Google AdWords is such a huge component when it comes to marketing for brands and small businesses alike. However, a lot of people don't know how or where to start. This...
Google Adwords For Bloggers
Last week we took some time to discuss AdWords for beginners, now that's out of the way, we're going to focus on AdWords for bloggers. If you haven't had a chance to read that we recommend you take 5 minutes and look through it. We'll wait. It might seem like the same tactic and from a technology point of view it is, but it's actually quite different when you look at the methods and outcomes. There are also a few things you should consider if you're a blogger looking into Google AdWords. AdWords is a great way to integrate a variety of methods as far as advertising is concerned. In fact, there are a lot of tools that go unnoticed if you don't know what you're looking for.
Things like advertising on keywords with paid search and advertising on display networks (including YouTube). Remarketing is another great way for Google AdWords to leverage the power of paid searches. In fact, it's rated as one of the highest ROI for online advertising. A lot of bloggers believe that ONLY organic content is the best way to get to the top, but paid searches can actually help a lot. Whenever you promote your content with paid search marketing it provides even more opportunities when it comes to content marketing.
Paid Search and Blogging
Bloggers should look at AdWords as a paid search. Typically this isn't something that a lot of people consider when it comes to marketing their blog. However, paid options are a great way to get traffic to your blog. But the main goal is to get the right kind of traffic. With AdWords, you can make it so you get the right kind of traffic for your blog. In fact, you can get LOTS of it. Granted you are spending money on top of your time, so for some bloggers, the stakes might be high. But honestly, it all comes down to what you're comfortable with.
Google AdWords Policies To Drive Traffic
Google AdWords gives bloggers the chance to create ads and generates paid traffic for their blog. However, there are some underlying issues. Google AdWords has a pre-defined policy with a strict monitoring system that will reject or even ban advertisers who violate their policies. Below are a few important policies for bloggers and content marketers alike.
This is really one of the most important AdWords policies. The Arbitrage policy doesn't allow the promotion of any blog that is specifically designed to showcase advertisements. This falls in line with Google's love for unique, original and useful content. Excessive advertising automatically makes your blog unsuitable when it comes to advertising with AdWords. And in some cases, Google will suspend your account. If your blog or website focuses primarily on the following content, they could blacklist your blog under the "arbitrage" policy, especially if your blog...
- is designed primarily for ads
- showcases interstitial ads (pop up ads)
- is loaded with scraped content
- consists of a pre-generated and template content
- is auto-generated and gibberish content
- integrates ad keywords irrelevant to the core content
- involves deceptive navigation, indistinguishable content or malicious ads
2. Bridge Pages
Bridge Pages, also known as doorway pages, is essentially landing pages that automatically link up to a completely different site. This happens a lot with affiliate websites, which aren't AdWords compliant when you send traffic directly to the affiliate landing page. This policy also extends to pages that offer the visitor with no or limited content. Its sole purpose is to redirect traffic, while sometimes collects the users email address.
3. Information Harvesting
Yikes, this is a big one. Blogs and websites that have content just to collect personal information from visitors are in bad company with AdWords. These sites typically offer "free gifts" in exchange for personal information or web pages that harvest sensitive information (bank account details, credit card numbers, etc) over unsecured connections.
If your website is not harvesting information but collects sensitive information from a customer, you MUST install SSL certificate on your website. This policy strictly recommends that the information below needs to transmit over secure processing servers (https):
- Debit and credit card numbers
- Bank/investment account details/numbers
- Wire transfer numbers
- Checking account numbers
- Social security, pension, national identity, driver’s license, health care or Tax ID numbers
If you blog runs on HTTPS, you will have a huge advantage in Google's organic search result. Also, it's worth noting that you can easily get FREE SSL certificate from startssl or ssl2buy You can easily install it on your server by following these simple steps.
How Bloggers Can Adhere to the AdWords Policies
When it comes to Google the primary goal remains the same - to offer unique content. AdWords integrates the same policies because they want to make the experience on the search engine comfortable for users. Bloggers who want to be successful with Google AdWords needs to stick to the following:
- Use original and unique content as opposed to scraped ones
- Stop using intestinal and excessive ads
- Stop using blogs solely for the purpose of advertising
- Create campaigns with content relevant keywords and format
- Avoid trying to harvest user/visitor information
- Understand and follow Google AdWords policies strictly
Honestly, creating good content is always half the battle. It's more important to get your content to those who would actually benefit from it. Content promotion strategies integrated into AdWords for bloggers is a great way to stand out and get ahead of your competitors. This is why experienced content marketers spend just as much time on promotion as they would trying to generate that likable and shareable content. AdWords can be a great tool, but there are both pros and cons.
