7 Great Ways to Lose Your Shirt Using Google Adwords!

Google Adwords is a great tool! Careful use can lead to legions of highly targeted visitors breaching the moat around your site, and demanding to pillage your products! On the other hand...

Adwords is also a great place to drain your advertising dollars if you're not careful. Like any other automated system, it requires constant feeding and attention to keep you from wondering just why you spent hundreds of dollars and received a paltry return on your investment. Here's 7 great ways I've found to do just that, (and yes I've been guilty of several of these to one degree or another.)

1. - Not getting enough keywords, and I don't mean just numbers. Good ones. A lot of people run a search on their favorite keyword tool and pick the top ten or twenty words or phrases getting the most traffic, thinking somehow that THEY will beat all the others using these keywords. There is a reason why these keywords are so popular: everybody and their grandmother are bidding on them! A much better approach is to come up with at least a couple hundred, better a couple thousand words that you have a shot at getting a high ranking for. After all, if you have 1800 keywords and can get a top 8 (first page) position for most of them, you'll see a lot more clicks than you will chasing the top dollar words. If you get a hundred of the lower tier words giving you a couple of visitors a day, well, you do the math. Not only that, but often the less expensive words are altogether more specific, delivering far more targeted visitors.

2. - Not creating adgroups. You should use this function! It can help you focus your advertising much more effectively. By arranging your keywords in tightly focused groups of 10- 30 phrases, and writing a keyword-specific headline for each of them, you have a much greater ability to see what's working and what's not. Also gives you a chance to test different headlines and text copy.

3. - No negative keywords. This you gotta do. And it's so easy. Simply add -free (or whatever else you don't want associated with your searches) and you won't end up paying for a lot of clicks for people who weren't interested in the first place.

4. - Using only broad keyword searches for their keywords. When you're paying for this stuff, you want to be as specific as you can, particularly if you're playing in a very competitive market. Why hope that a broad search will return someone interested in what you're selling? Better to get as focused as you can on the words they may be searching for. Google helps you with this by giving you more information on the impressions and click-throughs than you can handle, but be pro-active, and prune the dead wood after 100 or so impressions. If they haven't produced by then, the odds of them improving by leaps and bounds are not great.

5. - Not testing and rotating your ads. Even a small change in a headline or ad text can make a HUGE difference! Particularly headlines. Your ad text won't be read if the headline is boring or uninviting. Learn to write killer headlines, and do not be afraid to test and rotate your ads. Also don't be shy about deleting ad groups if they're not clicking through enough. Remember, you've got a list of several hundred words; either these aren't right or the headline/text need tweaking. Test, test, test!

6. - Not using the content targeted feature wisely. This is a tricky one. Google, in it's infinite wisdom, seeks out alternate avenues to show your ads, thus delivering substantially more clicks to your campaign. Trouble is, though, you have no control over this, and it IS your money. If you are attempting to run a tightly focused campaign on limited funds, this one is a potential budget buster. It can easily rack up a lot of clicks, but are they of worth to you? In my experience, the CTR is ALWAYS a lot lower. I guess it could make sense for large campaigns with a very popular product, but for the most part, you'll want to be very careful. Which leads me to my last, and most important dollar-drainer of all.

7. - Not having a GREAT sales page. This one is the hardest to fix, but without doubt the most important. All the clicks in the world won't mean a thing if the sales page you're sending your hard-earned visitors to doesn't get the job done. If it's your product, there's hope! You can address these issues, and after testing and more testing, can correct and come up with a page that sings! If you're an affiliate, you might consider a separate landing page, where you might offer a sincere testimonial in an attempt to presell the product more effectively. (That is not a bad strategy even with a good sales page, as personal recommendations go a long way!)

There you have it. 7 Great ways to lose infinitely more than your shirt!

Keith Thompson is the webmaster at Internet Marketing Here & Now, where you can find all sorts of information concerning pay-per-click advertising.

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