Are you ready to make an impact with Google AdWords? If you are trying to market your small business, then you probably have a great deal of experience regarding Google’s ad platform and how easy it is to use. Anyone who has a Google account and a debit or credit card has the ability to buy ads within minutes. Sometimes it is a little intimidating to start an online marketing project, but AdWords ensures that the process is very straightforward.

But do not let it fool you – it is going to take a lot more than a little bit of ad copy and a few keywords to find success with AdWords. Much like you cannot cook a wonderful meal by simply throwing a few items on a pan or in the oven, ad campaigns through AdWords will not be profitable unless you know your target audience. It is also a good idea to analyze competitors and define the goals of your advertising campaign. When you do these things, you are giving yourself the best possible chance of finding success with AdWords. But if you neglect these factors before launching your first few ads, you may never find the success you desired.

With that in mind, we have decided to create a list of the eight most important steps that you must take if you are in the planning stages of a Google AdWords campaign. Whether you have used AdWords before, or it is all completely new to you, these steps will help ensure your advertising campaign is a success.

  1. Who Are You Targeting?

It is very important to think of your advertising campaign like a radio station. If you want to attract a high number of listeners, you are not going to play the same songs on every station. You may vary the stations between pop, rap, hip-hop and rock songs. Each station will get listeners who like the particular type of music being played on it.

So when you are creating an ad campaign, think about who you are attempting to reach. If you are marketing your shoe store, are you trying to target males or females? Are these shoes for formal occasions or going out jogging? Are you trying to get local customers or is your campaign targeting a whole country? Or maybe there is a niche market you have decided to target? Information about your target audience will help you a lot.

  1. Find High Demand Keywords

Finding the right type of keywords is very important to an ad campaign. However, you need to find keywords that are more than a little relevant – they need to be in demand. When it comes to search marketing, demand means the number of people that are searching for these keywords. Keywords that are not getting much attention are not going to help you at all.

Google makes it fairly straightforward to find high-demand keywords. All you have to do is enter your ideas in the AdWord Keyword Suggestion Tool and it will give you a list of similar keywords, along with an estimation for how often each keyword is searched. The cost per click for each keyword is also shown, but these figures are not always accurate. But make sure you look at how much competition is present for each keyword, because higher prices mean more competition for certain keywords. If you can find high volume keywords that are relevant and not attracting interest from others, you will be in a better position.

  1. Focused Sales Pitches

It is important that you know how you are going to blast your ad to everyone you are targeting, but you should forget about reach for the time being. Concern yourself with the content of the ad. What are you selling, and why should the targeted audience care? What makes you, your products or your customers special? Is there some deal you are offering that others are not?

Create a sales pitch that is to-the-point and enticing. Pay-per-click ads do not give you much room to make your point, which means you have to get to your selling points in every campaign. Make sure you are choosing the correct sales pitch for each campaign, based on the audience you are targeting with each campaign.

  1. What Response Do You Want From Customers?

The sales pitch you create is going to vary based on the response you want. For instance, if you want people to call your plumbing business, you will create a certain type of ad. If you have a coffee shop and you want people to walk in and place an order, you will have to alter your sales pitch. If you have a new e-commerce portal, you may want people to click on your site and buy something. Again, you will need a different sales pitch. When you know your unique goals, you can create a much more effective and authentic ad campaign.

Keep in mind that you can create various ad groups for each campaign. Different ad group ensure that you are connecting with different types of customers in the most effective way.

  1. Create a Compelling Landing Page

So often we get businesses that put all their effort into their ad campaign and the related tasks, but they forget to create a proper landing page. You have to pay a lot of attention to your landing page. Is it consistent with the ad you posted? Is it going to provide more information or is it simply regurgitating information that the audience already knows through your ad or email blast? You have to ensure visitors are hooked within seconds when they see your landing page.

The golden rule for landing pages involves ensuring that the page is clearly delivering on any promise you may have included in your ad. For instance, if you mentioned free shipping in your ad, the landing page has to provide more information about the offer. You also have to ensure that your business objectives are being met or furthered by the landing page.

For instance, if you want more people to contact your company, ensure that your phone number is visible. It is possible for visitors to easily find a contact form on your site? Can they make appointments or bookings online? Another factor to consider is that many people will visit your site from a smartphone or tablet. Your page must be optimized for these formats, or you will cause your customers more frustration than anything else. If your landing page looks great on a desktop, but it is barely readable on mobile formats, you are not going to attract the volume of customers you could get with a properly optimized mobile site.

  1. Call-to-Action

A call-to-action, or CTA, is a very short and clear instruction that is put into online advertisements. These CTAs are meant to mirror the advertising goals that you have laid out for each specific ad campaign or ad group. For instance, if you want people to call your company, the call to action is some variation of “call us today.” If you want people to show up to your business, your call to action is some variation of “stop by our store today.” If you have an online store, you may want a phrase such as, “order online,” as part of your call-to-action. You may even want more than one CTA per ad, but one CTA is usually a good starting point for each of your ad campaigns.

  1. Conversion Tracking

One of the great things about Google AdWords is how you can set up conversion tracking. The concept involves going on the “Tools and Analysis” tab when you are in AdWords, and clicking on “Conversions. When you follow all the relevant steps, AdWords will give you a code that you will enter on your website. When the code is put on your site, AdWords can track how often someone who views your advertisement is going on your site, contacting you or buying something from your site. Knowing when these people are becoming leads, calls or customers is vital to finding success with your current and future ad campaigns.

  1. Learn About the Competition

It is not always necessary to come up with the best ideas yourself. If you are new to the world of online marketing, there is nothing wrong with using every tactic in the book to compete with businesses that have been around for much longer. You can always mine their advertisements to gain an upper hand.

The best thing you can do is to do a search for the keywords that you have included in your ad campaign. See what comes up on Google and Bing, and go from there. Look at their sales pitch, their call-to-action and the titles for their ads. If there is anything else unique about their ads, analyze those portions as well. You can even register with a site such as KeywordSpy.com or Spyfu.com to learn about the keywords your competitors are using.

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