Added by on 2014-03-28


Updated: January 2013

Driving traffic to your website

It can take lots of time, money and resources to optimize your website to rank highly against keywords. There may be literally thousands of keywords you might want to show up for.  While that may take years of work and a lot of money to achieve organically, with google adwords you can instantly get your ads displayed for relatively small prices. Also, you can begin to understand which keywords you actually want to invest in on the organic side. Test them out on google adwords and find out which ones provide best conversions and achieve a high ROI.  Once you have established your Google adwords, then you can invest time and money into SEO.



Step One Understanding the Basics – Quick Facts

What are the key benefits of Google Adwords?

The greatest benefits that online advertising with google adwords brings us are the three things which it really excels in;

  1. It’s highly targeted – we can target a defined audience like never before, while also targeting our audience based on what devices they are using, what words they search for, language they speak, sites they visit or even what city block they are standing in.
  2. Extremely Measurable – measure the impact of our advertising campaigns in near real-time. Can break down an advertisements success to granular level.
  3. Active – the audience is actively seeking out the products and services that you as an advertiser have to offer.

What are the pricing models on Google adwords?

CPM – Cost per (milia) 1000 impressions. The advertiser is charged every 1000 times your ads are shown. This model is used for branding, where high visibility is valued. An example would be McDonald’s, who just want to plant the seed in consumers mind for when they feel hungry next.

CPC – Cost per click.  The advertiser is charged every time someone actively clicks on the ad. This model is used when the advertiser wants a user to actively engaged with the ad and become a customer or lead.


What is the value of adwords?

Adwords provides value with its massive reach and precise targeting. Value is enhanced with the ability to perform almost limitless measurability so you can understand what ROI you are achieving.

Google itself reaches 86% of all online users worldwide.


What are the supported ad types?

Rich media, text ads, image ads, video ads.

Text ads are generally specific, and target the sale of a product or service generated from a specific key search.

Image and rich media ads are designed to capture the attention of someone as they are browsing the web. The ad may not be what they were specifically looking for.

Terms and definitions when using Google adwods

Keywords – A keyword is what user’s type in to good as a search term. These are what you target to trigger your ad to be displayed.

Campaign – top level of the ad hierarchy. Consists of one or more ad groups.

Ad Groups – Groups of adwords or placements. Contains the ads themselves.

Impression – occurs when an ad is displayed.

Click – occurs when a user clicks on your ad and is directed to your web page.

Click through rate – number of times the ad is displayed divided by the amount of times it is clicked

Bid – advertisers bid on keywords. This is the amount of money you are willing to pay to display your advertisement. The higher the competition to advertise based on a particular keyword, the more you will have to pay.

Quality score – the foundation of determining the quality of your ads. Is made up of different factors such as click through rate, relevance of ad text, historical account performance etc. Allows your ad to show up above your competitors at a lower price.

Average position- Where your ad is placed on the Google search engine results page. Positions 1-3 are above the results, 4-8 are off to the right hand side of the results.

Ad rank – determines where your ad will be positioned. This is calculated by multiplying your maximum cost per click by your quality score.

Optimisation – tweaking your ads with regular upkeep.

Conversions – an action you want your user to complete on your website.

Networks – where your ads will show up. Search network are and google partners. Display network are sites that allow google ads to be placed in them. Ads are placed in sites that contain relevant content to the search terms.

Organic search results – web sites Google believes is most relevant to the users keyword search. You cannot buy these placements.


Step 2 – Start up your Adwords Campaigns

Organising Campaigns and ad groups

There is no hard and fast rule about organizing your campaigns as it really depends on your specific products and/or services and who you wish to target. It is worth taking time to work out how best to organize. You may base campaign structure around; Product type, brand or product name, website (if you have several), seasonal time periods for your products and/or services, geographic locations, general themes or functions (ie Masterplan – may target marketing plan, sales plan, and business plan in different campaign or group)

