Are You Using Google AdWords for Pay Per Click Advertising?

Are You Using Google AdWords for Pay Per Click Advertising?
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I’ve written several articles in the past touting how effective PPC (pay-per-click) advertising can be. On the other hand, it can also be a huge money waster. As in anything, there’s a learning curve involved and it’s very easy to waste a lot of money quickly. The key is to approach it strategically. I recently wrote a series of three in-depth articles on PPC advertising for the LinkedIn “Business Knowledge Share — powered by American Express” group. (This is a member based LinkedIn group.)

The Basics of Google AdWords

This series starts with covering the basics of signing up for Google AdWords (including a tip on how to find a voucher worth up to $100 to get started). I explain creating an ad campaign, and choosing your “Networks and Devices” (including my advice on not accepting all of the defaults). In the basics, I’ve also included some helpful links on “Bidding and Budget” and linking your Google AdWords account with your Google Analytics account.

Creating Ads For A Google AdWords Campaign

In part 2 of my PPC series, I covered “Selecting Keywords” where I touch on the importance of keeping buyer intent in mind and also the value of including negative-keywords in your campaigns. I also touch on the fact that being the highest bidder no longer guarantees that your ad will appear in the number one position. (Google also considers click-through-rates (CTR).) Part 2 also briefly covers ad groups and how to create an ad (including the difference between a display URL and a destination URL).  I also briefly cover the importance of landing pages.

Using Google’s Conversion Tracking Tool for AdWords

Part 3 of my series, “Using Google’s Conversion Tracking Tool for AdWords”,,  is the most advanced in the series and holds useful information even for those of you who have been using AdWords for a while. In this article, I cover setting up the conversion tracking tool (in AdWords) to see how your ads are performing. (I include a link to a video by Google on tracking ROI using the conversion tool).

If you’re not already a member of the “Business Knowledge Share” group on LinkedIn, (I know many of you here already are), I highly encourage you to join us. There’s always new information on different aspects of running a small business. I’ve covered running PPC advertising without breaking the piggy bank before but I’ve never gone into this much detail on how to navigate Google’s AdWords system. (It can be a little overwhelming at first.) So, I’ve included plenty of links in my articles to some of Google’s resources. (There are many to choose from.) I believe you’ll find  new insight in the series that I shared with the business group on LinkedIn.

What are your thoughts? Do you use Google AdWords for your Internet advertising? Do you have experience using Google’s conversion tracking tool? As always, we’d love to hear from you.

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Author: Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

61 thoughts on “Are You Using Google AdWords for Pay Per Click Advertising?”

  1. Google AdWords is a great way to select our chosen audience and it allows us to define a list of words phrases that act as a trigger for the PPC ad.Once triggered, AdWords display the associated advertisement.It also offers advantages over other types of advertisements such as immediate visibility, accountability and budget flexibility.

  2. I have recently tried out Google’s tracking tool for AdWords and i have found it really amazing.I was thinking from long time to start pay per click advertising and after reading this post i am surely going for it.Thanks for sharing this informative article.

    1. Hi Jack,
      Thanks for letting me know that you found my article helpful. Google AdWords can be a very effective marketing tool. You have to start slowly because the learning curve can be steep. A lot of people don’t set a small daily budget until they have had a chance to hone their ads, keywords and bids. Good luck! I wish you lots of success with PPC advertising.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Time to Tweak Your Twitter StrategyMy Profile

  3. Hi Terry,
    Thanks for letting me know that you found my article about AdWords helpful. They can be effective and affordable but there is a learning curve to it. It’s very important to set a budget and monitor your spending. If you do decide to try it, I would strongly recommend that you check out the 2 posts that I wrote for the LinkedIn group. (The links are in this article.) I went into much more detail there.

  4. There are many benefits of using Google Adwords.The most important of all is that it allows you to spend whatever amount you want and we can run or test a campaign for $10 or less a day.Also once you create an account at Google, you can create your ads whenever you want.

    1. Hi Keith,
      That’s an excellent point about Google AdWords. Everyone should set low conservative spending limits when they’re first learning. There’s no reason not to and it can prevent your spending a lot of money very quickly without producing the results that you desire.

      Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this. I apologize for taking a mont to reply to you.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..5 Essential Apps for EntrepreneursMy Profile

  5. Google Adwords is the main advertising product of Google.We can use the Adwords control panel to enter keywords, domain names, topics and Google places the ads on relevant sites.We also have the option of enabling the ads on Google’s partner networks.There is also an account management software to help to deal with increasing complexity.

