keyword tool to see how popular they are. You can supplement them with Google’s suggestions to create a strong ad campaign.
Manually setting bids for your keywords is a way to take full control of your campaign. Google promotes the ease of use of automatic bidding and a “set it and forget it” mentality. The downside of automatic bidding is paying the same no matter how popular the keyword. If a competing ad set their bid higher than yours, you’ll miss out. By manually setting bids for keywords, you’ll be putting a premium on the keywords with higher competition while maintaining your budget.
If you’re on a budget with AdWords, scheduling your campaign for peak hours can maximize the potential. Located in the advanced settings area of the campaign settings tab, every hour of every day is accounted for. Setting hours for your campaign to be active will keep you from spending your entire budget for the day or week in a short amount of time. By spreading out your campaign over time, you can be sure you’ll reach your goals without blowing your budget on the first day of the campaign.
Adwords can provide a boost to your marketing strategy with the proper planning. Solid landing pages, quality keywords and carefully thought out ads are all necessary to create a well planned campaign. Google offers video tutorials on AdWords to get started. You can learn more about AdWords on More Than a Few Words December 26th.