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Google Adwords (Google Pay Per Click)

Google Adwords (Google Pay Per Click)

There are two roads (and trains of thought) to getting your website found in the search engines. The Short Road (Pay Per Click) and the Long Road (Free Listings).

As the name suggests, you can get to the top of the search engines FAST (within HOURS) using the Short Road (Pay Per Click) but it costs you money.

The Long Road or Google Optimisation is very low cost or free of charge but DOES take a LOT of time and effort. By "time" we mean expect to be working on getting your site to move towards the top of the listings over a period of months, and by "effort" we mean you will need to spend several hours per week on the project at the very least.

Google is the most widely used search engine in the UK and we are going to be focusing on the methods for getting YOUR site to the top of the Google pile.

The Long Road or methods for obtaining top search engine positioning for FREE - can be found on our Google Optimisation page.

Google Adwords (Google Pay Per Click)

If you visit Google and search for virtually anything commercial (i.e. "mobile phones") you will see two or three results in a shaded box appear at the top of the list with the words "Sponsored Links" in the top right. You will also see the phrase "Sponsored Links" above the entire right column of the results.

These "Sponsored Links" are peoples Pay Per Click adverts. Each time you click on one of those results the owner of the website is charged a small fee for the privilege of your site visit. It is up to them to convert your VISIT into a SALE.

Other PPC providers

In this article we are focusing on Google, however Yahoo offers a pay per click (from now on we'll call it PPC) program too. The Yahoo PPC program is called Yahoo Search Marketing (formerly it was called Overture). There are also a number of other PPC providers.

We do not recommend the Yahoo system (or any of the others) as highly as the Google system, since we have had wide experience with all systems and the Google system has provided consistently better return on investment in every business field we've experienced.

That said however, don't be afraid to set up test accounts with other PPC providers, just ensure you monitor your spend closely. Experiment and see what works best for you. More PPC providers can be found at the bottom of this article.

Setting Up a Google Adwords account

There are two types of Google Adword account, one designed for beginners and one for more experienced users. If you are very technical and have a relatively good understanding of PPC already then you would create a standard account. Google also offer a Starter Edition which is a simplified version of AdWords for new users.

Starter Edition provides users with a one-page signup form and offers simplified account choices. A Starter Edition account has no ad groups, image ads, Cost Per Click bidding (from now on we'll call it CPC), or other advanced features found in the Standard Edition.

Starter Edition users write their ad text, target locations and keywords, and choose a currency and monthly budget. The Google Budget Optimizer is enabled automatically for all Starter Edition accounts, and determines when to show the user's ads to earn the most clicks possible within the user's monthly budget. Users can choose a maximum CPC for use with the Budget Optimizer, or they can turn the Optimizer off entirely and set one maximum CPC for their account.

Starter Edition users can graduate to the full Standard Edition of AdWords whenever they wish.

For more information on Google account types and the whole Google Adword (PPC) experience, you can visit the Google Learning Center.

If you should decide to sign up for a Google Adword account click here

Google Pay Per Click

Unlike some PPC programs Google doesn't tell you how much you will pay for each click. If you bid $2 per click (yes, even though you are in the UK Googles prices are in in US dollars), you will pay anywhere from $0.05 to $2.00 for each click on your link.

Google does not allow you to know how much your competitors are bidding per click.

The Google system is unique, but it's also very effective if you follow good advice (you're reading it!). One advantage with Google is that you will rank higher if your click-through rate (CT rate) is better (a CT rate is the ratio of clicks on your advert to the number of times your advert is displayed). It is therefore possible to have a better position than your competitors, even if they are bidding more than you because of your higher CT rate. This is the reason you should write different text ads, keep them somewhere safe and rotate them (perhaps on a monthly cycle). You can then look at your CT statistics and work out which advert has the highest CT rate. Once you've established your best advert, keep that one running. Try writing adverts in different styles ie.

The Google maximum PPC bid is $100.00
The Google minimum PPC bid is $0.05


Be VERY careful how much you set your maximum spend (budget) to. If you pick a popular or competitive subject such as "mobile phones" or "cheap loans" your PPC cost will be higher, and if you have set $500 per day you will probably spend all of it each day. If your site is giving you the sales you need to cover this expense, then the $15000 bill at the end of the month won't bother you.

Start slowly, ensure you are getting the conversions you need and then build up and increase your budget. DO NOT start with the most obvious key phrases. If you sell diamond rings then the most expensive and the busiest key phrase would be "diamond rings".

Try picking more obscure phrases that fewer people are typing in, but will cost less money because there is less competition. ie. try "platinum mount diamond engagement rings" AND "princess cut diamond engagement rings" etc. etc. These phrases will generate less traffic, but will cost a lot less too.

If you have one advert for "diamond rings" costing you $1 (example only) per click and generating 500 visitors per day, you would be better off having 50 adverts costing you $0.30 and generating you 10 visitors each... or 500 per day. You have the same number of visitors for a third of the price (example only).

Each industry is different, but lateral thinking is the key. Sometimes people will click on your link and buy even if they are searching for something else. I.e. If you run a paintball site you could run an advert for "Stag Party Fun!" when someone types in "Best Man Speech". You don't know unless you try! Just keep a very close eye on your spend and ask EVERYONE who buys from you what they typed into google. Often they won't remember - but if you don't ask, you'll never know.

Google AdWords Reports

Google offers highly customisable reporting. You can ask for virtually any report you want, and you will get it.

Google Conversion Tracking

If you are running an ecommerce site, you can integrate the Google Conversion Tracking code into your "thank you for your payment" screen and Google will keep a running total of which of your keyphrases generated which sales, thus your cost per conversion can be tracked.

Useful Tools

Google Traffic Estimator

Tags: Google Optimisation, Search Engine Optimisation, SEO

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Last update: 2009-06-25 10:57
Author: SiteWizard Support
Revision: 1.2

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