Our previous article, “Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Website EMarketing”, gave a broad-stroke orientation on buying top “sponsored link” positions for your website on search engines when prospects search for your keywords. Our conclusion was that PPC is an excellent tool, but it can be expensive and needs to be evaluated, planned, and controlled. PPC has to be used in a coordinated program with search engine optimization to get sales or qualified leads in a cost-effective way.
This article gets into the specifics of how to use Google’s PPC program. Our next article will address Overture’s PPC service.
Google PPC program is called AdWords. It lets you place a boxed text ad on the high right side of the first page prospects reach when they search with one of your selected keywords. AdWords is probably the best PPC program because Google has the top traffic of all search engines. In addition, your ads will also appear on Google’s partner channels.
Below we provide a step-by-step guide to using Google AdWords and explain the reasoning behind key choices that you will need to make when you create your ad.
To explore AdWords, go to the Google AdWords page http://adwords.google.com and then “Click to Begin” in the middle of the page. The first page that comes up will ask you to specify the language and country you want to target. Choose the regions you want to focus on. (The cost per click is the same for national or regional targeting; however, because you will get fewer—but better qualified—clicks in your chosen region, the campaign ultimately costs you less.) For this example, choose “English” and “United States—regional targeting” and click the “Save and Continue” button. (You can always change your choices later.)
You are now on page “Step 1b of 3: Target U.S. Regional Areas.” In the “U.S. Regional Areas” box, choose up to five regions by clicking on them and then clicking the “Add” button. For this example for a New York–area business, we’ll select four: “Connecticut,” “New Jersey,” “New York, NY,” under New York and “Philadelphia, PA” under Pennsylvania. All four should now appear in the “Your Selected Areas Box.” Now click on the “Save and Continue” button, which brings you to the next page.
The next page starts by asking you to restate the language and the locations you targeted. The second panel is “Step 2 of 4: Create Ad Groups,” which asks you to “Name This Ad Group” by entering what you are advertising. The Ad Group identifies each campaign (you may have more than one AdWords campaign running). In this example, we will use the Star Company, offering kitchen-decorating supplies. To create our first campaign, type in the name “Star Kitchen Decorator Wholesalers.”
Google asks you to create your ad before you choose and budget your keywords, so scroll down to the next area to build your ad. We will use “Kitchen Tile & Counters” as the headline (note that you are limited to 25 characters). We use these words because your keyword analysis told us that “Kitchen Tile” and “Kitchen Counters” are your best keywords, and we have optimized your website to get responses for these.
Now you have two fields of 35 characters each to enter supporting information. Enter “Star Kitchen Decorating Wholesalers” in the first field and “discount imports, top-name supplies” in the second field. The idea here is to use a headline that relates directly to the keywords your prospects are using—and to use a description that will set your company apart from your competitors. Remember, since your ad will show up based on a keyword search, what you do is more important than who you are, so your company name should be secondary to a description of your offerings.
The next field asks for your website’s “Display URL”—the address you want to show in the ad. Enter in “www.starkitchenwholesalers.com”. Note: The final field on the page is the “Destination URL.” This is where you want the person clicking-through on the ad to go. This can be a different page address than your Display URL because your Display URL is probably your website’s home page. You may want prospects to click right through from your ad to the website page that has the kitchen tiles or counters you are advertising. For example, the destination page address might be “www.starkitchenwholesalers.com/tiles_counters.html”. The idea is to take the viewer to the page they are specifically interested in or which contains the offer, which may not be your home page.
Tony Grass is President of e-Market Intelligence, an internet sales generation consultancy and service. Previously, he built a traditional 65-person sales and marketing communications company in Chicago. Contact is welcome through firstname.lastname@example.org.