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5 Google Adwords Tips to Avoiding PPC Catastrophe

17th August 2010
By dkw in Internet Law
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Google Adwords is recognized as the default for advertising online. It is certainly one of the best sources for generating tons of fresh, targeted leads for your business.
The downside to Google Adwords is it can hurt you if you don't know what you're doing. There are stories out there of people who started an adwords campaign thinking it would be easy, only to wake up to a big bill and no leads.
Here's 5 Google Adwords Tips for success so that you don't end up ruing the day you heard of Google Adwords:
#1. Separate the Search Network from the Content Network
When you start a campaign, you can choose what networks you want your ads to show up on. The 2 main networks are "Search Network" and "Content Network" The search network are the ads that you see down the right hand side of the page when you do a search on Google. The content network are the ads that show up on other people's websites.

They are 2 completely different networks and what works on the search network won't necessarily work on the content network so it makes sense to keep them separate. This way, you will be able to tailor campaigns to suit each and therefore reduce cost per click and increase click through rates and conversions.

#2. Don't Use Broad Match (at least to begin with)
There are 4 different keyword types. "Broad Match", "Phrase Match", "Exact Match" & "Negative Match".
Broad Match = The keywords you specify show up somewhere in a search in any order. If your keyword is "puppy training", any search with the words "puppy" & "training" will trigger your ad to show (eg. "training your puppy").
Phrase Match = The keywords you specify have to show up in a search in that order. In other words, a search has to include the keyword "puppy training" with the words in that order but not necessarily on its own for your ad to show(eg. "puppy training guide").
Exact Match = The keywords you specify are searched for exactly. In other words, someone has to search for "puppy training" on its own for your ad to show (eg. "puppy training").
Negative Match = This basically excludes specific keywords from triggering your ad. If you are selling something then you don't want someone who is looking for something free to click on your ads, so you would add the keyword "-free" to exclude all searches with the word free in them.

Now obviously Broad Match is going to get your ad to show up a lot more than the other two keyword types because it is less specific. This is great if you're going for volume and don't care too much for cost. But if you're new to adwords and are budget conscious then you should stay away from Broad Match keyword's initially.
The first reason for this is because Broad Match keyword’s will be more competitive and therefore will be more expensive to bid on. But more importantly, your ads will be showing up on searches that may be vague and may not actually have that much to do with the keyword you are bidding on and therefore are less likely to be interested in what you are offering.
#3. Proper Keyword Research
You cannot start an Adwords campaign without a bunch of keywords. If those keywords haven't been researched properly, adwords could become an expensive time waster.
If you don't have a large budget, you won't be able to compete on obvious highl traffic keywords, so to be successful you will need to think out of the box when coming up with keywords.
Good keywords can be:

Leading people in your industry
Leading companies in your industry
Popular websites related to your industry
Courses, systems or other products related to your industry
Good keyword resources:
Alexa - Search for leading websites in your industry
Quantcast - Similar to Alexa - This is an insanely useful tool. Put in a domain name (could be a website you found on Alexa) and it will show you all of the keywords that the website is using. You can pretty much "steal" keywords from your competitors.
Amazon - Search for leading books, products and author's related to your industry
Industry Magazines - This method is a bit sneaky. Here you can find websites and other keyword ideas listed that your competitors may not know about because they haven't thought to get keyword ideas from magazines.
And of course you can use Google itself to find good keywords.
#4 Test & Track
Even if you study all of the Google Adwords tips out there, you will never know with 100% certainty how well something is going to work. The only way to find out what works best is to be constantly split testing and tracking your results. You would be surprised at what results you can get. Something as simple and seemingly insignificant as puntuation can make a substantial difference.
You need to be testing your google ads to know which ads are performing the best. You should also test different landing pages to find out what works best at turning clicks into leads.
To know what's performing, you will need to track everything. Fortunately Google have a number of tools to do this under the "Reporting" tab in your Google Adwords account.
#5 Relevancy
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you're advertising with Google Adwords is relevancy. Your ads need to be relevant to your keywords and your landing page needs to be relevant to your ads.

First of all, if you’re not being relevant, Google will penalize you. If you keep it up they may even ban your account for good. This has happened to many experienced Internet Marketers so don’t think it can’t happen to you.
But secondly, you will get much better results if your ads are relevant to what you are selling. If someone clicks on an ad for shoes and they are directed to a page selling hats they are probably going to leave that page straight away. It is a fast way to send money down the drain.
So ideally what you want to do is have the keyword that you're bidding on in the Ad and for that keyword to also appear on the webpage they are being directed to.

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