AdWords for Site Traffic

There are many ways to promote a new or existing website, but one of the easiest and fastest techniques is to use Google's AdWords program. Many people consider AdWords to be of value only to those who have a product or service to sell, but that's simply not true.

When a I launch a new site, I get traffic to it by also launching an ad campaign on Google. This is much faster in the short-term than waiting for my SEO efforts to kick-in. The key to using ads is to target fairly niche topics where costs are in the single-digit cents. If you pay too much per click, you'll end up spending way too much money up front.

Here's an example of how I use Google's Keyword tool to build out campaigns.

  • I first load Google's keyword tool.
  • I then enter a word or list of words in to the text box right above the Get More Keywords button. For example, type in adsense and then click the button.
  • Then, select Keyword Popularity in the Choose Data to Display drop-down.
  • Click on the Search Volume column header.

What you see after you follow these steps is a list of words sorted in descending order with the most popular search terms at the top. What you want to do is go down the list until you find a row where the advertiser competition is lower than the search volume. The lower the advertiser competition, the less expensive your ad should be. In this case, the first possibility is adsense advertising followed by make money adsense.

Repeat the above steps as many times as required to build up a decent-sized list of keywords. If you have a relatively small site i.e. around 100 pages or less, one easy way to get started with the keyword search tool is to grab your site's page titles from the sitemap and paste them in to the search box. Google will then give you keyword variations, most of which will be relevant to your site's content.

After you have a list of keywords, you'll need to create ads. I'm assuming you have an AdWords account for these next steps and I'm also going to assume that you know the basic of creating an ad. The trick here is to create ads where the ad title is either the same or very close to the browser title of the page on your site that the ad will point to. This is important because Google compares these two titles when determining the quality of your ad. The better the match, the higher the quality, and the lower your bid needs to be. The downside of this quality algorithm is that you need to create many ads with specific titles rather than one ad with a generic title.

When it comes to writing copy for your ad, keep it simple. I even suggest you keep out marketing-speak. Your goal is to get people to your site and have them happy when they get there. Any exaggeration on your part in your ad will simply result in you paying for a click that is of no value to you.

Lastly, don't bid higher than 5 cents for a click. Your goal isn't to appear in the top ad spot. All you want to do is grab some relevant traffic. Even a position of 5 or 6 is still going to attract visitors.

If you do everything above as I've described, you should be able to get people to your site for around 3 cents per visitor. If you also happen to run AdSense on your site, you'll be able to defray these costs from the revenue generated by those clicking on your site's ads. In another post I'll get in to how you can actually run ad campaigns on Google that actually cost less than what you make from the resulting ad revenue from your site (this is known as AdSense arbitrage).

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