AdWords for Dummies

Search Engine Optimization is great. But it can also take weeks or months before you see the fruits of your labour.

AdWords is even better (if you remove the costs part) – it allows you to get started with a few keywords plus an ad and increase your website’s traffic. Within minutes.

You get to test ideas quickly by building a basic landing page and getting AdWords traffic to it. You can track changes to existing websites by A/B testing. Or you can also gather email addresses in just a few minutes of launching your new blog. All using the power of AdWords.

Search, Display, Video and Remarketing

There are 4 big types of AdWords campaigns:

I. Search focuses on Google Search, keywords and text ads. It’s simple to set up and easy to understand. If you’ve ever done a Google Search in your life, you’ll remember these search results as the one at the top and right, usually with a yellow background.

II. Display is all about static or animated banners on other people’s websites. If you’re looking to increase awareness or if you have a visual product/service, this is the type of campaign for you. If you have a in-house designer you can create your own ads. If not – AdWords provides ad-building tools for free.

III. Video takes the longest to be approved by AdWords and requires pre-existing content (there aren’t any AdWords video builders). If you have an unattractive product/service, this can be your chance to make it sexy in 90 seconds.

IV. Remarketing is all about showing very specific ads to visitors who’ve left your website. It’s effective for online stores – bringing back people who haven’t finished a purchase or who weren’t ready to buy yet. This is a bit trickier to set up and understand, but a developer can help here.

Simple example

In this example, the user has searched for ”beginner yoga classes”. Because there where 5 advertisers who had that keyword (or part of it) in their account, 5 paid ads showed to the user.

The first 2 are marked in yellow and are at the top. The next 3 are on the side, with a different, smaller format. You as an advertiser don’t get to decide where to show your ads. Instead, based on the quality of your ad, your landing page and how popular (how many clicks vs how many views) your ad is, Google places you in one of the 2 positions (top or side). You can’t be in both places at the same time, it needs to be a level playing field for all advertisers – quality wins overall, if you’re also willing to pay more than your competitors.

Costs involved

AdWords Search is usually the cheapest type of campaign and the best one to start with, as keywords denote the user’s intent (”summer in Barcelona” vs ”cheap room to rend in Barcelona”). Cost-wise it can be as low as 5 cents to 50 dollars, depending on your niche, how well optimized your landing page is and how strong advertiser competition is.

Using Google Keyword Planner you can get an idea about the search volume for keywords and what costs you should expect for them.

Get started with a coupon

It’s always great to use something on a trial basis, before you decide to pay lots of money for it. Just search for ”AdWords coupon” and you’ll find official websites for coupons from Google for specific countries. You usually have to pay $10-$15 upfront, but once you spend that in AdWords, you’ll get $40-$50 to spend. It’s a great deal for first time advertisers and a great incentive for your clients, if you’re a digital agency.

Have you started using AdWords for your business yet? What were your initial results?

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