Google has lots of great tools, when, if used properly can be a real asset to businesses and non-profits with a small advertising budget. Let’s take some time to focus on Google Adwords. Adwords are a great way to bring in business because it allows for highly targeted ad placement. However, it costs time and money so if you’re planning to set up an account for your business its important to make sure you use the program to its fullest extent.
Adwords, in short, is Google’s pay per click advertising service, this means businesses and other advertisers are only charged when their ad is clicked on. Advertisers bid for key words or phrases that are relevant to their business (a personal trainer might bid on the word “fitness” or the phrase “work out session”), the cost they end up paying for each word or phrase is determined by the bids of other advertisers. If an advertiser bids high enough, their ad will appear on Google’s search page every time somebody searches for one of the words or phrases they’ve bid on, when somebody clicks on the ad the advertiser is charged. The ads are minimally invasive and show up on the right hand side of the search page. Even if you’ve never clicked on one before you have undoubtedly noticed them.
What’s great about Adwords is not only the fact that you can target customers searching for topics relevant to your business, but you can further target the ads based on things like location of the person searching and the time they are searching. If you want people to see your ad during store hours you can make sure it only appears between 9 and 5. If you only want people with in a ten mile radius of your business, you can specify that too. However using Google Adwords in a way that benefits your business requires knowledge of how to use the system. For small businesses with a limited budget it’s important that you pay close attention to targeting your ad, wording your ads so they are most effective, and bidding on affordable words that will secure relevant placement.
Google offers the best tutorials on how to use their services. By going to the Adwords home page you can find fantastic tutorials including videos on how to use the service. Google also offers seminars for success that include Adwords 101. If they offer seminars in your area—sign up! I attended one on Google Analytics and it was a great experience.
In the past I used a website called Searchenginewatch.com. They have good write- ups on how to use Adwords, however they were written in 2008 and there have been significant changes to the service since then. They’re still useful, but I’d recommend what Google has to offer over these how-to’s.
Here are some interesting blogs/articles about the topic: