In a nutshell, when someone searches on Google for something you offer, as long as you’ve used the right keywords in your campaign, your ad can appear next to the search results.
Millions of people use Google every day, and AdWords is a great way to tap into this potential customer base. And you only pay when someone clicks your ad.
AdWords is easy to use; you don’t have to be an IT expert and it only takes 15 minutes to register and set up your account.
Creating an AdWords Starter Edition Account
If you’re new to online advertising, AdWords Starter Edition is the easiest way to set up an account and get your ads running. You can graduate to the more powerful Standard Edition at any time.
Here’s how to create an AdWords Starter Edition account and begin running text ads.
- Visit the Adwords homepage at www.google.co.uk/adwords and click ‘Start now’.
- Select ‘Starter Edition’. If you’d like Google to set you up with a free webpage, be sure to select ‘I don’t have a webpage’. Google assumes you do have one so complete your information and click ‘Continue’.
- Select your ad location and language. Choose the country, region, or even local area where you want your ad to appear. Select the language in which you want to write your ad. Your ad appears to users who have selected this as their primary language (Google does not translate your ad).
- Write your ad. Enter the website that the ad will link to and enter a headline and two lines of text. Click ‘Editorial Guidelines’ for advice on writing your ad and to ensure that your ads and keywords comply with Google’s guidelines.
- Choose your keywords. These are the search terms that can trigger the display of your ad.
- Choose the currency that you’ll use to pay Google for your AdWords ads. This currency only affects the way you pay Google; it’s unrelated to any currencies you may use for transactions with your customers.
- Set your monthly budget. Select one of the pre-set monthly amounts or select the box at the bottom and enter your own amount. When you reach your budget allocation, your ads no longer appear, meaning you won’t go over your set budget. Click ‘Continue’.
- Follow the instructions on the ‘Set Up Account’ page to either enter your existing account information or to create a new Google account. When you’ve finished, click ‘Create AdWords Account’. A confirmation page appears, saying that a verification message has been sent to your email address. Your ad won’t start running until Google have verified your account.
- Follow the instructions in your verification email. Enter your billing information. Set the time zone for your account, and agree to the AdWords terms and conditions. On the final setup page, click ‘Save and Activate’.
After you complete this process, your ad can start running almost immediately.
Creating an AdWords Standard Edition Account
The Standard Edition AdWords account has greater functionality. It is recommend it for more experienced Internet users and small to medium-sized businesses. Here’s how to set up your account:
- Visit the AdWords homepage at www.google.co.uk/adwords and click ‘Start now’.
- Select ‘Standard Edition’, click ‘Continue’, and follow steps 3-5 in the previous section ‘Creating an AdWords Starter Edition Acount’.
- Select your billing currency (the currency to pay for your AdWords) and enter the amount that you’re willing to spend on your ad campaign each day. The daily budget controls how often your ad appears on Google. If your daily budget is low, Google spread the delivery of your ad throughout the day to stay within the amount that you set.
- Enter the maximum amount that you are willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Your cost per click (CPC) influences the position of your ad on the search engine results page. Google’s AdWords Discounter automatically monitors your competition and reduces your actual CPC so that you’re charged the minimum necessary to maintain your ad’s position on the page. Google also offers pricing on a cost-per-1000 impressions (CPM) basis if you’d like to place your ads on targeted websites. Find out more about other pricing options at www.google.co.uk/adwords/pricing.
- Click ‘View Traffic Estimator’ to view your average CPC and cost estimates and click ‘Continue’.
- Review all your ad selections so far. Click ‘Edit’ to change any selection; you can return to this review page after you make your edits. Click ‘Continue to Sign Up’.
- Follow the instructions on the ‘Set Up Account’ page either to enter your existing account information or to create a new Google account.
If you don’t have a Google account or do but prefer to use different login information for your AdWords account, select the second radio button. Enter your email address and password for your AdWords account. If you see the error message ‘user already exists’, see the FAQ for instructions. Click ‘Create Account’.
If you used your existing Google account login information to create your AdWords account, you can now sign in to your AdWords account. If you used new login information, you receive an email asking you to click on a link to verify your email address. Click on the link in the message and then sign in to your AdWords account with the email address and password you submitted on the registration form.
- Activate your account. When you first log in to your account, you see a red message box at the top of the page. Click ‘Billing Preferences’ and complete the account setup process by entering your billing information. Set the time zone for your account and agree to the AdWords terms and conditions. On the final setup page, click ‘Save and Activate’.
If you choose to pay by credit or debit card, your ads appear on Google almost as soon as you enter your billing information. If you opt to pay by direct debit, Google may need to receive and process your debit authorisation before your ads start running. If you elect to prepay for your AdWords account, your ads run after you submit your payment information and Google receive your first payment.
Writing Ads to Get People Clicking
Writing ads may well be the hardest part of AdWords to master, but at least you know what works and what doesn’t right away, because your clicks tell you. The best way to see which ads bring you the greatest results is to write three or four at one time and then check your clicks. Ads with the highest clickthrough rate (the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown) are top performers.
Here are some tried and true tips:
- Include keywords in your ad headline, because that’s what people are looking for. Doing so makes your ad more relevant.
- Relate your ad to the content on the website users see when they click on your ad. This means they’re more likely to purchase from you.
- Get to the point – fast. Include the most relevant information about your business first. Make your ad concise and encourage the user to take action.