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Creating an Ad and Keywords

Creating ads for AdWords and tying them to keywords is somewhat of a never-ending story; you can literally spend all your waking hours on this, and still never get it perfect. It's a lot of fun, though, after you get involved.

Try to follow basic rules, like those described here, and then learn through experimentation. As Thomas Edison once said, "Invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." The same is at least largely true for Google AdWords ad text and keyword choices.

Follow these steps to create initial ad text and keyword choices:

  1. Follow the steps in the previous section to arrive at the Create Ad and Keywords screen, as shown in Figure 3.5.
    Figure 3.5

    Figure 3.5 Create your first ad and choose one or more keywords to trigger it.

  2. Choose an ad type by clicking on a radio button next to Text Ad, Image Ad, Display Ad Builder, or WAP Mobile Ad.

    I recommend you choose Text Ad for your initial ad. This type of ad is by far the most used on AdWords, and is the most important to gain experience with for most advertisers.

  3. Next to the Headline prompt, enter a headline of 25 characters maximum.

    The headline should be simple and descriptive. It should include one or more words that will show that the ad can meet the user's needs. For instance, budget will appeal to cost-conscious buyers; five-star will appeal to those seeking luxury.

  4. Next to the Description Line 1 prompt, enter the first line of your ad, using at most 35 characters.

    There are many strategies for what to put in each line. I recommend that you consider using this simple strategy for the first line of your initial ad: List qualities of your product or service that remove objections. Such words and phrases as clean, best value, highly rated, and others assure customers that your product is worth consideration.

  5. Next to the Description Line 2 prompt, enter the second line of your ad, also 35 characters at most.

    For the second line of your ad, a simple strategy is a call to action: something about savings, timeliness, or both. Mention this ad for 25% off is one such approach; only a few remaining is another.

  6. Next to the Display URL prompt, enter the URL of the website, or major area of a website, that users will visit, 35 characters maximum.

    The display URL is for helping users know where they're going; it should not, in most cases, be the exact URL they actually go to. So, enter your main website URL, such as www.sams.com, or, at most, the main site URL and one major subdirectory below that, such as www.sams.com/adwordsbook.

  7. Next to the Destination URL prompt, enter the actual URL that users who click the ad will be directed to.

    The destination URL may be much longer and more elaborate than the display URL. However, the destination URL should be on the same site as the display URL; the destination URL should start with the display URL, and then add additional subdirectories, web page name, or database information as needed.

    The most effective campaigns have specific pages, called landing pages, to be used with one or more Google AdWords ads. You might not want to bother with this for now, in which case you should simply use a web page on your site that helps users get into a buying process.

  8. Enter keywords, one per line, as shown in Figure 3.6. (See Lesson 11, "Finding Your Keywords," for more about keywords.)

    Figure 3.6

    Figure 3.6 In AdWords advertising, keywords make the world go 'round.

    Enter keywords that you want your ad to display next to. For instance, for a wine shop, words such as wine, wines, winery, and the names of the top 10 or 20 best-selling wines in the shop are all potential keywords. So are the names of the shop, the owner, and even any clerks who are relatively well known. (You can count on employees to mention it if entering their name into Google brings up an AdWords ad for your business!)

    Enter a keyword by itself for a broad match, including variations on a term. Enter the keyword in "quotes" for a specific phrase or a single word in [brackets] for a specific term. Enter a keyword with a minus sign in front of it to exclude that term. (For instance, if you want to advertise against searches for Bud Smith, the author, you might include "-baseball" to help exclude searches for Bud Smith, the baseball player.)

    Google will suggest keywords for you. Be very careful in using them; they might just muddy the waters as to which keywords are generating traffic for you, without actually adding much.

  9. Click the Estimate Search Traffic button.
  10. If you want, click the Select Managed Placements link to select placements in Google's content network.

    I recommended earlier in this lesson that you eschew the content network for now, but if you want to use it, this option enables you to specify sites in the content network to use or not use.

  11. Click the Save and Continue to Billing button to continue.

    The Home screen will appear, with a request for you to enter your payment information. (If you are asked for your country or territory first, see the next set of steps.)

  12. Click the To Activate Your Account and Start Running Your Ads, Enter Your Billing Information link to enter your billing information.

The Account Setup screen will appear, as described in the next section.

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