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How to use Google AdWords

While it might seem like a lot to get your head around, running an effective Google AdWords campaign could have significant benefits for your business. A successfully run AdWords campaign has the potential to help increase your traffic and sales.

Planning is an important first step in any Google AdWords campaign. Before you jump in and start creating ads you’ll need to consider:

What are the goals of your Google AdWords campaign?

This step is relatively simple. Ask yourself which of the following three goals is driving your AdWords campaign. Do you want to:

  • generate sales
  • capture leads
  • undertake market research

Determining your campaign goal will help you effectively identify and incorporate the right keywords for your ads and plan your campaigns. If you have multiple goals you would like to achieve, then it’s best to run separate campaigns for each goal within AdWords.

How to conduct keyword research

If you want to drive more traffic to your website, having the appropriate keywords in your Google AdWords content is a must.

You can perform keyword research using the Keyword Planner tool in Google AdWords (you will need to have registered for an AdWords account to use this tool).

Once you’re logged into Google AdWords, click on the spanner icon (in the top right hand corner), under ‘Planning’ you’ll see the link to the ‘Keyword Planner’. Once you’re in the Keyword Planner you can:

Enter a ‘seed’ keyword

‘Seed’ keywords are the primary words that your research should be based on. To effectively look up a seed keyword, use the shortest and most relevant phrase possible. For example, if you have a business that imports and sells nappies your seed keyword would be ‘nappies’ rather than ‘disposable nappies’ or ‘cloth nappies’.

Identify the most relevant keywords and ad groups

Once you have looked up your seed keywords, you can analyse the results from the Keyword Planner to identify both keywords and ad groups. The ad group information will give you an insight into how Google thinks the keywords should be grouped together.

Analyse keyword intent

Once you have developed a list of keywords, you’ll need to spend some time determining what the search intent is behind each keyword. The search intent will help you discover if the keywords are buying or informational based keywords. This step is important as it will help you match your keywords to your campaign goal (eg. if your goal is to target people conducting research on products, you would use an informational based keyword in your Google AdWords campaign and ads).

To work out the search intent, perform a Google search on your keywords and analyse the ads and search result listings that come up. These results will help you determine what the search intent is behind each keyword (whether they are information based or sales based).

Campaign planning

For each ad group that you create, you’ll need to carry out the following four steps to plan and create your ad content.

Step one: determine your target market

Identify your target market or target audience and their key demographics such as age, interests, location, income or any other identifying characteristics.

Step two: keyword grouping

Identify how your keywords could be grouped. Your keywords should be grouped together in line with your goals. If you have both sales and informational keywords for each of your products, it’s best to create keyword groups for each individual goal and the keywords related to them.

Step three: create a targeted message

Write a specific message for each target market you have identified.

To test the effectiveness of your ad, you may want to conduct A/B or split testing. To do this, duplicate the ad you create and modify one thing in your message in order to perform A/B split testing. This will allow you to see which of your ads was more successful in generating customer conversions and allow you to refine your ads to ensure you’re getting the most conversions possible for your AdWords spend.

Step four: landing page identification

When a user clicks on your ad, which page on your website will they go to? Is there a page that allows them to carry out the action you’re hoping for (eg. buy a nappy or sign up for your newsletter) or do you need to create one?

If your website doesn’t have an appropriate landing page to support your ad, you’ll need to identify and brainstorm a landing page for your ad group. When creating this page on your website, identify what you’d like your customers to do and then develop your landing page around this action (also known as a ‘call to action’).

Campaign setup

Now that you have completed the planning phase, it’s time to create your campaign.

Step one: design and create a landing page

If you need to develop a landing page for your ad, prepare the content and layout for the page, making sure that your call to action (what you want the user to do on the page) is prominently placed on the page.

Step two: create your Google AdWords ad

Create your ad and use A/B split testing to find out what generates the best traction from your potential customers.

A/B testing is simply a case of duplicating the ad you create and modifying one thing in your message.

Step three: setup conversion tracking

Within Google AdWords, you can set up conversion tracking to monitor how well your ads lead to your most wanted user action (eg. visit your website for information or make a purchase). Google’s support site has a guide on how to set up conversion tracking that explains the ways to use this function.

Step four: go live with your ad

It may be daunting, but hit publish your ads.

Step five: monitor and measure

Monitor the results of your campaign once it’s live. You may need to tweak your campaign or landing page if you do not get the desired traffic or conversions. A good timeframe to use to monitor and measure your results is four weeks after your ads go live or since you last made any changes to your ads.

Keen to learn more about using Google AdWords for your business?

Attend our ‘Digital Marketing Advanced’ workshop to learn more about Google AdWords, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing.

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