The right choice of keywords are an essential element to conducting a successful Adwords campaign and to maximise your PPC  advertisements. Your keywords are based around the search words used by your  customers so you need to get inside their heads to build up a good list.

Think like your customers
Understanding how your customers search for products like yours is essential to running a good ad campaign. List all the possible words, variations and phrases that people might use when referring to your product or service. What would they enter into a Google search box to find your goods?

Be specific 
Use accurate, specific words, look for targeted words that precisely describe what you are selling. Avoid using wide ranging phrases and unrelated words simply to generate traffic. These people, although visiting your site will have done so by mistake and are not likely to be interested in what you are selling. Concentrate your efforts on those people who are already prepped and looking to buy.  Key phrases are the best way of attracting the ideal visitor. If you produce“handmade natural fibre jumpers” then people looking for a hand crafted jumper from natural fibres will more likely be directed to your site. This is likely to be more successful than using the words individually. 
 
Keyword variations 
No one person will use the exact same phrase or keywords so think about local and regional variations that may influence someone’s search criteria. It is also common these days for people to use American as well as British English, such as colour or color. Colloquialisms and common misspellings and both singular and plural variations of a word can also be a source of useful keywords.  If your product is well-known by a particular reference name or serial number these should be included too.
 
Negative keywords 
Removing negative keywords is also a productive way of filtering out people who will not be interested. If you sell spectacle glasses and not wine glasses put wine and any other drinking glass references down as a way of discounting irrelevant searches. By adding a minus sign to your keyword list you will automatically remove unwanted words from searches.  So “-drinking” would remove people searching for drinking glasses but leave those looking for designer glasses still on the list.

Understand Google match options 
Google Adwords matching options are “broad”, “phrase”. “exact”and “negative” and will trigger your advert when the differing choices are used to search. Broad is the default and includes any word in any order. Phrase will  exactly match groups of words to your selected phrase list and will only trigger an ad if the search contains the selected phrase. Exact matches will only work when the precise phrase you select is typed into the search, this gives you the best possible chance of converting your PPC advertisements as these people are most likely looking for your product.
 
 
If you are new to the idea of Pay Per Click Advertising then it can seem like a nightmare to organise and manage. Here are five tips and pieces of advice to make sure you get the most from your campaigns. 

Directing visitors to your home page
If for instance you organise an advertising campaign with the keyword phrase“iPhone 5”, which you sell from a website. Whenever people search for iPhone 5, and click on your Adwords advert they are redirected to your websites homepage. The problem with this is that they will then have to search through the site to find the product they were initially interested in buying. A more practical way is to direct customers to the exact product page they are interested in or create a separate landing page that offers all the information about the item they are keen to buy. 

Directing customers to your contact page
Some businesses believe that it is best to direct potential customers to a contact page where they try to encourage them to divulge their email address or get them to subscribe to a newsletter. AS well as frustrating visitors this will also infringe Adwords guidelines and may lead to the suspension of your adverts. 

Not acquainting yourself with “Split-testing” 
Understanding how customers read adverts and what format works best is the art of split testing. You can set up a number of versions of your advert to determine which format receives the best responses.  It is common for PPC engines to allow split
testing to evaluate your wording and layout. Some sites do have automatic, predictive test algorithms. Although these will give you results, they are less reliable than actual real time testing. 

Rely on“Broad Match” filters
A “Broad Match” filter will display keyword ads whenever a whole or part words of a keyword phrase is searched upon. While this offers a great deal of potential traffic, it can also reduce the overall quality of your potential responses. If for example your
keywords are “homemade wine glasses” a broad match will most likely give you  good results on anyone searching this phrase. However, it will also give you  results for people looking at“sun glasses” and “homemade beer kits”. Both of which are not your target audience and likely to cost rather than make you money. 

Not using“Negative Keywords”
Failing to use negative keywords can also be a fatal error. If you include the phrases like “homemade beer kits” and “sun glasses” within your negative keyword list you will automatically exclude your adverts from people searching these irrelevant
phrases. To successfully do this you need to fully understand the mind set of  your customers and the terms they are likely to use.

