Place Your Bid on Google AdWords

We’ve covered a lot of pretty cool Digital Marketing topics in the past few weeks, but today we’re going to talk about one of the most important tools for a marketer to use to increase awareness and drive traffic: Google AdWords.

While Google has gotten some criticism for essentially adorning themselves as King of the Internet, we really need to think of it as a good thing. I mean, they provide so many tools for Marketers both small and big to really take control over their marketing, sales, etc. We already know how amazing Google Analytics is, but what about Google AdWords?

For broad strokes purposes, lets say that Google AdWords is an advertising service

AdWords allows business to display ads on Google and Google’s Partner Sites (Google Display Network) by setting specific budgets that only charge when a user clicks on the ad. Most of these ads are focused on keywords. By that I mean, a business that sells something like Outdoor goods might want to set their AdWords account to place a bid on a keyword(s) like, Camping Gear. So company X has their AdWords placed on Camping Gear, right? Not only do you place your bid, but you can specify to Google your maximum cost-per-click, so you’re not spending more than you can afford if lets say, company Y decides to place a higher bid on your keyword you chose. Well, then you can go and alter the keywords you’ve chosen, or you can let it be and let the Google AdWords Algorithm do it’s job.

The AdWords Algorithm is pretty sweet. It actually gives your keyword a “Quality Score” ranked 1-10 which helps determine your ads Ad Rank, or where/what position your Ad will be showing up in the google search. It’s important to know exactly what your Quality Score consists of – so pay attention here:

  • Expected Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • Ad Relevance
  • Landing Page Experience

Remember, your Quality Score effects your Ad Rank, and it effects your Cost-Per-Click. So it’s important to make sure that you’re making relevant ads that take the user to a beautifully created landing page (we talked about those already, too). Does this mean that a higher bid can always lead to a higher ad position? No. Even if your competition has higher bids, you can still win a higher ad position at a lower price by using relevant keywords, ads, and ad extensions. Yes, bids. Like bids at an auction – which is essentially what you’re doing.

That’s all fine and dandy, but how do I go about choosing what kind of Ad Campaign I want?

Here’s what it gets kind of messy: Let’s learn about the two different types of Ad programs:

  • Search Network: Your ads can appear throughout sites on the Google Search Network. So these will typically be relevant text ads on search results pages. This is useful for advertisers who want to connect with customers right when they’re in the information search process of a product. Ya dig?
  • Display Network: Ads in the display network would show up on places like Youtube and Mobile apps, with content related to your targeting. These ads can be anything from text to video, and canbe useful to marketers who are trying to increases awareness.

And of course, you can choose to a run a campaign that uses both search network and display network, just to ensure that all your bases are covered.

How much is this going to cost me?

Think of AdWords as an auction. The more you bid, the more likely you are to be the winner. Or like a rewards system, the more you nail a keyword, the more traffic or conversions or whatever you’ll see. There’s a few different bidding strategies for you to choose from:

  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Bidding: Use if you want to drive customers to your website
  • Cost-Per-Impression (CPM) Bidding: Use if you want to make sure that customers see your message
  • Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) Bidding: Use if you want to maximize conversions on your website.

So it’s kind of like your company and other companies are all at some fancy Auction at some place like The Met bidding on keywords rather than lavish vacations. But maybe, just maybe, if you bid right and are able to harness the power of AdWords to drive sales, you too can some day be a fancy pants at the Met Auction.

Heres a little tidbit to help organize your life: You can group your keywords to stay more organized. So if you’re an eCommerce site, you might want to group your keywords by “Mens Fashion” then subcategories of “Tops” “Shoes” “Accessories” or something like that. It’s just to help you keep your life organized, and just another way Google tries to make all of our lives a little easier.

You’ve run a AdWords campaign and your budget is all used up, now what?

There’s plenty of ways you can review your results.

  • Data Segments:
    • Click type: which clicks resulted in visits to your website
    • Device: compare performances across different devices – computers, phones, blah blah
    • Top vs. Other: See where your Ad appeared on Google’s search result pages and partner pages.
    • Time: Isolate the changes in your performance using the time segment options. If you segment by day, you’ll be able to ID differences in performance and therefore make effective changes to your campaign. It’s all trial and error!
  • Dimensions Tab:
    • Time: Already talked about this
    • Geography: View results by user location
    • Landing page: The destination URL view lets you see what page your customers are going to on your website when they click your ads. This is where landing pages comes to play. The stronger the landing page, the more conversions.
  • Search Terms Report:
    • New Keywords, Negative Keywords, Match Types (Broad, Phrase, exact), Ad Text (what they searched for in terms to stumble upon your ads)
  • Top Movers Report: Lets you see which campaigns have the biggest changes in clicks, costs, and conversions, and shows you some possible causes for those changes. Just another way you can alter and play with your AdWords stuff and optmize it! Woo.
  • Paid & Organic Report: With the paid & organic report, you can see how often pages from your website are showing in Google search results. You can compare paid vs organic results, obviously as the title of the report says lols.
  • Auction Insights: Compare your performance with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions that you are. See what those skeevy little other bidders are up to.

Honestly, there’s a whole lot of AdWords stuff we could talk about but that would take forever. And Luckily, Google already came up with a VERY comprehensive guide right HERE. I would elaborate on more but The Bachelor starts soon and I need to shower so if you want to learn more, follow that link.

peace love & adwords,


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