AdWords For Dummies: An Overview

AdWords For Dummies is divided into five parts:

Part I: Becoming a Google Advertiser

Before you drive your AdWords vehicle to success, let’s get you pointed in the right direction. Forget everything you learned about marketing in business school, and understand that AdWords is fundamentally a direct-marketing medium. You’ll discover what that means, and how it differs from the brand advertising that we see all around us, and how to play the direct-marketing game to win.

Once you’re oriented and pointed toward success, I show you how to start your engine – first with training wheels if you wish (with the simple Starter Edition), then with the full-featured and powerful Standard Edition.

Part II: Launching Your AdWords Campaign

The two bricks of your AdWords campaign (to switch metaphors abruptly) are keywords and ads. Before you activate your first campaign, I introduce you to the single most important element of AdWords (actually, of just about all online marketing): choosing the right keywords. I show you how to do this through various online research tools and methods, most of which are quick, free, and easy.

Next you master the ads themselves. Since AdWords is the most competitive advertising space in existence (slapping your ad in the middle of 20 others offering more or less the same thing), you must deploy advanced strategies for creating compelling, action-triggering ads. Otherwise no Web traffic, no leads, no money. I focus on text ads, since they are the most common and (in their simplicity) provide the best opportunity to illustrate direct-marketing principles. I also cover image ads, video ads, and local business ads connected to Google Maps.

Part III: Managing Your AdWords Campaigns

Keywords and ads are the bricks. If you hired me to build you a house and I just dropped a dump truck full of bricks on your empty lot, you wouldn’t be happy. The chapters in this part give you the blueprints to turn your bricks into a sound and effective structure, and the tools to build and maintain it. You’ll learn how to structure campaigns and ad groups, manage keyword bids, and target the right traffic.

Part IV: Converting Clicks to Clink

This is my favorite part of the whole book, the part where my family dragged me away from my keyboard as I kicked and screamed, “Wait, I haven’t told them about live chat yet.” Once you’ve set up your campaigns and paid for visitors to your Web site, you learn how to use lead-generating magnets to collect contact information from visitors – and to use e-mail to stay in touch and build a relationship. I also cover Web site strategies to extract maximum value from each visitor.

Part V: Testing Your Strategies and Tracking Your Results

Actually, this is my favorite part of the whole book (okay, my other favorite) because I show you how to fail your way to success inexpensively, quickly, and predictably. When you test multiple approaches, one is almost always better than the other. As long as you keep testing properly and paying attention to the results, you can’t help but achieve constant incremental (and sometimes enormous) improvement in your profitability.

Part VI: The Part of Tens

Part of my hazing in the For Dummies fraternity included creating four top-ten lists that will, alas, never make their way onto Letterman. They include useful tools, beginners’ mistakes you want your competitors to make instead of you, tips for writing great ads, and case studies that bring the principles of the book to life. The Part of Tens is a resource you can use whenever you’re stuck, except for wedding toasts and term papers about the causes of World War I.

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