Nine Tips for Getting Started with Google AdWords: Steve Sutherland’s Suggestions

AdWords is quite a learning curve, but Google breaks it down nicely into chunks with the Starter Edition. When I wrote and told my friend, Steve from AgentsChat, he immediately offered some great advice. In his email, he wrote 9 useful tips to get me started.

I’d like to share them with you.

Nine Tips for Getting Started with AdWords

Great. I have a great book on the subject called Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords – I can lend it to you next time I see you if you want.

Things to remember –

1. Look into ‘Exact Match’ and ‘Phrase match’ options (heaps of info if your Google for ‘Adwords matching options’ etc) – you may be throwing away money on using the default ‘broad match’ if you are not careful with it.

2. Google automatically give you Pay Per click ads on their search results pages and the content network (Adsense on sites – Contextual network I think they call it now). Some people prefer to turn off the content network and just focus on the search results – you can test both. You can even target specific sites with the content network if you want.

3. Look into the ‘insert keywords’ option – you can set it so that if the user types in ‘investing’ then that word will show up in your heading or ad – when the word shows up it will be in bold and thus get more attention and more clicks – more clicks = cheaper bid prices.

4. The other factor for bid prices is ‘quality score’ (should be no problem for your home-page) – to get the best quality your keywords should be in your ad, and on your landing page.

5. Grouping keywords into tight Adgroups gives more flexibility to meet quality score – don’t just do one big Adgroup as the ads you write won’t be relevant to all the keywords.

6. Go through your Analytics account to get an idea of terms that people used to find you – you can then target these terms in your keywords.

7. Investing keywords will be expensive so you could take quite a different approach and choose other keywords that are cheap (Taiwan Blog, is one idea)

8. Your ad structure looks good – many recommend the pattern

Catchy heading (with keyword)
Stress a benefit (possibly with keyword)
Call to action (possibly with keyword)

9. Run two ads together – the one with better CTR will be cheaper so go with that then test another if you have time.

Hope that helps. this turned into a rather long email – you can turn it into a blog post if you like.


Unfortunately, I’ve not had great results yet, but I’m still working on the early stages. It’s not difficult to get started. I did have one problem with an affiliate page that I wanted to market because Google Adwords TOS didn’t permit my initial efforts, so I’m still struggling with the affiliate side of the effort.

Blogging News: Updates on InvestorBlogger Dot Com

My, how things change? Last November, I was railing against Google and telling people to diversity their services… Now I’m finding that things have changed again…

A Quick Recap: Switching to WordPress MU

I’ve reset some of my categories as sub-blogs (or ‘channels’) on the InvestorBlogger Domain. I found that there were basically three or four types of reader, and so I wasn’t gaining much traction with any of my target groups. Hence, each channel is now its own ‘blog’.

One Blog: Many Channels

From the outside, it’s nearly impossible to tell that this is the case. I haven’t changed the theme unduly, or the plugins or the widgets. But as you click through the ‘blog’ you’ll find that each blog is beginning to take on its own ‘personality’. At the moment, I’m binding each blog together because there is strength in the shared roots: so the theme, the footer and header, and much of the sidebars are the same.

But as time goes on, more differences will start to emerge. One example: advertisements are mostly for financial products, so these will no longer be shown to users on the ‘blogging’ area. Other sidebar details will change, too. Eventually, I may break up the site into real blogs (either because they can stand on their own or they are pulling in VERY different directions). Since the switch in early August, there hasn’t been enough time to assess the impact on traffic any more than casually but early indications are showing an increase in traffic, page views, unique page views, longer times on the site, and a modestly decreased bounce rate.

The changes that I’ve made are currently difficult to make in standard WordPress installs, though there are several multi-blog plugins for WordPress that would achieve much of what I did here. I eventually decided to opt for a standard MU install, and expected a tough struggle. To tell you the truth, some things are troublesome, but I was able to solve nearly ALL my initial problems.

