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Google Adwords Help Tips

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Google AdWords is the most popular method of PPC and it's a great way of increasing targeted website traffic, providing the advertising costs can be justified by sales conversions.

Here's what you can do with Google AdWords:
  • Research and find targeted keywords and keyword phrases
  • Write targeted titles and call-to-action descriptions for each AdGroup
  • Leverage compelling landing pages on your site for each AdGroup
  • Test and experiment to see how each change affects your campaign performance
  • Revise the keywords used based on how they perform
  • Adjust bids as needed to maximize your ROI
  • Focus on the ads that convert the most and cost the least
Nobody gets it all right the first time and most of the best advertising campaigns are developed over time. Below are tips to get you started, they'll you get the best from your Google AdWords advertising budget.

Select Keyword Phrases

Choosing the right Keywords is important to ensure you attract potential customers who are interested in your products... and ultimately when they reach you site convert into a sales.  It can be very easy to get carried away and select the most popular keywords with a high cost per click, or keywords which deliver a high volume of traffic to your site.  While traffic is good, it shouldn't be your main goal, a successful advertising campaign should be to maximize your return on investment.  Or in simpler terms, paying the right amount per click, for the keyword phrases that generate the most profitable sales.  

Multiple AdGroups

Once keyword phrases are selected, it's recommended to separate them by logical ad groups with ad text that represents the keywords in that ad group.  For example, if you have sports shop, you don't want keywords for golf clubs displaying an ad for snow skis.

Search or Content?

The best performing campaigns generally target Google and Google's partner search network.   For AdWords this means that your ad may appear when a customer runs a search on Google's web site (or partner sites), and your keyword phrase for your ad group matches the search phrase entered by the customer.  In general, traffic generated through search ad clicks is usually of a higher quality than content base ads.

You also have the option of advertising on Google’s content network.  These are ad placements you see on web pages under the heading of "Sponsored Ads".   Google knows the content of web pages and places your ad on pages where the content of that page matches a keyword phrases in your ad group.  Website administrators decide where the ads appear on their page, they use another service called Google AdSense, and make money by people clicking ads on their web page.  Clicks from the content network can normally be obtained at a lower cost per click (CPC) but may not convert into sales as well as the search network.  They are also more likely to generate fraudulent clicks.  Set up Google Analytics to monitor your traffic and conversion rate.

The short answer is search for quality, content for lower cost and more traffic.

Separate Search and Content campaigns

For better analysis and conversion tracking, you may want to separate your search and content into different campaigns.  This will help you monitor and decide on the best budget to maximize your ROI.

Geographic Location

In your campaign settings, you can define the geographic location where your ads will appear.  Google does this by using the IP address (IP address on the internet is like your home address) of a users computer.   This make sure your only advertising in the geographic are where you are targeting to produce sales from.  If you have a local flower shop in Livonia, MI and only deliver flowers in a 30 mile radius from you store, no sense in advertising to deliver flowers in Florida.  This would waste a large portion of your AdWords budget in wasted clicks.  It may be advantageous to create individual Ad Groups by different regions to track performance.  This can help you decide which regions are performing, which need more work and which should be dropped.

Review Competitors 

What makes your ad stand out from the competition?  Try to find a niche in your market that customers will be interested in. If your ad stands out from the rest, it's more likely to be clicked.  Do your competitors display their prices, if so are your's lower, then display them from more clicks.  See what else other's are doing in their ad text that draws your attention to them.

Effective Keyword Matching

Most optimized ad campaigns use the exact matching option on all keywords.  This ensures that they are only bidding for that individual search.  This is an effective strategy for ensuring you are only bidding on relevant keywords.  Click through rate (CTR) is an important factor in deciding the cost per click (CPC) so the higher rate you can achieve, the less you are likely to pay for that keyword.  Fine tune your campaign to to improve your CRT.

To attract more traffic from your keywords, it may be beneficial to change from exact matching to broad matching.  This will typically increase the traffic you receive, the downside is it will reduce your CTR and probably lower your conversion rate.  In the end test and monitor you conversions.

Managing your budget

Start with a reasonable daily budget and then increase it as you develop an understanding for how Google AdWords work.  This will prevent you from making mistakes which could cost you clicks which are to expensive or don't result in sales conversions.  Define a separate Max CPC value for content network bids as these should be achieved at a lower value than the search network.  Once a positive ROI is being achieved you can then think about increasing the daily budget.

Choosing your Ad Text

Entice customers who have a genuine interest in what you have to offer.  Describe what you offer and why it can benefit them.  Raise your ad quality score by including the keywords within the ad title or description.  Use action keywords such as register, sign-up or browse so that the user knows what to expect on the next page.  A high quality score will help to improve the relevancy of your ad, this may result in your ad ranking higher than a competitor with a larger bid.

Selecting your destination URL

The algorithm that Google AdWords uses now reviews the quality of the landing pages you specify in your ad.  It’s more important than ever to make sure your destination URL is relevant to the keywords your bidding on.  You should also make sure that the user is directed to the web page they expect to see, rather than being taken to the homepage and having to find the right page for themselves.  For example if your keyword and ad is for Golf Clubs and you have a sporting goods web page, link them to your Golf Clubs page and not your general home page or even worse, some other page.   

Conversion tracking

Monitoring the performance of your account is important.  You should use Google Analytics, which is part of AdWords, to track conversions and ROI for your ad campaign.  It will help you understand where sales or leads are coming from to help you manage your campaigns based upon results.  You can also set up ad campaign tracking for other ads you are running.  Track conversions from an email campaign in Constant Contact or compare you Google AdWords campaign to Yahoo! Search Marketing.  Understanding the performance of each will help you maximize your ROI.

Using Reports

Monitor the performance of your campaign using Google AdWords reports to help you make better decisions based upon results.  Their reports l help to visually display detailed statistics on your clicks to show where the ad’s are performing well and areas which can be improved upon or should be dropped. Examples of improving the accounts performance are by monitoring conversion rates, cost per conversions, CPC’s and CTR’s of both keywords and ad variations, ensuring the CPC is being achieved at the lowest possible value while still attaining the desired amount of traffic and most importantly making sure the account is cost-effective.

Website Analysis Tracking 

Once your campaigns are up and running you'll need to monitor your website traffic. If you use Google AdWords, you should use Google Analytics, it's excellent for it’s AdWords integration.  You can see website stats to see where your traffic is coming from, geographic location, search engine, search term and the most popular links clicked on your webpages.

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