Google AdWords has been around for more than 10 years, but it remains a mystery to many online business owners.
AdWords offers pay-per-click advertising and site-targeted advertising for text, banner, and rich-media ads. For many users, the results can be more measurable and economical than other forms of advertising, according to Perry Marshall, co-author of Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords (Entrepreneur Press, 2006) and owner of Chicago-based consulting firm Perry S. Marshall & Associates. Marshall will be talking about Google AdWords at Entrepreneur's 2011 Growth Conference Jan. 20 in Atlanta.
He says despite the ease with which one can set up a Google AdWords account, the service isn't always intuitive. We asked Marshall to share his top three secrets for getting the most from Google AdWords:
1. Narrow your focus. If you sell mens' clothing, for example, don't bid on the keywords for every single item you sell and then send people to your home page. Choose specific items you want to advertise, write ads for them, and send visitors straight to a webpage built for that specific item.
2. Test your ads. Try out ads using different words and then measure and compare the results. The difference in how Google users may respond to even individual words in one ad can be amazing.
3. Offer visitors something to act on. As soon as customers land on your site, make a sale offer, give out a coupon, ask them to register for a white paper or fill in a quote request. This is what's called a "call to action" in marketing lingo. Use Google's conversion tracker to measure the results.
Using a call to action switches your mindset from "buying clicks" to "buying results," Marshall says. "If you want more sales leads, this will guide you to more leads for less money."
UPDATE: Google is offering a $100 match for the first $100 small businesses spend on AdWords by Dec. 31.
What are your tips for using Google AdWords?