If you have a largeish blog, with weak traffic numbers, splitting your blog the way I have could be the way to salvage your traffic, create a new impetus and improve your own blogging. The route I chose with WordPress MU isn’t the only possible route to go: two or three WordPress installs would be perfectly manageable as well, a multi-blog with WordPress Standard could work, or choosing another multi-blog system like B2 evolution would allow the same privileges. One word of caution: don’t split your blog into too many parts, I initially thought I would have five channels, but it was just too much to administer at the beginning. But the great advantage of a multi-blog set up: you can easily expand past your initial setup!

Sidebar Changes

I’ve been experimenting with ways to make InvestorBlogger stickier for some time now, and the sidebar features a number of small changes: YouTube Video, a Featurific flash gallery that shows some recent stories, and a Tag Cloud. The tag cloud itself necessitated typing tags for each of the posts, so for new posts and posts ‘moved’ to the new blogs, I’ve taken extra steps to tag everything.

google stats august

SEO, Traffic and Google

Other changes include maximizing the impact of each article: I’m now adding SEO to each article, as well as the blog itself, through selective choices in the keywords. The plugin that I’m using is ALL-In-One SEO that allows each post to have its own post title, keywords and description in the meta details. Adding tags to the article itself is also helping. There’s no big effect on traffic yet, but it can’t but help traffic.

AdWords for Google

I’ve also been experimenting with AdWords, too, to see if I can draw extra traffic to InvestorBlogger. I do have several products that are free that I’d like to promote. It’s quite exciting, a little expensive, and frustrating to get CTR rates that are as low as mine. The best I’ve achieved so far is about 0.7%. I’m going to keep plugging away at the CTR to see if I can’t raise the bar. Steve has loaned me a wonderful book on how to use AdWords.

Adsense from Google

It seems that InvestorBlogger is no longer smart priced… How? Well, I’ve made three significant changes to the way Adsense is displayed on my blogs… I’ll be posting that soon, but for observant users, you will already notice the changes! But CTR rates and earnings are showing positive growth for the first time in ages, and they seem pretty stable at the moment, too. Sometimes less is more.

Et Cetera…

There are a whole bunch of other changes, too, in the header, footer and elsewhere. At the moment, I’m sticking with this theme, and tweaking as much as possible. I decided in the meantime to create some essential pages, like a privacy policy, comment policy, rewrite my disclaimer and add a few other important pages. If my plans really come to fruition, much of this work will be the solid foundation from which I will expand InvestorBlogger.

izearanks placement

And finally, it seems the changes are beginning to pay off, even though my posting rate is now less than before. InvestorBlogger is now #9 on the top 10 finance sites on IzeaRanks! Wow! That’s incredible. It’s a minor honor! I’d like to be number 1, but I don’t see how that’s possible just yet. I would need to increase my pages by nearly 5 times! It could be done… but things are not ready yet!

Recent Posts on InvestorBlogger Dot Com

With the recent changes on InvestorBlogger, I’ll be providing a regular weekly summary of posts on each of the blogs, so you don’t miss out! Of course, you could just subscribe to the Site Feed. It will update you with ALL the new posts, blogs and information on InvestorBlogger!

Google AdWords: Does it make Ad Sense?

One of the new things I’m trying is bringing traffic from AdWords. I finally signed up for a Google AdWords account; had my cards accepted and am now running ads for one of my pages. it’s pretty easy to set up, I was surprised. I’ve set up five different […]

Switching to a New Platform: WordPress MU

As some of you have been following the blog, InvestorBlogger is in the throes of becoming a multi-blog. This is a great thing for InvestorBlogger because I’ve always found that the blog had a fuzzy focus on topics: covering a wide range of topics from Taiwan to Making Money to Blogging Issues and much more.
I’d […]

Dollar Travels: PF Blog Update #1

August 8th, I’ve been working on setting up the first blog on Personal Finance, I’m now going through the archives of InvestorBlogger to extract all the articles on Personal Finance in the past few months, as I’d like to launch (or relaunch) PF Blog with a much sharper focus on expenses and income and dealing […]

Where to go

This blog is still very much in the startup stage. For current readers, please go to the archives for all of the posts up until August 4th. If you would like, use the search above to search for topics. There are four new sub-blogs, but content isn’t yet published on the new blogs, as I’m setting […]

Dow Components

For all the Dow Components, click on this link