Google AdWords and AdSense

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year or so, you probably know that Google has become the king of the search engine hill. There are many reasons for this, but number one in my opinion is that above all else, they put value on content. Today, I want to introduce you to two very powerful small business advertising options created by Google.

These two ingenious programs have all but revolutionized the way advertising is done on the web.

Warning: If you are thinking, "Web advertising isn't for me. I just need a few more clients around the block", you better read this - or else be prepared to have your competitors eat your lunch.

Google AdSense - Again, content is king at Google. This program allows web site "publishers" to add some code from Google and receive "content-relevant" ads on their site from other site owners. Here is an example - the ads in the box on the right of many pages are delivered by Google and are matched to the content on the page. When someone surfs to the page and decides to check out one of those ads, the web site owner earns a portion of the advertising revenue that Google collects.

The key here is that if you go to a site about quilting, you will see ads about quilting and not about dog grooming. I know this sounds so obvious, but Google was the first to really figure this out.

This program has worked so well that some website owners are actually building content-specific sites and paying for them solely through AdSense revenue. Small business owners should consider adding this feature to pages on their site for several reasons.

I've already mentioned the fact that there is money to be made, but whath many site owners are finding is that because Google is so respected and because the ads are so highly targeted, they are no longer looked at by surfers as ads - they are looked at as content.

Some will even go so far as to say that by putting the Google ads on your site, you actually better your chances of higher rankings with Google. Google flatly denies this claim and I don't think it's true, but I do know that Google AdSense ads should be on every small business owner's site.

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Another Warning: This is somewhat complex stuff. This article is only meant to introduce you to the power of these programs. Check out Google Cash by Chris Carpenter for a deeper understanding of ways to make this work for you.

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Google AdWords - I've already talked about those ads you see on websites. Well, those ads need to come from somewhere, don't they? AdWords is Google's program for advertisers.

Any site that wishes to participate bids for "keywords" that are relevant to their product, service, or site, and then creates ads to attract hits. These ads show up on private websites and on the right side of Google search results. For example, search for "Free sales letters and tools". As you can see from this Google search, you received the content-related sites that you searched for, but you also get some related ads that are sponsored.

Now here is where Google is genius. Instead of simply subjecting surfers to any ads that anyone is willing to pay for, they actually police the ads that are running. On some pay-per-click programs, whomever is willing to pay the most wins. Google uses a performance model. In other words, an ad that is the most relevant and therefore receives the most clicks will move ahead of an ad that may pay more but isn't as effective. This simple philosophy is why Google has quickly dominated the PPC world.

Okay...and now for the really big innovation: regional targeting.

Googl erecently introduced a system that allows advertisers to target certain metropolitan markets only. In other words, a remodeling contractor who only wants to do kitchen remodels in, say, "Denver, can bid on the keyword phrase "kitchen remodel" and only have his ads show up for people who live in and around Denver.

The implication this has for local small business owners is staggering. In the example above, our remodeler can now tap into highly targeted web traffic for pennies per lead. In my opinion, small business owners who can learn the ins and outs of this medium will dominate their markets.

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John Jantsch is a veteran marketing coach, award-winning blogger, and author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide, published by Thomas Nelson, 2006.

He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing Small Business Marketing System.TM