Most Internet users use Google and other search engines on a regular basis to find information, products, services and more. Most website owners will find that Google directs 2 to 3 times as much traffic to their website than Yahoo and MSN combined. Therefore, it may be a good idea to pay Google to send focused traffic to your website. This can be accomplished by registering for Google’s advertising service – Adwords.

You may already be familiar with this service and don’t even know it. Adwords are the paid advertisements that show up on the right side of Google’s search results under “Sponsored Links.”. Adwords also appear on many commercial and personal pages as a way for the website owner to make a little money from their website. These advertisements usually carry the caption, “Ads by Goooooogle” at the top. The service is termed a pay-for-click service because Google will charge you each time an Internet User clicks on your advertisement and visits your website.

Adwords is a terrific complement to any existing advertising campaign, but probably should not be used as the sole marketing channel for your website. This program allows you to control your advertising budget by giving you the ability to set the maximum price that you’re willing to pay, per click, and also a maximum allowable daily advertising budget. You choose the keywords that you would like to target, bid on the maximum per click price you’d like to pay, and Google will send focused traffic to your website. According to Google, Adwords text advertisements boast a standard click-through rate four to five times higher than traditional banner ads.

Because you are paying Google per click, you need to ensure that your traffic is highly targeted for your website. It doesn’t make sense to pay a lot of money for a lot of click-troughs and not generate any revenue for your business. It is important that you follow a few guidelines to ensure that you don’t waste your precious advertising dollars:

Choose Specific Keywords

It is smart to avoid choosing keywords that are too vague or general. To generate highly qualified prospects you have to choose very specific keywords. This way, competition for the keyword will be lower, and it will cost less per click, and you won’t be throwing money away on expensive, unqualified leads. For example, if you only sell Green Widgets, don’t bid on the term “Widgets” it is too broad and you’ll pay for clicks from people searching for “Red Widgets”

Use Geographical Targeting

It is smart to start small by limiting your advertisement’s reach to a selected area. This way you can see the effect it will have on sales without spending a lot of money. Later on, you can expand to other regions; go national, or even global. If your business only caters to the local community, then you should only advertise in your city and surrounding localities.

Use Proper Grammar and Spelling

This tip may sound like a no-brainer, but it sometimes goes neglected. Whether they want to admit it or not, a lot of people are terrible spellers and possess poor writing skills. But, a text advertisement that has misspelled words or doesn’t read clearly is not going to get clicked, and it reflects poorly upon your company. Make sure that you check your ads for both spelling and grammar errors. Have a friend, co-worker or employee proof read your ad before submitting it.

Look at the Competition

No matter what kind of product or service you are promoting, chances are, someone else is doing something similar using Adwords. Search for the terms you are likely to use in order to size-up the competition. Pay attention to their ad’s wording, titles, or incentives they use. You don’t won’t to make your ad exactly like the competition, but it’s smart to know what their doing to ensure that your advertisement is going to be effective.

Stick to Your Budget

Create a budget and stick to it. In marketing, there is a saying, “I waste half my advertising dollars, but, the problem is, I don’t know which half”. It’s difficult to know how effective the Adwords program will be if you’re also utilizing other marketing channels (as you should be). When checking out, give your customers the option to let you know how they found your website. If you find Adwords is paying off, then it may be smart to increase your budget. It also may not be very cost efficient to bid for the #1 spot for every keyword. The #2 position may be almost as effective, but cost only half as much.

If your website doesn’t sell or promote anything, then it doesn’t make sense to pay for traffic. If this is the case, Google will actually pay you to display Adwords advertisements on their websites. To find out more information regarding the Adwords program, Visit Google’s Advertising Programs.