You heard it here first: Google AdWords Coupons No Longer Free. Well, sort of…
And yes I am talking about Google AdWords coupons for $100 or some other denomination such as $105 or $75.
It was a big surprise to me that they are no longer entirely free. Here’s the scoop:
Effective October 1st, 2012, you will need to pay $25 of your own money before that $100 credit can be applied.
So, instead of me setting up your account with a $100 credit ready to go for testing, I will still set up your account with that $100 credit for testing but you will have to put in your own $25 before that credit will be ready.
Put another way, nothing has changed except that you your ads won’t run until you put in your own $25.
There are probably several reasons for this. For example, people can’t say no to free leads or free traffic to their site. I know I haven’t. I’ve used coupons for some of my own websites to drive traffic there.
But another reason that may perhaps be more important is that this is going to eliminate people who are merely curious or they are simply just freeloaders. That’s not YOU, of course!
Either way, you have to get some “skin in the game” as it were before you get $100 worth of free promotion.
Here is the email I got from Google about this for Engage members (like me)…
We want to make sure you’re aware of some important changes to AdWords coupons and how they’ll work in the future.
Beginning today (September 25th, 2012), you’ll be able to offer your clients advertising credit after they spend their first $25 on AdWords. We believe businesses that invest a small amount in their AdWords campaigns are more likely to be successful, especially with your expert guidance.
Please take some time to read our revised terms and conditions for your new AdWords introductory offers. Please note—the old AdWords coupons will be retired from all markets as of September 30th, 2012 and will no longer work after that date.
What that means is any coupons you currently have will only work through September 30th, 2012. You can, however, request new introductory offer codes through the Engage portal and start using them right away.
To make this transition smoother, our team is standing by for any questions you may have. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us Monday-Friday, between 9am-9pm EST, at 1-877-908-4181. The FAQs below also provide additional details and you can read detailed FAQs at the Google Engage portal.
The Google Engage Team
Does this change how I currently use AdWords promotional codes?
Only a little.
Google will automatically credit the $100 within 5 days of your client’s account reaching the $25 minimum in AdWords advertising charges. Once applied, the $100 promotional credit will appear on the Billing summary page in your client’s AdWords account.
In order to activate this offer, you still need to enter a promotional code through the Billing tab in your client’s AdWords account.
You may still use only one promotional code per client, subject to the updated terms and conditions.
How exactly does the new system work?
To qualify for the introductory offer your client must spend $25 in AdWords advertising within 31 days of entering the promotional code. For example, if they enter the code on October 1, 2012 they’ll have until November 1, 2012 to spend $25 in advertising. In all circumstances, please remember that the offer expires on the specific expiration date which is provided with the promotional code (if any) or after 3 months.
What stays the same?
Pretty much everything else.
You may still use this offer for new AdWords clients only (‘new’ accounts are accounts that are no more than 14-days-old) in the US or Canada.
You can still only use one offer per client, subject to the promotional credit terms and conditions.
You can still request new offer codes on your Engage page like before.
When will my client receive the $100 credit in their account?
Within about 5 days of your client’s account reaching the $25 minimum in AdWords advertising charges but you should check for it as early as a day or two.
Please remember: the account must be activated using the promotional code and must fulfill all requirements stated in the offer.
Once applied, the $100 credit will appear on the Billing summary page in your client’s AdWords account.
What if my client wants to stop advertising after receiving the $100 promotional credit?
They absolutely may! Your client can suspend their ads anytime before the AdWords $100 promotional credit amount is exhausted if they do not wish to receive additional advertising charges. Please remember: they will not be notified once the credit is exhausted. Any unused portion of the promotional credit amount will remain in the AdWords account as a credit balance.
What if my client wants to spend more than $25?
But of course. Just remember that your client will be charged for all advertising that exceeds the $100 promotional credit.
What happened to the old $100 coupons? Will my client be able to get them elsewhere?
The old AdWords coupons have been retired from all markets and as of September 30th, 2012 will no longer work.
When I went to school in the military as part of my training as a broadcast journalist, they told us to write for a 6th grade audience. I honestly thought it was because my audience was almost all active duty Marines, but I don’t think that is the case now. I think they were on to something to be honest. I found it’s really one of the best tips for writing! And, keep in mind, this isn’t just for writing articles, but also for writing Google AdWords ads and also for writing your Facebook updates, Tweets and WordPress blog posts.
