Small Business Guides: Using Adwords to Increase Profits and Customers


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Google Adwords and how to use it

Perhaps a little history is in order. Recently, I’ve been studying for the Google Adwords professional certification exam. I’ve passed the first exam, which is the basics of using Google’s advertising platform Adwords. I’m currently studying for the second exam. Now, I thought I might share some of what I learned.

Adwords is definitely a powerful tool that can help small businesses grow and succeed in today’s digital-dominated world. Think about how many people search Google for whatever they’re looking for. Adwords let’s you reach those people.

What follows is a post from a previous blog I wrote for, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t be helpful for the small business owner browsing here.  In fact, I think it might get a lot of small business owners thinking about using Adwords and realizing that the Internet isn’t such an intimidating thing.

Here we go!

Using Google Adwords to Grow Your Business

Wouldn’t it be great if you could advertise to people who are already looking for what you have to offer? For example, if you have a computer repair shop, wouldn’t you like to advertise to people who are searching for a computer repair service right now, in your city? Or if you’re a global business, wouldn’t you like to advertise to a global audience?

With Google Adwords, you can run highly targeted marketing campaigns aimed at people who are looking for what you have to offer.

What is Google Adwords?

Google Adwords (Or Adwords for short) is Google’s advertising program that allows businesses of any size to advertise on the Google Search results pages and/or on a large partner network of websites across the web. In fact, Google’s Adwords program states:

“More than 170 million people use the Internet in the United States. Google’s network reaches 80% of these potential customers. You can target potential customers by neighborhood, city, state, or country. AdWords is available in 38 different languages and 250 countries.”

You are able to create your own advertisements or use templates, manage your account, and view reports/statistics all through an online interface that you can access wherever you are once you sign up for an Adwords account.

How it Works

  1. You specify a budget and targeting options, for example, “only 18-25 year olds in your city and the surrounding areas”
  2. You create an ad for the product or service you want to advertise and specify keywords (words or phrases related to your product/service that a customer might use to find your offering)
  3. Your ads show on the Google search results pages and the partner network of websites
  4. Potential customers click on your ads and go to your website

Adwords has two major pricing models:

  1. Cost Per Click (CPC) – You are charged an amount calculated by the Adwords system (dependent on competition, the quality of your ad, and other factors) every time someone clicks on one of your ads–most advertisers choose this option because you only pay for customers who actually go to your website
  2. Cost Per Thousand (CPM) – You are charged for every 1000 times someone sees your ad, not every time someone clicks on your ads–useful if you’re just trying to create awareness

You can set bids, the amount you are willing to pay for your ad to be shown, for the keywords you choose. Alternatively, you can allow the Adwords system to automatically set the bids for you if you are inexperienced or lack time.

Tips for Success

  • Before doing anything, take a moment to assess your goals and needs. How much are you comfortable with spending? Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Do you want to create awareness for your brand? Do you want to focus on a certain market segment? Do you want to sell something or do you want sign-ups? Understanding your goals will help you focus on what’s important in your campaign and how to measure the success of your efforts.
  • Target your ads as closely as possible to your keywords. Relevance to the user is the secret to getting people to your site. Note that if you include a keyword in an ad and the person searching for information uses that keyword in their search, it will show as bold in your ad.
  • Get their attention in your ad and make a strong call to action, such as “Buy Now!” or “Sign up Today!” Don’t keep your audience guessing.
  • Use the tools provided within the Adwords interface. They’re there to help you succeed. For example, the keyword tool can help you find keyword ideas you would never have that of.
  • Keep close track of your performance. If an ad or keyword is under-performing, try changing or removing it to improve campaign performance. Make sure you allow enough time for information to accumulate before you make a judgement, at least 2 weeks.
  • If you keep hitting your budget limit and you still want more clicks, consider increasing your Adwords daily budget. As long as the cost for more clicks is less than the profit you get from those clicks, this is a good decision.

Additional Resources

A great feature of the Adwords program is their extensive learning materials. These can help the novice advertiser become an Adwords pro through free study materials, videos, presentations, and a forum.

Try the following links:

Adwords Beginner’s Guide
http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/static.py?hl=en&guide=21899&page=guide.cs

Adwords Help Center
http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/?hl=en

Adwords Online Classroom
http://www.google.com/adwords/onlineclassroom/

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  1. […] rest of this post. If your business has a web presence and uses search engine marketing tools like Google Adwords, then you definitely need to read this guide. Remember that this is just a starting point, […]

  2. […] already, be sure to check out our small business guides on writing your first press release and using Google Adwords to grow your business. But enough introduction, let’s get down to […]



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