So…What IS Google AdWords? How to Use the Big G to Get Found

google_adwordSearch engines are far and away the most common tool people use to find what they’re looking for on the Internet, and without a doubt, Google is the undisputed king of search, garnering by some estimates as much as 70 percent of all search engine traffic on the planet. The dominance of the “Big G” in the realm of search has created an outstanding opportunity for small and large businesses alike to market their products and services on Google’s search engine results pages by way of an advertising program known as Google AdWords. Maybe you’ve heard of Google AdWords, but haven’t felt comfortable enough with the concept to put it to work for your business. We’re here to help! Read on. 

So, what is Google AdWords?

Let’s say you’re looking to buy a new blender, but you want to find out which blender is the best one to use for smoothies. You type “best blender for smoothies” into the Google search box, hit “Enter,” and you are immediately presented with tons of relevant information on the search results page. Now take special notice of the listings on the top and right-hand margins of the page; those listings are labeled as “Ads,” which means that those companies are using the Google AdWords program to advertise their products on relevant search results pages.

Think about the benefits of using such a highly-targeted program: You can reach potential prospects at the precise moment they’re searching for the types of products and services you have to offer. This means that your ads are appearing in front of highly qualified leads, which in turn means they’ll be more likely to take action. If you’re looking for ways to help your company gain visibility online and reach a targeted audience that’s already looking for what you have to offer, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better way to do it than by using Google AdWords.

How does Google AdWords work?

Google AdWords is what’s known as a pay-per-click (PPC) program, which means that you only pay for an ad when a user clicks on it. In other words, your ad may appear to more than 3,000 users a day who are searching online via Google, but you’ll only be charged for the 30 or 40 users who actually click on your ads and visit your website. These click costs accumulate in real-time, and you pay for however many clicks your ads receive on a monthly basis. Using this type of program is also referred to as getting “paid traffic.” 

Keywords: The Foundation of Google AdWords

Google will match up the appropriate ads with users’ queries based on what types of words or phrases (known as “keywords”) they type into the search engine. For example, if you’re the company who’s advertising a made-for-smoothies blender, you can set up your ad campaign to have your ads triggered when people search for keywords like “best blender for smoothies” or “smoothie blender.”

Now, each of these keywords has a particular cost associated with it; for example, as of this writing, the phrase “best blender for smoothies” will cost you $1.15 per click, while the phrase “smoothie blender” will cost you $1.40 per click. These prices can change on a daily or even hourly basis, because the pricing is based on an auction-style bidding system. Although the “official” quote for these two phrases is $1.15 and $1.40 respectively, you may actually end up paying less based on how many other advertisers are bidding on those keywords. The good thing about it is that you are in complete control of your budget, and you can set a daily spending limit so you’ll never pay more than your budget will allow.

AdWords: Simple Steps to Get Found in Google

Google AdWords is a very robust platform, and many of the details of the AdWords interface are beyond the scope of this article, but here are the basic steps you will take to get your Google AdWords campaign up and running:

  1. Sign up for Google AdWords at http://adwords.google.com
  2. Create your ads and campaigns
  3. Choose your keywords and set your budget
  4. Take your ads live and measure results via the AdWords interface
  5. Adjust your bids, ad text and ad rotation based on the best-performing ads

You can get a more comprehensive guide to Google AdWords by checking out their AdWords Help section.

Alright, you’ve got the basic info to get started…now put it to work, and watch how Google AdWords can increase the visibility of your business and bring a steady stream of qualified leads to your website!

Want go deeper? Check out our blog on the foundational rules for PPC marketing.

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