Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How To Avoid "The Google Slap" With Your Adwords PPC Campaign

by Malcolm Leyshon

Google slap is a phrase used to describe a penalty that is imposed on Google Adwords campaigns where the landing pages used are not relevant to the ads. If Google suspects that your landing page is not relevant enough, they will raise the minimum bid amount for some or all of your keywords.

Many campaigns were hit with the Google slap because the squeeze pages contained content that was full of sales hype rather than being useful and informative. Pages that took a while to load were also hit with the Google slap.

If you would like to start using Google Adwords, take time to read this article so you can avoid the Google slap. Following these guidelines would be in your best interest because you want to pay as low of a bid as possible per keyword.

You'll want to implement four key elements and be sure that they are in thematic agreement with each other and specifically targeted. Here are the four elements: the keyword phrase you're bidding on, the landing page, the ad copy and the search queries people use to trigger your Adwords ad.

1. The keywords you're bidding on. Keywords contain a group of words or are a phrase that you want to target for your ad. They should be relevant to the product you're promoting, and a lot of people should be using the keyword phrase when searching to buy your product.

Start with what it is you are trying to sell and what people are searching for to find the most relevant and best performing keywords for your campaign.

There are several free and subscription-based keyword research services to help you build up your keyword list. These services will help you keep adding potential keyword phrases until you have a list of about 100 different phrases to use.

When you have a nice list of keyword phrases to work with, go through and find a few keywords that have good click-through-rates (CTR) that will attract a decent amount of traffic. Make sure that they're not too competitive, though. This is important if you're on a tight budget because you don't want to spend any more per click as you have to. The more competitive a keyword phrase is, the more you're going to pay.

Check whether or not keywords are likely to deliver sales by checking their "commercial intention" at:

2. Landing page. You'll want to make a landing page for each keyword phrase that you use. It's important to place the phrase between the Title tags and the Heading tags as well as in the main body of the page.

Use unique content to fill the page and use an editorial style rather than hyped up sales language. The content should be based around the topic of the keyword phrase.

Link to the landing page from other pages on your website, but be sure to use the keyword phrase as the anchor text for your inbound links.

3. PPC ad copy. You must include the exact keyword phrase you're using in your ad copy.

4. Search query. After your Google Adwords campaign has ran for a while you can research the actual search queries that triggered your Adwords ad and see the CTR by selecting the keywords you want to look at and clicking on "See search terms."

If you find a search query that is very relevant you can add it to your keywords list and make a new landing page specifically for that keyword phrase.

You can also check search queries for negative keywords. Negative keywords are irrelevant searches that trigger your Adwords ads and are unlikely to make you any sales. You should eliminate these negative keywords from your campaign by using the "Edit Campaign Negative Keywords Tool."

By following these four steps you will build highly relevant Adwords PPC campaigns and most likely avoid the Google slap. This will keep your cost-per-click (CPC) low while improving your CTR.

About the Author

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