 
 
There have been a number of recent changes to Google Adwords and if you rely on successful PPC management for your company promotion then refreshing your memory on Dynamic Search Ads is a good idea. 

How does it work?

Dynamic Search Ads allows Google to target relevant searches with specific adverts generated from your website that enhance the searchers results. Google, when crawling your website can automatically generate an advert with a relevant headline, matching the search query for interested people. Taking the query, Google produce adverts from the matching page on your website and directly target the searcher.

Why use Dynamic Searches?

Dynamic searches are a way of enhancing your existing PPC campaigns, using your existing keywords but by giving you extra click exposure and an increased likelihood of converting visitors. At times an Adwords campaign can contain thousands of keywords or key phrases and even then you can still miss out on important words.

It can be a difficult and confusing process and occasionally you may miss items on your product line or not realise how your catalogue and services have altered. Dynamic Searches constantly check your website and produce adverts that reflect the current state of your site and product line keywords. As you are trying to anticipate people’s behavioural patterns it will come as no surprise to experienced marketeers that this is at best a difficult process.

PPC Maintenance

The use of Dynamic Search Ads does not mean you lose control of your campaigns as you are still able to optimise, undertake multiple targeting and the option to include negatives or exclusions with criteria. However, it gives you the ability to see how your product lines are developing and create targeted adverts specifically aimed at your audience.

The usefulness of Dynamic Search Ads is in the fact that they turn your whole website into a keyword list and automatically create relevant adverts, designed to match a searchers choices. The advert criteria can be based on specific categories, certain words, predetermined word stings and word combinations found on website URLs, titles and pages.

You will also still be able to analyse and read reports based on your adverts performance giving you a clear indication of ranking, CPC and the ability to read the generated ads and assess their usefulness and effectiveness. Dynamic search ads are an option that allow you to keep your adverts fresh and current, containing information pertinent to searches and taken from your most up to date product list. 

 
 
You should regularly check your Adwords campaigns as part of your PPC maintenance and to see how your various marketing ploys are working. 

Keyword Cost

Keywords cost is one of the most important factors on your account and by filtering your keywords tab by this you can check how much words are costing. This way you can see if a keyword is paying for itself or eating up your marketing budget.  If a keyword is using a lot of your advertising money you need to make sure you are getting a good return on your investment.

Check conversion tracking

This allows you to track a keywords conversion rate. However, if you do not have a conversion tracker then look over your Google Analytics page. Check on the duration and number of pages for visitor activity, this will give you a good idea of how interesting people find your pages. 

 Ad status

Regularly monitor your Ads tab status for disapproved or ads under review. Google made lots of changes and increasingly people are falling foul of the rules. Hover over the ad and a reason for the ads removal will be displayed. This gives you the chance to edit the offending ad or remove it all together. 

Click Through Rates

Check keyword click through rates (CTR) as low rates can hold back other keywords within a particular group. You can attach a filter that prevents keywords being used once they drop below a certain percentage.  Added to this should also be the parameter that this is only for keywords with a sizeable impression rate, for example of over 100.

Keyword status

Here, Google can also disapprove particular keywords, so regularly keep an eye on your keyword status to ensure none are being stopped. Filtering from the keywords tab on disapproved or under review will bring up any problem words.

Average position

A strong advertising campaign requires an average position or better, so by monitoring for anything with a rating of 3 or less can be filtered out. This will ensure that you keep a strong CTR for ads. Also check first page estimates, as bids that fall below the average may need attending to.

Email checks

Setting up an email alert is an important way of being informed if there are any problems or issues with your account. This way you can attend to them quickly and keep your Adwords campaign running without any disruption.

Query Searches

By analysing your queries you will be able to determine what keywords are producing the best results and which ones should be given negative keyword status if they are impeding your ads.  Identifying good CTR, low costs and conversions are important checks you should conduct weekly to maintain an active and productive Adwords account.

