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Advice for dealing with AdWords

sagemediasagemedia subscriber Posts: 5
edited December 2006 in Marketing
There is so much "advice" literature online about Google AdWords... but every one that I`ve read is essentially pages and pages of nothing, with the seemingly ultimate aim of parting you with your cash.I`ve tried AdWords in the past, and though it definitely brought me more traffic, it seemed like it was all the wrong kind. Most of my AdWords generated traffic was either students looking for design examples, job seekers, or other designers/competitors researching their competition... not the sort of traffic I want to be paying for.  The groups I really need to be targeting are business owners and of course potential paying customers.So does anyone here have any practical, actionable advice for putting together an AdWords campaign that doesn`t just flush my cash down the toilet?  Or even any opinions on viable alternatives to AdWords (pay per lead services for example)?No e-book or other scams, please - just conversation.  I really don`t want to be "sold to" in this thread.  Thanks!


  • yourNAMEinDotComyourNAMEinDotCom subscriber Posts: 17
    When creating an AdWords campaign, you can specify which sites you want to be on. That is, you don`t have to be in Search Results alone. So maybe you can aim for sites where your target market hangs out.Many of the sites that publish Google AdWords will have a link that says "Advertise on this site" right next to or sometimes below the "Ads by google" signature.Maybe you can find the sites where you think your target would be and click on this link there to place your ads there alone.
  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    Yeah, there are an immense amount of questions you`d need to answer to get a definitive yay or nay on heading back down the Adwords path.  Were you in the content and search network, or just the search network?  Did you have analytics set up to track click fraud?  Did you do a deep dive on those visitors to track their activity and determine which keywords were driving the highest quality traffic?  Did you test varieties of ad text for your ads?I would agree that there`s a load of junk out there, not surprising given the amount of cash flowing into Google coffers from Adwords, but these are just a few of the fundamental questions that you need to answer to objectively assess your performance.
  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    The point about researching keywords is a great one - particularly as you evaluate keywords for your SEO efforts.  Your time and resources are limited, so focusing on the right phrases is vital; using a very limited adwords campaign to learn about which keywords perform best can help you narrow down where your focus should be better than most any other research option.
  • hardknocksmbahardknocksmba subscriber Posts: 1
    Google provides extensive training materials for Adwords. If you are willing to put in the time (and it`s like taking a college credit course by the time you are done) they walk you through the thick and the thin of it. Lessons are here:http://www.google.com/adwords/learningcenter/Andrew Goodman has a good book on Adwords. Odds are your local library has a copy, or you can pick up a used copy online very easily.Jennifer Slegg has an excellent blog on Adwords and other contextual ads. It`s at: http://jensense.com/. She really stays on top of all the contextual ad programs, and brings both speed and depth to the game.A couple of thoughts from my experience: The best payoff is in the "long tail" words. You don`t want a few words; you want thousands if you can manage them. A term like "graphic design" would be both too expensive and too general to yield good conversion; a term like "Ottawa Canada graphic designer" would cost less and yield more targeted prospects. What you need is a few thousand local and skill specific variations that each yield a bit of traffic at an acceptable cost.You will need a tool to help you develop your list of words because you won`t be able to just spit them out of your head. There are commercial products which speed things up if you have the money, but there are also good free tools. Google has some in the Adwords interface. A company called Softnik (at softnik.com) has a free program called Good Keywords that pulls from the Yahoo PPC searches to help you develop lists. It doesn`t cost anything, doesn`t have any spyware so far as I can tell, and works great if you run it through enough iteration in developing lists of words people actually search for. They also have other free programs that I haven`t tried.You need to manage the terms. Exclusions are important (for example, setting up so you don`t show up for searches that have the word "free" in them). By the time you do the Google training, you will understand the tools available. GoogleAnalytics, which is free, will help you track visitors through to conversion and so help you fine tune your campaign.The landing page where you send the traffic matters. As always, when they get there, you need to have some action you want them to take. You don`t want them coming to your home page. Also, Google now ranks the quality of your landing page, and if you have stuff like pop unders or excessive ads (not a problem for you) you will have problems getting your ads shown at an acceptable cost.Google is not the only game in town. Yahoo has a very similar product that just got updated in a major way. Microsoft has just relaunched their product. These are all pretty good. Looksmart and Ask.com also have similar products, although I have heard a lot of grousing about the Looksmart conversion ratios. They all have codes you can dig up with some work that give you $25 or $50 to start with. At PaulAllen.net right now, he has up a code for the Microsoft version that starts you with $200 to play with, and he also has a $300 Looksmart starting offer.You need to stay on top of your campaigns or you can get into trouble quickly. Set budgets, daily spends, and track it very carefully.
  • starpointestarpointe subscriber Posts: 2
    I just looked over your site and noticed a few things that may be contributing to your AdWords woes.  I recommend doing the following:  Use the Keyword Tool in your Google account to analyze each page in your site for keywords.  The tool will recommend keywords based on the content of each page.  Pick the 10 of 15 that seem the most focused.  Then go back and see if you can`t use those keywords just a couple more times in that page content.  Your page titles all start with the same thing..."Sage Media Graphic Design | ..." followed by some page specific information.  Move your company`s name to the end of the title and put the page specific information first.  The first three words in the title are the most important.  If possible, see if you can get some of the keywords for that page pushed to the beginning of the title.  For example: "Web design, branding, & marketing by Sage Media Graphic Design" will rank better than "Sage Media Graphic Design | Branding, Corporate ID, Marketing and Web Design" because to a search engine...the words "Sage" and "Media" don`t mean what you want them to.  Try to keep the page titles short enough to fit in the search results.  When someone does a search, your page title is what will appear first (in the organic search results).  Make sure it`s not too long (fewer than 60 characters should be fine).  Use those keywords you came up with in step 1 to create your text ads.  Point the ads to the individual page they are advertising, not the home page.  Google analyzes the landing page and if the ad text and the keyword searched show up nicely in the content on the landing page, they treat you well.  Just some suggestions for you.  I hope they help.  I wouldn`t say my site is much better at the moment, but those are some best practices I`ve learned from studying the Google training as well as working with other (good) SEO companies. 
  • williamwilliam subscriber Posts: 2
    Keywords are king in the AdWords world.  It took me forever to get a handle on AdWords.  Don`t use keywords that are general broadbased words.  Be specific to each campaign.  The objective is to write keyword ads that are specific to individual topics instead of an entire page or section of the website.The objective is to find keyword combinations your competition doesn`t use.  Do a geographical campaign for a bit to narrow the coverage and reduce the chances of having unrelated clicks.
  • starpointestarpointe subscriber Posts: 2
    Hey everyone...Google just released a very valuable new tool for helping you optimize your website!  Visit the Google Website Optimizer for more information.
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