Get instant exposure on the most popular search engine with this exciting program.|
Most of us webmasters know how long it takes our site to be indexed by searchengines like google.
It can seem like an eternity between the time you submit your URL and the time you actually start seeing search engine traffic.
Sure, you can plunk down a few hundred dollars to submit your site to one of the major directories. You'll get listed fairly quickly - if you're accepted.
But what if you're just starting out? What if your shoestring budget is already starting to fray after purchasing a domain name, web hosting, web design, etc. and you just don't have several hundred dollars on hand - what then?
Believe it or not, there is a way to get your site in front of searchers inexpensively...and almost immediately!
No doubt you've heard of Google. Well, they have a neat little program called AdWords. Go to Google's home page and click on "Advertise with Us" at the bottom of the page.
AdWords allows you to buy advertising on Google's search results pages. Your ad will appear in one of the colored boxes lined up along the right edge of the page under "Sponsored Links". (NOTE: It's important to take note of the fact that your ad appears only on searches performed on Google's home page, not in results from Yahoo! or sites affiliated with Google.)
I operate a site that offers affordable newsletter advertising. Let's say I want everyone searching for "newsletter advertising" to see my listing. I open a Google AdWords account and design one or more ads describing my site/services and I select "newsletter advertising" as well as a few related keywords. once my account is active, searchers entering "newsletter advertising" will be shown my ad in addition to their search results. If I write an effective ad and choose my keywords wisely, I get targeted traffic to my site.
You're probably wondering how much all this costs, right?
You're charged on a CPM basis ($x per thousand impressions) which ranges from $8-15 CPM depending on the ad's position, which is determined by click-thru ratio. The more your ad is clicked, the higher it appears on the page, the more you pay (up to $15.00 CPM) for the increased visibility.
There are a few super advantages to the AdWords program.
First, your ad runs almost immediately after it's submitted. No long waits before you see your listing appear. Second, you can make changes to your ad as the campaign progresses, which allows you to tweak your ads and keyword selections to get the most for your money. And finally, there is no minimum deposit required to start an ad campaign, so even the smallest of businesses can get exposure quickly and affordably.
Like any pay-per-impression advertising, it's imperative to craft an effective ad and monitor your campaign's performance in order to get the most for your advertising dollar. Here are some suggestions:
Run multiple, targeted campaigns
AdWords allows you to run several campaigns simultaneously. Each campaign consists of one or more ads and each campaign targets one or more keywords/phrases.
For each product/service you offer, run a separate, targeted campaign.
If you have multiple ads and multiple keywords in one campaign, you cannot specify which ad will appear when a search is performed for a given keyword. BUT, if you run a separate campaign for each product/service, you can "link" certain ads to specific keywords, thus increasing the chances every ad will perform well.
Craft an effective ad
You have precious little space available - a 25 character headline and two 35 character text lines - so make every word count!
Obviously, I can't go into detailed instruction on writing an effective classified ad. A few guidelines to keep in mind, however, are:
- Capture the visitor's attention immediately. Your headline MUST be compelling.
- Emphasize BENEFITS, not features. What's in it for the visitor?
- Utilize a call to action; "click here" - ubiquitous, ugly, yet effective.
- If possible, include the keyword in the ad itself.
Choose action-oriented keywords
Oftentimes, you can gauge whether or not a searcher is interested in buying - or is merely browsing - by virtue of the search phrase.
Say searches are performed for these two terms:
buy baby shoes
Now, which of those terms is more likely to generate the most sales per click for Joe's Baby Shoes site?
As a general rule, #2.
The search phrase contains an action word - "buy" - this indicates that, more than likely, the searcher is in the frame of mind to make a purchase. Whereas, the phrase "baby shoes" could mean the searcher is ready to buy, but it could also indicate the person is simply looking for information on different types of shoes, etc.
In my experience, bidding on terms that contain action words as opposed to terms that don't produces better results.
Tweak as you go
One of the super features of AdWords is the ability to make adjustments to your campaign in a matter of minutes.
This comes in extremely handy because invariably you'll have at least one ad that just barks - no matter what you do, it simply doesn't get results. Instead of being forced to watch it slowly siphon funds from your account, you can cut it loose.
- Get specific. Avoid general/broad phrases.
- Target specific phrases as opposed to a single keyword.
- DON'T use the headline section for your company name (as a general rule). Granted, it is labeled "Company Name", but even Google's examples use that area for an actual headline as opposed to the company name.
Hope these suggestions help you make the most of your Google AdWords account!
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