These days, marketers have a multitude of tools at their disposal. In this post, I take a look at Google Adwords.

What is Google Adwords?

For the uninitiated, Google Adwords is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising through Google. This is how it works:

  • You choose specific keywords for your ad
  • If someone uses one of your keyword in a Google search or visits websites with themes related to your business, your advert can appear
  • When someone clicks on your ad, you pay.


Another perspective

Knowing how to use Google Adwords is undoubtedly important for businesses — even content writers, like me, who prefer creating content for organic SEO.

As my experience with Adwords is limited, I thought I’d talk to someone who knows more about it.

Sheridan Bruce is the Marketing & Education Manager for the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) as well as a director of advertising agency Fresco. She’s had plenty of experience with Adwords, so I arranged to talk with her to get a deeper insight.

Sheridan Bruce
Sheridan Bruce, FINZ Marketing & Training Manager

To follow is our conversation:

What do you like about Adwords?

They’re so easy. You can have as many ads as you like and turn them on and off at different times — it’s an incredibly flexible medium. Adwords also focusses you on things such as your website optimisation, your key messages. It integrates with Google Analytics, so you can look at your organic and paid traffic, which helps in formulating a good picture of how well your website is doing and why.

What are the benefits over print adverting?

Adwords is measurable and flexible. You know right from the start what your costs will be — i.e. cost per click. This also lets you know what your competitors are paying, so it can be quite revealing.

Adwords is measurable & flexibleClick To Tweet
Of course, Adwords campaigns can fail. Where do some businesses go wrong?

If they have an advertising budget, then they go wrong by not considering it. Also, if their ad copy isn’t detailed or directional enough. Remember, Adwords is a vehicle to get eyeballs onto your webpage, so copy must be persuasive and have a call to action. Use verbs in your copy like visit us, click here, ring me to get the latest, etc.

How do you choose keywords?

Start by using the keyword planner in Adwords. This provides a good basis and ideas about your keywords. It allows you to create various ad groups, so you take more than one approach to the keywords. That way you can make your keywords more specific depending on your ad group, i.e. create groups such as brand, products and services; then select your keywords according to category. This will be easier than just dreaming up keywords. Remember also, people search for the same things in different ways, so this will help you approach the matter from different perspectives.

What advice do you have for writing headlines?

Include a keyword. Headlines need to attract attention in a short number of words. Make a statement. Be bold.

How about the copy?

Make sure you highlight your uniqueness; use a keyword and include a call to action.

Highlight your uniquenessClick To Tweet
How should a landing page be structured?

Your landing page should answer the question in your Adwords ad, or at least reflects what the ad is about. I.e., if you’re creating an advert about your service, link it to your service page.

Should an ad always link to a specific landing page?

Not necessarily. Sometimes, if a Home page is dynamic and interesting, you can link there, but do try and relate the Adwords ad to what is on the Home page … one last thing, write lots of Adwords and compare their performance. This will tell you what’s working and what’s not.

My thoughts

So, there is no denying that, if done properly, Google Adwords can be highly effective.

They’re still similar to traditional advertising, though; like TV or print ads, they turn up uninvited, which can be annoying. The difference, as Sheridan says, is they can be targeted to a specific niche.  So, unlike that beer-sodden neighbour who crashes your party, there is a good chance, you’ll welcome them. And they can be a little unnerving. How often have you visited a website and been presented with adverts that appear to be tailored especially for you? It’s like Google can read our minds. Well, I’m pretty sure they can’t (not yet), but thanks to cookies stored on many websites, Google can track what we’ve been up to.


The benefits of Adwords:

  • Measurable
  • Cost effective
  • Flexible.


To get the most from Adwords:

  • Be persuasive and have a call to action
  • Use Google’s keyword planner for keyword ideas
  • Link to a specific landing page that matches your ad
  • Write lots of ads and compare their performance.

Over to you

What do you think? What are your experiences with Adwords? Also, if you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my blog. 

One Comment

  1. Add words undoubtedly bring traffic to your web site. I have a Radio Live show and was asked to provide comment on ZB News. When I googled my name to see if it appeared on the ZB website. I was directed to my competitor. He had used my name as a Google add word and anyone searching for me were directed to his web site. Google said they could not do anything about it as my name was not a registered trademark. I ended up trademarking my name to prevent them using it.

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