    1. Google Adwords is the most popular of the PPC advertising programs but Bing is worth looking into too. Bidding on keywords can be less expensive there. Of course, fewer people will see them but bottom line, it’s the conversions that we’re looking for and reaching the right audience with your ads is more important than total reach.

      Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.

  6. The benefits of using Google adwords is that it will help to drive traffic immediately to your website.We can keep a constant control of our marketing budget.Thanks for sharing this article and it wonderful reading.

    1. Hi Kevin,
      The key is to drive traffic that can be converted. I still remember one of my first attempts at AdWords. I was bidding on keywords that people were searching for when they were in the early research phase. Once I honed my keywords to target people who were ready to buy, I received less traffic but it was traffic that could be converted.

      Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Changes to Your Website Blog and Social Media StrategyMy Profile

  7. Google Adwords is a Google product that allows advertisers to target their audience.It allows its users to define a list of words and phrases that act as a trigger.Hence once this is triggered it will display the associated advertisements.Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

  8. Google AdWords is a great thing to use for Pay Per Click Advertising and it can be quite helpful for that purpose.But at the same time it can also be a money waster as this article rightly explains.I think it has to be approved with a well set of plan to turn it into a profit.Thanks for detailing some of the vital points to succeed with this approach.

  9. Nice tips.Adwords are a great way to increase sales and at the same time traffic as this article outlines.The points that have been discussed in this article have to be followed otherwise it would merely be a waste of money.Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

  10. Thanks for sharing this post and it was quite interesting reading it.Adwords are agreat way to increse sales and in turn helps to increase traffic to your website.Thanks for sharing such detailed article to increase sales using the Adwords.

  11. I love to use but very soon I will start using, the best thing about Adwords is time, its results are immediate. Typically, within hours of starting your Google AdWords campaign, you can expect to see increased traffic to your site. The sooner people can find you, the sooner you will see positive results in your sales pipeline.

  12. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for letting me know that you liked my article. I sometimes am concerned when I suggest PPC advertising because some people have real horror stories about losing money quickly. People have to understand that there’s a learning curve and approach it with caution. When executed correctly there can be a really good ROI, especially if you’re in a niche that hasn’t been overrun yet. I’ll check out your post. I think there needs to be more awareness built around AdWords and other PPC advertising opportunities.
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Change a WordPress Theme and Keep your SEO Meta Tag DataMy Profile

    1. Hi Randy!
      Thanks for dropping by, your kind words and your insight about how difficult it’s becoming to generate organic traffic. Sometimes I think that AdWords is not for the weak of heart but they definitely can work. You just have to be careful because it is very easy to spend more than you expect if you don’t set stringent limits.

      When I tried Facebook PPC, I drove a lot of traffic and had zero conversions. I wasn’t really able to target a specific demographic though. I believe that if my niche market could be defined using Facebooks parameters, the results would have been entirely different.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Change a WordPress Theme and Keep your SEO Meta Tag DataMy Profile

  13. Hi Sherryl,

    PPC is one of those things that I am way behind everybody else. I did try it when I got into the whole CPA marketing game, but didn’t really give it much effort and obviously didn’t get any results.

    But, the way SEO is changing, I am having a second look at PPC in order to ramp up the traffic. Thanks.

    1. Hi Satrap,
      PPC can work well or it can go terribly wrong. The key is to go really slow and set a daily budget that you can afford to lose. Someone left a comment on the LinkedIn thread sharing a bad experience that he had. He spent $800 without any conversions. That’s why it’s so important to go slowly and track everything. My top 3 tips are to set a low daily budget, turn off the Google “display network and don’t forget to use negative keywords. One thing that I did when I started learning was to pause my campaign anytime I felt that I wasn’t on top of what was going on.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Change a WordPress Theme and Keep your SEO Meta Tag DataMy Profile

      1. I am a beginner and haven’t tried PPC yet. It does seem intimidating but seeing the complexity, I postponed it for future. But seeing your advice, I guess I should start it slow and then progress as I learn more. Hoping to get more tips from you on this. 🙂

        1. Good luck when you try PPC Vicky. You really have to stay on top of it. I recommend approaching it cautiously and expecting a learning curve. So, try it when you have the time to monitor it closely and make sure you have set low budget limits. Otherwise, you can spend a lot of money quickly. I started with a $100 coupon and that helped.
          Sherryl Perry recently posted..Is Your Email Address Part of Your Brand?My Profile

  14. Thanks for the info.This is one of the aspects of my blogging business that has always been a bit problematic, specifically what to do with your visitors when they come.Bottom line is you’ve got to keep them and build your list, right? I think I’ve heard that somewhere before…

    1. Keep them, build your list and hopefully convert them to customers or clients. One of the most valuable lessons I learned when I started with PPC was the value of creating landing pages. It all starts with understanding who your potential client/customer is and then creating a page that meets their need and has a clear call to action. (Something that I need to work on myself. 🙂 )

      Thanks for joining the conversation.

