Google Adwords - Advertising ProgramAdwords, Pay Per Click, AdSense, Online Advertising, SEO, Social Media………..

The list of terms related to  internet marketing is never ending and trying to decide where to focus and how to get started gets more confusing every day. As usage of the internet grows so does our need for understanding the many and various ways of promoting our products and services online to the right audience through the right channel.

This is the first in a series of posts that will explore Google’s keyword driven paid advertising system.  Together we’ll learn what Adwords is, how to get started, what makes a good campaign, how to measure results, and more.

Advertising on Google may seem impractical for small businesses, public sector, and non-profit organizations; however if properly set up and managed, it can be a powerful tool for any size or type of organization.

A program such as Adwords opens up the opportunity to expand your reach far beyond traditional methods of paid advertising such as the Yellow Pages or direct marketing techniques like postcards, catalogs, and brochures. A well planned and executed Adwords account can be a cost effective method of driving sales or generating new leads.  Google Adwords is a keyword driven advertising program and its reach extends far beyond the Google results page.

Ads can also appear on the results pages of Google’s partners such as AOL, Earthlink, and In addition to the millions of ads served by Google and it’s partners –  there are hundreds of thousands of sites that serve Adwords ads on their pages as a part of the Adsense program.  Google pays website owners who are part of the Adsense platform to display Adwords on their sites.  And last but not least, Google displays Adwords results next to any email received in Gmail.

Search Engine results pages are divided into “sponsored links” and organic listings.  In other words links that are paid for and listings that surface on the results page naturally because of their relevance to the search term. If a searcher clicks on one of the the “sponsored links,” Google gets paid for the click, which is what the phrase “Pay Per Click” refers to.  All search engines and many other online marketing tools use the “Pay Per Click” model to drive traffic to websites.

Every time someone enters a word into the Google search box, they’re looking for an answer to a question or a solution to a problem. If Google is doing their job, the results page provides a list of relevant resources and matches the searcher with a solution in a fraction of the time it would have taken them to make a dozen phone calls or drive around town doing price comparisons.

I’ve always wanted to take a vacation in the Caribbean so I’ll use that as an example to demonstrate how the results display on Google. Of course it needs to be an affordable trip and I like packages so I don’t have to think about and coordinate all of the details, so I searched on “affordable Caribbean vacation packages.”

The results at the top and right hand side of the page that are highlighted in yellow represent the ads that were paid for and are a part of an Adwords campaign and the results that are displayed under the first three “sponsored links” are the organic results, or in other words the resources that Google’s algorithm found to be the most relevant to my search request.

















When I first started learning about how Google works, one of the biggest surprises was that relevance and quality are two of the most important, if not the most important words in Google’s universe.  I think a lot of people are under the impression that if you pay for an ad and you are willing to pay for the top position, it’s yours, however that’s not the case.

Relevance matters as much for a sponsored link as it does for a natural search result. After the initial shock wore off, I realized that it made perfect sense for Google to give priority to ads that are the most relevant.  After all they only get paid if someone clicks on the link and the only way it will be clicked on is if the ad is pertinent to the search term.  What makes an ad relevant goes way beyond the ad copy, but that’s another post and will be covered in the coming weeks.

Google Adwords can be a great tool for businesses of all sizes to drive traffic, generate sales, and acquire new customers.  In the next post we’ll cover how to get started with an Adwords Account.