Building Your Business with Google For Dummies
One way businesses grow is by using targeted ads, and with Google, half of your work is done. The goal of Google is to connect its search engine users to the most relevant content based on their search terms, but it also allows you to place your business's ads in those search results. Use the information on this Cheat Sheet to get your site noticed by your customers and by Google.
Google Advertising Terms
If you're trying to build your business through Google, there are a few advertising terms you need to become familiar with so you know what you're buying and what to expect.
Ad format: Any of several display types used by AdSense publishers when syndicating AdWords ads.
AdSense channel: A reporting group that isolates the data of certain sites, pages, or ad units.
Ad unit: One display box of AdWords ads on an AdSense publisher's site. Ad units contain one, two, four, or five ads.
CPC (cost-per-click): A type of advertising, and a statistic reported to AdWords advertisers. Google AdWords is a CPC system.
Call to action: A declarative line of ad text exhorting a viewer to take some action, usually clicking the ad.
CTR (clickthrough rate): A percentage measurement of the number of clicks an ad receives divided by the number of times the ad is displayed.
Control Center: The administrative screens of an AdWords account.
Content network: The network of websites operated by AdSense publishers who agree to display Google advertising for a share of clickthrough revenue.
Conversion: A desirable action on a professional website, such as buying a product or signing up for a newsletter.
Creative: The text of an AdWords ad.
Geo-targeting: The placement of AdWords ads on search pages accessed by people residing only in countries or certain regions of the United States chosen by the advertiser.
Impression: An ad display.
Landing page: A page designed to receive visitors who have clicked through an AdWords ad. The page is usually optimized to encourage a conversion.
PPC (pay-per-click): A type of online advertising. PPC is the same as CPC.
Google AdWords Keyword-Matching Options
Google can match your ads with users' searches in more than one way, giving you a better chance of connecting with exactly the customers you're looking for.
Broad match: Plain keywords are matched broadly to related words at Google's discretion. Broad matching saves you from having to think of related keywords but can lower an ad's performance by showing it on pages less likely to deliver clickthroughs.
Negative match: Used effectively with broadly matched keywords, negative matches exclude words from triggering your ads.
Phrase match: Enclosing a key phrase in quotation marks makes Google match it exactly when triggering ads, but Google also broad-matches the phrase with other words and phrases. Phrase matching is good when you want broad distribution focused around an explicit phrase.
Exact phrase: Enclosing a key phrase in brackets forces Google to match the phrase exactly when triggering your ads and excludes any other words from matching.
A Summary of Google Business Services
Google is so much more than just a search engine. It offers a number of services that online businesses can use to boost customer interaction and search engine visibility, and many of them are free:
The Web index: The first — and perhaps still the most important — business service is the main Google index. If a business isn't in the index, it's effectively marginalized.
Web search: Google provides use of its search engine to sites large and small, under a variety of arrangements from free use to major corporate licensing deals.
Google AdWords: AdWords is the advertising program on Google's search pages for which advertisers pay a per-click price. You are billed only when the ad sends traffic to your site.
Google AdSense: AdSense is an ad-publishing program for webmasters running professional sites of all sizes. AdSense publishers display Google AdWords ads and share clickthrough revenue with Google.
Google Shopping (formerly Froogle): Google's product index is open to any e-commerce company of any size. Search results contain product information and images.
Google Catalogs: Like Google Shopping, Google Catalogs is a free service, this one directed to merchants who run mail-order operations with printed catalogs. Google scans the catalogs, makes them searchable by keyword, and links to the merchant's website.
Premium and enterprise services: Google offers premium versions of site search, AdWords, and AdSense for high-volume businesses. Google also markets the Search Appliance for intranet searching within the corporation.
Tips for Optimizing Your Business Website for Google
As you build the pages of your business website, keep the following optimization tips in mind to boost your appeal to Google's search algorithms and connect with more customers:
Build pages around core keywords, which define each page's topical focus.
Incorporate core keywords in the page's content.
Place core keywords in each page's meta tags.
Use core keywords in text headers.
Fill in the title tag using core keywords.
Use alt tags, with keywords, on page graphics.
Use text, not graphical buttons, for navigation links.
Register and use domains that describe the site's business.
Avoid splash (entry) pages.
Avoid the use of frames.
Avoid dynamically generated pages where possible.
Devote one page to a comprehensive site map.
Keep pages focused; write new pages for divergent subjects.
Don't use spamming, keyword stuffing, or cloaking.
Build a network of incoming links from other sites to your site.