AdWords Tutorial: Campaigns for Beginners in 15 Minutes a Week
The smallest business can put together a Google AdWords campaign in just 15 minutes a week. Even better, it can cost only $1 a week — or $1,000 a week.
Campaigns in Google AdWords cost both time and money. Time is necessary to build and maintain the campaigns. Money is necessary to pay for the clicks.
An AdWords beginner can hire an expert to run the campaign and save time. But hiring such an expert can cost a great deal of money. A beginner can expect to pay an AdWords expert in one of several ways:
- A flat rate that can easily run thousands of dollars.
- An hourly rate that is often more than $100 an hour.
- A percentage of the campaign budget that is commonly around 15 percent of the total.
An experienced consultant brings knowledge, efficiency and performance to a campaign. The better consultants require exceptional fees.
For the small business running its first campaign, a budget in the hundreds of dollars a month or less is too small to justify the cost of hiring an expert.
That means someone in the business has to manage the campaign. And yes, depending on the size and complexity, it can work in just 15 minutes a week. I have managed campaigns ranging from hundreds of dollars a month to tens of thousands a month.
Keeping it simple means getting the work done quickly.
The following AdWords tutorial focuses on tips on best practices that complement the help section in the AdWords dashboard. Read this tutorial together with those tips.
Step 1: Create the Campaign
Campaigns usually have a beginning and an end in time. They also have specific goals and targeting. Create campaigns that are specific and narrowly targeted.
Just as importantly, label the campaigns as specifically as possible, i.e., “Youth Market August 2017”. When a time-based campaign has ended, don’t reuse it. Keep it in the archive to compare its results with future campaigns.
Keep in mind that each campaign has its own budget. For multiple campaigns over time, build and adjust each one to fit the overall budget.
Set a default bid per click that needs to adjust on a weekly basis depending on the click-through rate. Beware of budget creep.
Build only one campaign a week to limit the amount of time that goes into the project.
Step 2: Create the Ad Groups
Ad Groups break down campaigns even more. The example “Youth Market August 2017” could have ad groups dedicated to specific geographic areas such as states in a national campaign, cities in a regional campaign or zip codes in a local one.
“Devices” also are a way to break down ad groups. The campaign could have one ad group that targets desktop computer users, another that targets mobile users and a third that targets tablets.
That said, start with just one ad group to go with the first campaign.
Step 3: Choose the Keywords
It’s possible to click on “Keywords” in the series of gray tabs near the top of the dashboard and then the red “+Keywords” button in the middle of the page. But it’s better to go to the very top of the dashboard and click on Tools and Keyword Planner.
List a series of two- and three-word phrases in the Product or Service box (one line per phrase) and click on the search button.
This is a better option for research because it gives the average monthly search volume for each keyword. Note that some of them have an estimated cost per click. Note that the estimated cost per click is often over priced.
Choose one keyword with the highest volume that fits the product or service in the campaign, go back to the gray Keywords tab on the previous dashboard page and enter it into the keyword box.
On the Keyword tab page, click on Columns, Modify Columns, Quality Score and “Qaul. Score”. Down below, check the box that says “Save this set of columns” and click on Apply.
The Quality Score ranks each keyword from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most relevant. Higher quality scores get more impressions, more clicks and cost less money per click.
Step 4: Create the Ads
The gray tabs at the top of the dashboard seem to suggest creating the ads before choosing the keywords. But effective ads should include the chosen keywords, so identify the keywords before creating the ad.
Use the chosen keyword phrase in the headline and then again — or a slight variation of it — in the text.
The ad also requires what is known as the “landing page”. It’s the page a visitor reaches on the small business website after clicking on the ad.
Keep in mind that the landing page should have the same keyword phrase or a slight variation of it as the phrase that appears in the ad. A landing page with the phrase will have a higher Quality Score than an ad without it.
Step 5: Customize the Targeting
On the campaign dashboard, click on the gray Settings tab to customize the campaign according to devices, locations, languages and schedule.
The “Devices” link has options for increasing or decreasing bids by a certain percentage for desktop computers, mobile phones and tablets.
The “Locations” link is a tool for targeting a geographic area.
The “Languages” option is of course English for most English-speaking countries.
“Schedule” controls the days, times, start dates and end dates for each campaign.