Google AdWords is a service that allows users to create and run pay-per-click ads for their business. Pay-per-click (PPC) means just that, that you only pay for the ad when someone clicks on it. These ads are displayed along with the search results when someone searches Google using one of your keywords. The ad will appear under “Sponsored links” in either the side column of the results page or the top row above the free search results.
The main advantage of Google AdWords is that since you choose relevant keywords for your ad, it allows you to advertise to an audience that’s already interested in your business. When potential customers search for your keywords on Google, your sponsored ad will appear above or next to the natural search results. With Google AdWords, you get the freedom of choosing from multiple ad formats that can include text, images and videos.
PPC marketing is especially valuable to those local businesses who are in very competitive industries or industries where you travel to the customer rather than the customer coming to your physical location. This is because Google Maps is geo-targeted which means its hard to get exposure in a certain location without a physical address. For example, if your business is in Huntington Beach, but you would like to service customers throughout Orange County as well as Los Angeles County, the easiest way to reach your target audience would be with PPC ads. In fact the entire PPC system can be customized so ads appear exactly in the area where your target audience resides.
If your business has a physical business location, PPC advertising is extremely valuable. This is because Google only allows 5 keyword categories on Google Places accounts and their AdWords accounts allow up to 2000 keywords. The additional keywords will help your business show up for more keyword phrases, therefore increasing the chances of potential customers finding you rather than your competitors.
The cost of your Google AdWords PPC ads varies depending on the audience you are trying to reach and the location of your business. There’s no minimum monthly charge for AdWords. You have full control over how much you’re willing to spend each day as well as how much you’re willing to pay per click or per impression (your ad being seen in the search results). The best part about a PPC advertising campaign is that you pay only for results. You choose to pay only for clicks on your ads or for impressions your ads receive.
The price per click of each ad also depends on which keywords you want to use. The more competitive keywords, or the keywords that people want to use the most, cost more money per click. These are generally broad keywords. The more targeted and specific keywords tend to cost less because there is less competition for them. You can use the Google Keyword Tool to view keyword traffic and cost estimates then choose the right keywords in order to maximize your budget.
Once you get your account set up, you can analyze your Google AdWords reports to figure out which ads are working for you and which ads need to be replaced or altered. PPC campaigns are all about trial and error because what works for one business might not necessarily work for yours. After your first month of service you can analyze your reports and decide whether to choose new keywords, write new ads or edit other aspects of your campaign to better appeal to your target audience.
If you aren’t familiar with PPC advertising, it can be complicated and in many cases it’s best to let a professional handle your campaign. It is possible to find an online marketing company with Google AdWords Certified individuals who can help you for a management fee. If you have no idea what you’re doing, this is probably your best option.