Google AdWords in Your Pay Per Click Campaign

When you use Google AdWords, the minimum pay per click (PPC) bid is not determined solely by what you’re willing to pay. Instead, Google uses its Quality Score to measure the relevance of your keywords and establish a first-page bid estimate for every term.

As the Google AdWords Help page explains, your Quality Score is determined by your keyword’s click-through rate on Google, the relevance of your ad text, the historical keyword performance on Google, the quality of your ad’s landing page, and other relevancy factors. Your Quality Score is calculated anew at the time of each search query.

From your perspective, deep-pocket competitors can’t then “squat” at the top of a keyword list by placing a high bid to keep competitors out of contention.

A good ad with a good CTR and a good landing page can place your ad in one of the top four spots, even if you can’t afford the highest bid. Of course, this strategy works for Google too, by maximizing its return on PPC ads.

Google receives more revenue from an ad with a lower bid but a higher click-through rate (CTR) than it receives from an ad with a higher bid that viewers don’t click.

Google offers flexibility that Bing/Yahoo! has only recently duplicated. As part of your campaign setup process, you can select for such factors as time of day, delivery (evenly over time or accelerated), position preference, and geographical targets. Pages from the AdWords setup process are shown in the following two illustrations.

[Credit: Courtesy of Google, Inc.]
Credit: Courtesy of Google, Inc.
[Credit: Courtesy of Google, Inc.]
Credit: Courtesy of Google, Inc.

Google now offers the option of integrating placement on specific content partner sites with regular keyword campaigns.

Here are some Google options to consider:

  • You can select which Google AdSense partner to use by topic, demographic, or name. You can even exclude specific sites. Though these ads work well for branding, you’re likely to experience a much lower click-through rate (CTR). Google allows both discounted cost per click (CPC) bids and a cost per thousand (CPM) option for content placement.

  • Google offers free local marketing for companies that sign up through Google Places. Google has refined these free options to include a brief description, a logo, reviews, a map, and a coupon promotion. In May 2011, Google started offering free interior photos as a test to businesses in Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; St. Petersburg, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; and Phoenix, Arizona.

    Contact Google to see whether you can get in on this opportunity: Google Maps Business Photos.

  • Google AdWords can now incorporate a symbol that indicates acceptance via the integrated Google checkout system. The tiered transaction fees based on volume are similar to those charged by PayPal.

  • You can select free ad extensions that differentiate your ads and attract attention. They come in the following five flavors, some of which are shown in the following illustration:

    • Location extensions include your phone number and address for Google Places.

    • Call extensions use click-to-call on mobile results.

    • Ad site links are links to multiple pages on your site within a single ad.

    • Product extensions include images, titles, and prices of products in an expandable ad.

    • Seller rating extensions are user-submitted ratings for companies.

In the illustration, note the Google +1 sharing icon on every result in the natural and paid search results, and note the magnifying glass, which pops open an image of the website landing page.

[Credit: Courtesy of Google, Inc.]
Credit: Courtesy of Google, Inc.
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