Paid Online Advertising – Friend or Foe?

What if I told you I could guarantee visitors to your website?  And not just ordinary visitors either; these visitors are genuinely interested in what you have to sell.

Well, Google Adwords can deliver on that guarantee and become the most effective online marketing that you have ever done or ever could do.

However, before you run off to open a Google Adwords account to start down the road to fame and fortune, let me introduce a word of caution.   Google Adwords is also a huge gaping hungry mouth which loves to devour your hard earned cash.  If you decide to advertise you better know what you’re doing.  Google Adwords is complex and therefore dangerous.   This article sets out to explain the basics of Google Adwords and remove some of this ugly complexity.

Over the last couple of weeks Google has introduced a new service called Keyword Planner.  It’s so new that the phone I’m typing this on hasn’t got it on auto correct yet.  The Keyword Planner is similar to the old Keyword Tool but far better – it combines it with the old Traffic Estimator.  Put simply,  you can use it to determine the actual numbers of people who search for your keywords together with the number of visitors you will receive to your website based on your budget.

Give me an example I hear you say.  Okay – I’m just about to run a Google Adwords Campaign for a large financial institution here in Northern Ireland.   Using the Keyword Planner I was able to build a list of highly relevant keywords for their main services – critical illness, annuities etc.  I was able to restrict my research to searchers based in Northern Ireland and based on a daily budget the Keyword Planner told me how many website visitors I would receive.  There’s even a screen which tells me whether my daily budget will optimise the visitors I would receive – pretty smart!

Armed with this knowledge we can set about writing our Google Advert together with the web page that visitors will land on when they click on the ad.

Avoiding the pitfalls

The first thing to do is to make sure you set a daily budget.  This limits your expenditure and allows you take stock after a few days.

Secondly make sure that you have narrowed down your target location for the advert.   Most businesses are local and sell to local people; Adwords provides the facility to target by country,  county or even postcode.  This means you are directly reaching your prime target.  

Thirdly,  restrict your ad to run at certain times of day and on certain days of the week.  No point in running an ad in the middle of the night for most businesses!

This article is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Google Adwords but at least it provides a basic understanding and likely will save someone from making an expensive mistake,

If I can provide any more information please do not hesitate to contact me.