If you’ve considered adding Google AdWords to your traffic generation strategy, do so with your eyes wide open. Google AdWords is a pay per click campaign that can be quite costly if not properly managed. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that you will get the results you expect. That being said, a pay per click campaign is worth exploring to determine if it can assist in meeting your traffic goals.

To start, you’ll need to create an account at http://adwords.google.com/select/Login. Click Start Now. On the next page, click Standard Edition and then Continue. You’ll then be prompted to create your AdWords account using an existing Google account or a new one. Once selected, you will be prompted to set your currency preferences. This completes Step One of the process.

Step Two of the process is to create your first ad campaign, as follows.

  • Target your customers by language (English) and location. Select the location by clicking Change targeting. Under the Browse tab, choose the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and/or Australia. Click Continue to proceed to the next step.
  • Create your text-based ad, which includes your:

- Headline – up to 25 characters.
- Description line 1 – up to 35 characters to include a benefit/attribute.
- Description line 2 – up to 35 characters to include a call to action.
- Display URL – up to 35 characters representing the domain name to appear in the ad.
- Destination URL – up to 1024 characters representing the actual location the visitor is taken to.

As a personal preference, you may consider capitalizing the first letter of each word in your domain name. Also, test the link in the Example (preview) box to make sure your URL works properly. Then click Continue.

  • Input the main keyword(s) for your niche. It’s advisable to identify negative keywords as appropriate, such as “-free.” This could save you a lot of money on traffic. Next, type your keyword phrase as broad match (without quotations), phrase match (with quotations) and exact match (with brackets). It’s recommended to use one keyword phrase per ad group to optimize your ad the best.
  • Set Pricing by inputting the amount you are willing to pay on a daily basis. To start, you may want to input $100 a day. Google tends to be more responsive to advertisers that demonstrate that they are prepared to spend money. However, you need only spend what you are comfortable with and in all cases make sure to monitor your campaign closely.
  • Next, input the maximum you are willing to pay per click or Maximum CPC. Here, $.25 is a good start to get a feel for what Google thinks about your ad group. With these data points in place, click View Traffic Estimator to get an idea of the number of clicks you’ll get per day and in what position.
  • Set up your billing information.
  • Pause and rename your ad group to a more descriptive name. The ad group will show you how many clicks you have, impressions for the ad and the click through rate (CTR). Your target CTR should be 1% and above. Check to make sure your ad is exactly what you want by clicking the Edit campaign settings link and before resuming your campaign. In particular, disable content network for now. The content network allows ads to appear on other’s websites. When testing ads, you want to make sure you have traffic from search before you try the content network.

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