Google has been a busy little bee with all their recent changes. They've made major changes to Google+, Google Search, Google Analytics, and Google AdWords in the last 30 - 40 days. Personally I been walloped by the changes because I work with each of these systems every day. I should feel like a kid in a candy store with all the exciting shiny new features, but instead I feel like a kid trying to understand that 2+2=4.
I'm only mentioning this so you understand that there are times when even the professionals need to re-learn what they take for granted.
Back in 2008, I was teaching a course on Google AdWords, but today most of the things I taught in that course became eventually useless. The class I once taught was to show jewelers how they could create and manage their own AdWords campaigns. I take it all back now; unless you're a pro, you shouldn't dabble with AdWords because you could waste a lot of money.
Google realized their system was complicated so they created something called AdWords express that helps a small business owner set up a minimalist advertising campaign. The idea is that anyone can create a 95 character ad, pay money, enter their website address, and launch an AdWords campaign.
The problem with AdWords Express is that it's going to cost you a lot of money compared to hiring a professional. How much? Let's say $2 - $3 per click on an ad instead of, perhaps, $0.50 - $2 that you would be paying if someone sets up the campaigns for you.
You see, an AdWords professional will be able to correctly target your ads to your website in such a way so your per click costs are lower. This allows for your advertising budget to go further. Naturally, you also have to consider the amount you are paying the AdWords Pro, which means it's probably not going to be worth it unless you are spending more than $1000 per month.
Does $1000 sound like a crazy number? It might be, but many businesses, including jewelry stores, have abandoned all other forms of advertising in favor of AdWords. Why would they do that? If you have to ask then that means you haven't given AdWords a serious chance.
Whether you are using AdWords Express, AdWords, or hiring a professional, the following tip should help you get the most out of your campaign spending.
Every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay a fee. The fee you pay is based on how many other people are bidding on the keyword you are targeting, how well your ad is written, and how well your web page matches the keyword. AdWords measures these things and comes up with a price you need to pay if you want your ad to appear.
One of the things which directly affect your price is whether or not the keyword you are targeting actually appears on your web page. Notice I'm saying "web page" and not "website." That's because every one of your ads needs to point to a particular page on your site. That page could be your home page, or it could be some other page.
You can target AdWord ads to your home page, landing pages, blog posts, and even individual product detail pages. It doesn't matter, just as long as the text in your ad hints to where the person will end up when they click.
If you want to advertise your halo engagement ring collection, then you should bid on the phrase "halo engagement ring," your ad should mention "halo engagement rings" and it should point to a page about halo rings. Again, that could be a blog post or a section of your product catalog. Your ads will work better, and cost less, when the keyword you bid on matches words on the landing page.
Let me say that again because it was important... If you bid on "halo engagement ring" as a keyword then the page you link to should also be about "halo engagement rings."
AdWords has something called a "Quality Score" which is their way of measuring the relevance of your page to the keyword. The score is higher when the keywords and the pages match. The cost of your ads goes down as your score goes up.
Because Google wants users to have the best experience possible.
People searching for "halo" rings won't be satisfied if your ad brings them to a generic page about normal "engagement rings." Those people are likely to bounce right off your page. So Google will charge you more money if you insist on bidding on "halo" rings even though your page doesn't use that word.
I've just given you a very simple view of how Google AdWords works. There's a lot more to it, like using 1 ad for all your keywords but being able to target different pages for every keyword.
I urge everyone to seriously consider AdWords as part of your normal marketing strategy. Once you get involved with it, you'll be happy you thought of it yourself. ;-)