Ten Advertising Safety Tips
If you're going to try AdWords yourself, or if you're just interested in better informed when talking to agencies, please read the following tips before you do anything, they may save you a lot of money.
You may also want to look at Google's guide for Working with 3rd Parties, which will give you a good idea of how agencies should behave when managing your Account.
- Check your site
Before you do anything with AdWords you must make sure your site is the best it can be to accept new customers. Make absolutely sure everything works, that purchase and payment processes operate as expected and that all menus and links are correct. You should also ensure your site complies with the Google Webmaster Guidelines.If you don't do this, your click costs could be money down the drain.
- Make Tracks
Put tracking and conversion code in place before you start your first campaign running. You should use Google Analytics and/or AdWords conversion tracking to ensure you can follow AdWords clicks into and through your site, right up to the point of payment (if applicable). If you don't track, you can't tell what AdWords is doing for you.
- Small budget, early end
With your first or any new campaign, start with a small budget and set an end date for the campaign. It doesn't matter what you might spend in the future, with a new campaign set your budget low - perhaps only a few hundred pounds - to make sure you don't get a huge bill for clicks that don't bring business. Once you've tuned the account and can measure it's success, then increase your budget to what you can afford and what makes sense in relation to income from AdWords (see point #2).
- Use a small keyword list
Almost all beginners create a huge keyword list trying to think of every possible word that might relate to their business. In almost all cases all that's needed is a dozen or so 'core' keywords that are tightly focused to your business so start with only the very most relevant words and phrases, even if that's just one word.
- Start only on the Search Network
AdWords has lots of options for where you show your Ads but most of the time you'll want to start only on the Search Network. While the Display Network (also known as the GDN) can be effective, it requires more work to get the best results.
- Many Ad variations
One of the most important parts of a successful campaign is the ad copy itself - the text of your ad. Make sure you have at least three ad variations for every ad group and monitor their performance, making adjustments to improve.
- Limit your location target
If you sell a local service, make sure your ads aren't being shown to the whole country. Use the location targeting options to focus ads to a relevant region to your business. Don't target the whole planet from the word go. Start with a smaller area and refine your Account until it's running well and returning a profit then expand into other areas.
- Steer clear of scams
There are lots of scams around making claims that you can get rich overnight with Google. It is not true. Read Google's guide to avoiding scams
- Check results frequently but give it time
AdWords needs care and attention. Make sure you check a new campaign every day to see how it's performing. However, bear in mind you must give AdWords time to perform. Not everyone will buy the same day they click your Ad and in some cases it could be many days, even weeks before a sale completes. Don't "fiddle" every day making changes unless you have significant data to inform that change.
If in doubt, ask! Use the Google AdWords Help Forum to ask for advice, it's a great resource and worth it's weight in gold.
Remember, you are responsible for the money you spend on AdWords, so it's important you understand exactly how it works and what your spend might be.