Whilst it is evident that numerous businesses use Google AdWords, a surprising number do not really think about maximising their campaigns, and lose out on valuable traffic as a result.

AdWords allows businesses to create paid ads, which will return alongside organic search results when Google users type a certain search keyword.

Google only charges advertisers when search users click on their ads. This is both a blessing and a curse: if you fail to organise your account properly, you could be paying for clicks which don’t generate any conversion revenue for your business. Fail to optimise your campaign properly, and you could be missing out on valuable sales.

There are a number of key elements to be considered when using AdWords: the most important of these are outlined below.

Relevancy – Make your paid search ads relevant

As with almost every other type of internet marketing, the word ‘relevancy’ is of critical importance. In the context of AdWords, it is all down to selecting the most appropriate keywords, both short and long tail. This is particularly important for campaigns using search as well as the Google Content Network.

Mixing keywords – Don’t rely on one keyword for pay per click

Finding the best mix of short and long tail keywords maximises every opportunity of increasing website traffic. On the positive side, short tail and generic keywords can create very high volumes of traffic, but often a large percentage of that traffic is still at a very early stage in the buying cycle and is unlikely to convert straight away. Additionally, these keywords generate a good deal of competitiveness and are therefore more costly.

Conversely, long tail keywords cost less, and attract far fewer visitor numbers, but the ones they do attract are much further forward in the cycle and offer a high percentage of conversions or even sales from a first visit, provided that they find what they expect when they arrive on your tailored landing page.

Targeting – Be sure the right people see your PPC ads

If for any reason a business is unsure of how, when or even who they should be targeting, Google has thoughtfully provided some helpful options to assist them: AdScheduler, Geographic Targeting and Budgeted Delivery.

The AdScheduler can be useful for businesses that can only provide an advertised service at certain times of the day or week, such as a service telephone number that is not always available to customers. It could also be useful for businesses whose potential customer base may be in different time zones.

Geographic Targeting is somewhat self-explanatory and allows marketers to target specific areas in certain ways. The split can be made on a purely geographic basis (ideal for local businesses) or into separate ads for different target locations.

The Budget Delivery option allows subscribers to stagger delivery of their AdWords equally over 24 hour periods, or to allow delivery ad lib until the maximum specified budget has been reached.

Monitor, test and analyse to improve your PPC campaign

No matter how well you plan an AdWords campaign, there’s always room for improvement. Constantly monitoring results, trying alternatives and analysing everything that goes on in a campaign is a must. Once again, Google offers a service to make monitoring and analysing a much simpler task, Google Analytics. As for testing, that will require a little more human creativity to think up new ideas to try.

Summary

AdWords is a greatly underused tool as part of any good internet marketing strategy, largely through a lack of understanding. At almost every stage of an AdWords campaign, Google provides free advice and tools which are there to help businesses maximise their chance of running a successful paid search campaign.

However, maximising your traffic and your campaigns is a time-consuming job. Businesses serious about the huge volume of sales potential available from paid ads will need someone to run their campaign around the clock. It’s simply not enough to set your campaign and leave it to run unattended.

Much like a delicate flower, you need to ensure it is looked after properly – or your traffic, and sales, will wilt. This is where dedicated PPC services come into play: we employ a team of dedicated paid search experts, who undertake Google qualifications, in order to run the most effective paid ad campaigns possible.

If you’re interested in a paid search campaign, but don’t know where to start, contact ClickThrough Marketing to discuss your needs.

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About the author:

Alistair Harris is ClickThrough’s head of content. A double-award-winning senior journalist, Ali holds both the NCTJ and NCE qualifications and has more than ten years of experience in traditional press and PR. He has worked in digital marketing and SEO for the past three years and is passionate, enthusiastic and committed to quality.