Think you’re ready to take the plunge and start a Google AdWords account? If the next three statements describe you, than you have my blessing!
You have a website that is relevant, easy to navigate, and fairly well built out.
Your AdWords account will help you to bring qualified searchers to your landing pages. Once they’ve made it to your site, it’s your job to convince them to convert. To achieve this, you must create landing pages that will compel visitors to take action. If your landing pages are cluttered, lack relevant information or do not facilitate a conversion, you’re throwing money into a black hole and your paid search efforts will be in vain. If you know that your landing pages need a little TLC, check out these tips. (Bonus points if you have mobile optimized landing pages, too!)
You’re willing to commit to this project for the long haul (financially and time-wise).
You won’t see the full potential of your account from the start. Cliché as it may be, it’s important to recognize that PPC is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to establish a strong structure, expand keyword lists, identify negatives and test ads/landing pages. Plus, you are likely to start off with poor Quality Scores, which will hurt your average position and CPCs. You will see your Quality Scores start to shift once you’ve established your Google “street cred” and proven that you’ve built an account that offers a positive user experience (this typically takes 4-6 weeks).
You are willing to dedicate some extra manpower to PPC for the next few weeks.
Sure, once your account has been up and running for a while, you can sit back and relax. However, your first month will require a bit more heavy lifting. If you’ve never managed a PPC account before, I recommend taking a few weeks to do some studying (maybe even get certified, if you’re feeling like a true overachiever!). Once you know the ropes you can embark on the account build out, which may also be a fairly time consuming process and then, for the first few weeks, you will need to monitor your performance pretty heavily. Though it may be tough right off the bat, the hard work will be well worth your while!
If you fit the descriptions above, we recommend taking some time to develop your strategy and identify your paid search goals. One of the most important things to consider is how you will define a conversion. A “conversion” is the action that you want the searcher to take after they’ve clicked on your ad and visited your landing page. Different advertisers track different types of conversions. An e-commerce site might want to drive purchases, whereas a plumber may be looking for form fill-outs or phone calls. It is also important that you identify the value associated with a completed conversion.
3 Steps to Set Up a New AdWords Account
OK, for you brave souls who have done your research and are ready to get started, here’s how you can the ball rolling:
Head to www.adwords.google.com to set up an account. When creating an account, you have the option to create it under your existing Gmail account or set up a new account. Personally, I like to set up a new Gmail account ahead of time, which I use specifically for AdWords management. This way, my personal email isn’t bombarded with emails from AdWords.
Now that your account has been established, you must complete a few housekeeping items, such as setting your time zone and currency preferences:
Finally, you are prompted to set up billing information. With AdWords, you have two payment options. Automatic payments allow you to pay after accruing clicks. You will be charged upon reaching your billing threshold or 30 days after your last payment, whichever comes first. If you opt for manual payments, you will prepay AdWords and charges will be deducted from the prepaid amount. When your prepaid balance is diminished, all advertising will be suspended until you make another payment.
You can elect to have payments drafted from either a credit card or a bank account. Keep in mind that Google must verify the bank account, which can take a little while. If you are eager to get your ads up and running, your credit card may be a better option.
Congratulations, you are now an official PPC advertiser and can start building out your account. We wish you the best of luck!