Yesterday I listened to a really great audio podcast about the pyschology of writing simply–and to stop using big words! The reason why? Well, you will certainly want to listen to the post, but it covers some very interesting tips (and explains them).
Here are some things I remember from it:
Use Anglo-Saxon words and not Latin words. You’d be surprised why!
Avoid stop words (and which ones they are).
When jargon works and when it doesn’t.
Words you use with your customers can unintentionally kill business.
And I’m going to add one to this list that they didn’t talk about when writing copy.
It’s super-important for you, as someone writing a blog entry or a Google AdWords ad or an online article to avoid “stuffing keywords.” This means trying to make the content of your article filled with keywords so that it will appear at the top of search engine results for those keywords.
For example, my keywords for this post are “best tips for writing” and you can see that phrase in the title, the URL and in the first paragraph (and again in the body in this sentence). Notice that I didn’t write it over and over and over again. This would create a really weird story for people to read if I did. Either way, I’m not going to expect this article to make it to the top, but if enough people link to this post AND I have done a good job with my keywords without overdoing it AND a number of other search engine factors are satisfied, it might one day make it to the top… Again, it might! Any article can make it to the top with enough links from other pages pointing to it.
I hope you enjoy this article and that you’ll stay tuned for more articles to come! Please leave a comment below to tell me what you think of the link I am sharing!
Everyone knows that Google is pretty much the only game in town when it comes to search engine placement so that people can find your business/website/blog/stuff online.
SEO is a very big part of that because good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will put you in the top search results (provided that you are not in a very crowded space of similar websites such as this one).
However, it’s not an easy thing to get good SEO and this infographic from SEOBook.com should give you an idea why.
If you know what Google AdWords is, then you probably know that they have coupons or maybe you’ve got one in the mail or been offered one, but didn’t know what to do next.
Let’s say that you are a really great _______(fill in the blank with your profession) and you have no interest in marketing or using a computer to design ads, place them strategically, make the perfect landing page and outbid others in doing the same thing. Well, most _______s don’t know how to do this because it’s a completely unrelated discipline to doing what _______s do. Even if you were to get a degree in Business Management, they don’t teach this stuff because it changes so quickly that by the time the class is over, a whole new chapter would need to be written in the textbook.
But, there are people who know a lot about technology, software and marketing and also coaching and training. This person would be able to do the work for you and then teach you how to do it yourself. That’s MeshMarketer. We will do it for you. I’ve done it with fantastic success in saving lots of money for other companies when they were spending too much and also helping them to increase their overall traffic to their site. References available upon request.
So, if you’ve ever thought about starting up with Google AdWords to reach new customers, this is a great way to do it. However, I do feel it’s important to warn you in advance that the coupon may be $100, but you often need to spend up to $200 altogether to really get a fair sense of how your campaign actually works and whether or not it’s a good idea to continue with it. Also, it’s never a good practice to think you need to be at the top of paid search; it only means that you outbid everyone else. When you are able to pay a low cost per click, have a Quality Score of 10 AND be at the top, then you know you are doing it right and it’s then great to enjoy the space at the top; unless you are the only provider of a product or service, you can expect to pay your way to the top unless you are smart and simply work on being between #2 and #3 and focusing on your Quality Score (7 is just fine; 8 and 9 rarely exist).
As you can tell, there’s probably much more to this than you know. You can read my ebook (for free if you subscribe to my mailing list) and learn all that there is to know and then from there you can hire me to do the work to get you started.
Yes, that’s right folks. You read it correctly. Google AdWords University recommends that you do not use their default settings (from page 57 of my book). This is just crazy, isn’t it?
When you set your campaign up with their default settings, both the Display and Search Networks are turned on. Here are what the default settings look like before you change them:
When you click “Let me choose…” so that you can change the defaults, you will see the options to change the defaults:
But if you were to watch the FIRST TEN WORDS of this video at a point 0:12 seconds into the video, you will see that they recommend that you DO NOT USE these settings that are there by default.
So which setting is the right one? You should, as it says in the video, create separate campaigns for Display/Content Network and Search Networks. There are too many reasons to go into here because I could write a whole chapter on just this one thing (and it’s in my book).
If you think you might want to use over 100 pages of tips and tricks like this, consider picking up your copy of my ebook Electronic Word of Mouth.
You can buy it now in PDF format using PayPal right here!
