PPC Basics Part 2: What You Need to Know About Google AdWords

Pay Per Click Basics Part 2Although Bing also offers search engine marketing through Bing Ads, we’ll be focusing on Google because it has a much larger audience.


In our last post, we discussed the basics of PPC or paid search campaigns. Now let’s look at how PPC campaigns are managed. Google AdWords is Google’s advertising platform that determines which ads make it to the top of the search results page.


Advertisers bid against each other in Google AdWords to have their ads appear based on keywords they identify as important to their products and services. The higher the bid, the better the placement of the ad.


Below are some key components of AdWords:



Campaigns are a set of ad groups that share settings, such as budget and location. They’re often used to organize categories of products and services. AdWords accounts can have one or multiple ad campaigns running at the same time.



Keywords or phrases determine who will see your ads and the cost of your ads. There are four keyword match types that determine how and when your keywords will be triggered:

  • Broad Match – This is the default matchtype and will reach the largest audience. It triggers ads whenever a user’s search includes any word in your key phrase, and in any order. For example, using the key phrase “Pet Sitting”, your ad might display with a search for “Pet Sitting”, “Pet Care” or “House Sitting”. It can also trigger ads using synonyms. For example, your ad might appear when someone searches for “Dog Boarding”, even though it doesn’t include any part of your key phrase.
  • Modified Broad Match – This setting can also reach a wide audience, but gives more control over who sees your ads by requiring individual words in a key phrase by using the “+” parameter. Adding a plus sign in front of a word in your keyword or phrase tells Google that the search query must include that term.
  • Phrase Match – This setting requires that your key phrase is used in the search query in the exact manner that you entered it, although it can have additional words before or after your key phrase. For example, if your key phrase is “Dog Food”, your ad could appear with a search for “Dog Food” or “All Natural Dog Food” or “Sale on Dog Food”, but not for searches such as “Cat Food” or “Dog Supplies”.
  • Exact Match – This is the most restrictive and specific type of keyword match. When using this setting, your ad will only appear when a customer types the exact keyword or phrase that you used. For example, if your keyword phrase is “Retractable Dog Leash”, your ad will only be eligible to appear in a search for “Retractable Dog Leash” and not for “Dog Leash”, “Retractable Leash” or “Retractable Dog Leashes”.


In addition to these keyword match types there are “negative” keywords. Negative keywords allow you to exclude searches that might be relevant to your keywords, but aren’t relevant to the products or services you’re offering.


AdWords Audience & Location Targeting

Knowing your audience is just as important as the content of your ads. Audience targeting in AdWords allows advertisers to refine who sees their ads according to interests, location and certain demographics.


Location targeting allows advertisers to ensure that their ads are only shown to customers in their area, rather than across the country. This is especially helpful for small, local businesses.


Optimize for Mobile Ads with AdWords Extensions

With nearly 60% of all Google search traffic now coming from mobile devices and tablets, it’s smart to take mobile ads into consideration. Google has made it easier for users to interact with ads on mobile devices with extensions available, such as text extensions, price extensions and call-only ads.


Google AdWords Remarketing

If a customer clicks on your ad but doesn’t make a purchase, you can choose to show them ads for that same product or service on other websites. This is called “remarketing”, and it encourages customers to come back and make a purchase or book an appointment.


What’s the Cost of Google AdWords Bids?

The cost of bids can vary depending on location, industry, popularity of keywords, and a variety of other factors. Google recently announced a change to the budget structure in AdWords in an attempt to account for daily fluctuations in traffic. How this change impacts your campaigns depends on the type of campaigns you’re running.


Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a vital tool used to help measure the success of a campaign. By tracking actions taken by a customer such as clicking a link, making a purchase, submitting a form, or requesting a quote, you can monitor and tweak your campaigns for better performance.


Understanding the basics of Google AdWords can lead to better campaigns with quality click-throughs and higher returns.


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