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Setting up AdWords Campaigns

Instructor: Alexis Rhodes

With nearly a decade of experience at agencies and in tech, Alexis Rhodes is a native of digital marketing. As the owner of her consultancy, Understudy Marketing, Alexis seeks to educate marketers on the pros and cons of ever-more granular data and tracking in a digitally-driven world.

AdWords is a useful tool in driving strong ROI (return on investment) for marketing campaigns. It is also a free-to-use, web-based software that is very user friendly. In this lesson, learn how to set up your own AdWords campaign and get started in the world of search engine marketing.

Search Engine Marketing and Low-Hanging Fruit

Your friend Jeremy has just started a landscaping business and needs help attracting customers. He knows you're a marketing guru and has asked for your expertise. Jeremy only has a little bit of money to run a marketing campaign, but needs to make sure every dollar he spends generates revenue in return.

Search engine marketing (SEM) may be a great option for Jeremy because it serves relevant text advertising to customers already searching keywords related to his business. This is what's known as capturing low-hanging fruit - basically, finding and converting people who are already in the market for a product or service like yours.

AdWords and Search Engine Marketing

AdWords is the most common search engine marketing (SEM) platform, and it's the tool used for the Google search engine. Setting up an AdWords campaign might seem intimidating, but the platform is actually quite user friendly and walks you through each stage of setup.

To begin, you'll want to have a strategic conversation with Jeremy about his goals, the geographical areas he is looking to target, and the specific kinds of services he offers; but, one question you'll also need to ask right away is the details of Jeremy's budget. What range are you willing to spend on advertising?

Campaign Planning and Budgeting

Jeremy may first need to know how much he can expect to spend on a campaign. AdWords has a tool to help inform these decisions: the Keyword Planner tool. In the main screen of the Keyword Planner, you can enter search terms related to your business and even input your website URL so Google can suggest terms based on your website's content. AdWords will then generate a list of suggested key terms you can include, which you can filter as needed.

Once you have a list of key terms, you can past those into the Budget Estimator portion of the tool, select your campaign settings (like the geographies you would like to target, which can help reduce the budget) and export the resulting CSV file. This file will give you a suggested overall budget, and a budget range for each keyword. This information will help you inform Jeremy what budget he will need to at least be strongly present in Google with his top 10 or 20 keywords, even if he can't afford everything at the max budget.

Campaign and Ad Groups

Once you have a keyword list, you can create a campaign and ad groups. You can further refine your keyword list once you've begun setting up your ad groups as well. Ad groups parse out keywords and ad copy into relevant, related sections that all help your ad show up higher in listings for the terms.

When setting up your campaign from the main AdWords dashboard, be cognizant when selecting your targeting options. Any option that limits an audience size will make the campaign more granular and spend less. Jeremy's business is a local landscaping company, so you'll want to select a fairly tight geography and choose English as the only language. Because his budget is small, you will want to limit the devices and formats the ads may display.

Finally, be sure to set your max daily budget at the campaign level, and check to make sure you're comfortable with the initial default keyword bids. These bids fluctuate and are charged to the campaign each time someone clicks the ad (cost per click) but won't bid beyond the max budget you set. The higher the bid, the more likely your listing is to appear close to the top of the page, and thus, be clicked on and eventually drive a sale.

Ad Groups and Quality Score

Once your campaign shell is created, set up a few relevant ad groups. For Jeremy, some ad groups might be Home Landscaping, Irrigation, and Tree Removal. Within each of these ad groups, you will identify the relevant keywords to include and create sets of ad copy that align with each topic.

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