AdWords Basics – A PPC Tutorial

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At a start, Google AdWords looks like an advertising dream.  You put in your keywords, choose what you’re willing to pay per click, and then let the traffic come flooding in.  In reality, most people don’t know what they’re getting into; often not until it’s too late, and a lot of money has been spent.

One of most basic elements of AdWords that you need to be aware of is the different keyword matching options.  To begin, you need to make sure you have your ad groups broken into separate categories (so you can have targeted ads and keywords), but that’s a different topic.  For each ad group, you’ll want to have your keyword matching options carefully selected.

There are four different keywords matching options in Google AdWords: broad match, phrase match, exact match, and negative match.  They can all be used together, but don’t need to all be used.

The broad match is what the “default” option is.  If you enter a basic keyword or keyword phrase, it’s shown in your list as a broad match.  This means any match to any of the words in your keyword phrase will cue that keyword.  Your ad will show.  The search phrase can have the same words in a different order, the same order, or in some cases, even contain completely different words (based on what Google thinks the words are related to).  So if you’ve put in the phrase “buy dog food” (with no quotes), the search phrases “buy dog food”, “dog food buy”, “buy Alpo dog food”, and “where to buy dog food” will all trigger this keyword.

The phrase match is entered by using quotes.  So you put your keywords in with quotes around them, this is known as a phrase match.  It will only be triggered by searches that have that exact phrase in the search, uninterrupted.  If there’s an extra word in the middle, it won’t be cued.  So “buy dog food” will be triggered for the phrases “buy dog food” and “where to buy dog food”, but not “dog food buy” and “buy Alpo dog food”.

The exact match is entered using brackets.  You put your keywords inside brackets to look for exactly that keyword phrase, nothing more, nothing less.  For [buy dog food] in your keywords, only “buy dog food” in the search will trigger it.  “where to buy dog food”, “dog food buy”, and “buy Alpo dog food” will NOT be caught by that keyword.

And a negative match is done in one of two ways.  You can either put in your negative keyword with a negative sign in front of it, or else put it inside your Campaign’s negative keywords group.  Either way, a negative match works the same way as the other three – you can either have broad, phrase, or exact.  Just put a dash in front of them.  So if you entered -“buy dog food” (with quotes), any search with that phrase in it will NOT show your ad.  This is something that should be done often, especially if there are particular words you don’t want your ad showing for.  Common ones people tend to use are “free” and “crack” (the latter especially for software).

This is just a basic tutorial on PPC with Google’s AdWords, but they’re some of the most crucial details in making sure your own pay per click campaign is set up properly.

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