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What is AdWords?

Google AdWords

Google is the world's largest search engine and is the most widely used search engine on the Web. When people are looking for something online, 80% of them turn to Google. That's why Google's pay-per-click (PPC) advertising system, Google AdWords, is so important. People take notice of sponsored links; 1-5% of AdWords ads are clicked by interested visitors.

AdWords helps you get your website listed above or along the right side of the top search results for your industry. You can also have your ad appear as a sponsored link in sites with content that is relevant to your own.

This kind of advertising is the great equalizer of the Internet. Even if you can't afford branding strategies and expensive advertising your business can still compete online with the big names using PPC advertising. In AdWords, ranking isn't only determined by the amount you bid on a keyword, it's also based on how often your ad is clicked. So if you can write a great ad that gets lots of people to click, you can earn a higher rank.

The cost you pay per click can range between 5 cents and several hundred dollars, depending on the keywords you bid on. Generally, most people end up paying between 25 cents and $1.00 per click.

Your ad's rank determines where your ad is positioned on a search page. The higher your rank, the better position you'll receive – which means you'll get more clicks than the ads lower down. Your rank is determined by a combination of factors – the amount you bid on a keyword, the relevance of your ad, and the percentage of people who click on it.


What You'll Need

To set up an AdWords account, you'll need the following:

  • An Internet connection,
  • A web browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox),
  • An email address, and
  • A bank account or valid credit card.


Get an Account and Start a Campaign in 10 Easy Steps


Step 1 - Start the Process

Go to the AdWords homepage and click “Click to Begin.”

Sign Up Now for Google AdWords

Step 2 - Choose Your Language

In the next two screens, select your language and location targeting options, and click “Continue.”

Setting Up Google AdWords: Step 2

Setting Up Google AdWords: Step 2


Space for your Ads


Step 3 - Write Your Ad Text

Fill out the information you wish to display in your ad text and click “Continue.”

Setting Up Google AdWords: Step 3

Use your most important keywords in your ad.

There tends to be a higher click through rate (CTR) on ads that use the exact keyword or phrase the surfer enters in the search engine in the ad text itself. Also, the keywords that are entered into the search engine are automatically highlighted in the ads drawing more attention. Be sure to use at least one of your main keywords in your headline.
Step 4 - Select Keywords

Select keywords that will best target your ad to Google searchers and click “Continue.”

Setting Up Google AdWords: Step 4

Phrases vs. Single Keywords.

If you're a small business, single keywords will probably be too expensive for you to bid on or too generic to get targeted traffic. If your website is for a local piano store, the keyword “pianos” would generate the most hits, but that ad space would be the most expensive and will have untargeted visitors looking for piano lessons, music, pictures, etc. You could pay up as much as $5 or more per click!
Step 5 - Enter Daily Spending Limit

Select your billing currency – the currency you'll use to pay for your AdWords account. Now enter the amount willing to spend on this ad campaign each day.

Setting Up Google AdWords: Step 5


Trial Run.

Plan to use a specific amount of money to do a 2-4 week AdWords trial run. Anything between $100 and $1000 should be enough for a small business, depending on your budget. This will give you an idea of how many people will click on your ads, buy from you after clicking your ad, how high your ad rank is, cost per click, etc. to help determine your budget.

Even with only $100, you can still generate 500 clicks at 20 cents per click. This is often enough to give you an idea of how your ads will do. You may even make more than $100 back in return!

*Note: Once you've spent your daily budget, your ad will stop being displayed. Be sure your daily budget is high enough so you don't miss out on traffic.
Step 6 - Enter Maximum Cost Per Click

On the same page, enter the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click.

Setting Up Google AdWords: Step 6

Step 7 - Estimate Traffic

On the same page, click “ View Traffic Estimator” to view your average CPC and cost estimates then click “Continue.”

Setting Up Google AdWords: Step 7

Step 8 - Review

Review all your ad selections so far. Click “Edit” to make any changes. Click “Continue to Sign Up.”

Setting Up Google AdWords: Step 8

Step 9 - Sign Up

If you have a Google Account, enter your email account name and password in the fields provided and click“ Create My AdWords Account.” If not, click “Create a new Google Account to be your login to AdWords.”

Setting Up Google AdWords: Step 9

Step 10 - Activate Your Account

When you first log in to your account, you'll see a red message box at the top of the page. Click “ Billing Preferences .” Complete the account setup process and click “ Save and Activate .” If you're paying by credit card or debit card, this will complete the sign up process and your ads begin running on Google almost immediately. If you elect to prepay for your AdWords account, you'll have to submit your payment info and send your first payment before your ads will appear.


Beyond AdWords

AdWords isn't the only pay-per-click search engine advertising program out there. If you want to cover all your bases, you might also want to consider the Yahoo Search Marketing program. It works in a similar way as Google AdWords, except your ads appear in Yahoo's search engine and partner websites. Click here to find out more.

How Rank is Established.

Keyword-targeted ads are ranked on search results and Quality Score. The Quality Score is determined by the keyword's click-through rate (CTR), relevance of ad text and other secret relevancy factors.

Ad Rank = CPC X Quality Score

Having relevant keywords and ad text, a high CPC, and a strong CTR results in a higher position for your ad. Because this ranking system rewards well-targeted, relevant ads, you can't be locked out of the top position, as you would be in a ranking system based solely on price.