How To Start With AdwordsGetting clued up on keywords

You can choose whether to assign ‘broach match’, ‘phrase match’ or ‘exact match’ to your keywords, although the default setting is ‘broad match’. This means that your ads are shown not only when your chosen keywords are used, but when variations deemed relevant by Google are typed. This has the advantage of capturing misspelt keywords and can limit the time you need to spend building up keyword lists. However, if you choose this option, you should pay close attention to the keywords that Google is selecting. Look at the search terms report frequently, and add any irrelevant keywords or those with a particularly high cost per conversion as ‘negative keywords’, so that Google won’t use them in future. If words picked by Google are performing particularly well, add these as exact match keywords.

Where on the web your ads appear

You need to decide whether you want your ads to show solely in Google search results, or whether you’re keen for them to appear across the ‘Google Display Network’ (GDN). The latter option means that your AdWords ad can be shown on other websites, not limited to search engines. Although it can boost your business’s visibility, it’s a less targeted method, and the click rates on these ads tend to be much lower. If you would prefer to restrict your ads to the search engines, make sure you choose this option in your campaign settings. If, on the other hand, you would like to make use of the GDN, it’s a good idea to create separate campaigns, so that you can monitor performance separately.

Where in the world your ads appear

If your company only serves a particular area, make sure that you set your location targeting tightly– AdWords allows you to target ads to a small geographical area. If you serve gourmet sandwiches to the people of Paris, there’s no point advertising your services in Delhi. 

Writing words that work

Write specific copy for your ads, making the text relevant to the keywords in the ad group rather than generic. Differentiate yourself from your competitors with your key selling point or value proposition, but keep things clear and simple. Your character limit is extremely tight, and like all web writing, you need to assume that people won’t spend more than a few seconds looking at the page. Be bold, punchy and accurate. Remember that when you include your keywords in your ad text, they will be automatically shown in bold by Google.

Making the customer journey seamless

Make an ad group, and within it group together similar keywords, and then create a dedicated landing page for each theme, with a headline and an image that is specific to the group of keywords. For instance, Simply Business sells insurance products for a wide range of business types, so our landing pages are specific to the trade type that has been searched for. When the customer clicks the ad and reaches the page, they feel reassured that the page (and the site) provides precisely what they were looking for, and they are encouraged to continue engaging with the site.

Creating great landing pages

Once AdWords has got a visitor to your site, you need to make sure that you capitalise on this opportunity effectively. Landing page tests have shown that simple, clear pages that are uncluttered and that show a bold call to action are the most effective.

Keeping an eye on your results

Conversion Tracking is a free tool in AdWords that can help you measure how your ads are performing. For this to work, you need to add a small piece of HTML to the relevant page. Whether the goal of your ads is to get online purchases or to increase sign-ups to your site, you will be able to see your cost per conversion, helping you to monitor performance and to optimise your account. Google provides a guide to setting up conversion tracking.

Getting help with AdWords

Simply Business recently produced an interactive guide to Google AdWords, designed to help small businesses set up a PPC account and make it successful. It begins with small steps like installation and account guidance, and goes right through to search query reports and display advertising. Follow it through or pick the relevant parts to you – it includes links to some of the best articles on the web, and also screencasts to guide you. 

Jade Wimbledon

Jade works on content, communications and advertising copy, as the in-house copywriter for online business insurance broker Simply Business. Simply Business has an extensive knowledge section with a wealth of information for business owners and landlords.