Marketing GPS:
Navigating Your Marketing Options

Keyword Ad Campaign Planning 101
By Liz Harsch

July 2009

Before you buy a Google™ AdWords or other paid search campaign, make sure that you write down what you hope to accomplish.  While you may say "sales," keep in mind that AdWords are not sales - they are leads.  And sometimes, depending on how you phrase and determine your AdWords campaign, you waste those clicks (and dollars) with folks that are not looking for you.  That is why, before you even consider the campaign, you need to do your homework.

1. Make sure you set a goal of what you want your target market to do if they come to you from your keyword ad click.  If you are a sales-oriented business, you want qualified leads and not just anyone.  You also need to identify the next action you want them to take once they click through to your website.  What determines if a campaign is successful and what determines if it is a failure?  Do you have an ROI you are going for?  Or are you just collecting names and contact information for a future sale follow-up program?  The more you can qualify your goal, the more likely you will have a program that achieves it. 

2. Whatever your goal, your 95 characters need to match your company with the thoughts of the person searching.  Always include the keyword in the description title.  Use short, concise words and make your ad compelling and relevant to the search word (be specific and mention anything that is different about your service).  Remember that your goal is to get the right folks' attention and discourage the wrong folks since you pay for all click-throughs.  This is not traditional ad copywriting so you need to adjust your message to grab them with the goal to get a click from the right folks.

3. Set up a landing page so your clicks are not wasted.  With only 95 characters available to you in your AdWords campaign (exclusive of the keywords you have chosen), the page you click through to is extremely important.  Your landing page is their first impression, and web viewers spend very little time determining whether or not this is the right site before they click back to their search to see another.  If you promised a sale you should be showing a sale here.  If your goal is to collect lead contact information, you need to give them a reason to provide it.

4. Whatever you decide to do, track and test different approaches in order to find the best combination of keywords and ads to get you seen by the target market you want. Then remember that this is not a static program, you will need to do this research over and over as web viewers' behaviors evolve.  Be sure to regionalize your campaign so you don't waste clicks on leads that are not serviced by your company.  Be sure to check keywords like "windows" to make sure that if you are a window and door dealer, you are not clicked on by individuals who want to find a program for Microsoft "Windows".

Liz Harsch
Liz Harsch has been a Market Consultant for retail and service companies in Greater LA since 1982.  To learn about her Torrance company visit
Schedule a Complimentary

Tailor-Made Advertising
23670 Hawthorne Blvd.
Suite 205
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 791-6300

If you are not up to the long learning curve and tracking down the analytics to make sure you are getting a good value for your ad dollars, consider hiring a firm with experience.  There are many companies that make promises, so it is key for you to understand your options before you set a budget for your paid keywords program.  Step one is to determine your budget for the media mix of paid search campaigns, search engine optimization, search engine management and a compelling website.  Like any other media mix, you need to look at the big picture before you start spending.

For more information about your paid search options and managing your paid and organic search campaigns, contact Tailor-Made Advertising at (310) 791-6300 or via email at