Targeting your new campaigns

  • Targeting by Location and language (set at campaign level > Settings tab > Locations and Languages > edit). You can target by selecting from a continent level, country level, city level, and even drawing a selected area on a google map.
  • Targeting different networks and devices (set at campaign level > settings tab > networks and devices).  Networks include Google search, search partners, and the google display network (GDN). Devices include desktop/laptops, mobile devices. You can target specific operating systems, and mobile carriers.
  • Bidding Options and Setting a Budget (set at campaign level > settings tab > bidding option). You can chose to focus on clicks or conversions.
  • Delivery method (set at campaign level > settings tab > bidding option) – your budget begins at midnight, and ends 11:59pm. Standard option is most popular, as google adwords spreads your budget evenly throughout the day. You can chose accelerated as an alternative. In this setting, adwords displays your ads without throttle restriction.
  • Ad extensions (set at campaign level > ad extensions tab) used if you want to attached your business location to your adwords
  •  Product Extensions (set at campaign level > ad extensions tab > view ‘product extensions’. This connects your merchant centre account with your adwords campaign. By doing this you may have an extension displayed showing images of your products.
  • Site links extensions (set at campaign level > ad extensions tab > view ‘sitelinks extensions’) Will display hyperlinks to specific pages on your website. Makes your ad stand out, as well as appeal to a broader range of users.
  • Phone extensions (set at campaign level > ad extensions tab > view ‘phone extensions’. Adds your phone number for people to call directly from a mobile device. You can click a call-only format, meaning users can not click into your site, but just call your number.
  • Setting dates and scheduling ads (set at campaign level > settings tab > bidding and budget) You may notice that your ads perform better in certain periods of the day, or certain weeks/months of the year. You can add up to 6 separate time periods for each campaign. You can also set end and start dates for your campaigns. As an alternative, you can adjust your bidding during certain time blocks, changing them from being conservative (say 30%) or aggressive (say 500%).
  • Demographic Bidding (set at campaign level > settings tab)  Lets you adjust your target demographics with the aim to appeal to your target market. Can target toward gender and age. Within these segments, you can adjust your demographic bidding.
  • Default max


Use dynamic keyword insertion to enhance your ads

Speak the language of your customer when choosing keywords. This could even include misspelled keywords! As an example, the airline industry talk about low fares (search volume of 6,000) but customers talk about cheap flights (1500000). Be aware that the internal jargon just is not the terms your customers are using.

There is a place for speaking the jargon in your keywords. If you are a B2B business, you may wish to use industry terminology so to target this market. In this case, using mass market terms may only attract those researching information. Eg Garbarge collection will attract uneducated market who want to find out dates for collection or statistics. Waste management will attract corporations wishing to contract your company.

The three core measurable to look at when evaluating keywords are:

–          Frequency

–          Relevance

–          Competition/cost. Be smart here ie instead of buy a dozen roses, keyword buy a dozen red roses.

Types of keywords

Broadmatch –reaches more searches as it does not require an exact match. This can be a problem depending on your objectives ie business planning software could show up on a search of free business planning software or business software. By adding a + (eg +business planning software) will mean the ad can only be displayed if the words are in the search eg business software will not be displayed (no planning)

Phrase match – by putting “” around the keywords, Means the order of keywords have to remain in tact. Ensues our exact phrase is used in the search.

Exact match – by putting square brackets around the keyword []. This means the only way our ad will show is if the user searches the exact phrase in the brackets – including spelling and spacng.

Negative Keywords

Rather than telling google the keywords we want our ads to show up for, now we can tell google what keywords or cases where we don’t want our ads showing. Can be set at a group, campaign, or account level. Including negative keywords help filter out unwanted traffic into your website. You don’t want to waste your advertising dollars having users click on your ad looking for something that you can’t offer them. As an example, if the Hilton hotel in Paris want to run a campaign, they have a little problem called Paris Hilton the socialite. They would need to use negative keywords such as celebrity, gossip, perfume, party.

Broaden your reach to bring in more valuable traffic

-add product names, brand names, pr model number keywords.

– use singular or plural forms

-misspellings (eg pixxa ie pizza gets searched 7000 times per month)

-Variations and synonyms.


Step 3 – Analyase and Optimise Mature Campaign

Rules of thumb when writing great text ads

  • Display URL, use capitalization after the slash eg Note, you are not allowed to use capitals before the slash.
  • Be clear and specific. Direct users to specific product/services pages. This must be reflected in your ad.
  • spell out what separates you from the competitors, what makes you unique?
  • Add in pricing. This will mean users clicking on your add will not be scared away when seeing your pricing.
  • Add in directives to boost click through rates and conversions. Eg “browse”, “download” “shop online now for the best deals”
  • Work one well performing keyword into your add, preferably into the heading. Google will bold this keyword in the search results, and will help draw the user to your ad. Repeating back to the user the same words they used in their search will go along way at connecting with the user.


