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Blog | A Beginners Guide To PPC / Google AdWords



A Beginners Guide To PPC / Google AdWords

In a perfect world, you will have an amazing web site that everyone talks about, and which gets tons of ‘free’ traffic from Search Engines, Social Media, and from people who have bookmarked your site.

In the real world, you’ll probably have a web site which is fairly new and is not getting a huge amount of traffic yet.

This is where Pay Per Click (PPC) comes in.*

There are 3 major Search Engines in the UK & Ireland.

Google (roughly 90% of the market)
Yahoo (roughly 6% of the market)
Bing  (roughly 4% of the market)

Lets ignore Yahoo and Bing for the time being, and concentrate on…

Google AdWords

In a nutshell, Google AdWords gets you new customers through your web site by targeting people searching for your product or service. It also allows you to easily measure your Return On Investment.

If you have a reasonable level of technical knowledge, and fancy setting up your own Google Adwords campaign – Don’t. Please read (at least twice) – Google AdWords For Dummies by Howie Jacobson.

Then find a free voucher code for your new AdWords account (There are millions of these floating around, and you should be able to find one for at least £50, meaning that your first £50 of clicks are free).

You can do all this yourself, but if you do not have the time or the patience to set up your own Google AdWords campaign, then just pay someone who knows what they are doing…

How do you get the right person to set up your AdWords campaign?


  • Are you qualified?
  • Can you refer me to satisfied clients of yours?

Now, I know I am biased (because I am qualified Google Advertising Professional), and it is true that someone might not be qualified, and still be the most talented Pay Per Click specialist in the entire world – but on balance, I would chose someone with the qualification.

If you get someone who knows what they are doing to handle your campaign, then you can skip the rest of this article!

If you still want to have a bash at it yourself, then….. (After reading ‘AdWords For Dummies’) have a look at the following tools:-


* Update – you can stop reading the rest of this article and have a look at the updated Top 20 AdWords Tips *

Make sure your web site is as good as it can be.  The Website Optimizer link above can help with this.  Simple changes to your web site can increase ‘conversions’ by 100%!

e.g. Make a contact form much more user friendly, and you can get twice as many leads from the same Pay Per Click spend!

Make sure you measure everything!  Set up and *use* Google Analytics on your site (as well as AdWords reporting).

If you have an eCommerce site, make sure your shopping cart passes data to AdWords and Analytics.  This way you will be able to see (almost) exactly what your return on investment is for individual AdWords adverts and keywords, and which traffic sources are worth most to you.

You might find that on average that :-

  • A visitor from Bing is worth twice as much to you as one from Google (though this is unlikely).
  • A visitor from Pay Per Click adverts is worth twice as much as one from the natural (free) Search Engine results.
  • A visitor who searched for “Yellow Widgets” is worth 70% more than one who searched for “Blue Widgets”.
  • Someone from the Republic of Ireland is worth 30% more to you than someone from the UK.

This type of data is invaluable in helping you to increase your profits.  It is also extremely useful to know these things before starting ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ for your web site.

*Even if you are getting a lot of traffic already from other sources, this doesn’t mean that you can’t make more profit by using PPC as well!

  1. Adwords isn’t for the faint-hearted. There more to it than an hours work. Thanks for the Google links, plenty worth reading up on those.

  2. Hi Jordan,
    Google’s is doing a big effort to bring AdWords to the attention of professional and managers outside the strict circle of web marketing business. I don’t share your opinion that they shouldn’t start to experiment this tool and they should apply to e-marketing professionals. I think that qualified Google Advertising Professional should leverage instead the effort of Google; AdWords is at the end a tool and must be insert in a web marketing strategy to make sense and it’s just there (in the strategy) that Web marketing experts should bring their value.

  3. I agree. It is a tool. People should experiment with it but they need to be aware that to use it effectively, there is more to it than just setting a daily budget and then letting Google spend it as it sees fit!

  4. [New Post] A Beginners Guide To PPC / Google AdWords – via #twitoaster

  5. net4wiseowls Says:
    February 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    RT @PPCNI: [New Post] A Beginners Guide To PPC / Google AdWords – via #twitoaster

  6. Jordan,
    Thanks for a very interesting read. I’ve been thinking of using Adwords but have avoided it so far due to the potential costs.
    Thanks to your advice above I might dip my toe in the water

  7. Hi Francis.

    Photography is an extremely competitive area.

    But if you spend enough time reading up on AdWords, and spend enough time looking after it, then I think you should be able to make a profit from a properly targeted campaign (particularly wedding photography – though I have also heard that this is one niche that Facebook ads can work really well for as you can target people who have a a status of ‘engaged’).

    Also, if you have a load of fantastic photos that you don’t mind letting the world have free of charge – then you can probably make some money from them as well. Have a look at and

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