Ric Dragon on Running an Effective Google AdWords Campaign

kathryn by Kathryn Hawkins on March 16, 2012
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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.

kathryn

Kathryn Hawkins is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.

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