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Get Started With Google AdWords

Google AdWords advertising allows you to show your ads to people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services, while filtering out those who aren't.

You can track how many people your ad was shown to, how many of those people clicked your ad and more if you integrate your account with Google Analytics. By measuring your ads, you'll quickly see where to invest your budget and boost the return on your investment.

AdWords is most commonly based on a cost per click system, where the cost per click is the minimum amount required to outrank a competitor advertiser. Using a very simple example, if a competing advertisers budget per click is $1 and yours is $5, you'll only pay $1.01 for that click.

When you're first starting out with AdWords, it can be a little overwhelming. Google AdWords itself is massive, and every slip-up can blow out your budget. I know quite a few people that have been burnt by trying AdWords without really understanding it.

To help you get started, I've created some helpful tips that I've learned over the years.

Create Your Google AdWords Account

Google has prepared a 7 step starter guide for creating an account which covers the basic such as creating a login, setting up billing information and a daily budget.

Resist the Impulse to Activate Your Ads Just Yet

Google's goal at this point is to then encourage you to maximise the amount you're spending on your advertising. This is the first trap for beginners. You'll enter some keywords, Google will suggest many more keywords which are mostly helpful, but next thing you know you've spent $150 in one day with no sales or leads gained.

Research Your Keywords

Thorough keyword research is so important to the success of your AdWords advertising - if you focus on the wrong keywords you can be almost certain that your advertising won't be profitable. Start with your website to build a list of relevant keywords, look for the main words that describe what you do, your products and your services. Align your AdWords account structure with your website.

Use the Google Keyword Tool

Once you've got your list of keywords, you can use the Google Keyword Tool to find related words and phrases for a complete list of possible keywords. People may use different words or phrases when looking for your products or services.

The tool will then show you the average search volume per keyword (there's no point is bidding on keywords that no one searches for) and the average cost per click so that you have a better understanding of the budget required and what you can afford.

From my experience, the lowest cost per click I've seen is around $0.80c and the highest was $16. So, choose wisely. Choose general and specific keywords, and group similar keywords into ad groups (aim for 5-20 keywords per ad group).

Choose Keyword Match Types

This is another trap for beginners. Google's default setting is 'broad match', which allows you to reach the largest number of people, but provides the least control over when your ads are shown.

For example, if I was a personal trainer and I bid on 'personal training' to attract new clients using broad match, my ad would be shown to people also searching for 'personal training courses', 'personal training certification' and 'personal training salary.' Clearly, none of these people are looking to hire a personal trainer. I would either receive many irrelevant clicks wasting my budget, or no clicks, which is just as bad because Google will punish me with a low-quality score and I'll have to pay more.

Essentially, the higher your Quality Score (on a scale of 1 to 10), the less you'll have to pay per click. Relevance is the key. New keywords will be assigned a quality score within a day or so.

Keyword Match Type Options

Broad Match: The widest possible search that includes a number of keywords that may not be relevant to your business at all e.g. 'Women's hats' can match searches for 'buy ladies hat'.

Phrase Match: A more targeted option that will match to people searching for the keywords you have specified e.g. 'Women's hats' can match searches for 'buy women's hats'.

Exact Match: The most targeted option that will match to people that are searching for your keyword, exactly as you have typed it e.g. 'Women's hats' can only match searches for 'women's hats'.

Negative Match: Using negative keywords can greatly reduce wasted clicks by excluding keywords that don't relate to your business e.g. If you sell reading glasses and use 'glasses' as your keyword, your ad would be displayed to people also searching for 'wine glasses', adding 'wine' as a negative keyword would eliminate this problem.

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