Understanding Google Adwords

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Adwords Online MarketingI previously published a blog article titled Insights From My First Google Adwords Campaign and from the feedback I received, it was clear that there are quite a number of people out there who have no idea what Google Adwords is all about. I  therefore saw it fitting to make this week's post about Adwords.

Search Concepts Basics

Before you can understand Adwords, you need to have an appreciation of search. Anyone who uses the Internet is well familiar with search engines and for most people, Google. Google is a search engine that indexes content on the web and allows us to find information form the vast collection of online resources by just specifying a few phrases or keywords.

The task of the search engine is to crawl the web and index information such that it can be easily retrieved and retrieved at high speed. Over the years, search engines have evolved to the point where they aggregate the information they gather and present it according to contextual relevance, taking into account who is carrying out the search or where they are located, for example.

In a world rife with competition, it becomes critical that any party is interested in appearing at the topmost of search results. There is one distinguishing characteristic about the search results that you should be aware of. The search results on Google and many other search engines are made up of organic results and sponsored results.

Positioning of Results

In order to be placed in the topmost result for organic results, the content being indexed by Google must be deemed by them to be of high quality and relevance. There is no way to directly throw money at the problem in order to appear in the topmost results. The only way to rank high in these results is to produce quality content and implement an effective search engine optimization strategy.

Sponsored results appear at the top of the search result pages as well as on the right. They are clearly highlighted as ads, with a coloured marker whilst the organic search results are not. These results are paid for. This is Adwords. Essentially, Adwords is advertising based on the relevance of the search term a user enters into Google.

Keywords Research

Google Adwords provides an interface through which an Adwords account is managed. The Key to understanding Adwords is to gain an appreciation of keywords. Keywords are targeted words searchers specify in a Google search in order for the search engine to determine the search criteria for a particular search.

The keywords have to be selected in such a way that they are able to show a searchers intent so that the right ad may be shown. The selection of the right keywords is an involved process of keyword research that involves analysing the buying funnel and extracting keywords that reflect buyer intent at various stages of the sales funnel.

Writing Compelling Ads

The keywords in an Adwords account are triggered when searchers enter the corresponding keywords in a Google search. The challenge for an Adwords marketer after an Ad is triggered, is to ensure that they write compelling ads that will catch the searcher's attention and this has to be done using only a title of up to 25 characters, two description lines of 35 characters each and a web address no longer than 35 characters.

It is important that the ad reflects the search query that triggers it. The idea is to ensure that the searcher is not disappointed by finding an add that has no semblance to what they searched for. Otherwise this leads to searcher frustration and the ads not being clicked.

Creating Landing Pages That Convert

The final step in setting up an Adwords account is the landing page for each ad which is created on the marketers website. Whilst it is OK to lead prospects to any page on your website, such as the home page, once they click on an ad, it is a good idea to create special pages as the landing page for an ad on the website.

This is important because you do not want to confuse the searcher by bombarding them with a lot of content that is on your website but which my be irrelevant to the search query. A specialised page is better positioned to answer any questions the searcher might have that is directly related to what they searched for. Taking this approach results in better conversion rates and less abandoned landing pages which translate to lost customers.

Billing and Targeting

The way Adwords works is that the Adwords marketer pays Google every time a searcher clicks on an ad or for a certain number of impressions that an ad makes on the Google network and its partners. An impression counts for every time an ad is shown.

Pay Per Click(PPC): This is a billing mechanism in which a marketer is billed according to the number of times their advert is clicked. In other words, it is the amount that the marketer pays to have their advert clicked.

Cost Per Impression(CPI) / Cost Per Thousand Impressions(CPM): This is the amount the marketer is billed to have their advert shown to potential customers. You use this option if your are more interested in having your advert seen than it being clicked.

What is so great about Adwords is the Ability to target searchers from different Geographic dispositions. You may choose to target a city, region or country. For certain countries however, you may only be able to target the entire country and not its individual cities.

A Great Platform To Market On

From my experience Google Adwords is a great platform to market on. The fact that you are able to set up your own budget for ads is great, along with the ability to target geographically. I also find the fact that people are already searching for something relevant to their search by the time they see your ad and hence more likely to convert into a sales prospect adds to the power of the platform.

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