Getting on the front page of Google can be a real challenge, since hundreds of millions of websites are all trying to do exactly the same thing. You can spend a lot of time optimizing your website for search in the hopes of achieving this, or you can invest money into pay-per-click advertising (PPC) through a tool such as Google Adwords. A PPC ad will appear at the top or down the side of a search listings page on search engines such as Google. They are right there with the organic listings, but it is made clear that they are advertisements or sponsored content.
What are the benefits of PPC advertising?
SEO is a very difficult process to master. You can invest a lot of time into optimizing your website to get it to the top of Google organically, and it might not even stay there. PPC is a much more time-effective and reliable way of getting your website listed on the first couple of pages of Google.
It is also a very targeted form of advertising, because you can define your keywords and location in such a way that your ad only appears to people who are likely to become your customers. Since you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, this makes it a cost-effective way of advertising. The clicks you pay for will, if you have set up your campaign well, be highly qualified leads. Plus, you can set the amount you want to pay for each click and for each day that you run the ad, so you are in control of how much you spend.
Setting up your Google Adwords campaign
Go to Google Adwords and follow the steps on the site to set up your campaign. You will have to give your campaign a name and select the type of advert you want to create; search, display, or both. Search ads will show up in Google’s search listings, whereas display ads appear on the websites of select partners of Google. If you are confused by any of the settings on this page, Google has some useful help bubbles next to each setting to explain what it means.
Select the location you want to target, whether it’s a specific country, region or city. Then, you can set your budget for your campaign. Here, you decide how much you want to pay for each click. You can also set a maximum budget per day that your ad is running. You can pay as little as a few cents per click. If you are targeting a competitive keyword, you may have to increase your bid in order to successfully appear on page one or two of Google. You may be better off choosing a more specific phrase that lots of other businesses might not be competing for.
Creating your AdWords ad
Then, you need to create the ad itself. Write the headline and two lines of description to appear on the ad. You have a limited number of characters for these. Make sure they are descriptive and grab your audience’s attention immediately. Then, set the display and destination URL to determine where the ad will go to when someone clicks. Set the keywords you want to target, determining what search terms your ad will appear for. Google gives you a few tips here to help you choose your keywords effectively.
Now your ad is ready to go. You can manage your ad throughout the campaign. Keep monitoring it so that you can see how well it is performing and how much you are spending.