 
 
CPC Management and Location Based Targeting

Search engines such as Google and Bing are focusing efforts more actively on location based searches and lending more prominence to local targeting.  This way searches are more likely to be in the area of interest for which individuals are looking. You can now target your Adwords audience by country, region or even the city where you operate your business.

Geographical CPC targeting

When you run an advertising campaign targeting a specific geographical area then Google will assess your advert to make sure viewers are relevant. This will include people from outside the specified area if the search is requesting something from a particular town, region or country. This happens if the person includes a specific location in their search, the search area is within Google Maps or sets a custom location on Google search results.

So if you live in London and are looking for restaurants in Edinburgh you are likely to also see adverts targeted at customers living in Edinburgh.

A location of interest will only work properly if the searcher is in the same location they are searching. If you search designer shops Wales from Italy you will not receive ads from the UK, you will however, if searching on Google.it find Italian based adverts appearing.

Domain Location

Each country has its own unique Google domain name, which makes it easier to determine specific ad locations when searching. So Britain is Google.co.uk, Google.fr is France and Google.com is the USA.

Physical Location

A searchers physical location is determined by their IP address (Internet Protocol) This is based on an individual code given by the Internet Service Provider to each computer connected to the internet.

Geotargeting

The system within Google Adwords also allows marketeers to use precise locations within their marketing strategies by pinpointing their locations, specifically “bricks and mortar” sites using geoloctions. Including postcodes within your CPC advertising allows you to indicate exactly where you are and the surrounding area you are targeting. While this may not be true for all businesses, those requiring customers to visit the premises, such as restaurants or hairdressers, geotagging is an excellent addition. No one is going to travel from New York to Milton Keynes to have their hair cut but locals are always looking out for good outlets on their doorstep.

Google Enhanced Adwords offers customers the chance to adjust, bid and customise their campaigns to suit their target audience. This is particularly true of marketing to mobile devices and Enhanced Adwords and along with location based targeting this will help generate a better degree of PPC service levels.
 
 
Enhanced Campaigns is the lastest development in Google Adwords and looks set to improve business returns for online marketeers. The idea is based around the fact that in the modern world people are constantly on the move, linking through various devices and always on the lookout for new shopping experiences, places to meet and things to do.

Customer enhanced experience

Enhanced Campaigns is Google Adword’s most up to date way of customising your marketing to touch base with people on a very real and personal level.  It allows you to amend your bids and target audience depending on the time of day, location and device your potential customers are likely to be using.

The premise behind Enhanced Campaigns is to allow online marketeers to adjust their promotions across various parameters during the day through a single ad campaign to create personalised ads that reach your niche audience directly at a time when they are most receptive.

It is possible to select multiple ads and by setting particular adjustments relating to your product or service, Adwords will select the most relevant ads to appear during that specific period. What this does, in Google’s eyes, is to provide the best responses to a search engine query no matter where or what device a customer is using.

Smarter Ads hitting the right note

The use of enhanced advertising means that a potential customer will receive the right ad format at the right time meaning you reach people when they are specifically looking for you, with the correct information form. A website with a high street presence for drop-in shopping and a website for on-line purchases can run a single campaign that will inform customers on the move where the shop is and what’s available, while also telling those sat at home on their desktops how to buy online from the website. This can be linked to shop opening hours and will only contact mobile customers during times when the outlet is open for business.

Tracking conversions

The use of multiple devices can lead to a difficulty in tracking conversions.  Customers may contact a business via one service for downloading an app, then using another device make contact. Advance reporting enables a company to see where business is generated, duration of conversations and log the resultant business activity. Conversion monitoring is the ideal way to assess marketing strategies and decide which enhanced features and bidding filters best suit your business.

The internet responds better to ads that appear to match their needs when they are searching. Blanket advertising only serves to dissuade customers but a well worked, targeted ad that reaches their mobile device at the right time is more likely to receive a positive response. Social networking and targeted marketing are all pervasive and without considered and measured exposure you run the risk of alienating your audience and losing potential sales opportunities. Enhanced campaigns let you filter your marketing, ensuring you hit the receptive client more often.
 
