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Creating a Google Ads campaign: a step by step guide

Creating a Google Ads campaign: a step by step guide

Search engines are one of the best sources of traffic on the internet. Most of us use a search engine to find information and products we want every single day. There’s no bigger search engine than Google. Ranking high on their results pages can take a lot of hard work and time….but if you’re prepared to spend some money, you can jump right to the top – right in front of your potential customers! Do a Google search right now. See those results right at the top and at the sides? Those are Google Adwords results, meaning the owners of those websites or products have paid for that placement and each click will cost them a certain amount.

Google Adwords is an extremely powerful marketing solution that can drive lots of targeted traffic to your website or product. It works on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) basis, which means you pay for each click through from your ad to your target webpage. You only pay when a user clicks through; if they see your ad but don’t click it, you don’t pay anything. Your ad appears in the Google search results for specific keywords of your choosing. For example, if you own a photography website that mostly caters to families, a good search keyword would be ‘family photography’ or ‘book professional family photo session’. That first term is rather broad but the second one is a lot more specific. Selecting the right keywords for your campaign is vital.

Before setting up an Adwords campaign, it’s important to have a clear idea of who your target demographic is and what they want. What age range are they? What are their hobbies? What do they spend their money on? What kind of websites do they visit? How do you think they would approach finding the products they want online?

Having an informative, relevant website to send search customers to is also really important. Based on whatever terms they have searched to get to you and your site, you need to make sure you give them what they want as fast as possible so they don’t click away and go somewhere else. You can send them to the homepage of your site, an individual page or even a targeted landing page that you have set up purely for this purpose. Be clear on what you want to get from your visitor – do you want them to sign up for your E-Mail list or buy one of your products immediately?

Now that the preparation side of things is taken care of, it’s time to set up your campaign. Below is a step by step guide on how to do it.

1. In your Google account (if you don’t already have one, set one up – it’s fast and free), go to Adwords and click ‘Start now’.

2. Set a daily budget. This is how much you are going to spend in total each day for your clicks. Once this target is reached each day, your ad will no longer display until the following day. Make sure you set a daily budget that you can afford. It’s probably wise to start off quite low and build up once you see some positive results.

The cost of each click in your chosen niche can vary based on a number of factors. Deciding how much you’d like to pay for each click should be based on how much profit you’d like to make per click and your conversion rate. Let’s say that you sell one of your products for £40 on average every 30 visitors. That means for every 100 visitors, you’ll make roughly 3 sales totalling £120. If each click for the top keyword costs you 50p, that means it will cost you £50 in clicks to make £120, meaning a £70 profit. The bidding strategy falls into two main categories – automatic or manual. Choose the one you feel will provide you with the best ROI.

3. Choose your target audience. This consists of location (countries), networks (your ad can display just in the search results or can also be displayed on websites that are part of Google’s partner network) and keywords. You can set your ad to display worldwide or only in specific countries and territories. If your product is a UK-based one, it makes sense to display it in the UK. Perhaps people in other English-speaking countries such as the USA would also be interested in it. You can go deeper and customise the individual areas and cities your ad is displayed in. You can even have your ad only display at specific times of the day and night.

In terms of Google’s search partners, you can opt to have your ad displayed across relevant websites they are partnered with and also sites they own, such as YouTube.

Your keyword choices are vitally important are you using ‘buyers keywords’? Meaning, keywords that have a specific intention behind them. If you’re promoting a book of piano sheet music for a specific musical artist, a good buyers keyword would be ‘X (name of the artist) sheet music for piano’. Whereas something like ‘Free how to play X by X on piano’ isn’t so good as people using the word ‘free’ in their search queries aren’t looking to dip into their wallets. Make sure you have done plenty of research and have your list ready to go.

4. Write your ad. This needs to catch the reader’s attention, briefly tell them what your site or page offers and encourage them to click on it. You have a limited number of characters (currently 2 headlines up to 30 characters and a description up to 80 characters) so you have to use them wisely. You want to make sure you give them as much information as possible in your ad about what will await them when they click through and make them so curious that they feel they just have to. In today’s information age, the average attention span of internet browsers isn’t particularly high so make sure your ad is simple, catchy, to the point and effective.

5. Review everything and fill in your details such as your name and billing information.

And there we go – your first ad will be live. Make sure to keep checking on your daily stats and adjust accordingly.

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Vanessa Simms
Vanessa writes on a range of subjects for the Search South blog, but has a strong focus on her core interest area of Google AdWords management best practices.