What is Google AdWords?
Google Adwords is the largest and most widely used online advertising platform in the world. Owned and operated by Google, AdWords allows you to create and run ads for your business on a Pay-Per-Click(PPC) basis. In other words, you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad. Advertising within the listings of a search engine is referred to by the term paid search. These ads or listings usually appear at the top of the page. Currently, Google identifies them with a small “ad” square. With Google AdWords, advertisers can also take advantage of other Google sites such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps which are part of the AdWords platform.

How it works
In a nutshell, advertisers place bids on keywords that are relevant to their business. When a user enters those same keywords, the advertiser’s ad pops up in search results…if, the business previously won the bid for those specific keywords. Since it is highly likely that other businesses sell similar products, the market on keywords can be rather competitive, thus the need for a “keyword auction” of sorts. But don’t let this deter you. It is not just the highest bid that wins. Google also utilizes a “quality score” which is determined by several factors including:
  • Is the ad relevant to the search term?
  • Is it useful to the searcher?
  • If the user clicks on an ad, does it take them directly to a page featuring the product? A generic homepage doesn’t cut it.

Believe it or not, it takes Google less than a minute to solve the equation of the highest bid + quality score on a relevant search term.

Why do you need AdWords for your local business?
Because everybody is doing it…well just about everybody. AdWords are found in  80% of search results according to recent statistics. As more and more advertisers recognize the benefits of using Adwords, there is no reason why your local business can’t reap these same benefits. And speaking of local, 72% of consumers prefer to find information about local merchants through a search. In addition, 29% of consumers search for local businesses every week. We no longer have to wonder where the nearest grocery store is located. In a matter of seconds, we can have an address and be on our way with a quick google search. For local businesses, it’s about appearing in the right place at the right time, and with AdWords, your business can reserve a spot on the search results list.
  • The clock is ticking. Although Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important and very necessary, the reality is, it takes time. With AdWords you do not have to wait for your site to organically work its way up in search engine rankings. Google Adwords produces results now.
  • It is going to be good. Since over 90% of Google’s revenue come from advertising, you can be sure they will be using the latest and greatest technology to get the word out—thank you Google. In addition, Google owns 78%  of the desktop search market share and a whopping 97%  of the mobile search market share. Therefore, it goes without saying—Google has a corner on the market. Plus, with state of the art analytics that will make your head spin, Google is on top of it—they know what they are doing.

What makes Adwords so great?
  • Measurable. Adwords allows you to track your success. By understanding key statistics, you will know if your AdWords campaign is working for your business or whether you need to refine it and make a few adjustments.
  • Customizable. Adwords gives you options with extensions that expand your ad with additional information. It gives you the ability to show potential customers your phone number, address, mobile app, links to your site and even your social media stats within your ad.
  • Keyword matching. You can match your ad for exact keyword searches to control what search terms trigger your ad. For example, instead of the broad search term “men’s hats,” you could set it up for an exact match with the term “men’s straw cowboy hats”.
  • Focused. Not everyone is the right fit for your product. Adwords allows you to narrow down your audience to those who already have an interest in your product.
  • Flexible. Google AdWords has built-in flexibility that allows you to specify the target of your campaign according to mobile, display or google searches. If you know your customers are using their mobile devices for searching you can direct your ads to mobile searches.
  • Budget friendly. You can control the costs of your campaign by setting a maximum cost per day. You only pay for results.

Success is in the details. It is important to have a clear plan of action before you create your ad. Why? Because…He who aims at nothing is sure to hit it. You need a target. It’s a big world out there.

1. What you want to accomplish? Write out distinct goals. Are you trying to increase sales on a specific product? Do you want to bring more people to your website. Do you want to build your brand?

2Who do you want to reach? Determine your audience. In the advertising world this is done by developing personas-fictional characters created to represent user types. These personas can also be based on the character traits of your current customers.
  • Who typically buys your product? Men, women, 20 year olds, 60 year olds?
  • What are they doing? Sitting at a desk, driving, watching tv, working out?
  • Where are they? At the office, at the park, at the game?
  • How are they searching—on what device? A desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone?
  • When are they searching? Early in the morning, at work, during lunch break, in the evening, late at night?
  • What words are they searching for? Knowing and understanding what your customers are searching for will help you determine keywords that are realistic and effective.

3. Create an ad. Keep it simple and focused so you can track the results and adjust accordingly. And don’t forget to create a strong and relevant landing page for your ad.

Google AdWords is one of the most effective ways to reach new customers. Your business no longer has to be the needle in the haystack. Get discovered by the very people who are looking for your product.

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