Google PPC

When it comes to the subject of Google AdWords, there is a lot to talk about. Too much, realistically, to fit into one article, so let me call this what it is – an overview. This is not a step-by-step manual on how to set up a Google Pay-Per-Click campaign, but rather a few top tips we’ve learnt through hands-on learning and experience.

Search Network Advertising

What is Google AdWords? You no doubt know but, simply put, they are the search results shown in Google that top and tail the free, organic results. They used to feature on the right hand side too but they stopped when Google went mobile-first. You only pay when someone clicks on your advert. Google AdWords directly target whoever is using the search engine by matching what they’re searching for with your advert. This is called Search Network Advertising.

Google AdWords is sometimes called Pay Per Click (PPC) or Sponsored Listings.

Is Google AdWords right for me?

As with most decisions in marketing, not every approach will be right for your business. If your website isn’t ranking organically due to technical issues, weak content or simply lots of competition, Google Adwords is a great way to get seen in the search results. The nature of the Search Network also means that even if you get just a few clicks on your advert per day, there is a high possibility of conversion into a sale because the people are specifically searching for your type of product or service.

However, to get your ads seen you’re realistically looking at a budget of at least £10 per day. Even then, Google will – by default – tell you your adverts are suffering from a limited budget. Google is a business after all and wants you to spend as much money as possible, and it’s comparing you to huge companies that spend thousands of pounds a day with them.

If you want to find out whether Google AdWords is right for you, there’s a handy online quiz at that might help you decide. Or we’d be happy to conduct a free audit for you.

Once you’ve considered all the above, and if you are prepared to spend the money, Google PPC can do marvels for driving the right people to your doorstep.

Google AdWords set-up advice

Of course, the success of your AdWords campaign all depends on how you set it up in the first place. Getting the foundations right are crucial for pretty much every aspect of your business and PPC is no different.

1.     Don’t listen to Google

This is the cardinal rule. Google is an excellent tool for marketers, but again they want to take lots of money from you. If you’re not wise to how PPC works, it will. On the initial set-up of your AdWords campaign, many of the recommended settings will favour Google, not you. When choosing your campaign type, for example, Google will suggest you pick the ‘Standard’ setting, which doesn’t actually allow you to make full use of many of the features, including ad extensions. Ad extensions are relatively new and enable peope to call or text you directly from your ad. It may seem as though Google is trying to make life easier for you by simplifying things, but before you choose any “recommended” settings, weigh up the other options first.

2.     Perfect your website destination

Don’t put the horse before the cart with Google Adwords. Or any ad, for that matter. The whole point of Search Network Advertising is that you are paying for people to visit a page on your website. Accordingly, you should ensure that what they are looking for is actually there when they arrive on the page! The person who clicks on your ad for size 7 shoes will not hang around if they land on your homepage. They want to land on a page about size 7 shoes! In today’s fast-moving age, people will quickly move on… to your competitors. Your call to action needs to be obvious too. Call, buy, book, leave their details, etc. Spend a little time looking over your webpage copy. Both it and the ad should be as closely matched and relevant as possible. This will help Google award your ads a higher quality score. The higher the quality score, the less you pay per click.

3.     Split test your ads

When you create your first Ad Group, don’t just write one advert and leave it there. It’s good sense in marketing (and in life!) to try a few different options and see what works and what doesn’t. Write at least three ads and set them to rotate indefinitely. When you return to the campaign after a few days you can look at the statistics and decide which to shut off and which might need some tweaking. It’s a good idea to go and get some ideas off the competition too, especially if you’re new to copywriting and marketing. If a certain business keeps cropping up in your searches, that means they’ve got a big budget, yes, but they probably also know how to write ads.

4.     Spend time on keywords and negative keywords

Because of the way Search Network Advertising works, you have to create both a keyword list and a negative keyword list for each ad group. These will each consist of hundreds, if not thousands of unique terms. While there are a few tools to help you get ideas, such as the Keyword Planner in Google Adwords, it will still take several hours. Rest-assured this will be the most time-consuming part of setting up your campaign but it’s arguably the most important part too. The more search terms you can find and omit, the more specific your ad will be, meaning that only the most suited potential customers will find it. A negative keyword could be “cheapest”, for example; you probably don’t want to be paying for clicks from people who are searching for the cheapest in your market. So if people are searching using the word “cheapest”, your ad won’t show up and you’ve saved yourself some money. Happy days!

5. Management is key

There is a lot to setting up a good pay-per-click campaign, and the nature of the service means you’re constantly fighting against Google itself to get more clicks for less money. If you make just a few small mistakes it might mean a campaign sits there doing nothing. Or worse, has you spending way above the odds for each click. And what about paying for clicks that never convert?! It’s a minefield, I tell you, a minefield! That’s why investing time and perhaps money into “learning the ropes” is a wise investment. The good ol’ days of just shoving in a few keywords are long gone.

This does of course mean that, once your AdWords are up and running, you need to monitor them daily. Check and edit accordingly to ensure you keep getting the biggest bang for your buck. But that is an entirely new blog, so watch this space! Just like with Facebook Advertising, half the success is in the set-up, but half is in the ongoing management. Yet we see so many businesses create an ad – wherever – and then just leave it to run.


If you’re not sure whether Google AdWords would be beneficial for your business, or if you would like to discuss setting up a campaign, feel free to call us on 01743 491356 or email