  15. Oh dear. I had all but forgotten about your previous article on PPC. I wish I hadn’t. I recently used my $100 adwords voucher for a campaign and since I don’t have a PhD in deciphering all of their options, I used many of the default settings. I ended up going throught the $100 allottment within a couple of weeks and then racked up $70 in additional charges.

    Here’s the clincher. In my adwords settings I specifically signed up to receive “ALL” emails regarding my billing but never once received an email that my $100 allotment had been used orthat I would incur charges to my credit card. I called Google to dimplomatically verbalize my complaint. To my surprise they acknowledged that their wording was poor and that this was a common complaint. To my disappointment, they refused to do anything about it. Finally when I pushed harder, they gave me a credit to use for future ads.

    Another curious occurance was that I set up a $10.00 per day maximum billing. There were several days that Google exceeded this and many days that they came in below $10. They justified the average.

    Next time I’ll be sure to read your articles before I get started!!

    1. Keyuri,
      I’m sorry to hear of your experience with AdWords. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. That wasn’t my experience but it could be that they’ve made it more challenging to navigate their agreements. They are definitely looking out for their interests and not ours.

      One of the things that I take particular offense to is the fact that the default is to include your ads in Google’s “display” network. To me, that is the quickest way to deplete your budget. By accepting that default, you’re agreeing to have your ad appear in sites such as YouTube and Blogger. The chances of your ad being displayed to someone who is ready to become a client or customer is slim.

      Good for you for getting Google to give you a credit for future ads. Shoot me an email when you’re ready to try again. Sometimes, just having a second set of eyes to look at what you’re doing can be a help. You have such a unique niche, that I would think that you would be able to successfully run an ad campaign that wouldn’t break the bank.

  16. This strategy has no doubt given a chance to small business to come in top. As big bucks are no longer a necessity for coming in top ranks. with all the big players present in the market, the small businesses had no chance to even come within the reach of top but fortunately these changes will turn the tide and bring some good times for the genuine and qualitative businesses.

  17. Nice post Sheryl. I haven’t tried Google AdWords. I guess I must navigate on the tools first before deciding if I’d give it a shot. But your post will surely help a lot in my decision.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      If you do try AdWords look for a coupon for new advertisers and set a very low daily budget. There’s a learning curve and it’s easy to not choose the right keywords (focus on buyer intent) and to forget to include negative keywords. By going slowly and seeing what’s happened to your ads, you can tweak your bidding, keywords and ad copy and try again. Try tweaking one thing at a time (unless it’s obvious what didn’t work) and track everything! Good luck. I wish you well.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are Buyers or Window Shoppers Clicking on Your Pay-Per-Click Ads?My Profile

  18. So now it takes more than big bucks to get on the first page of Google, which is good news for us smaller businesses. You mentioned click-through rates matter – what are someways to improve those?

  19. Hi Sherryl,
    I suspect Google AdWords, like Google AdSense for monetizing content, will continue to be something many business owners and entrepreneurs remain divided over. Success with these tools and services depends very much upon how you use them, and, I suspect, upon whether your business model and customer base are appropriate. Thanks for the overview.
    Heather Stone recently posted..Features of a Trustworthy WebsiteMy Profile

      1. After reading this article I can only assume you are an expert on the subject of PPC advertising with Adwords. Maybe you can help me solve an old dilemma: Is it better to use a coupon (to save some money) or just start with your own money?

        Often times I get asked this by friends. Personally I used Adwords a long time ago. Although I am no expert on the subject I noticed that the friends that used coupon codes often times got less for their money. Could this be just a bad coincidence?
        Julius recently posted..New York City’s Central Park receives $100 million giftMy Profile

        1. Hi Julius,
          I wouldn’t really call myself an expert in AdWords. I have experience using it and I’ve researched it recently for an article that I was writing but Google AdWords is very complex.

          As for coupons, I see no reason to not use them. You can only use a coupon when you open a new account. So, it’s a one-time opportunity. The way I look at it is that the odds are very high that your first ads are not going to produce the results that you expect. So, why not start learning with a free budget?
          Sherryl Perry recently posted..What Google Authorship Means for SEOMy Profile

  20. Great information as always Sherryl. A few years ago I used adwords for software we were selling. It was quite successful but it did take time to work out the best way to get quality click throughs leading to sales. One thing I found if you have a trial as part of your lead generation it can be of benefit. Like you I don’t think I would run a PPC for my service business.
    Susan Oakes recently posted..2 Simple Considerations For Social Media EffectivenessMy Profile

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks for the kind words. I completely agree with you about running a trial. That’s why I always caution people to pay close attention to what’s happening. It’s possible to completely delete your budget without making a dime.

