Google Ad Words – A beginners guide

Search Engine Optimisation is the buzzword around at the moment. It is the art of getting a website to appear higher up in the “natural” results pages of Search engines like “Google”. Although I highly recommended SEO for any business wanting to push online sales or increase website visibility it does have a few limitations:

Time frame:
Due to the nature of how search engines operate and the vast size of the Internet it may take several months before you “see the fruits of your labour” with SEO.

SEO is a very specialised field and this is reflected in the cost of hiring a professional seo company.

Black Hat techniques:
There are still many people selling SEO services that use “black hat” techniques in order to gain high rankings in the search engines. By “black hat” techniques I mean unethical techniques that cheat the search engines, for example “cloaking” or “doorway” pages. These techniques may cause a temporary rise in rankings for a website but you run the risk of being banned by the search engines.

It is very difficult to optimise a website for many keywords. You may be able to rank top for some of your keywords but if you sell thousands of individual products then that is only a small fraction of your market.

Another option available to businesses wishing to promote their website on Google is to use their Pay Per Click Advertising programme- Google Ad words.
Google Ad Words allows a website to instantly appear on the first pages of Google for any keywords related to your product or service.

Your listing appears on the right hand side of the “natural” results as a “sponsored link”. The beauty of this advertising method is that it is highly targeted. What I mean by this is that your website is put in front of people who are as far into the buying cycle as possible, they are searching to buy a particular product or service. Compare this to more traditional advertising like listings in the press. Lets say you place an advert in a local newspaper on page Twelve. The newspaper has 100 000 readers weekly. So 90 000 read page twelve. 20 000 readers noticed your ad and of those readers 500 chose to remember your company name for future reference. Of these 500 readers 50 actually think of you next time they require your product or service. So from 100 000 readers you have gained 50 new customers. Now with Google Ad Words your advert only appears when someone types in a keyword related to your product or service. Its like everybody reading the newspaper seeing your advert plus you only pay when they visit your website.

There is no minimum budget for Google Ad Words. If you wanted to spend one pound a day then that’s fine. You bid on your keywords and set the price you are willing to pay for each visitor to your website. Average price per click is approximately £0.05 to £1.00 but it completely depends on the competitiveness of the market.

Where you are positioned in the “sponsored links” depends on two things- your bid price for your keywords and your click through rate (the number of times your listing has been shown divided by the number of times your advert is clicked.) The higher the click through rate the more “relevant” Google deems your advert and you are rewarded with being higher up in the listings.

Google Ad Words is used by millions of people every day promoting their websites and increasing traffic and sales. It is relatively straightforward to set up and operate so what are you waiting for……