 
Over the last 12 months there has been a dramatic rise in the level of advertising through Google Adwords and to maximise your PPC management you need to be on top of the major changes that have been brought into the system.

From price bidding, site linking, ppc management, filtering and analytics, Google has updated and introduced lots of new features to improve the Adwords experience and generate increased business.

Here are five of the top changes that may directly affect your Adwords marketing campaign:

Location based targeting -  Lately there has been a focussing of location and targeting by search engines and they are increasingly trying to capitalise on localised searching.  Google have also included this as an option within your choices when setting up CPC advertising campaigns on Adwords. The ability to put postcodes, suburbs and towns into your criteria should mean a more effective system.

Dynamic search ads- This recent feature allows Adwords to check your site and create adverts based on what Google discovers.  These ads are only displayed with keywords that don’t match your existing account. It allows you to keep up to date with developments on your site as they happen.

Offer extensions: You can now include redeemable offers beneath your ad headlines, instead of simply having a stock in trade phrase. Google will then create an advert that can be claimed and monitored through Adwords. These can be simple online offers redeemed against purchases or In-store offers where after viewing an ad, should they like the deal, they print off the details and take it directly to the shop.

Adwords for video: One real boom area currently popular with merchants is the targeting of YouTube viewers and you are missing out on lots of opportunities if you are neglecting this area of business. YouTube is one of the Top 5 websites on the internet and receives millions of visitors daily. Google now allows you to conduct Adwords marketing of your products directly on video clips, to the audience, as they watch.

Shopping and Product Listing Ads: How you set up your Adwords account will determine where you appear in the Google shopping results. Formally known as “Froogle” and was easy to create using a free merchant account centre. However, Google have since incorporated this directly into Adwords and now retailers have to include these adds as a part of their online Adwords marketing strategy. 
 
 
If you are still finding your way around Google’s marketing programme Adwords, PPC Management, keywords can seem very confusing. There is every likelihood that you are making some fundamental errors in your use of Adwords and unnecessarily wasting some of your valuable marketing budget.

Here are five common errors that people new to Adwords, and sometimes experienced marketiers make when promoting their wares and services.

Non targeted locations

You may only wish to advertise yourself within a particular area and if you do not specify your requirements, Google’s default setting is worldwide. For arguments sake, if your target area is “Midlands, UK” and you do not specify this, your adverts will be seen as far away as Hawaii and Melbourne. All of whom will not require a local pizza delivery service based in Milton Keynes.

To fix this select the locations settings and highlight your desired circulation pattern. If you require an even more target campaign, under the advanced settings choose “only target people in my target area”.

Overpay for clicks on mobile devices

To avoid this ensure that you have a version of your website that is optimised for mobile and tablet use. If you cannot arrange to have a mobile friendly version of your website created, then elect to switch off mobile devices in your Adwords campaigns. If your site works fine on mobile devices then you can target these separately and gauge the responses in isolation. You will find you save yourself money in the long run.

Optimising Google Ads

The default setting on Adwords is to optimise for clicks, which shows the ads with the highest clickthrough rates (CTR). The best solution here is to set your ads so that they rotate evenly during your campaign and naturally increase your CTR for the best results.

Ad extensions

There are many different ad extensions on offer from Google and for the uninitiated this can be confusing and easier just to ignore. These do have a proven effect on CTR so it is time well spent if you try to understand them more fully.

To fix this you can add such extensions as Sitelink, where you can included between six and ten additional sites to your ad campaign. Call extensions for mobile devices are also useful, while local extensions will target your traffic better.

Landing pages

Landing pages need to be direct and straight to the point. They need to have an immediate “call to action” to catch customers attention. This is best achieved by creating specific PPC landing pages that are clear and punchy indicators of intention to viewers.

 
 
Google has realised that one way to get people interested and motivated to use Google Adwords campaigns is by making their administration easier. The more straightforward it is to adjust PPC management the more likely it is that customers will set up and use their accounts. One of the more useful features that Adwords has in its armoury is the ability to automate bidding rules.

