Are you a Google AdWords virgin? And what the heck is remarketing?

Editor’s note: This is a guest blog post by Ian Christie of IC Works who we work with to produce engaging and accessible content for a diverse audience. Share your views on this post in the comments below.

Have you ever wondered how all those ads appear on the first few pages of a Google search?

You may have seen those £75 FREE Google AdWords adverts splashed all over the inter web. But have you ever taken the plunge and tried setting up your own campaign?

I did. Several years ago for the Easy Read document production service I provide. Initially I sought advice from a ‘Google AdWords expert’ (not someone who works for Google) and the advice went something like: “Easy Read? Interesting…”.

Needless to say I cracked on with setting up my own Google AdWords account. On first glance the rows and columns looked slightly daunting, but over time it dawned on me that the basics were relatively easy to master.

And sure enough within a week or two the Google AdWords campaign I set up resulted in my first Easy Read commission via my website.

I’d equate learning Google AdWords to learning a new social media channel. At first the language and logic seems unfamiliar and slightly strange, like ‘hashtag’ did when I was a Twitter newbie, but over time it becomes part of your daily vocabulary, just like ‘hashtag’ has!

Now I’d put myself in the competent user category and broadly speaking the key to a successful Google Adwords campaign is:

  • advert(s) with a clear message or description of your product/service and a call-to-action (like ‘Call us today’ or ‘Find out more’, you know the sort of thing)
  • applying the right keywords - the words and phrases that web users would typically search for if they were looking for your product or service on Google
  • managing the negative keywords - those are words and phrases web users have entered into Google, seen your advert and clicked on it; but the phrase they’d used (which AdWords lists) suggests they’re looking for something completely different e.g. I had to add ‘rap’ as a negative keyword for a campaign about HR talent management…
  • creating a landing page that aligns to your promotion or offering, as linking an advert to your homepage could easily result in nearly 100% bounces (a visitor who spends a second or two on your website); you need to guide users to your offer and make it super easy for them to get in touch, with a straight forward online form and minimal fields
  • trying out different wording for your ads if you’re not getting many click-throughs or the wrong type of click-throughs (see negative keywords)
  • a healthy number of click-throughs that are ‘converting’ i.e. users are completing your online form (depending on your campaign and your offering this could be anything from a few a week to hundreds)

Using Google Analytics can help you to measure success and all sorts of other metrics, but that’s a whole other post…

You may need to be patient before you get any prospects from your campaign, though obviously you need to keep an eye on your budget which can start at just a few pounds a day. And you could run it 7 days a week, 24 hours a day or just a few hours a day. It really doesn’t have to break the bank.

The cost of a click-through depends on the popularity of the keyword so it could be as low as 60/70p or could be several pounds.

It’s probably worth chatting to one of the nice Google advisors (and they are generally nice!) who are based in Dublin if you aren’t sure about budgets or the intricacies of AdWords. All you need is your Customer ID and email address once you’ve set up an account.

Remarketing

This is a newish addition to the Google AdWords services, which enables you to display your text and visual ads on many other websites, including Youtube, after someone has visited your site.

A remarketing ad works in a similar fashion to the traditional top-of-Google ads as they describe your offering and link to your landing page, but with the added ability to use designed adverts that can pack more visual punch.

If you’re considering this kind of advertising you should bear in mind that the ads are triggered by 100 visits to your website (after adding some Google-generated code to your site). So a remarketing campaign could be run in parallel to a traditional AdWord campaign or solo if your website traffic is healthy.

The great thing with remarketing ads is that they are seen by people who have already visited your site so there’s a good chance their interest has already been piqued. The ads provide a gentle reminder and a one-click opportunity to return to your online shop or landing page and provide their contact details or make a purchase this time around.

And… as these ads are less popular compared to traditional top-of-Google ads, the cost of a click-through from a remarketing ad can be significantly less than a keyword-driven campaign.

Find out more

Hopefully this article gives you a flavour of how Google Adwords could assist your business. There is a lot of useful text and video-based info provided by Google. Here’s their step-by-step guide.