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Hook new students with Google AdWordsHook new students with Google AdWords

When people make a search with a browser, chances are they use either a Google- or Bing-powered search engine. Each offers advertising opportunities, but Google has far more reach. AdWords is Google’s robust online business advertising medium. Google offers plenty of helpful online resources for advertisers unsure of how to get started with AdWords. The basic set up is fairly simple, but the amount and depth of targeting is spectacular.

Terms to know

  • Cost per Click/Pay per Click (CPC/PPC): Just as it sounds, the advertiser pays each time a visitor “clicks” on their ad.
  • Cost per Impression (CPM): The advertiser pays each time the ad is “displayed,” whether or not a visitor clicks.
  • Keywords or phrases: People search using keywords or phrases; AdWords uses these keywords to find relevant sites on the Google network. The advertiser’s keywords need to be related to content on the landing Web page.
  • Search Network and Search Partners: Google’s sites and other websites that partner with Google to display ads.

Getting started

To use AdWords, first set up a business account with Google. This provides Google with a direct method of payment (credit card or checking account). Once a business account is established, the advertiser signs in to their AdWords home page and creates one or more campaigns. A campaign is simply an internal organizational heading that helps identify the type of ads you’re running. For example,“New Customers” may be a campaign heading for advertisements that target “Discovery Flight Specials.”

Choice, targeting, and advertising delivery

Within each campaign advertisers can create as many different ads as they like, choose budgets, select keywords or phrases, and make other distribution decisions, such as selecting whether or not to run ads with Google’s Search Network Partners (websites that carry display ads), and where to exclude ads (inappropriate content, sexually explicit adult content, gambling, etc.,). Advertisers also can select geographic locations, and even choose which devices they want their ads delivered to (mobile or computer).

Campaigns, ads, and individual keywords can be paused and restarted anytime.

Advertising costs

Google sets no minimum cost for advertising. Instead advertisers set a budget cap and the maximum cost-per-click or per impression. Let’s say you set a $152 monthly budget, which amounts to about $5 per day. While the daily amount spent could exceed the $5 budgeted amount by 20 percent, advertisers will not be charged more than their maximum monthly budget. Advertisers can also increase what they are willing to pay (bid more) for individual keywords or phrases. Google provides an “automatic” bid selection tool. With this autopilot-like function Google will attempt to automatically adjust an advertiser’s CPC bids to receive the most possible clicks while staying within the maximum budget.

Ad placement and ranking

Ads appear above, alongside, or below search results. Text and display ads also can appear on Google’s search network including Google Shopping, Google Maps, Google Images, and Google Groups, or on search partner websites. Google’s ad ranking and bidding metrics control how often and how far down the search page results an ad appears. But there is more to ad placements than just how much advertisers are willing to pay. Where and when an ad actually shows up (if at all) depends on both the amount bid and its Quality Score. Google assigns a “Quality Score” to advertisements. The score is measured on how relevant the ad’s keywords are to its landing Web page. A better Quality Score than your competitor could lead to a higher page placement, even if the competitor’s bid is higher.

Some dos and don’ts for AdWords

  • Do take time to thoroughly view Google’s extensive AdWords help sections.
  • Do concentrate on the keywords that you know your prospective customers are going to type into Google.
  • Do start small. You can increase your budget, your reach, and number of ads at any time.
  • Do monitor your account closely (daily or weekly).
  • Do track how many calls or inquiries you receive to determine your ad’s effectiveness.
  • Do have an attractive and relevant website. Whatever you assert in your ad should be included on the landing page your ad clicks to.
  • Don’t overlook geographic targeting. Only include locations you can service.
  • Don’t write generic ads. “Fly with ABC” may generate a lot of clicks, but if it’s too general, viewers may be clicking and visiting your site, only to bounce off as soon as they realize you don’t offer what they’re after.

Additional links: Google New Advertisers: Start Here

Google AdWords Online Marketing 201: Running a Campaign Course

Dorothy Schick is the owner of a successful flight school in Oregon.

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