Ric Dragon on Running an Effective Google AdWords Campaign

Thinking about starting a pay-per-click Google AdWords campaign? Make sure that you have a solid plan before you invest a single dollar into your marketing initiatives, advises Ric Dragon, CEO of DragonSearch, a search-engine marketing company based in New York.

The Intuit Small Business Blog recently asked Dragon to share his tactics for planning and running an effective Google AdWords campaign.

ISBB: How can a small-business owner determine how much to budget for a pay-per-click advertising campaign?

Dragon: If you’re a small-business person, your budget is finite. When you’re planning to invest in marketing, you need to determine the efficacy of how you’re investing those dollars. If you sell a $100 widget, and you’ve determined that you can spend $20 of that hundred dollars on marketing initiatives to generate new business, look at available PPC advertising methods to find out how much it will cost. If it’s going to cost more than that 20 percent of gross revenue, it’s probably not a good investment.

What should a business owner do to determine the most effective keywords for an AdWords campaign?

Take advantage of the free tools that Google packages — they are astounding in their quality. If you’re trying to find a range of Google key phrases, the keyword tool this is a great way to find the most effective combinations. Don’t simply choose the most popular key phrases; less common “long tail” key phrases are often what we’re looking for. For instance, if you sell digital cameras, consider running a campaign focused on a particular model. You may get fewer clicks, but the people who do click are more motivated to buy.

What are some of the most effective strategies for coming up with an AdWords campaign that gets results?

Do that keyword research, thinking about all the key phrases that would drive traffic to your site. There are other tools that allow you to analyze competitors’ sites to see what keywords they’re using, so take advantage of that data. Stay on top of industry news to pay attention to new key phrases that you could use as well.

One of the most significant areas to focus on is the creation of the ads themselves: Create ads that communicate a value proposition. Why should someone click? Include an offer in your ad, such as free shipping or a promotional sale. Make sure that you have an effective call to action as well, such as “click here”; people encouraged to perform an action tend to do it.

How can you measure your results?

Integrate your campaign with Google Analytics. You need to have very clear goals in mind: If you’re doing e-commerce, are you actually selling anything? You’ll be able to measure whether a particular key phrase is generating revenue. If your business isn’t e-commerce, think about what a conversion is for you, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or downloading an e-book, and assign a value to that conversion.

About Kathryn Hawkins

Kathryn Hawkins is a principal at the content marketing agency Eucalypt Media. She's written about business, marketing, and entrepreneurship for publications including BNET, TheAtlantic.com, Inc.com, and owns and operates the positive news site Gimundo. Follow her on Twitter at @kathrynhawkins.
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4 comments
deanjackson331
deanjackson331

You are 100% right about utilizing targeted ad copy and keyword structure - we have a client in the automotive tires/rims business and it is mostly about long tail for them with specific radius and wheel width sizes doing really well in aggregate. If you'd like me to look at your account and brainstorm some suggestions email me at simon.b@resultsdriven.org. or we can setup a quick call if you prefer phone 302-401-4478.

Neil Patt
Neil Patt

To have success with Google AdWords, it's going to take more than just putting up an ad and start getting clicks to your website

kimsea
kimsea

Thanks for good advise, I just use the adword campaign and spend near a hundred dollar but I just get only the traffic. Thanks again your best strategy and sharing. I change now..

Alan
Alan

Thank you for the information, as a newer company this has been a focus of mine for some time now, and am slowly starting to see some of the hard work pay off.

Amy Kalm
Amy Kalm

Hi Steve, As we said in response to your Facebook post, I apologize for the bad support experience you had. That is not what we aim for. I'd like to research your issue and hopefully make this situation better. Do you have a case number? If you do and could send that to ask_intuit@intuit.com Attn Amy K, I'd appreciate it.

Steve
Steve

I swithced my desktop QB to cloud services, did not like the cloud as it was not as user freindly as the desktop, after 30 days I swithced back to desktop, downloading the data back took 2 tech reps from QB and about 4 hours - the worse part was the data was corrupt -- QB relpy - sorry, yes we have glithces in this. QB cloud dept blames desktop, desktop blames cloud - but I am out of luck.But effectively I am on my own and have to reconstrut all my data. I wrote the EX staff at Intuit - no reply. think twice about putting all of your companies financial data into Intuits Cloud - as they know they have issues, they still promote the product and when the data comes back in a useless form - you on your own. Unacceptable Intuit.

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