Getting to the Top with Google Adwords | December 20th, 2010

Google AdWordsEverybody wants to be number one on Google. As a result I am often asked about Google AdWords as a method to get to the top. Here is a crash course in how AdWords work.

What are Google AdWords?

AdWords is pay-per-click advertising. You create online advertisements and assign a series of keywords to your ad(s). When someone searches your chosen keywords, your ad will appear at the top of Google in the “Sponsored Link” area. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and you control how much you spend on each click, your daily budget, and where your ads appear. You’re basically bribing Google to display your website. (They’d probably disagree with that analogy.)

Using AdWords

Using Google AdWords is a sure fire way to get to the top, provided you have the budget to do so. Depending on your market, you can expect to pay anywhere from $.30 to well over $2.00 per click. The per-click charge is based on what other advertisers are bidding. So if other advertisers are bidding $2.00 per click, and you have your cap set at $1.50 per click, your ad might not even display. AdWords will generate a reports that reflects this so that you can make changes to your budget accordingly.

If your per-click bid is appropriate, but you’re not getting many clicks at the start of your campaign, then you need to take a look at your ads and keywords to see if they need to be tweaked. Ads with a call to action will generally perform better than informational ads.

Start out small. A $50 to $100 is usually a good starting budget. Once those funds are depleted, take time to study your results in the AdWords control panel. Look to see what ads performed well, what keywords got the most impressions*, and what percentage of impressions were clicked on. Use this information to adjust your campaign accordingly.

It is a recommended practice to run several ads at one time. You can then compare results to see what ads are working and what ads aren’t.

Disadvantages of AdWords

One of the disadvantages of using AdWords is, of course, cost. However, another big disadvantage is the fact that many internet users disregard the sponsored links. Why is that?

Most savvy computer users know that the sponsored links are paid advertisements and tend to skip over them for the websites that appear at the top organically**.  This is because companies with large advertising budgets tend to broaden their keyword list in an effort to get in front of more people. While the sponsored links will most likely be relevant to your search, the product or service might not be exactly what you were looking for.

Getting Started

Want to try out AdWords for yourself? Sign up for an account at:

Or of course, you can always contact me for some help: and yes, I will try to get some tutorials up about this soon.

*Impressions means that your ad appeared, but was not necessarily clicked on.
**Organic search engine optimization refers to getting to the top based on keywords, content, and other non-paid methods.

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  1. […] and to test out your advertising message, which is particularly useful if you are running a Google AdWords […]

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