Needless to say, we do a lot of marketing here at ClickDimensions. It’s what we do. J And, of course, paid search (a.k.a. pay per click) is a big part of our strategy. But paid search can be complicated and it takes a lot of investment or time and money to get it right. So, we wanted to share some simple tips that have made a difference for us.

1 – Understand AdWords
It really pays to understand how paid search works. Even if you are using a search advertising consultant, you will want to learn what they are doing with your campaigns. No one knows your business like you do and you can never be sure that what you explain to a consultant will get correctly reflected in campaigns they create for you. Since the most effective paid search engine is Google, we suggest that you read Brad Geddes book Advanced Google Adwords to learn how Adwords works. If you can build an effective Google AdWords campaign, then you can export it to the Microsoft Bing platform.

2 – Pay Attention to Quality Score
When you create ads on Google AdWords you will also specify keywords that should trigger those ads to be shown. What you pay for clicks on those ads, how often those ads are shown and how prominently those ads are displayed are highly dependent on their quality score as assigned by Google. You can read about quality score at Quality score is mainly based on how much users are clicking your ads. As a rule of thumb, the closer your ad reflects what users searched on, the more clicks it will get. Google does this so that a high bid alone can’t cause irrelevant ads to show when you search for something. If they allowed that to happen then the company that was willing to pay the most for a search term would always have the top spot regardless of whether their ad and offering were relevant.

3 – Understand Modified Broad Match
When you are inputting keywords into AdWords you have three matching options for how those keywords must match the search term the visitor used. The three types are broad, exact and phrase and you can read about them at . We won’t repeat the explanation in the help article here. Rather, we’d like to call your attention to what is essentially a 4th matching option; modified broad match. By adding plus signs in front of a word in your keyword, you are telling Google that word must be present in the search query. This is important because if you input a keyword like ‘microsoft crm’ without the plus signs Google can actually show your ad when someone just searches on ‘crm’. It can make a big difference. With modified broad match, it helps to think of the plus signs as locks. Use them to lock in any critical keywords.

4 – Pay attention to location targeting
When you set up a search campaign, you have the option to define the countries and locations where your ads will be shown. We have been in Europe and seen advertisements for US service providers that cannot deliver services into Europe. Surely these companies do not want to pay for clicks from countries they can’t service. However, this is what happens if you do not specify where your ads can show. Along with geographic targeting there are many other options you can set including whether your ad should show on mobile devices, etc. Ti pays to make sure your targeting it reflective of how and where you want your ad to be shown.

We’ll post more on these topics later. Happy marketing!