What is Google Adwords?
Google AdWords is an on-line auction system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google’s search results and/or in the content of web sites that have signed up via Google's Adsense.
The search adverts include a title line, two short descriptive lines and a URL link to a web site or a specific web site page. Content in other web sites can also include graphics in various sizes.
There are other organisations offering auction systems (such as Bing and Facebook) but Adwords is probably the best known.
Why use Google Adwords
It is currently believed that 87% of people using search engines do not scan past the first page of search results. If your site is not on the first page you could be missing out on valuable traffic.
How much does it cost?
You can either set an account up for yourself for free, or pay a professional to do it for you. Setting up the account shouldn't usually take a professional more than a couple of hours.
Money must then be transferred in advance to your Adwords account (sometimes introductory vouchers are available). You will need to choose what 'key words' and 'key phrases' you would like to bid on and set up you 'Campaign' and your adverts.
Depending on what these key words are and who you are competing against determines how much you will have to bid. You can choose to manually bid on individual keywords or let Google do it for you.
How can I keep costs down AND generate sales?
With Adwords you Pay per Click (PPC) not per sale, so to keep the costs down and generate sales you should try to be as specific as possible.
For example if you make and sell jewellery in Penzance, using the key word 'jewellery' you could be bidding against companies like Tiffany and M&S. Also the person entering the keywords is undecided what they what. The cost of a bid for 'Cornish jewellery' would be much less and also be targeting someone who is searching specifically for Cornish jewellery. This should be much more likely to covert to a sale than with someone just browsing for jewellery.
Really think about who you want to click on your ad and word it accordingly. For example, if you are selling beer in cases of twelve bottles you need to make it clear so you don't attract people who are only shopping for one or two bottles.
Advertisers bid in an auction based on keyword’s ad positioning, with a higher positioning rate the better the keyword will perform in the auction and will build better eligibility. You may find that you do not need to be the first advert on the page, simply being on the first page may be enough to attract click throughs.
The key to keeping costs down is to set up different campaigns and monitor and track what is working for you. As well as the amount you pay Google the amount of time that you (or your management company) may have to invest can really make it unviable for small companies.
It is possible to spend a lot of money very quickly with no positive results, especially when you are starting out. Refine your campaigns as you learn what works and what doesn't. If you are purely looking at generating sales rather than increasing awareness, and the your profit margin on your product or service is very small, this is probably not for you.
To increase Google ranking it is vital that your web pages are 'search engine friendly'. Search engines pick up sites based on specific words or phrase. Google has an 'algorithm' which assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a web page. You can increase your score by ensuring your key words and phrases are included in your web page text, including internal links between pages using your keywords, optimising the structure of your site, and including you keywords in your domain name. These are just a few of the ways, which can help you score more points. One of the most important factors now seems to be whether other web sites think your site is of interest. Get other sites to link to yours using your important keywords. Link building with other sites can be time consuming but can really boost your ranking.