Have you ever walked out of a casino and realized that you are going home with absolutely nothing? Ever get “free money” to gamble from a casino? Ever get serious perks even when you break even? You will find Google AdWords to be no different; except hopefully that part about going home with nothing to show for your effort.
You go into a casino, put down your money and hope for a return in winnings. Google AdWords is almost the same except your “winnings” are sales that result from the money you put in. So, like gambling at a casino, you know if you are winning (making a profit) or losing (not making a profit).
Just like a casino, “The House” never loses; Google never loses. In fact, better than a casino, Google’s money is never once put at risk. There is no way to break the bank with Google AdWords.
Google rewards its “high rollers” (the ones who spend the most money). They do not bet against you and they’re going to be nothing but thrilled if you are on a winning streak. They send trinkets with the Google logo on it as a “reward” for loyal patronage like hats and other Google swag.
Just like a casino, Google will provide you with “virtual money” for you to spend with them. If you’re a business, you’ve probably got coupons from them to use just like cash on Google AdWords. Like a casino, you can’t use that cash anywhere else but with them. They know that once you show up that you will plunk down your own money—just like a casino.
Since there are people who can teach you how to play blackjack, does that mean that there are people who teach Google AdWords? Yes, there are plenty. Google even certifies them and provides you with a directory of people and companies that will help you spend your money on your behalf; and they can show you what to do wrong and right. They even offer training sessions. You can minimize the risk, but if you are a crappy gambler and get excited too easily and you stop playing the odds, you’re still going to lose money.
Now here’s the really unfortunate part… Just like a casino, Google will stack the deck against you any way that they can by relying on human nature to stuff profits in their pocket. There are many examples of this (and many reasons why one should learn from a pro if possible) but here’s a simple one: When you start your first account, both the Display Network and Search Network are combined. In 2010, Google’s own video training (which Google has since removed) advised setting them up separately, but they do it to everyone who doesn’t know because it’s the default.
And finally, just like a casino, Google AdWords can be very addictive. I’ve seen times when AdWords users get dollar signs in their eyes when AdWords is really working and they want to just put more money down instead of focusing on what is working. It’s sad to see that customers get gold fever like this.
The best way to go into Google AdWords is to not go it alone. Find someone who has been there and done it or hire someone who can show you the ropes. Google Inc. is a for-profit business and they have the same level of customer service as a casino—high rollers get preferential treatment and you’ll get a well-planned response if you feel ripped off.
So now that you have achieved stability in Second Stage and you have achieved the kind of results which all you to go into a maintenance mode (daily monitoring and occasional pausing of certain keywords and ads just to see how the dynamics of your campaign will change as a result), it’s time to start getting really creative.
For example, you may want to consider pointing your Google AdWords account onto a blog which happens to advertise your product rather than having a site that is clearly geared toward advertising your product.
You may also want to focus on new ways to get your site noticed by Google by having others link to it and also finding ways to get your site linked by either contributing to someone else’s blog or posting on other blogs with your website linked.
And then there are all kinds of other things you can do such as creating videos which Google happens to like since they own YouTube and they want you to use video.
There are also graphic ads you can use (and having an animated gif would probably be smart to use to grab people’s attention).
And then there are all the out-of-the-box things that if I told you what they were, then they wouldn’t be out-of-the-box. This is where you, as the expert in your field, as an author or as a subject-matter-expert, get to invent and create new ways to get your message across. No one can create new things in your field better than you; however, having a coach or someone to co-create with can always help. Someone once told me that you need to spend at least an hour a day marketing your business and if you do this then you will have no problem coming up with out-of-the-box ideas and ways to increase your traffic and profits.
Google AdWords Second Stage is the stage between wildly fluctuating results and the achievement of the overall goals you will need to move into the maintenance phase of Google AdWords: Third Stage.
By now you have identified most of your keywords and you have ads that work, but you also have tons and tons of keywords that don’t work and some ads that don’t work at all.
The key to getting through this stage is proving that the keywords and ads that you are using are going to give you long-term stability. And, just for the record, Google does throw everyone into a tailspin with regards to AdWords every once in a while. Those “stable results” are gone overnight and people who have been counting on Google AdWords for year for their rent/mortgage are suddenly freaked out and scrambling to get back out of AdWords First Stage into Second Stage and then back into Third Stage as soon as possible. Over the years, Google has made it harder and harder to get in and stay highly profitable because there has become so much competition from legitimate companies as well as scammers and get-rich-quick types.
