Are you searching for new customers, users, or sales leads? Google Adwords is a fantastic platform for generating traffic to your company website, and the Search Network – Adwords’ core service – is the best place to start.

In this guide, we’ll share seven great tips for beginner advertisers getting started with the Adwords Search Network. From Quality Score to keyword match types, read on and learn the basics of running search campaigns on Google Adwords.

Include a call-to-action in your ads

Every ad, regardless of the keyword it’s targeting, should include a call-to-action phrase. A call-to-action is a sentence that instructs users on what to do once they finish reading your ad.

Your call to action can be simple and direct, like “Click here!” or “Buy now!” It could be more detailed and instructive, like “Click here to order your sample!” or “Create your account now and get started!”

Whether you go with a short, simple call-to-action or a long and detailed sentence instructing your customers, make sure you include a call-to-action in your ads. It’s an essential component of successful search marketing.

Focus on acquiring data, not just sales

When you’re first getting started with Adwords, it’s tempting to focus on keywords that you know will lead to sales. This is often a poor long-term strategy, since most of the obvious keywords in your industry will have high CPCs and competition.

Instead of focusing on acquiring customers, focus on acquiring data during the first few months of a campaign. Learn which keywords convert visitors into customers at the highest rates, and which offer the best return on investment for your business.

Once you’ve got your data, you can start focusing on sales. By acquiring data at the beginning of your campaign, you’ll discover keywords and opportunities that your competitors are unaware of, giving your business a huge advertising advantage.

Test broad, exact, and phrase match

Google offers three different targeting options for keyword campaigns: broad, exact, and phrase match. Each option results in your ads being displayed alongside unique keywords, ranging from exact matches to loose, barely relevant phrases.

Test each form of targeting to learn which offers the best return on investment for your business. You can include all three types of keyword within a campaign using Google’s “match type” option to see which offers the best conversion rate and ROI.

Sometimes, broad targeting is the best choice. In other situations, only exact match keywords will produce conversions. Experiment with each match type to learn the best option for your advertising budget.

Try to maximize your Quality Score

Is your average Quality Score seven out of 10? This is a good Quality Score, but it’s far from perfect. Optimizing your on-page content for Quality Score is a wonderful way to reduce your CPC and generate more traffic from your advertising budget.

Even if you’ve already achieved a good Quality Score, try to focus on raising each keyword to 10. Google’s highest Quality Score will give you cheaper clicks and an overall improvement in campaign performance, which could produce more sales.

Make sure you use negative keywords

Does your campaign include hundreds of keywords? Make sure you’re also using negative keywords to exclude search phrases that are unlikely to produce users, leads, or sales.

Negative keywords are keywords that automatically prevent your search ads from showing up for a particular keyword. For example, adding “cheap” to your negative keyword list will prevent your ads for showing up beside keywords with “cheap” in them.

This is particularly important for luxury products. It also prevents keywords that are unlikely to produce sales – for example, keywords that discourage users from buying your product – from triggering your ads.

Use conversion tracking to see your ROI

Google Adwords includes a built-in conversion tracking tool that’s surprisingly easy to use and massively powerful. By adding a small JavaScript snippet to your website, you can track which keywords are producing leads, user registrations, and sales.

Add conversion goals for all of your key objectives and track them using conversion tracking. You might find one keyword that converts five times more frequently than another, even though they look the same at first glance.

Running a search marketing campaign without conversion tracking is the equivalent of starting a business without market research. Study your keywords to learn which are producing conversions and you’ll never struggle to have a profitable campaign.

Apply for monthly invoicing when you can

Is your accountant getting fed up with constant Adwords invoices? Google uses an unusual invoicing system for Adwords, with users billed when their account hits a specific credit limit instead of on a weekly or monthly basis.

If you’re spending a lot on Adwords advertising, this invoicing system can trigger a daily payment that makes accounting different. Luckily, Google offers certain users the option to pay their Adwords invoices on a monthly basis.

Businesses that have been registered for over 12 months and spend at least $5,000 on Adwords each month can apply for monthly billing. This gives you 30 days each month to pay your invoice via credit card or bank transfer, simplifying accounting.

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