A Beginner's Guide to Google AdWords

If you're selling a product on the Beautiful Voyager marketplace, you're looking to reach the right people at the right time. Online targeted advertising is perfect for finding the exact people you want to reach. This step-by-step guide to targeted advertising is written especially for vendors selling products on the Beautiful Voyager marketplace. If you choose to spend any money to reach customers, we want to make sure you're doing it the right way.

Learning how to run your own Google AdWords campaigns not only helps you reach new customers, but it feels empowering to understand the tools. If you’ve never tried targeted advertising before, the most important thing to remember is that you'll be experimenting, evaluating, and then optimizing as you go in order to get the most from your investment.

Start with Google Adwords

Google AdWords is the granddaddy of targeted advertising, and a great place to start. It's not just one tool, but an entire marketing suite that allows you to choose from many forms of advertising. The premise is simple: Each time someone clicks on your strategically created advertisement, you're charged a fee.

Google AdWords is a great way to grow your online presence, but it's important to realize that it's also an easy way to waste money if you don't approach it wisely. Using Adwords on an ongoing basis without testing or optimizing your campaigns is the #1 mistake new Adwords users make.

Within Google AdWords there are two big categories of ads. The first is keyword search ads. These are shown based on what people search for (either a phrase or word). Searches can take place on Google and/or Google's partner network.

Display ads are the second category. Display ads can be made up of images, text, or both. It’s a good idea to have a variety of ads, for reasons we’ll be getting into later in this post.

Step 1: Set Up Your Account

You need a gmail address to set up an AdWords account. (If you don’t have a gmail address yet, you can create one for free--here’s a step-by-step guideline.) Once you’ve created your Adwords account, you need to add credit to it to get started with your first campaign. Now you can start creating your ad.

Step 2: Choose Ad Type, Keyword Search

You need to decide which type of ad you'll be buying. Let's start by talking about keyword search ads, which are text only and made up of a headline, description, and a limited character count. If you've decided to go simple with a keyword search ad, your next decision is where you want your ad to appear.

Step 3: Choose Ad Placement

Are your potential customers on Google only, or do you want to widen the pool to include people searching in places like Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com or DuckDuckGo? Do you know about the devices your potential customers use? (If you're trying to sell a mindfulness app for iphones, for example, you will want to limit your ad appearing on phones only.)

Step 4: Write Keyword Search Ad

You’re ready to write your keyword search ad. This is the time to remember you’re competing with a vast amount of businesses in similar industries, which is why the words you choose must be highly targeted. A great place to start is long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are phrases that your target audience might be searching for like “heating pack for neck pain” or “creativity for overthinkers.”

Adwords works on an auction model. Choosing long tail keywords instead of common phrases reduces your competition. It also  increases the number of real buyers seeing your ad, thinning out window shoppers and lowering the price you pay (since you pay per click). Keep in mind this will also lower your reach as fewer people will be searching for these specific phrases. Tip: Set a daily spending limit, or cap,  so that you don’t overspend before you get any results.

 Step 5: Setting Up Display Advertising

Once you're comfortable with the more straightforward keyword search approach to Google Adwords, give display advertising a try. Display advertising is another pay-per-click advertising service that allows you to target potential your exact customers for stress and anxiety relief products.

What sets display advertising apart from keyword search is that you have the ability to include imagery as well as text to make your ad pop. Your display ads will appear on websites that use the Google ad network to monetize their sites. Since there are a variety of sites involved in the network, make sure to upload different versions and sizes of ads to ensure you don’t miss out on an impression opportunity. Every site integrates Google Ads differently. If someone is visiting a website on a specific device, you want make sure you have the right ad size to be able to serve them.

As with keyword search advertising, you can choose your own level of targeting when setting up your ads. Go with a broad geography or get as specific as certain websites (for example, if you know that your readers like a specific blog, you could target it.)

Google will give you suggestions based on how you've described your product, but it’s important to bear in mind that a suggestion doesn’t mean your ad will be displayed. The display advertising is on the auction model, just as the keyword search ads are. Your bid plays an important role. This is why focusing on conversion rate by testing things you can control like imagery and call to action is so crucial.

Step 6: Choose Your Imagery

Since you are competing for eyeballs, anything that sets you apart is going to be of benefit. Experiment with color and shade.

Step 7: Write a Great Call to Action

Compel the user to take an action or you risk being ignored. Grab your browsers attention by offering something unique and experimenting with your call to action line. You could offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee. It's a good way to draw in new business, that will potentially turn into repeat business. Also: remember seasonality and "special" days. Discounts for the holidays can set you apart and help you feel timely in relation to other products in the space.

When it comes to calls out action, like all of Google AdWords advertising, testing is everything. Which line is better: “Find out more” or “Start your adventure”? The truth: You won’t know until you test.

Step 8: Test Your Ad

We'll say it again. When it comes to targeted advertising, testing is everything. Button colors, backgrounds, calls to action, headlines, including text on image versus below image, the integration of logo versus no logo. The only thing you have to remember: just test one thing at a time. The only way you can learn from the testing you do is to test each element separately.

Step 9: Define Your Goals

A common mistake that business owners make is that they create campaigns that try to do too much. For example, a single keyword search campaign made up of phrases, exact matches and broad terms might lack results altogether. Most importantly, it will be hard to obtain accurate reporting from campaign like this. Instead, divide this work into three campaigns with clearly defined goals. You can then see which one was of most benefit to your objectives at the end.

Step 10: Kickstart your online presence

Google AdWords is an awesome way to kick start your online presence, but the real future objective is to create organic growth. To do that, you’ll need to start sharing your story with potential customers. The more they understand who you are and why you're building the business you are, the more invested they will be.

The Beautiful Voyager offers different ways for you to creating great content on an ongoing basis (it's fully supported and it’s free!). There are editors to help you with your writing. And don't forget: reviews are content, too. Collect great reviews from your customers. If you have international potential customers, try to get them to review your business in their native language. Those reviews will be indexed and new renters from those other countries will find you through other language versions of Google.

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