If you've got a brand new web site, or if you are looking for an immediate traffic boost to your current site, Google AdWords offers an excellent, cost effective option. Cost effective, that is, if you do it right.
In order to avoid the cash flush that AdWords newbies often experience, steer clear of these 5 common first timer mistakes:
1. Targeting too many keywords.
When creating your ad, more is not better in the keyword department. A few highly targeted keywords (which are usually less competitive) will give you much more bang for your buck. Don't skimp on the time you dedicate to your keyword research. This step is crucial to the overall success of your campaign.
2. Forgetting to put the keywords in the ad itself.
Don't laugh about this one - I've seen it happen many times. In order to obtain a decent quality score, you need your keyword to appear in the ad's title, in the ad's body copy and on the landing page. Many AdWords newbies assume they can leave the keyword out of the ad, since the user already knows that's what the ad is about. After all, he searched for it, right? Unfortunately, the only way Google will know that that's what your ad is about (and reward you with a lower CPC) is if you include your keywords.
3. Using the homepage as the landing page.
This is a mistake that even well-known retailers commit. Don't waste your money sending these new visitors to your crowded and confusing homepage. Always send your ad traffic to a page that was created specifically for the ad. This is known as a dedicated landing page, and it will yield higher conversion results and lower CPC.
4. Using broad match keywords.
The default setting in Google is broad match, which basically means any word in any order. So, if I wanted to target "dog house" anyone who searched for "rid your house of dog smell" would be shown my ad. That's not very effective. However, if I used the exact match option, only traffic that searched for my exact words in my exact order would be shown my ad. This is much more relevant, so it results in a higher click through rate and higher conversions.
5. Setting it and forgetting it.
Once your ads are up and running, it's important to track and measure their results. Don't be afraid to pull the plug on an underperforming campaign. There's no sense in flushing even more money down the drain!