Web advertising with Google AdWords


  1. Introduction
  2. Signing up
  3. E-Advertising
  4. AdWords for Lobbying
  5. Making Money from Your Web Site

    See Also

  6. Google AdSense
  7. Mobile Phone Ads,
  8. Other Information Technology
  9. Home


Google's AdWords allows small businesses to advertise locally or globally on the web. This is a brief overview of how to use Google AdWords ads for your business. Web advertising can be used by small not-for-profit businesses and political lobbying, as well as large companies.


Google provides an on-line sign up for their AdWords service:

Google AdWords Syndication Button

Google's advertising broker accepts your advertisement and then places it with suitable web sites, including Google's own search facility:

The broker is paid by you, the advertiser, and then shares some of the payment web site publishers. This process is automated, with you describing where you would like advertisements to appear and this then being matched with suitable sites (using information about the geographic region and suitable keywords).

The price of the advertisement is determined by auctioning keywords (such as "travel and "Paris"). The popularity of the keywords determines how much it costs. Google provide tools to how much you are willing to pay for each advertisement and for an adverting campaign.

Matching advertisers to publishers

As the advertiser, you select the region they want to advertise in and the language. Then you create a headline (up to 25 characters), two lines of description (up to 35 characters each), display URL (the web address of your business) and the destination URL (the web address you want to direct customers to). You can create a new web page on your web site specifically as the target for the Google advertisement. This way you can see home many people are attracted by the Google advertisement, rather than find the page in other ways.


The advertiser specifies keywords (or phrases). These will be matched with keywords on web pages to place the advertisement on. The assumption is that readers who are interested in web pages featuring those keywords will be interested in the advertisements featuring them.

It helps to keep each of your advertisement to one product and use keywords closely related to the product. If you use too general an advertisement (for your business in general) or too general keywords, you may pay for a lot of ads but get few sales. As an example my technical travelogues feature Google advertisements. Some advertisers waste their advertising dollars by paying for advertisements by not specifying the location or product in enough detail.

Cost per "click"

Unlike print advertising, the Google advertiser is charged not for the advertisement appearing, but for the reader "clicking" on the link in the advertisement and to have their web browser display the advertiser's web page.

The reader can only click on one advertiser, so you don't need to worry so much about what other ads may appear on the page with yours.

Also keep in mind that Google has automated software and complaints reporting procedures for inappropriate advertisements, so keep to the rules or you may be excluded from the AdWords program.

Example: Indian Pacific

As an example, I added two advertisement blocks to the web travelogue "Indian Pacific: Sydney to Perth by Train". For the larger advertisement on the top right of the page, the broker's system inserted advertisements for "The Indian Pacific Train", "Perth save up to 65%", "Indian Pacific" and "Blue Mountains Web". Clearly these are being matched on the phrases "Indian Pacific" and "Blue Mountains".

Screen shot showing a large advertisement

Screen shot showing a large advertisement, from Indian Pacific: Sydney to Perth by Train, Tom Worthington, 1995, URL: http://www.tomw.net.au/travel/ip.htm

The larger block at the top of the page achieved a click through rate of 8.5%. That is for every 1000 people who viewed the web page, 85 clicked on one of the links. The smaller block at the bottom of the page achieved 2.8% in the same period.

How Many Ads?

While it would be tempting to get the most advertisements possible for your dollar, it is sales that count. A few advertisements which closely target your market and result in sales are better than a lot of ads displayed to people not interested in the product. There is no point in advertising in regions where you are not selling.

Google allows you to either set the maximum amount you wish to bid for each advertisement or to set a target amount you wish to spend for a period and have Google's software select the amount to spend per ad.

Google provides tools to check who often an advertisement was displayed and how many clicked on it. You can also sign up for the free Google Analytics program for more detailed analysis.

AdWords for Lobbying

You can use AdWords to attract readers to your web site even if you are not selling products. You can attract readers to your campaign, without having to hire a lobbyist. Politicians and their staff usually live and work around the capital city. You can target the policy makers area with your message. Use techncial terms for your advertising keywords, as these are more likely to be used by professionals, than by the general public.

As an example I wanted to tell Australian Capital Territory politicians and their staff about some ideas on using bus lanes. So I wrote a web page about it and created an AdWords campaign. I limited the location of readers of the advertisements to the city of Canberra, which is where the ACT government is located. I used phrases such as "regional land transport policy" and "bus transitway" to target professionals. I avoided using more general keywords such as just "bus", which the general public might click on when looking for a bus timetable.

Making Money from Your Web Site

Keep in mind that as well as pay for advertising, you can earn income by advertising for others. Google provides this via their AdSense service. You can sign up for AdSense on-line for this service:

Google AdSense Syndication Button