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The Word on Google AdWords

Google Adwords

What is rarer than a holographic Charizard in 1999? A marketing medium that reaches users as they are searching for your widget, offers a completely flexible budget, and has the ability to tweak on the fly. As usual, Google has hooked you up. Google’s AdWords intelligence targets consumers who are most likely to click your ad, like what they see, and become valued customers. First timers beware: the AdWords interface can be somewhat stupefying. Take a look at our quick-start guide to ease yourself in!

Ad Auction

You may find it hard to believe, but not only does Google scour the web to feed you with relevant web content every time you click “Search,” but they also run a full ad auction to serve you with relevant advertisements at the same time. Each time Google receives a search query, the AdWords system, a.k.a. ad auction, searches for ads that match that keyword, predict which ads are most relevant, and then serves those results alongside the organic search results. Relevant ads improve user experience AND give advertisers more clicks to the products and services they want to promote. Win-win!

Search Network

When you choose to advertise using Google AdWords, you’re not just reaching web searchers who are using Google. Thanks to the Google Search Network, your ads can also show up on their myriad of partner websites. With some big-time names like AOL among the long list of search partners, the Search Network gives you a ton of bang for just a little advertising buck.

Display Network

The Search Network is all fine and good, but what if you fancy a more visual ad? While generally better suited for more experienced AdWords users, advertising on the Display Network allows your ads to be shown on a huge array of websites and blogs that partner with Google to show ads. While these ads generally get fewer clicks than Search Network ads, they are ideal for building brand awareness with relevant audiences. Don’t forget, it takes a minimum of 8-9 touches before consumers start to build trust.

Bidding and Budget

How much is a click to your website worth to you? A nickel? Fifty cents? A couple bucks? The AdWords system allows you to make the call. Marketers can choose to either dictate their price per click or use automatic bidding; the latter is often recommended for first time users. As with any auction, the higher your bid the better chance that your ad will be placed higher. However, it’s not just that easy. Ad relevancy is taken into consideration along with how well your ads have performed in the past, but more on that below. Bids and budgets can be changed on the fly, so it’s best to start slow and gradually ramp up your spending once you feel yourself getting more comfortable with the AdWords interface.

Quality Score

As I mentioned above, ads viewed as high quality and high performing are given preferential treatment. To quantify this, every ad you create using AdWords is given a continuously updated Quality Score that tracks the relevancy of your ad, keywords, and landing page. Preferred ads are shown more often, and as a bonus, generally spend much less per click. For example, your bid could be set at twenty cents per click and your ads could have great copy, relevant keywords, and a landing page that takes your clickers directly where they want to go. At the same time, a competitor could have a much higher bid of fifty cents, but their ads aren’t descriptive, they have painfully general keywords, and their landing page takes users to a totally irrelevant spot. Despite your much lower bid, you could easily get higher placement than your competition due to the relevance of your ads, and therefore, a much higher Quality Score.

While AdWords can be a bit daunting at first, don’t be scared to get in, look around, and see how Pay-Per-Click style ads can help you achieve your digital marketing goals! With no minimum spending limits and crazy detailed analytics and data, AdWords can quickly become a digital advertiser’s best friend.