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A prospective client told me that she went to try and understand how Google Adwords worked and got overwhelmed and confused with the information on the Google site. And, I can’t say that I blame her. Here’s a brief overview and introduction to how it works!

Google Adwords can be a powerful way to reach your target audience. Some of the key benefits to a Google Adwords campaign include:

  • You only pay when someone clicks on your ad
  • You can set a daily budget to control your advertising spending
  • You can pay more or less for particular keywords depending on their popularity in your market
  • You can set geographical constraints on where the ad will show (so local businesses aren’t paying for ads to run in other cities)
  • People who are searching on your preferred keywords are likely to be more qualified prospects than those accessed with other traditional media.

To Get Started with Google Adwords:

You will first need a Google account. You can use an existing account or set up one specifically for the Ad campaign (we recommend the latter if you want to share the login information with someone else.) Google charges $5 for the initial Adwords account set-up (you can go to: ) to get started. You will need to provide your credit card information for ongoing billing.

Next, you will create a campaign and an ad group.

All items under one campaign share a single budget (daily maximum that you’re willing to spend) and geographical locations. So, for example, if you have one product that is available nationally and one service that is only available locally, you would want to have two separate campaigns. Otherwise, you can create separate Ad Groups within the same campaign if you want to share the single budget.

You will create your ad copy and also select keywords that you’d like to bid upon along with the amount you are willing to spend on each click. The bidding amount is separate for each keyword although you set a base number that will apply as the default.

Your ad will probably start as “pending review” which means that it will run from day one but that Google reserves the right to cancel it if it doesn’t comply with the Google advertising policies. In some cases, the ad may be “under review” which requires an active approval by Google before they will start running the ad.

How much does it cost?

You only pay per click up to the amount of your bid (also called CPC- cost per click) and you will often pay less than your full bid amount if there’s not much demand for that particular keyword. .Once you have met your daily budget, your ad will no longer be shown.

I also recommend that you implement Google Analytics when you start your Adwords campaign if it’s not already implemented. Analytics will allow you to review your ad strategy in more detail than the standard Adwords data. There is no additional charge to implement Google Analytics, you just set up the account ( ) and implement the code on your website.

Update 6/2018: This is remarkably similar today as it was when I first wrote this in 2011!