With your website indexed in the search engines and linked to from a variety of other sources, it will start to attract visitors and traffic. To reach out further and engage more people on the web may require some level of online advertising.
Pay per click advertising is one of the easiest ways to target users and deliver traffic. The way Pay-Per-Click (PPC) works is that you pay each time someone searches for and then clicks through to your website using a search term that you bid on.
For example, if you buy the keyword phrase ‘TinyTown Mayor,’ your ad would display on the results page when somebody performs a search for ‘TinyTown Mayor.’ If managed properly, paid placement campaigns can deliver very cost effective and targeted traffic.
You can only optimize a website for roughly ten major words or phrases. Fortunately, there probably aren’t more than ten phrases to describe your campaign, and your keywords won’t have to compete with such competitive categories as ‘mortgages’, ‘real estate’ or ‘XXX’. Your target audience is people who are specifically seeking information about your campaign, so your ads are likely to be extremely effective.
Google AdWords is the largest, most popular PPC advertising platform. The Google search engine controls more than half of the web searches on any given day. The Google AdWords program displays paid listings that appear above and to the right-hand side of its regular search results. Google AdWord advertisers can also appear on additional content and affiliate sites like America Online, About.com, Ask, Earthlink, Netscape, NYTimes.com and more.
Google AdWords is simple to set up and the most flexible of the major pay per click services. It has a small setup fee, no monthly minimums, and your click-through costs are billed monthly to a credit card.
Google AdWord tips
• Choose English language and United States (entire country). There are options to break down location into states and regions, but they may not be very effective. For example, most AOL dial-up users on the East Coast appear to come from Virginia – where the AOL service is located.
• Use every term or phrase three times. Once as is, once surrounded by quotations – ‘John Smith’ – and once surrounded by brackets – [John Smith]. Using quotations and brackets will give you the highest click through rates (CTR) and in turn, Google will give you higher placement for those terms.
• Use negative terms to prevent unwanted clicks. If you are running for Mayor of Tinytown, you might not want to pay for searches for ‘Tinytown school elections’ if you are not running for school board. Consider putting the word ‘school’ as a negative term in your ad group.
• For accurate ad comparisons between multiple ads, go to the Edit Campaign Settings and turn off ‘Automatically optimize ad serving for my ads’.
• The popularity of your ad will give you an advantage in positioning. Your ad can even rise above someone paying more for a specific keyword. Conversely, if your ad is not very successful, it may drop in position, even though your cost per click remains the same.
• Note that if you set the daily budget limit lower than Google recommends, your ads may not be displayed for all relevant searches.
• When you set a bid amount, Google will show you the expected average position of your ads. You want to bid high enough to keep your ads within the top 3 positions, if not the top position.
In 2010, Google launched the Google AdWords Campaign Starter Kit. This service is basically AdWords geared for federal political candidates. It allows campaigns to target voters on Google, YouTube, and across the Google’s Display Network. Users enter some basic information about the candidate, the issues the candidate is running on, and the Starter Kit automatically builds out an AdWords account.