6 Tips for Starting an AdWords Campaign

Taking the plunge into Google AdWords can seem overwhelming, especially for small businesses that lack the resources of large companies. AdWords can appear extremely daunting, but it’s actually not as complicated as it seems once you get the hang of it. Still, there are many moving parts, and finding success takes time and effort. How do business owners with no Google advertising experience get started?

6 Tips for Starting an AdWords CampaignTaking the plunge into Google AdWords can seem overwhelming, especially for small businesses that lack the resources of large companies. AdWords can appear extremely daunting, but it’s actually not as complicated as it seems once you get the hang of it.  Still, there are many moving parts, and finding success takes time and effort. How do business owners with no Google advertising experience get started?

Here we’ll review six tips for new businesses that are starting up AdWords campaigns. When you finish reading this, you’ll feel less like you’re falling and more like you’re taking your first steps toward a worthwhile goal.

Tip 1: Do Your Homework

Before you log in and start setting up a Google AdWords campaign, it’s critical to take a step back and do your homework. For example, you’ll need to answer the following basic questions:

  1. Who exactly are you targeting with your ad campaign?
  2. Where (which geographic locations) are your ideal customers?
  3. Which product or service are you promoting?
  4. Are you going to present a special offer in your ads?
  5. Why should a prospective customer choose to click on your ad and purchase from you versus all the other options?
  6. What is your monthly budget?
  7. How much can you afford to spend to generate a lead or sale from your ad campaign?

As you can see, these questions are not specific to Google AdWords. They are specific to your business and your advertising goals and the answers will determine how you set up your campaign.

Tip 2: Set Up Conversion Tracking

How will you measure the success of your Google AdWords advertising campaign? Is it the number of phone calls? Or the number of online sales? Or the number of demo requests?

Once you identify the goal(s), then you need to set up conversion tracking so that you can measure whether or not your AdWords campaign is meeting expectations. Think of conversion tracking like a report card. You need to have a report card so that at the end of every month you know if your AdWords campaigns are passing or failing.

Luckily, AdWords has built-in conversion tracking to measure just about any goal you would want to track. But you need to set this up before you turn on your ads!  It’s not retroactive.

Tip 3: Get Into the Testing Mindset

No matter how much you invest in planning, researching, and meticulously setting up your ad campaigns, there is a very good chance that your ads will not be profitable right away.

That’s because it’s impossible to know until you start to collect data from your target keywords and ads.  For this reason, I recommend all new advertisers get into the “testing mindset” for the first 1-3 months of a new campaign. During this testing period, you’re essentially investing in research data that you can then use to improve the performance of your ad campaigns.

It’s OK if your ads are not profitable right away as long as you’re actively collecting data and making improvements that will later make the ads profitable.

This leads us to tip No. 3 …

6 Ways to Leverage Social Media for SEO

Social media is the new frontier of search engine optimization. People interact with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social platforms in far different ways than they do with search engines, yet in many ways the results are the same.

Social vs. SearchSocial media is the new frontier of search engine optimization. People interact with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social platforms in far different ways than they do with search engines, yet in many ways the results are the same — links are shared, content is filtered and the most trusted websites often get the most play. And although Google won’t come right out and say it, many SEO experts agree that social media signals are affecting today’s search engine rankings.

How can you harness the power of social media to bolster your SEO strategy? Here, we’ll review the top six ways to leverage social media to improve your website’s search rankings.

1. Develop Social Content

Building an expansive network of inbound links has long been the bedrock of SEO. The more people link to your site, the more trusted it is in the eyes of Google and other search engines. And social media is unprecedented in its ability to build links in a hurry.

Always think of ways to go beyond articles when developing content for your social media channels. Think in terms of instructional videos, off-the-wall infographics and humorous (but helpful) GIFs. You can even create e-books that people can download for free. Be smart about updating social media channels — you’re more likely to get views and clicks in the early or late afternoon — and rest assured that your overall SEO will benefit from this content long after its social media shelf life expires.

2. Optimize Meta Tags

Meta tags help establish how webpages are unique, which is why they’ve always played important roles in SEO. But have you realized how social media platforms put meta tags to work? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms display meta titles and descriptions when websites are posted or shared. In some cases, your website’s meta tags might be your first interaction with new potential customers.

For that reason, it’s more important than ever to give meta titles and descriptions the attention they deserve. Meta titles should be 65 characters or less, and meta descriptions should be up to 150 characters in length — more than enough room to concisely explain the purpose of a webpage. Professionally written meta tags can easily be the difference in whether people perceive your website as click worthy.

3. Get Into Google+

Google’s foray into social media didn’t go exactly as planned. But even if you don’t know anyone who uses Google+ for social reasons, don’t underestimate the platform’s importance for businesses of all sizes. Creating a Google+ page for your business is one of the simplest ways to capitalize on social media in a way that benefits your SEO.

Why does Google+ matter? First, the information, images and other elements on your Google+ profile can directly improve your rankings in several relevant searches. Second, your contact and location information — when synced with free profiles on Yelp, Angie’s List and other directory websites — can heighten your visibility for people searching for a local, nearby business. A Google+ profile also makes for a high-quality link to your website, and trustworthy links are always helpful.

4. Start a Blog

Leverage the conversational nature of social media by starting a blog on your business Website. Update your blog regularly with unique, compelling content, and then share that content across your social media channels. Do a good job, and your followers will reward you with likes, shares and links.