It’s one of the top FAQs from bloggers. Adwords is Google’s advertising service– we all know that. Advertise with Google and you advertise to everyone using Google, and that’s 99.9% of the planet, give or take! It’s a huge audience and a huge opportunity too delicious to not tap into.
But Adwords is a game. Beginning bloggers (and even ‘veterans’) should know that from the outset. It’s a game you have to play and win, if you want to profit from it. It’s not something you set and leave. You’d be wasting money if you do. If you want something you can just pay for and forget, or if you don’t have the time to devote to Adwords, you’re better off with other paid advertising options.
The pros and cons of promoting your blog through Adwords
So why do so many still choose to promote their blogs through Adwords if it’s not ‘easy’? Well, it is easy. When you know how to play it, it IS easy. And it’s also addicting, because winning always is. And of course, Google ads get you out there, exactly where you need to be.
- It’s affordable with great ROI. You decide how much you want to spend. You only pay when someone clicks. For a blog, you want to increase your traffic. If you play Adwords smartly, you can spend very little and get a thousand readers for as little as $10.
- Adwords gives you visibility to your audience (or more of them). It’s difficult to land on the first page of search results even after years and years of trying especially if you’re in a popular (overpopulated!) niche. With Adwords–and in a few seconds as opposed to years and years– your blog gets the opportunity to be visible to your audience through search terms.
- It’s targeted. YOU don’t have to look for sites that speak to your niche. Google will do that for you. They earn money when people click your ad, so it’s their gain to make sure your ad reaches the right people. All you have to do is make your ad as attractive as possible.
- Google Adwords rewards you when you play it right. What is an attractive ad? It answers a need, it makes an irresistible offer. It gives value to people. That’s what makes people click your ad. The more people click your ad, the more Google rewards you. You pay less and less, and you can use that money for more Adwords!
- Adwords gets expensive as you go. This article about Adwords in the NY Times from 2012 is still true today, more than ever. Google knows what you’re using and what you’re doing, and will suggest it to others. It’s their gain to make keywords/search terms competitive! People will bid more as they nudge and budge for ranking.
- Visibility goes down soon enough. That’s why you have to be proactive when you use Adwords. Because others will steal your keywords/search terms, the effectiveness will soon be spread too thin amongst you.
- It needs tracking. Yes, it’s easy, but that comes from getting used to checking your Analytics. What works and what doesn’t? What do you need to remove or update, according to results and updated policies? If you’re much too busy with your family or your business, or simply too intimidated and confused by the technical mumbo-jumbo, you’d have to outsource your Adwords. Or you can learn. That’s another chunk out of your money and time.
- It’s fussy. One day, you’ll wake up to discover your website has been blocked. Adwords has policies and some of their rule-breakers apply to 99% of websites (like a website who asks for an email address in exchange for something: that’s your lead magnets!).
- When you stop spending money on Adwords, the results stop. As expected, of course. You lose your ranking, you lose your visibility. That’s why you should only take 5-15% of your conversions or marketing goals from Adwords. The rest should be from other, better sources, like content. Now, content will continue to bring you ROI months and years after you’ve made and published them.
Now that you know what’s what, you can gird your loins for Adwords. There are plenty of guides out there on how to write it, how to track it, how to fine-tune it. I wanted to talk about what many beginner bloggers miss.
How to Market Your Blog Through Adwords
Think specifically and proactively. What do you want your Adwords to do? Where do you want the traffic to go? What do you want those leads to do?
- Optimize a page of your blog to promote a particular product or affiliate program and send relevant traffic straight to it with Adwords.
- Promote your blog and improve your traffic, brand recognition and online visibility.
Specific is the way to play, but go for “broad matches”
If you want to promote your services or products, you use a different Adgroup altogether. You might already know what an adgroup is. It’s Adwords ad + landing page/s for a specific goal.
If your Adword is about Makeup Dupes and the reader clicks and arrives at your subscription page or shop, you’d be penalized by Google’s Adword policies– and hated by those who clicked the ad.
The same goes vice versa: If you advertize about “50% off on MAC Lipsticks”, and the reader clicks and arrives at your article about Makeup Dupes, the reader won’t be happy!
Every Adword should serve a purpose and bring value to the customer. And to do its job well, every Adword has to be targeted. Compare these two:
|NEWBORN TESTS FACTS
by Dr. Gemma Potter, Ph.D
What Doctors Tell/Don’t Tell You
|NEWBORN TESTS FACTS
Dr. Gemma Potter, Ph.D
Private Personal Fast Consult
If you wanted information about newborn tests, which one would you click?
The one on the left uses all four lines and every character allotment to sell the content to you. You click it! You’re curious about what doctors tell/don’t tell you.
The one on the right tries to do everything at once: promote the blog and promote Dr. Potter’s private consultation, and fails at all of them. You don’t click it at all because it might just land you on a page with a hotline so you can ‘consult’ on newborn tests! And the consultation has no magnetizing offer at all either. Adwords usually have an offer (50% discount! Act fast!)– it’s what gives you an edge over your competitors.
Here’s where broad matches come in.
Adwords has three kinds of ‘matches’, where you choose when your ad displays to a user’s search results.
- Broad Match – displays your ad to searches who use your keyword, any variations of it, or even related keywords. This is great for branding and general exposure but not so brilliant for keeping click rates and conversion rates high.
- Phrase Match – displays your ad when your keyword or its variations are used in the exact order. This is a much better way for increasing conversion rates but can mean a low click-through rate.
- Exact Match – displays your ad ONLY WHEN the exact keyword search is used. Brilliant for maximising conversion and click through rates.
Broad match will display Dr. Gemma Potter’s ad for anyone who includes ‘newborn’ or ‘babies’ in their search. And it’s great! Because it exposes her blog to everyone looking for information about newborns, which is her niche.
If Dr. Potter wants to promote her affiliate (supplements for breastfeeding moms), she would use Phrase Match and Exact Match, in addition to a specific landing page on her blog especially for that affiliate.
It’s simple. Promote great content and you promote your blog. And if you fill your blog with great content (plus an irresistible opt-in/lead magnet), you WILL have great conversion rates.
Have you done an Adwords campaign? How was it? Let me know in the comments!