Thursday, May 29, 2008

How to get the best from Google Adwords

Many websites today utilise what has to be one of the most cost effective methods of advertising, Google Adwords. Adwords is simple to set up and gives the user complete control over everything, allowing them to change their keywords and adverts almost instantly and quickly and easily respond to visitor trends.

Sadly the area where many users fall down, is right at the start with the keywords, and this area can be tricky to understand. Many users of Adwords assume that simply adding every conceivable word that someone will search for, such as price or sale, will get the best response, but as any SEO specialist will tell you, this isn't the case. This just leads to visitors finding you by mistake, and of course you pay for every click to your website, mistake or not.

We offer a full Google Adwords Consultation service to optimise your campaign for you, but we've also placed some pointers below to help you get the best from Google Adwords.  

Be Specific

The best way to get potential customers to your website is through specific keywords. If you sell nodding dogs on your website, you may assume that your best keyword is dogs, but you really don't want to use dogs as a keyword. If you do your adverts will be shown to anyone searching for the word dogs, and if you your advert says something along the lines of 'Cute dogs, take one home today..' and doesn't make it clear what the product is, you'll get thousands of clicks from people looking for something completely different. Plenty of clicks and no sales means money down the drain.

The owner of the above site would be much better served with keywords such as nodding dogs or bobbing dogs.

For the same reasons avoid other generic terms like price, sale, or cheap, unless you use them to form part of a phrase, i.e. cheap nodding dogs 

Be Relevant

Google constantly monitors your adverts and marks your adverts down for irrelevance. If your adverts or keywords have been disabled it's because Google decided that they weren't relevant enough for you, i.e. not enough people were clicking on your adverts for that term.

Which means you may have to pay more for a keyword, and this can get expensive if it keeps happening, I have seen people paying £5 per click for some keywords!

Tempting as it may be to go for one of the most searched for terms, you should avoid this, remember it isn't about getting thousands of people to your website in the hope that one of them will buy, but rather getting people who are searching for the product you sell to your website to purchase it.

Having your adverts appear when someone searches for Nintendo Wii, might seem like a good idea as it is searched for 10,000 times a day, but Google will soon realise that your keywords are not relevant to your adverts and you'll either have your ad disabled, your keywords disabled or end up paying more and more to have Nintendo Wii as a keyword.

Narrow your keywords down to make them more relevant to the product that you are selling. Put yourself in the position of someone looking for your product and think carefully about the words that they would use to search for your product.

Using Brackets

Another way of focusing your keywords is to use some of the options available in the keywords tool within Adwords itself. For example for the site mentioned above it is probably not a good idea to have the keyword simply as nodding dog as that will trigger the adverts whether nodding is mentioned or dog. So someone searching for cheap dog food may see your ad and click it before realising their mistake.

A better option would be to have the keyword as "nodding dog" in quotes. This means that only that phrase will trigger your adverts, but it can have words before or after. For example nodding dog toy and brown nodding dog will trigger your adverts but brown dog will not.

Brackets around your keyword, e.g. [nodding dog] means that only that exact phrase with no other words will trigger your adverts. This is useful as you'll know that the people seeing your adverts are definitely looking for that term, however if they add any other words, such as nodding dog car toy, it won't trigger your adverts and they won't see your advert at all, so the brackets must be used wisely.

Another option is the minus sign (-), this can be used to denote a word that you do not want to trigger your adverts, known as a negative keyword. For example if your site sold nodding dogs of every colour but black you would add -black as a keyword, ensuring that your advert doesn't appear when someone searches for black nodding dog.

Use Many Adverts

It is also important to have quite a few adverts to try different things and see what works and what doesn't, you should check your account regularly and see what adverts are getting clicks and which ones are not and work out why, the same goes for keywords. If certain keywords aren't working out, stop paying for them.

Don't be afraid to experiment, if something doesn't work, you can always change it. 

The Landing Page

The landing page is often overlooked, it is vital that this page not only makes a good impression but that contains the product that the person was searching for.

Visitors make their minds up quickly, if they don't see the product that they were looking for, they'll hit their back button and be off to your competitors site.

Remember, the aim is not to get as many people to your website as possible but to get a good return on your investment. You may get thousands of people visiting your website, but if they weren't looking to purchase your product, they are unlikely to do so because you've a nice website.

Target your keywords, make them relevant, you'll get less hits but the people visiting will be the ones looking for your product and therefore far more likely to buy from you.

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Web Hosting and Domains

We've made some changes to our website here at Horizon Web Development, our hosting packages have been revamped and we now have an automated set up in place meaning you can buy your domain and hosting at once and set up your website immediately.

Domains

If you are looking for a domain name look no further than our new domain name look up feature of our website.

Here simply enter the name you would like to register, all available domains will appear on the following page along with prices and registration periods. Simply tick the box to add the domain name to your basket.

If you already have a domain name registered with another company but are interested in our hosting packages, simply enter your domain in the second box on our hosting package page here. You do not need to transfer your domain over to us to use our hosting packages.

Hosting

We offer some great web hosting packages, with our Starter Package at just £14.99 a year (£1.25 per month) and with more features than many of our rivals business or professional packages.

Simply visit our hosting page to view what we have on offer. If you see a better like for like hosting offer elsewhere in the UK, let us know and we'll match it for you.

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