The Pros and Cons of Promoting Your Blog with AdWords
Now that you know some of the major policies, it's also a good idea to take a look at both the pros and cons of using AdWords for your blog. When you know how to use Google AdWords, it's easy.
- Affordable with great ROI. Once you decide how much you want to spend your set. Simply because you only pay when someone clicks. For a blog, your main goal is to increase your traffic. If you use AdWords the right way, you can spend very little and get a thousand readers for as little as $10.
- AdWords gives you visibility to your audience. It's difficult to land on the first page of search results, even years of trying. Let's face it, you're in a highly saturated niche. But with AdWords, your blog gets the chance to reach your audience through specific search terms.
- It's incredibly targeted. You don't have to look for sites that speak to your niche because Google does it for you. Phew! Here's why: Google earns money whenever people click your ad. So their goal is to make sure that your ad reaches the right people. All you have to do is to make your ad as attractive as possible.
- You get rewards if you do it right. So what is an attractive ad? It's one that answers a need and makes an irresistible offer. It gives value to people. This is truly what makes people click your ad. The more people who click your ad, the more Google rewards you. You pay less and less and can turn around and use that money towards more AdWords.
- AdWords can get expensive. Google knows what you're using and will suggest it to others. They benefit whenever they make keywords/search terms competitive. People will bid more as they nudge and budge for ranking. This means you'll end up spending more if your keywords and search terms fall on their list.
- Visibility can go down. This is why you need to be proactive whenever you use AdWords. Here's the thing: others just might steal your keywords/search terms. This results in the effectiveness being spread too thin and your visibility will go down.
- It can be a little fussy. One day you might find that your website has been blocked, thanks to one of the AdWords policies I mentioned earlier. Some of their rule-breakers apply to 99% of websites that ask for email addresses in exchange for something.
- When you stop spending money on AdWords, your results stop. This is obvious. But once you lose your ranking, you lose your visibility. That's why you should only take 5-15% of your conversions or marketing goals from AdWords. The rest should be from other sources, like content and proper SEO.
How To Market Your Blog Through AdWords
Here's where you need to think specifically AND proactively. What do you want your AdWords to do for your blog? Where do you want the traffic to go? What do you want those all those leads to be doing? Now is a good time to optimize your blog in order to promote a particular product or affiliate program. Don't forget to send relevant traffic straight to it with AdWords. You can also promote your blog and improve your traffic, brand recognition AND online visibility with AdWords as well.
Specific is the way to go with AdWords, but you also need to go for "broad matches". So if you want to promote your services or products, you need to use a different Adgroup altogether. An Adgroup is essentially an AdWords ad and a landing page(s) with a specific goal in mind.
If your AdWords is about "photo editing on a smartphone" and the reader clicks your ad and sees a subscription page or a shop, you'll be penalized by Google's AdWords policies - and despised by those who clicked the ad. The same goes for the opposite. If you advertise "a free VSCO filter" and the reader finds your article about photo editing, they won't be happy either.
Every AdWord should serve a purpose and bring value to your customer. And in order to do this well, each and every AdWord needs to be targeted.
Why Broad Matches Matter On Blogs
AdWords has three kinds of 'matches' where you choose when your ad displays to a user's search results. If you read our previous article on AdWords you might remember, but if you haven't or don't, here's a quick crash course.
- Broad Match - displays your ad to searchers who use your keyword. This includes ANY variation of it, as well as related keywords. This is perfect for branding and general exposure but doesn't work well when you want to keep up the click-through and conversion rates high.
- Phrase Match - displays your ad when your keyword (or variations) are used in the exact order you listed it as.This is a MUCH better way to increase conversion rates. However, it might result in a very low click-through rate.
- Exact Match - displays your ad ONLY WHEN the exact keyword search is used. This is fantastic if you want to maximize your conversion and click-through rates.
The one you choose depends on what you want it to do for you. Think about specifics and it shouldn't take you too long to figure out which one will work best.
One Final Thought
It's always good to remember that SEO and other content marketing strategies change. Which means the policies can change down the road as well. Google is essentially trying to adapt to an internet that is constantly growing, so it only makes sense that they'd change as well. The end goal is to provide an accurate AND helpful search engine results quickly and easily. In order for them to do this, they have to update their policies accordingly. Especially when it comes to AdWords.
So, before you sign up for AdWords, you need to read their policies VERY closely to make sure that your site does contain anything that might harm your ranking. Or result in your account being suspended. Honestly, as long as you have unique content that is informative to visitors, then your blog should be fine. However, it's still important to check. That way you can determine if AdWords is best for your blog or not. Ultimately if your blog doesn't go against any of the policies, then AdWords could be an effective platform for you to monetize and promote your blog.
We hope you found this article helpful. How long have you been blogging? Have you heard of Google AdWords before and do you think you'll try it. Let us know in the comments below, so we can discuss.