Is there anything that takes longer than getting listed
in a major search engine?
Not if you’re a web site owner waiting for your site
to be indexed.
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
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
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
There are a few super advantages to the AdWords
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
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,
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
Tweak as you go
One of the super features of AdWords is the ability
to make adjustments to your campaign in a matter
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!