How does AdWords work? A beginners’ guide

How advertising was done pre-internet!

I’ve been running a few AdWords (Google Pay Per Click) campaigns lately, so if you’re thinking of doing the same, here’s some useful info to get you started.

You may well be nervous about using AdWords, for these reasons:

1. With AdWords you need a budget, whereas social media, SEO and blogging can be done for free

Yes, you do need an ad budget. But on the other hand social media and blogging can be very time consuming. You may not have to pay for adverts, but it will cost you your time.

Measuring your results is a lot more straightforward with AdWords than it is with blogging, Facebook pages or Twitter.  Plus you can tell if an AdWords campain is likely to be effective in as little as an hour sometimes. Social media results take months, unless it’s paid advertising such as Facebook Ads. As for SEO, it can take months or years of hard work to see any success.

I’m not knocking any of these methods, there is a time and a place for all of them. I use them all. It’s just a matter of picking the right tool for your marketing campaign.

2. You need to know what you’re doing or you could lose a lot of money

You do need to know what you’re doing, no doubt about that. But it’s not as scary as you think. See video 4, below.

3. Fear of dodgy AdWords consultants ripping you off

Sadly there are unscrupulous consultants in the internet marketing world. But one way you can protect yourself is to get a little background knowledge, which is one of the reasons for this guide.

So if you’re ready to find out more, the best beginners’ tutorials I’ve found come from Google itself. Here’s Google’s Five Words To AdWords Success series:

(Each video is just a couple of minutes long)

1. Plan your campaign

2. Define your audience

3. Tell your story

4. How to control your budget

5. Learn what’s working for your Adwords campaign and how to refine for success

I did think of recording my own videos but Google have already done them. Might as well get it straight from the horse’s mouth!

There’s also loads of information at

Have you used AdWords? How have you found it? Please do share in the comments…

Photo credit: David Wallace

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2 thoughts on “How does AdWords work? A beginners’ guide”

  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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