Spending the time on good SEO will drive traffic to your site.
Google AdWords can help improve your search results and reach a wider audience at a price you can control. — juststock/Getty Images

Each day, 3.5 billion searches take place on Google. Search engine optimization (SEO) of your website is one way to improve your odds of being found in some of those searches. Paying for Google AdWords is another. Getting started is easy, but budgeting, messaging and optimizing your campaign may take some practice. Take heart, though: Once you determine your goals and understand the nuances of AdWords, you can maximize your advertising budget with targeted campaigns to capture the right customers.

Why Google AdWords

AdWords uses a bidding model to allow potential advertisers to compete for ad placement by committing to a maximum amount they’ll pay on target keywords. Your ad rank determines if your ad will appear on a search engine results page (SERP) or a website in the Google content network, as well as where on the page it will be. Google bases the ranking on your maximum bid and your ad’s quality score. A small graphic of the word “Ad” will distinguish your ad from organic results.

There are benefits to having AdWords in your marketing mix, including:

  • Only paying for responses: If you choose pay-per-click (PPC) as your campaign measurement, then you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. Since you’ll have based your bid on the value you’ve estimated for a click-through, you should have a sense of the ROI for each click. A further benefit is that you only pay for those who click but others may still see your ad.
  • Improving organic search: AdWords ads will be seen even by those who don’t click through. According to Inbound Hype, a boutique digital marketing agency, the resulting audience familiarity with your brand then increases click-throughs on your listing in organic search results. Consequently, this improves your click-through rates (CTR), which also improves future search rankings because search engines recognize clicks as public preference for your site.
  • Attracting the right customers: Your ad appears in response to a search for keywords that you’ve identified as relevant to your offering, so the searcher is more likely to be self-selected as a potential customer. That is, they’re already looking for what you offer and now, thanks to your ad, they’ve found you. With a strong message and call to action, you should see increased sales.
  • Remaining in control: With AdWords, you set a daily maximum spending amount for each campaign. Once you reach it, that ad won’t appear again that day. And Google allows you to change your budget or campaigns at any time.

[Read: Understanding PPC Advertising and What It Can Do for Your Business]

You can maximize your advertising budget with targeted campaigns to capture the right customers with some preparation.

Creating campaigns

Google makes it easy to create campaigns. By following these steps, you’ll be ready to go:

  • Create a Google account.
  • Select your campaign goal. You have three options:
    • Get calls.
    • Get visits to your physical location.
    • Increase website sales or sign-ups.
  • Complete some basic information about your business.
  • Identify the geography of your target audience.
  • List products or services using keyword descriptors.
  • Write your ads.
  • Set your ad budget (estimated maximum spending amount per day).
  • Enter payment information.

Don’t worry if some steps are unfamiliar to you. Google provides tools, including tutorial videos, to help get you started.

Tips for success

While starting may be easy, making the most of your investment can require guidance. There are many strategies for creating successful campaigns. Here are a few, along with sources to learn more:

Bid on long-tail keywords

Most searches use long-tail keywords, which are phrases that are typically longer and more specific than average keywords. Bidding on those keywords appropriate for your business can increase the specificity of your ad and the chances of being found in relevant searches. WordStream, an online advertising solutions provider, offers a guide to long-tail keywords.

Review results

If you regularly review your AdWords reports, you’ll find ways to maximize your budget. In its infographic of 50 Ways to Optimize Your Google AdWords Account, PPC agency SMBclix suggested removing underperforming keywords and increasing your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) on ads with good CTR and conversions.

Practice patience

“Ninety-nine percent of the people who lose money on AdWords simply quit too early (or spent too much, too fast),” explained Neil Patel, co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. “Have patience. It takes time.”

[Read: Best Practices for Hiring a PPC Vendor]

The bottom line is, when it comes to Google AdWords, it’s wise to test things out. Google provides tracking so you can review, manage and optimize your campaigns. Try different keywords and ad text. Adjust bid amounts. Remember, you can edit or stop your campaigns at any time. With a little trial and error, you’ll find a way to maximize your budget to capture the right customers.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published December 10, 2019