Richard Albion Search Engine Marketing

Paid Advertising on Google

AdWords Campaign Management Service

Google AdWords is a pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising system, and for some time has been the de facto number one system available to online marketers. Competitors, such as Bing/Yahoo Ads and the relatively recent Facebook Ads, have their share of the market, but none have so far attained the sophistication and penetration of AdWords.

AdWords campaigns can be set up to target the Search Network, Display Network or both. The Search Network refers to Google's own search results pages plus those supplied to its Search Partners, such as AOL. Campaigns are divided into ad groups, each containing adverts oriented to a specific range of chosen keywords. Adverts in Display Network campaigns can be shown on any website publishing Google ads. Ads and keywords are again organized into ad groups but with ad placement decided either by Google or by the advertiser's own settings. Display ads can take various formats including images and video, whereas Search ads are essentially limited to text. Ads are shown according to a ranking system that relies on a metric called Quality Score, calculated using each keyword click-through rate (CTR), bid amount, ad relevance and other factors.

It would be natural to assume that PPC advertising is solely the domain of large national and multinational companies with deep pockets and aggressive marketing strategies. But this is not the case. Bloated marketing budgets and badly managed campaigns may be one of the reasons why Google's number one source of revenue is advertising, but pay-per-click advertising is certainly not beyond the reach of a typical small or medium business. In fact, correctly managed localized campaigns with a limited budget can still be a significant source of quality traffic. The sophistication of the tools provided by Google facilitates the creation of campaigns with well-targeted keywords, tightly themed ad groups, geographical targets and user profiles, which in turn allows tight control over how, where and when budgets are spent.

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