Google AdWords for Beginners: Simple Tips for Adwords Beginners

It was only until recently that we managed many Google Adwords accounts. For numerous reasons we decided to stop offering a management service but mainly so our team could concentrate on developing more of our own, free products for our clients. This doesn’t mean that we’ve ruled out offering AdWords management forever, or feel that it isn’t worthwhile to pursue. So we intend to construct a few educational articles to help those of you who are new to AdWords but aren’t in a position where you can afford/ are willing to pay a company to develop and manage a campaign for you.

After reviewing hundreds of Adwords accounts in our time, we have come across many that have an incredible ability to burn money but don’t generate a ROI. In this blog we shall highlight a few simple ways you can make sure that your site only receives the most relevant traffic and fulfils your campaign’s aims.

Search and Display Networks

When you start to create your first campaign, you’ll be asked to select whether you wish to advertise on the Search Network or on the Display Network. Google will automatically set the campaign ads to appear on both networks, but this isn’t something we would advise, even if you wish to advertise on both.

A Search Network campaign will allow your ads to appear next to Google’s search results and they will only appear to customers searching for your products/ services, which will be determined by the keywords you select. This is the network most appropriate for those wanting to generate conversions. First and foremost, the browsers are actively looking for the service/ products you have available. Therefore, if you match their search criteria, a conversion is likely.

A Display Network campaign is great for building awareness of your brand. Your ads will appear on websites that are relevant to the services you provide or the keywords you have selected. This is also the network where you can implement image and video ads and even select what websites your ads appear on. However, immediate conversions aren’t usually generated through advertising on this network, but it is good for targeting a broad audience and grabbing the attention of browsers who may not have come across you otherwise.

Keyword Selection & Targeting Options

In every campaign, you will want to develop an ad group for each of the products/ services you offer. Within these ad groups you should attach a handful of relevant keywords. We have often seen people stuff hundreds of keywords into their ad groups, when you should only concentrate on the most relevant terms. When it comes to deciding what keywords to select, position yourself in your client’s search; imagine what they would input and what you would want to appear for. Sometimes, more long tail keywords are the most cost effective and generate more conversions. For example, if you sell cameras, rather than using ‘cameras for sale’ as a search term, specify which brand of camera you sell and if there’s enough search volume on the term, specify what kind e.g. ‘Canon compact system cameras’ and so forth.

When you input your keywords, Google will automatically set the match type to ‘broad’. However, a broad match setting is the most common cause for why people’s budgets get drained so quickly with little to show for it. There are four keyword match types to consider:

Broad: Broad Match will allow your ads to appear even if the browser’s search includes misspellings or if it is a relevant variation e.g. if your keyword is ‘women’s hats’, your ad is likely to appear for ‘buy ladies hats’. Often though, a broad search term generates a lot of traffic, but because your ad will appear for a number of variations of your keyword, the traffic can be of low quality, resulting in few conversions. We would only advise broad match to those wishing to increase awareness of their brand or to those who have a very large marketing budget.

Modified Broad Match: If you position a + symbol in front of your keyword e.g. +seo +companies, this ensures your ads will only appear to those who specifically search with those keywords. Your ad will still appear if a user searches with other words in addition to them, but the keyword/s must appear in the user’s search phrase.

Phrase Match: When you position a “ on either side of your keyword, Google will only allow for your ads to appear if a user matches or inputs a close variation of your phrase e.g. if I were to input “SEO companies” as my keyword, it would still appear if someone were to search for ‘UK SEO companies’. It’s more restricted than modified broad match but still allows for some flexibility around the browser’s search term.

Exact Match: If you place brackets around your keyword e.g. [SEO companies] this will make sure your ads only appear to those who search with the exact phrase you have chosen. This type of keyword match often generates the highest click through rate, but does limit your ad from appearing to what could still be relevant traffic.

Keyword Bidding/ Planner

In our time, we have also seen a number of campaigns in which the keyword bids are set really, really low e.g. to £0.02. This may just about be possible on keywords where the competition is extremely high and the max ROI low, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever pay as little as £0.02 to receive quality traffic on any search term. Google have millions of people using their engine every day so to appear at the top of page 1 on the terms you most desire is unlikely to come cheaply. On top of which, their targeting methods and free analytical software are seriously advanced, so they can demand a high price point. Don’t let this dishearten you, but be aware that if you’re serious about advertising on Adwords, it will require an investment. However, if the campaign is set up properly, that investment should be returned and profit should be acquired.

Another point to make is that every keyword demands a different bid. The most expensive keywords to advertise on Google AdWords are those relating to loans, insurance and mortgages, all of which can demand CPC’s above £10. The keyword CPC’s aren’t plucked from the sky but are determined by the likelihood of a conversion post click and the potential ROI. In your Google Adwords account, under the tools tab, you’ll find the Keyword Planner. This is a great little tool that will provide you with all the important information about your potential keyword/s, including search volume and the estimated CPC. Using this tool will give you an indication of how much you’re expected to spend to rank on the terms you wish to, and will show you the level of competition surrounding that term.

Location Targeting

If you’re only able to provide your services in certain cities or areas of your country, make sure you only advertise in those locations. You can do this in two ways:

Make sure that all your keywords include the location you service. For example, if we only offered our services in Manchester, we may select for all our keywords to include ‘Manchester’ in them e.g. ‘SEO companies Manchester’.
When you opt to select where your ads are shown, input the areas you service and that will make sure your ads only display to those in your preferred radius. In this instance, you don’t have to include your location in all of your keywords.

Negative Keywords

Underneath the Keywords tab, in the bottom right hand corner, you’ll find the option to add Negative Keywords. Negative Keywords are those you do not wish to appear for. For example, if one of your keywords is ‘SEO companies’, you won’t necessarily want to appear if someone searched for ‘free SEO companies’, so you would add ‘free’ as a negative search term. Adding negative keywords is a good way of further ensuring only the most relevant traffic reaches your site.

Conversion Tracker

Although not always 100% accurate, a conversion tracker gives a really good insight into how many conversions Adwords generates for your business. This is most straightforward for ecommerce websites and less so for those where conversions aren’t immediate. However, for ecommerce sites it’s practically an essential tool, which you can use to determine what keywords generate the most conversions, which drain a lot of budget but don’t encourage sales, and so on. It’s really simple to add a conversion tracker! There’s a lot of detailed information available to view here:

You may need a small amount of assistance from your web developer, to paste the code in the right area, but it should only take up five minutes of their time.

We hope this article has been useful. We have a ton of educational articles available for our clients in the Knowledge Base section of our website. Please let us know if you have any questions.


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