Remember your goal here is to reach the three overall goals for Google AdWords success.
The Three Overall Goals of a Successful Google AdWords Campaign:
Your Click-Through-Rate is over 1% for all of your keywords.
Your Quality Score is 7 and above on all keywords.
All of your ads together in each Ad Groups have over 1% CTR.
Basically, you’re going to be bringing your keywords with a CTR below 1% to over 1%. This is done by working some SEO on your pages so that those keywords are a better match for the pages that they are linked to through your ad.
Next, you are going to eliminate all of your keywords that are below 7 (though it is possible that you can keep the ones that are either at 5 or 6 but you need to drop all the ones below 5). For those that are at 5 or 6, again you will need to focus on the SEO to bring up the quality score.
The major benefit of having a higher quality score is that the cost of your keywords will go down. If you have a keyword that has a keyword quality score of 10 then you will have a very inexpensive keyword to use. It is really ideal to have it this way. So, how do you get a keyword quality score of 10? Well, just get linked by a high-traffic website, of course! The reason why the ad costs less is because if you DO have a keyword linked from a high-traffic site then you should be at the top of Google’s organic search results (meaning the unpaid search results). You could just turn off Google AdWords if all of your keywords that you rely on are at a 10. However, people generally don’t have control over this.
The last thing that needs to be done is to have at least two ads that, when combined, produce an average CTR of over 1%. This can only be done by writing some good ads and I will post a separate article on this later. And regarding writing good ads, consider that most ads that are effective are ones that really grab people’s attention; so it’d be a good idea to consider the following:
Google AdWords First Stage is characterized by either setting up your Google AdWords account campaigns and then populating them with ads and keywords or transitioning from someone else’s management of the AdWords account (whether that is your transitioning it to someone else or transitioning from one expert to another).
The thing you should know about this stage is that it is often characterized by wild swings in effectiveness. This is unavoidable because there are so many variables in an AdWords that just one variable can scuttle what otherwise seemed like a good start. Sometimes these simple settings and changes can cause other variables to not function correctly and it’s easy to think that the thing to change isn’t what it seems to be.
For example, when you are setting up your first campaign, you may opt to include the Google Content Network in addition to Google Search for use with your keywords and ads. How will you know that the problem is not with your ads or your keywords until you have had enough time to evaluate them? Perhaps the problem is with the your bids being too low or your daily budget not being high enough? What if the problem is that you have isolated your searches to a geographical area and you are paying for ads being shown around the world which are useless to you? How is it possible to know which problem is the true problem and not just “possibly” the problem?
Google AdWords has two major types of ads: Google Search and Google Content Network. Google Search is for placing your ads on the top and left of Google Search results. Google Content Network is for contexturally-placed ads on web pages such as online magazines, newspapers and blogs.
It’s important to begin with knowing two important considerations. Do people know who you are or not? This will determine whether or not you should be using the Google Content Network. With it, you are paying for essentially billboard ads on the freeway. People are reading an online magazine, newspaper or blog and your ad is there just as if you were cruising down the road and you either notice it or you don’t. Your goal may be only to expose people to who you are and that’s how Google Content Network is best utilized. For this reason, you aren’t really expecting a direct sale to happen with your billboard. You are just building awareness of your product like a movie that is about to come to theaters; you aren’t selling the ticket today but you are planting the seed for a purchase to happen on premiere day.
If your goal is not to get people to know who you are alone, then you should use Google Search and possibly add the Google Content Network. You may not want to use the Google Content Network at all if it is costing you too much to put up those billboards if they aren’t giving you the return you want. You may also want to focus on just Google Search at first until you are very sure which ads and keywords work really well. You can leave the Google Content Network for Third Stage if you like; it’s not essential to First Stage or Second Stage and may introduce too many variables in First Stage to clearly understand what to leave in and what to throw out.
You know that you are the end of First Stage when you are getting enough clicks on a day to day basis where you don’t get a bunch on one day and then 10% of the same number the next day. At a minimum you should get a decent number (let’s say 1,000 or 100 or 10) and then not less than half of that the next day (500/50/5) and then the day after it should either go down by 10% (400/40/4) and then up again or it will stay at that level (400/40/4) or go higher. If you’re satisfied with this level at 400/40/4, then you can count on building that up in AdWords Second Stage. You should be able to back up to the 1,000/100/10 over the next two to three weeks.