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Using Google AdWords to Target Your Traffic

Avoid Losing $Thousands With Some Simple Advice
 
Paul Smithson - 16th February 2009
   
paul smithson AdWords is a fantastic tool for getting targeted traffic to your site, but it can be quite difficult to master, particularly for beginners. It’s very easy to lose hundreds, even thousands of dollars before you finally get the hang of it and learn how to use it to make a profit rather than just put an extra strain on your credit card.

One of the most important things you need to learn as far as AdWords is concerned is choosing the right keywords. This one thing alone is often the difference between an ad campaign succeeding or failing and yet it is something that many newcomers to AdWords approach with an often nonchalant attitude.

The secret is to learn how to choose keywords that are likely to bring buyers, not just browsers or information seekers.

Let’s say you’re selling an eBook about trout fishing.  Ideally, you would target phrases such as “trout fishing eBook” and “eBook about trout fishing,” but the fact is those phrases probably don’t get any search traffic.  If they do, it’s likely to be pretty small and unlikely to make you rich. So you have no option, but to add additional target phrases that are likely get more traffic. 

You might be tempted to target the word “fishing.”  This could work, but it’s unlikely. The phrase could bring visitors that are looking for fly fishing, or deep sea fishing, or numerous other fishing related topics that aren’t relevant to you. The phrase “Trout fishing” is another option, but you have to be careful with that one, as well.  Visitors who are searching for “trout fishing” are probably just seeking general information about the subject and you don’t want to be paying lots of money for click-throughs that are going to come to nothing. It would be like having a shop in the mall that people just wondered through on their way to the restrooms, but never purchased anything. You’d be getting lots of foot-fall, as they say in the retail trade, but no buyers.

So, rather than go too broad you’ll probably want to target phrases that are a little more specific.  You might target “trout fishing books,” for example.  Although you’re selling an eBook, and not a physical book, you’ll still get traffic from people who are actively seeking books and as such are potential customers. 

A technique you need to master is use negative keywords. This can help you to eliminate people who are highly unlikely to become paying customers. Negative keywords are simply words that you specifically do not want to appear in the phrase someone is searching for. For example, you could include negative keywords such as “Holidays’ and ‘Vacations’ so if someone were searching for ‘Trout fishing’ your ad would appear but if they were searching for ‘Trout Fishing Holidays’ or ‘Trout Fishing Vacations’ your ad would not be displayed.

Another example of how negative keywords can be used is the use of the word ‘Free’. Most people who are looking for “free trout fishing books” are not going to be in the mood to buy anything, although it’s always worth testing this just to make sure as you may find that some of the people who are searching for free information can be converted to paying customers if you have an excellent product that really meets their needs.

One more thing to remember is the Google Quality Score.  Google crawls your landing page to see if your site is truly relevant to the keywords you’re targeting.  If you choose the keyword “ice fishing,” but your page about trout fishing doesn’t have anything on it that is remotely related to ice fishing, your quality score may be quite low for that phrase.

When you have a low quality score, you might have to bid several dollars more per click than you would have, had you achieved a better quality score. This could eliminate all hopes for profitability. If you happen to be selling several related products that are all a bit different, consider setting up several campaigns to target each type and if possible use different landing pages, that have been keyword optimized, for each one. If you are using XSitePro you can quickly check for this by clicking on the Page Analysis tab and entering the keyword phrase in the appropriate box. 

It may take a bit more work to set up multiple landing pages, but your relevancy will improve, which in turn will increase your quality score, and your cost per click will then often be significantly lower. This is a small price to pay if it improves your chances at becoming profitable.

If you follow the above advice you will be on your way to set up successful AdWords campaigns, but do continue to learn and fine-tune your skills as the above techniques only scratch the surface. There are some excellent resources around, paid for and free, that will help you to constantly improve the effectiveness of your AdWords campaigns and it can be well worth making that extra effort to ensure that you are paying as little as possible for your click throughs whilst at the same time maximizing the number of conversions.

About Paul Smithson - Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct Marketing from two of Europe’s leading business schools, Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.


For more information about this, and many other Internet Marketing-related topics, visit Paul Smithson's site, www.xsitepro.com.

Source: http://www.xsitepro.com/using-google-adwords-to-target-your-traffic.html


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