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For small businesses struggling to keep their marketing budget to an absolute minimum, Google AdWords can seem like an attractive option. After all, this program offers an inexpensive way to drive relevant traffic to your site, which is a powerful way of building public awareness and sales. Unlike other advertising options, AdWords only charges for results. However, as with all forms of marketing and advertising, there are definite benefits and drawbacks to Google advertising. Here is a short guide to using it efficiently and effectively.

1. Make sure Google AdWords is the right small business marketing option for your company. Are people looking for a product like yours? Are they searching for it on the internet? If the answer is no, you need to work on awareness and market through other channels for the time being.

2. Set a budget. Not all of your traffic will result in sales, especially not at first, so set a reasonable marketing budget and stick with it. This will keep you from being slammed at the end of the month by a huge bill and not enough sales to compensate for it.

3. Begin small. With Google Adwords, you can choose to advertise in your local area. This is a good place to begin with because it allows you to work with the people most likely to purchase from you, people who are already likely familiar with your business. If and when this is successful, you can decide whether to branch out into other markets.

4. Choose keywords that are not used by your competition. You will get a very low benefit to cost ratio if you are going up against a competitor every time. Choose keywords that are currently being overlooked to make sure your name is at the top of the page. It will also help to keep your costs low.

5. Be specific. If you choose keywords that are uniquely related to your business, your clicks will be more likely to turn into sales. On the other hand, more general keywords might drive more traffic to your site—but it will be more expensive per click, and less relevant to your actual offerings.

6. Use negative keywords. One of Google’s strengths is that you can block people who are searching for certain terms. These terms, known as ‘negative keywords’, can be used to your advantage because they help you to narrow your market to the people that really matter.

7. Constantly adjust your campaign. One of the benefits of AdWords is that it allows you to constantly evaluate and modify your campaigns. You can constantly use new terms, put more money into the ones that work, and drop any that aren’t bringing in income.

8. Target your landing page. This allows you to have people who type in different words landing on different pages that are uniquely targeted to their needs.

As you can see, Google AdWords is a lucrative tool that offers endless opportunities for personalization. You can get a huge marketing boost from this program if you learn to use it to your own advantage. This guide should get you started on your way to success.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.