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April 27, 2015
Donna is right about Google AdWords being the best choice.
But if you're going to use AdWords (or any PPC) there are a few things you should be absolutely careful about.
(1) Make sure that you are targeting only the keywords that will bring real potential customers to your website. If you let AdWords select your keywords for you (or any automated keyword selection tool) you will end up with many useless and/or irrelevant keywords which will cost you money by bringing visitors to your site who won't or can't become customers.
(2) Make sure you start low with your bids - you can always increase them later. And take the time to study the different types of matches that your keywords bids will be used for. There are 4 types: broad match; match exact phrase; match exact term only; don't match this term.
Broad match is the most vulnerable to irrelevant clicks because your keyword can appear anywhere in the search term in any order, so I always bid less for those keywords.
Match exact phrase is better (in terms of showing your ad to your real potential customers) because it requires that you keyword must appear exactly as you entered it, so order matters. I always bid a bit more for those keywords.
Match exact term only is best for attracting targeted visitors because your ad will only be shown when someone searches for your keyword ONLY and there are no other words in the search term. I always bid the most for these.
Don't match this term is a "negative match" and it prevents your ad from showing if the searcher includes a particular term. For instance, if you're selling men's yoga clothing, you might want to include the negative match for "women." It's very important to use negativ keywords whenever you can identify a potential source of irrelevant clicks that include that word.
(3) Make sure you use geo-targeting. AdWords has the best geo-targeting I've seen. At the very least make sure you target your country, state (or province, et cetera) and even city for your target market. You can even set it up to use specific latitude and longitude coordinates so you can define your small area (which Priyah suggested was 5 to 10 miles). Be aware though, that geo-targeting is still not perfect. So, if you choose a very small area like that and someone within that area is using a large ISP (such as RoadRunner or Comcast) their IP address (which is how geo-targeting determines your location) may be registered outside of your target area and the visitor won't see your ad. All I can suggest is that you start small and expand if you feel it's necessary.
(4) Pay close attention to whether you've enabled your ads to show on the search network AND the content network, or just one of them. The search network is Google and its partners' search pages. The content network is private websites that are displaying "Ads by Google" on their pages. You can enable both and set different default click values for each network. I always do this and usually start with the content network bids being only about 10% of the search network bids. One exception to this would be if you are very tightly limiting your geotargeting, then you might keep your content bids higher since people in your area visiting other yoga websites might see your ad. But still I would start them at only 50% of the search bids.
(5) Lastly (for now), make sure your ad text (the ad that's displayed to searchers) is compelling and attracts them to click - and then more importantly, make sure that the page you've linked them to has consistent content that's immediately visible when they land. For example, if you ad says "get one free lesson" then you had better repeat the offer on the landing page so that the visitor can follow up on the subject that encouraged them to click in the first place.
And remember to create multiple ads. But if they have different offers, they should probably link to different pages that follow up on the offer.
So, there is my Google AdWords primer. I hope it's helpful to you.
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