Making Sense of Google AdWords

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What is Google AdWords?

AdWords is a pay per click system that allows you to bid on various keywords. The results show up in the Sponsored Listings on top of Google.com.

So if you want to rank for "flannel pajamas" then you will bid on that keyword phrase with other advertisers.

Flannel Pajama ad

Google then ranks the ads based on the bid price and overall landing page quality score.

Every time your ad gets clicked, you are charged by your bid price. So if your bid price is $2.00, 20 clicks will cost you $40.

Free Money! Right?

Most hosting accounts now offer free Google AdWords vouchers when you join. They can come in amounts of $50, $75 or even $100.

Google also sends these in the mail to AdSense members.

Just like that, you've got free money to spend on advertising. Should be a great way to drive traffic and business right?

Whoooo hoooo!! You're on your way to big profits!

Google AdWords Voucher

Not so fast.

First of all, Google AdWords *can* be a great way to drive traffic and business, but it takes a lot of experimentation, A/B split testing, etc.

The whole point of spending that money is you want to get a return on your investment. So if you spend $50 on a campaign, you want to try to earn that back and more.

If you don't carefully keep track of what you're spending, you can be out of a lot of money very quickly.

Google knows that most people need to spend way more than what's on that voucher, so it's actually a very smart marketing strategy to dole these out.

Using AdWords for Traffic Only

Some people decide to use AdWords just to build traffic only. If you've got the budget, this may not be a bad idea -- especially if you find cheaper keywords to bid on.

However, this is not really the best way to use AdWords because if you aren't tracking anything, how do you know if you're getting any return on your investment?

Larger corporations that can afford to drive traffic this way often do this, but for the average website owner, this is not a great way to start.

Trust me, I've tried it and I did waste a lot of money. It's better to use AdWords with a goal to land a sale for a product or service. That way you have something to track.

Getting Started

To get started with AdWords, you need to setup your account.

As soon as you've created your account, Google will ask you to bid on keywords for your campaign. Then you create your ad and setup a daily budget.

Split Testing is a Necessity

When you are trying to master AdWords, it's a good idea to setup multiple ads so you can test and see which one will give you the best results.

For example, you may create two identical landing pages but you'll use two different titles. Track the campaigns and see which ad gives you the best click-through.

Then you will do the same with your copy.

Make sure you have tracking on the landing page you are promoting and the order-fulfillment page so you can keep track of how many people are actually making it to the order page and how many people are abandoning the page.

You can use Analytics Goal Tracking to help you track everything along the way.

Need Help?

To be very honest, it's not a good idea to jump into AdWords without guidance from someone who has actually had success with it. The risk of losing a lot of money is too great.

It can be tempting to jump on that free AdWords voucher and start bidding away, but make the use of that money and get the best bang for your buck.

Perry Marshall's course is one of the most popular AdWords guides on the Internet. He is literally the AdWords master and has made a ton of money with the program himself. You can check out his Definitive Guide to AdWords here.

Also consider Search Engine Visibility. Their premium service will get you started with AdWords, help with budgeting, keywords, and other campaign management tasks.

Of course, you don't need to buy any course or book to master AdWords. You can learn on your own through trial and error.

Just be prepared to spend quite a bit of money and time because you have to go through that experimentation/testing phase to figure out how to build a profitable campaign.

There is a science to AdWords. It's about finding the perfect keywords, ad price, and landing page to make your campaign profitable.

I'm sure you've heard the phrase, It takes money to make money. Well, that is certainly true with AdWords.

Great Possibilities

I know PPC can seem intimidating at first, but you literally can make hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit if you can learn to master it.

I met a guy at one of the Affiliate Summits in Las Vegas a few years back who makes six figures per year with AdWords alone. After talking with him, I quickly picked up on how this was more than a full-time job for him.

He explained how he spends many hours per day tweaking his campaigns, looking for the "sweet spot" with regards to the ad's rank, and constant monitoring.

I also went to a session hosted by people making 7 figures with AdWords.

No, that's not a typo. They were making over a million dollars just from running Google AdWords campaigns.

Sounds inspiring, but I am personally not a fan of pay per click advertising. I know there's a lot of money to be made in that arena, but I prefer to focus on SEO, YouTube, email, etc.

However, there is a ton of money to be made with PPC if you have the time, money and patience.

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