  21. I have yet to take the leap into using Adwords. My question to you is this. Do you think this is something that would be helpful for my blog. If so what would you recommend I do to start something like this? 🙂

    1. Susan,
      I don’t see how you would benefit from running AdWords to drive traffic to your site. AdWords can be a good fit if you’re marketing a specific product or service. For example, if you were an affiliate for a product and were promoting that specific product, ideally, you would create a promotion and then build a website/landing page that fit that promotion. You would then create/run the ad. I’m not even promoting that unless you managed to find an affiliate program that wasn’t already being heavily promoted. In the future, you may find yourself creating a product around your illustrations and then you may very well want to try PPC advertising. It wouldn’t have to be AdWords either. There are lots of options including Facebook (but that would be fodder for a whole other post).
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can You Run Pay-Per-Click Ads Without Breaking the Piggy Bank?My Profile

      1. I felt that was the case, but it doesn’t hurt to ask the question. I am currently working on a project of creating an eBook of my stories with illustrations. There are many ways to promote that that may not need Adwords either. Thanks for being there and providing me with much to think about. 🙂

  22. Hey Sherryl, thank you for the post!

    The truth is that there are niches that AdWords is a no-no or other niches that the cost of entry is HUGE. Eg. Hosting.

    If some client or our selves are in a “normal” niche, we really have to check out the waters and make a test campaign, tracking the results. Might be the one thing our company needed to become much more profitable.

    I’ve written a guide some time ago on how to lower your CPC on AdWords and thing it will help your readers. It’s located at:

    Thanks again,
    Angel recently posted..Ready to release your website? Think again!My Profile

    1. Thanks Angel. I agree that competition can be extremely tight making PPC ads not cost effective. Testing and tracking are key to running effective campaigns. You never know, you may be able to find a keyword phrase to bid on that doesn’t have as much competition and if you can create the right landing page, you may be able to ran an effective ad. In a highly competitive niche, it can be a lot of work.

      BTW – I read your guide and it’s a nice add for anyone interested in reading it. I removed the hyperlink because the part about the highest bid getting the highest placement is a little outdated. (You did say that you wrote it a while ago.) CTR (click-through-rates) are now taken into account.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are People Clicking on Your Pay-Per-Click Ads and Leaving?My Profile

      1. Thank you for the comment Sherryl. I am not saying that the highest bid solely gets the highest rating, what I said in the post was that i am bidding a lot on the initial phase of the campaign in order to get good ctr and then keep the good standing, making me able to lower the cost per click due to the good ctr from beeing first. Cheers!

  23. Hi Sherryl

    I haven’t done an aweful lot with adwords, just the odd things here and there and no doubt my lack of knowledge on the subject shows in the inconsistent results…the successes are probably more luck than judgement I suspect.

    I’ve just popped over and joined the group, and am looking forward to reading your series.

    1. Thanks so much Jackie. It will be great to see you over there. Google AdWords can be overwhelming and they’re even more complicated now than before. I haven’t run ads recently either. My personal experience comes from marketing a product that was packaged as a turn-key business solution. I made more than my share of mistakes including driving a lot of the wrong traffic to my site. I was paying Google for visits from people who were coming to my site to be educated. (Then, they were going elsewhere to purchase a cheaper solution.) If I only knew then what I know now! 🙂

  24. Sherryl — excellent information, as always. Years ago I started a Google ad campaign. I thought it would be a good learning experience and it might actually produce some results. Imagine my delight in finding my ad at the top of the ads. I called all my friends and by the time they looked my ad was gone! The competition is pretty fierce for commonly offered services like marketing and public relations. Your competition may be willing to outbid you for the top spot so you really need to understand what you’re doing and how much it might actually cost.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted..You’re Not the Only One Who Hates to Register for a WebsiteMy Profile

    1. Hi Jeannette,
      Thanks for the kind words. Things have changed quite a bit in the past few years with Google AdWords. Years ago, highest bid won top position. Now, Google takes into consideration CRT (click-through-rate).

      The competition is extremely fierce now but there are definitely opportunities. Personally, I don’t believe that I would ever run a PPC ad for services such as mine because they’re so dependent on relationship building. I have successfully run PPC ads when I’ve packaged a product with a service that made a unique offering (for another site not this one).

      Thanks for dropping by! It’s always great to see you here. I promise to pay your site a visit soon. 🙂

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