A time consuming area of campaign management is the monitoring and amending of PPC settings, enabling or pausing certain keywords, raise bids or change the max CPC bids . This can be accomplished automatically by establishing your own personal criteria that kick in when specific circumstances occur.

Enhanced PPC management

This is not meant as a way of bypassing your PPC management practices but one of more effectively responding to changes in the marketplace and a way of optimising your bids. You will still be required to carry out search query reports and ad optimisation to maintain your sales but the system can take over micro management of your site.

Before setting up any automation rules for your account you need to install conversion tracking and have a site which is generating sufficient traffic. If you are only achieving one conversion a day, it may be too low for the system to make much difference. To set up bidding formula, select the “My Account” tab and click on “Create Rule for Keyword”.

Bid rules

What you are looking to set up are rules that allow your Adwords account to function more effectively and not create chaos if left alone. 

Useful ideas for rules can include-

1)      Pausing keywords that have had 100+ clicks with no conversions.

2)      Bid up keywords with a cost/acquisition (CPA) rate below £20 by 10%

3)      Bid up keywords on lower placed keywords, say position 7 or lower by 10%

Rule change frequency

What marketiers tended to do traditionally was to regularly record keyword performance on an Excel spread sheet and then once a month manually implement the desired account changes. By using the automated system you can probably save around two hours of your day in monitoring and updating of keyword bidding changes. The system also allows you to conduct this on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, so you are still in control as to how often your account is updated.

Also be careful over the frequency of your updates, a normal rule of thumb is to select 90 day periods for the analysing of data and weekly implementation of the rules. This is long enough to gauge an accurate traffic flow on the account and not too short that your bids are changing every other day.
 
 
If you are starting out in business or have just launched a website and are worrying about the lack of traffic to your site or business then Google Adwords could provide the ideal solution. Setting up an Adwords campaign isn’t as complex as it may seem and by using pay per click management you are able to reach out directly to your target customers.

Opening an account

The first thing you need with any Google service is a Google account, this can be accomplished straight from the Adwords tab, under the Business Services link at the bottom of the main Google page. The process is straightforward and self-explanatory, however it is important that you have your credit card details to hand when setting up the account so that you can pay for the advertisements. 

Starting a Campaign

Each advertising campaign can be separated into various Ad Groups, each containing a different selection of keywords relevant to your business. Initially it is a good idea to keep your Ad Groups to a single manageable one and add more as your confidence grows.

By clicking on the “campaign” tab and selecting “new campaign” you’ll be on your way. The next choice is between directing your ads to Search networks (users searching on Google) or Display networks (third parties with Adsense on their websites). Selecting both will give you a larger exposure but cost more and Search is aimed at those looking for your particular keywords.

Campaign Name

Next you can choose the name of your campaign and select the type and style of coverage you desire. Here you can decide on whether to promote to desktops, tablet or mobile devices, select targeted locations, towns, postcodes etc and whether to include or exclude particular destinations or areas outside a predetermined radius.

Budgeting

The cost of your campaign is split into two parts, the Bid (how much you will pay per click on your advert) and the Budget per Day. If you select 50 cents, then every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay fifty cents. The Budget per Day allows you to control your daily expenditure so that successful ads do not run away with themselves and cost you a small fortune.

The amount you bid will also determine how well your ad ranks in user searches, higher paying bidders are more likely to feature in the #1 position.

Ad Creation

There isn’t much space to fill but you need to carefully use every inch of it. The title only has 35 characters as does the two description lines. This is where you make your customer pitch so think about your wording. Below this is where you enter your keywords, if you are unsure of what your best words are use Google’s Keyword Tool for ideas.  It will give you a vast selection of alternatives, an idea of cost and possible traffic.

Once again you will be asked to bid on your ad group, initially it’s best to leave it the same as your default bid. Save the new ad group and you are away.

Monitoring Ads

You will also be able to monitor, track and refine your ads, checking the PPC advertisement performance and either bidding higher, changing or deleting the poor ones.