A Handy Guide to Google AdWords

What it is, how it works, and why it’s a great marketing tool for remodelers

December 29, 2016

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Google AdWords, however, the resources available for it can be confusing. With that in mind, here’s a guide to Google AdWords: what it is, how it works, and why it’s a great marketing tool.

What Is AdWords?

Put simply, Google AdWords is a pay-per-click advertising system that gets your company in front of customers who type the right keyword or phrase into the Google search engine. For example, if you’re a plumber in Ankeny, Iowa, one of your keyword phrases may be “Ankeny plumber.” If someone types those words in Google, and your bid wins, a link to your website will appear at the top of Google’s search results. If the customer clicks that link, then you’ll be charged—but only if they click the link.

Google AdWords also has a convenient tracking system that shows you the results of your investment and lets you target people in a specific geographical area. 

Getting Started

The first step in using Google AdWords (google.com/adwords) is connecting it to your business email and website, which is easy‎. Then, choose your budget, design ads, select keywords and phrases, and enter billing information.

Keyword Research

Google AdWords lets you choose several keyword matching options. For example, if you select a “broad match” on the phrase “Home Remodeler in Galveston,” your ad may also appear for those people who search “home remodeling,” “remodeling Galveston,” or “remodeler Galveston.” And if someone misspells their search term and Google recognizes that, your ad will also appear.

But if you want to focus your keywords on something specific, such as “residential basement remodeling,” you can use “exact match.” Exact matches can be useful for bringing you customers who are close to choosing a contractor. For that, you might use a highly targeted phrase, such as “affordable home basement remodeling company in Albany,” to pull in customers who know they want to remodel their basement and are choosing from a few options.

Campaign Structure 

The best feature of AdWords is the ability to monitor your ad campaigns. This lets you set up several campaigns targeting different keywords and see which one does best. We recommend starting out with a small budget, no more than $20 per day, and putting your bid at about $1 per click to test out the effectiveness of your ads. And make sure, when you’re building your ads, that you show them on the Google Search Network only. Showing them on the Google Display network puts your ads on websites instead of on the search results, which isn’t nearly as effective in gaining leads and bringing customers to your business.

Management and Optimization

Setting up your AdWords campaign is only part of the work. It’s not a set it and forget it sort of project; if you want to optimize your results, you’ll want to follow a few key steps.

First, you should try using three to five variations of your ad for a few days to see which is most effective for your target audience. You can then run your two best ads against each other and see which one performs the best. This is the basic way to handle A/B testing, and will help ensure that you’re using the best ad for your target demographic.

Reviewing your campaign is also important. If you notice that your ad is showing up on keywords that aren’t related to your business, then you should add those words to your “negative keywords” list, which will prevent your ad from showing to people who clearly are looking for something else. This, again, will help you save money—you won’t be paying for clicks from curious people who weren’t actually interested in your services.

You should also make a point of routinely checking to see what other people are bidding for your keywords and adjust your own bids accordingly. Following these simple steps will not only improve your business’s AdWords success, but will also save you money in the long run.

Getting the most from Google AdWords does take time and effort on your part. If you have trouble with technology, it may be better to have someone help you with your campaigns. But with time and attention, your Google AdWords campaign can immensely benefit your business and improve your profits.

About the Author


Dan Trzil is the director of operations at Contractor Dynamics, a company specializing in web design and lead-generation services for the construction industry.

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