For a while now, I’ve been experimenting with Google Adwords.

I’ve always thought that the PPC model, paying for clicks and converting those clicks into higher margin sales, was a good one. But I’d never before invested the time to figure it out. Well, a few months after I started, and I feel like I have a good handle on the Adwords side of the equation. Sure, there’s still more to be done there to improve the click through rate of my ads, but I’m getting low priced clicks.

And still losing money.

So for anyone else who wants to get into Adwords, I figured I’d share what I’ve discovered about creating a winning Adwords campaign. Some of this is still to be done for me, but this is what it takes.

Target Low Competition, Low Traffic Keywords

You’ll see some people who argue this point, and with good cause. After all, if you make $1,000 off a sale, you can afford to bid high on clicks. I’m writing this with the assumption that you’re like me, and not selling products with huge price tags.

Shoot for keywords with low to average traffic. Most people go for the higher traffic keywords, and that’s where the bidding wars are found. Stick with lower traffic keywords, and if you do everything else right you’ll get clicks for low cost.

Your ideal keyword will only have a few other ads already on it. This allows you to place well at your minimum bid.

Write Good Ads

There’s a lot of help out there for this. I can’t claim to have figured it out myself, but I am getting clicks, so I’m not totally hopeless at it, either. Mention the pain that your ideal customer is feeling, and how your product can avoid that pain. If they identify with that, they’ll click.

Write Good Landing Pages

The key to getting low minimum bids in Adwords is to target one landing page to one keyword. Optimize that page the exact same way you would as if you were trying to attract search engine traffic for that keyword.

You’ll regularly end up with minimum bids in Adwords of $0.05 and $0.10.

Write Good Copy

The landing pages themselves must do the job of preselling the product. The entire job of the landing page is to get a visitor interested enough to click through to the product page and buy.

This is the part I’m terrible at. I write well for blog posts and articles, but not for preselling. Paying for traffic doesn’t do you any good if you can’t convert that traffic into sales!

My action item for the next month is to go through the Make Your Words Sell book (a free download over at SBI!), and it’s companion, Make Your Content PreSell (also a free download), and see if I can’t beef up the landing pages I’ve created.

I’ll report back here sometime during the summer with updated results.

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