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Getting Paid Search to Pay Off

The incredible control over targeting your audience and spending on quality clicks that convert to customers in AdWords is, by far, the greatest leap for advertising this century.  No other medium can boast such audience data and allow instant campaign refinement according to that data.  On top of that, Google is doing everything in its power to make Paid Search accessible to all, most notably with AdWords Express.  But, how do you make sure it helps you actually make money and grow your business?  Well, you just have to do it right.

Adwords Express is the “small business friendly” version of AdWords came out in 2011 that is getting a renewed advertising push this year.  It’s a tool that does the work for you, making Paid Search advertising a breeze.  Well, it is easy, true enough.  What you need to know is that you can only control categories of keywords, not the keywords themselves, which are chosen for your campaign.  Broad keywords can bring in tons of clicks; but, clicks are meaningless if they are not bringing in the right kind of traffic.  So, choose your categories with care, knowing that narrower targets keep spending under control and get the biggest return on your investment.

If you have experience with AdWords, then you already know about negative keywords. These are even more important than your keyword list.  Keywords bring in relevant traffic; negative keywords block closely related but irrelevant traffic.  For example, if your business provides certified mailbox installation to homeowners, negative keywords might include “jobs”, “training”, “guide”, etc.  This allows a wide open door for customer traffic while blocking job seekers and do-it-yourselfers.  To be honest, Google’s suggested keyword list is a good starting point for finding words Google relates to your business, but may not be your particular audience.  AdWords Express does not allow control over negative keywords, so know this upfront and, again, make sure your categories are as tight as they can be.

As a campaign matures, keywords, negative keywords, bids, ads, match types, and sometimes websites themselves should get modified to improve the efficiency of your dollars.  A good and experienced AdWords professional will do this, and a lot more.  While it certainly has its place in your marketing toolbox, an automated campaign simply cannot do what a human being can.

Not understanding how Paid Search works can cause an business owner to lose money quickly and in more than one way.  The new enhanced features of the full version of AdWords set defaults that could cause unintentional spending.  You must carefully select all the settings AND re-check them after your initial set-up.  You may also notice that AdWords Express offers cross advertising on your website and Google+ page.  Make informed decisions when choosing where your advertising dollars are spent.

We have been running Google Paid Search campaigns for a decade.  They were called Site-Targeted Advertisements at first, then AdWords.  The ins and outs of the way it works can be cumbersome to keep up with.  Periodically, Spiral Cities offers free AdWords workshops for those who want to learn how we do it.  If you want to DIY, then, be sure to inquire about upcoming classes.