Benchmarking the success of ads against one another

In google adwords you can run a split test to determine which ad performs better using common keywords. To run a split test, create multiple adwords. Then go to settings (campaign level), Advanced settings, Ad delivery, ad rotation, frequency capping, rotate.

You will need to let the ads run for at least a month to gain accurate statistics about the success of your ads.  Use the tool at to help analyse the statistics. It may be that one is better than the other. If they are, shut down the poor performing ad, and create a new one. Run the split test to again to continually improve your ad.

Understanding bidding in adwords

Google calculates an ads ‘ad rank’. This is the max bid x quality score (which is to a degree the CTR). This means you can have your ad placed in a higher position without the highest max bid.

Understanding the quality score:

About 60% CTR, 20% relevance, and the other 20% is to do with the landing page – its relevancy to the ad, and the experience the user may have. Ie loading speed of page, clear menus. Quality score is related to keyword. With image ads, quality score is determined by ctr and the quality of the landing page.

Addressing quality score and possible issues:

To identify your low quality score keywords, ensure you have the ‘quality score’ column visble. To gain an understanding of why an ad has a poor quality score, click the little bubble next to the keyword.

Improving quality score:

Note – quality score does not necessarily improve in seconds, be patient.

Factors that affect QS are

-too few adgroups

-too many keywords per adgroup

– ads to generic

– Relevance – proper keyword research with specific details.

Landing page

relevant and original pages are important.

Relevant –  Make your text on the page relevant to the ad and keywords

Original – Google have ways of determining whether your data is original or whether it has been taken from other pages on the web. If there is a question about its originality, it will affect your QS.

Navigation – Navigation is important to google. ‘Squeeze pages’, pages which only offer links to buy products, suffer in google score. Site map is important.

Load time – quick loading pages offer better a better quality score.

Pop-ups – google hates them, don’t have them.

Transparency – Privacy pages, and terms and conditions pages help your website score well on google.

Remarketing with audiences

Conversions are code you can put on your website that indicates a user has completed a target action. But what about those users that are your target market but did not convert? You can create an audience for remarking on your campaigns. An audience is a user that google can track for a defined period of time:

1 – Go to Audience tab > add audience > click link create and manage lists > new audience drop down > select new audience list

2 – Name your audience list, membership duration

3- Create a tag which defines the remarking action you desire ie clicked into shopping cart, but did not convert. This data will need to be coded into your website.

4 – Create a new campaign which is specific to your remarketing – ie Sale now one, get 10% off! Be careful not to alert a user to the fact they are being tracked.

5 – Assign the audience to your campaign.


You can also create a custom combination. Her you can create a combination of events that a user has completed. Ie – visited masterplan page (tag) and put in shopping cart (second tag).

Understanding Conversion Types

A conversion is the goal you have set to achieve from a click. A conversion can range from an actual sale, through to other things such as lead generation, newsletter subscriptions, or inbound phone calls. Your conversion will be decided based on your goals ie why am I using google ads – what is my main objective? A conversion is a page on your website – ie ‘thank you for your purchase’ page.

This purchase page is a result of code you place on your conversion page that sends the conversion data to the adwords system. To do this, follow the steps:

1 Reporting and tools tab > click on conversions > new conversion button.

2 Name your conversion and allocate is purpose.

3 Input code settings

4 save and get code.

5 Copy the code into your designated conversion code page, put it into the body.

Filter analysis and reporting

You can filter certain information to determine what campaigns or ads or keywords are performing well or poorly. These filters can be saved, and reports created from them. It is a good idea to schedule a report so you can analyse your campaigns regularly.

Landing Pages

It is important your landing page is relevant and high quality. The landing page should convince the user to perform whatever action you want them to do. Like cooking a 5 star meal and serving it on the floor of the bathroom. Make sure your landing page has the keywords you include on the adwords campaign.

Landing pages affect your quality score. You need relevance, originality, transparency, and navigability. Remember the quality score will lower your bidding prices.

You can test your landing pages with the website optimizer. You can run tests to show different variations of your page, similar to a split test, can help you optimize the success of your website at making the conversion. Run A/B tests and multivariate tests to play a continual game of king of the mountain.


Negative keywords

Chose which columns to have added into your data area.

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