What is AdWords?

Posted by Robert Cerff in Search on 14 February 2014

Tags: adwords, google adwords, paid search, ppc

AdWords (also referred to as "Google AdWords") is a paid search advertising service by Google for businesses or organisations wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords program enables these businesses and organisations to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads.

You simply start a campaign, create your ads and choose your keywords.

The ad service is largely focused on keywords.  Google does offer a variety of matching options when choosing keywords for your AdWords campaigns, the primary matching options available are:

Broad Match:
This kind of match is returned most frequently as your ad will be shown for searches that include the keywords sponsored.  Broadly matched keywords and phrases needn't be used in any particular order or even include all the keywords in a particular search.  Subsequently this form of advertising can be very costly if done incorrectly.

Negative Match:
This option prevents your ad from showing when the specified word is used within a search.  This is ideal for excluding searches that may be similar to what you are offering but are of a very different intent.  This is very useful in excluding searches that may generate traffic that is unlikely to become a genuine lead.

Phrase Match:
Your ad will be shown for searches that include a match of your phrase.  This kind of match is ideal for targeting longer keyword phrases where the core phrase will remain consistent while other variables shouldn't make too much difference.  This can however lead to a large number of impressions with few actual click throughs if done incorrectly.

Exact Match:
Your ad will be shown only when the search phrase is matched precisely without any additions.  These matches are often likely to generate the smallest number of impressions, but if done correctly can work out the most cost effective and successful of all combinations.  However the drawback to this form of targeting is that results may take some time to realise.

AdWords offers scalability and the following controls:

Targeted Reach:
You bid on only the keywords that you want to promote, targeting regions that are most applicable to your business.  There are a variety of ad formats and you can even target your ads to specific languages or geographical locations.

Control:
You can edit your ads and adjust your budget until you get the results that you want.  The amount that you pay for AdWords is entirely up to you from how much you spend per day down to how much you're willing to spend for each individual click.

Measureable value:
There is no minimum spending requirement or time commitment.  The cost-per-click option ensures you are only charged if someone has clicked on your ads regardless of how many times your ad may have been shown.  This ensures that you are only paying for actual results (traffic).

AdWords offered by Google is the most comprehensive form of paid search marketing available in South Africa today.  If you're looking for an effective, measurable form of online marketing that can yield results on any budget - AdWords is for you.