*Don’t Believe the Hype!*

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can just turn up at one of the major ‘Pay-Per-Click’ search engines, load up some keywords and ads, sit back… and watch the money roll in.

Today’s issue shares some insider knowledge about PPC advertising. Read it before you spend a dime on PPC.

Unless you’ve been incredibly lucky or have the brainpower of a budding Einstein, you can lose some serious dough on PPC advertising. (I’m not even sure it would work for Einstein, but that’s another story!)

I’m going to concentrate here on Google AdWords, because it’s widely recognized as being the most popular search engine on the planet, and its PPC service has a number of advantages over its leading rival, Overture (now Yahoo Marketing). Make no mistake, Google AdWords is a great service – if you know how to use it successfully. And PPC advertising (or investment, as I prefer to think of it, *providing* you’re using it profitably) probably represents one of the *only* ways you can give your business a more or less instant boost.

The information that follows is really useful anytime of course, but even more so now, if you’re thinking about buying those special presents for friends and family for Christmas, or looking ahead to get the best possible start in the new year.

 *Preparation is vital* 

So… you’re probably thinking, what *is* the secret? Well, I don’t have the space in this article to go into detail about every aspect of profiting from AdWords, so I’m going to cover one vital aspect in enough detail for you to actually *use* to benefit *your* business, whatever it may be.

As with virtually everything in your business, the secret is in the preparation. Would you put a new product on your web site before deciding where you were going to get it from or how you were going to manufacture it, how much you were going to charge, what the profit margin was going to be, how you would distribute it etc., etc. Of course not! So it shouldn’t come as that much of a shock that you can’t just bowl up at Google and start making a fortune using AdWords.

Succeeding with AdWords needs to follow a similar process of preparation, just like everything else in business. Wasn’t it Benjamin Disraeli who said “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”? That’s good enough for me!

 *How To Prepare for Profit*

The first step in this process is to select the right keywords for your business. ‘Keywords’ – that is the words or phrases that people enter into the search box at their favorite search engine to find what they’re looking for, is where your preparation must start.

AdWords have a ‘Keyword Suggestion Tool’ of their own which they’re improving all the time, but that’s not the best place to start. Why? Because the vast majority of businesses start there, so you and your competitors all end up bidding *and* therefore competing, for the same keywords. Your advantage will be to bid a lot less for loads of keywords your competition hasn’t identified, because all they’ve done is to use the AdWords suggestion tool, *and* then to beat them at their own game with those keywords that *are* more widely used.

 *Brainstorm your keywords*

Get a group of friends, family or business colleagues together, (depending on the size of your business), and draw up a list of *all* the keywords people *could* be using to find your product or service. At this stage, *don’t leave anything out* and don’t let anyone ‘pull rank’ on what should, or shouldn’t go into the list.

 *Be specific*

Bear in mind that the trend in search terms is for more words to be used by searchers to find what they’re looking for. Five years ago, if you wanted to buy a new computer, you may have entered ‘computers’ into a search box. Now you’re much more likely to enter ‘laptop reviews’, ‘desktop pc reviews’ or even ‘dell laptop model XYZ’.

Obviously there won’t be as many searches for these more specific terms, but they have an overwhelming advantage over the broader terms… These prospects are actually looking for *exactly* what you’re selling! That is, they are highly *targeted* prospects for your product or service.

This is one of the most important secrets to profiting wildly from AdWords, rather than just donating part of your profits every month to Google! Don’t only bid on the general keywords for your product or service – find as many of the specific keywords as you can, and make it an on-going challenge within your business to keep identifying new ones to help you build an ever-expanding list.

Hardly anyone does this and you will give yourself an unfair advantage over your competitors! If you’re anything like me, that will really bring a smile to your face!

Here are ten more “insider” tips to profiting from Google Adwords…

Tip #1: You must have some means of tracking the results of your Google AdWords Campaign(s), from the first ‘click’ on your ad, right through to the sales/leads generated or anything else you wish to measure at your web site.

Tip #2: Know the value of every visitor to your web site before creating your AdWords Campaign if you are able to calculate it, or use AdWords to calculate it if you don’t already know it. This is an invaluable index for all of your web site promotional techniques.

Tip #3: Complete some preliminary keyword research before you go anywhere near Google.

Tip #4: When creating your first Campaign, don’t choose “All Languages” and “All Countries”. You’ll waste time and money.

Tip #5: Give some thought to how many Ad Campaigns and Ad Groups your business may ultimately need, and sketch out this structure with names for campaigns and groups that make sense for your business.

Tip #6: Target every category of connected keywords with their own Ad Group.

Tip #7: Generally, the more tightly targeted you make your ads, the better the CTR will be.

Tip #8: Divide your keywords into as many categories as you need, in order to ensure that you are able to write ads that specifically target your prospects that are using particular search terms.

Tip #9: Use a different Ad Campaign for each country and language you want your ads to be displayed in, to give you the most flexibility with Campaign settings.

Tip #10: Determine your USP. This is vital to all web businesses – more so than in a traditional ‘bricks-and-mortar’ business

Today’s guest article courtesy of Phil Chapman.