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PPC can turn into a very complicated and confusing practice early on, and you'll spend more money than you'd like before even figuring out what's happened. Here, we'll walk through a list of what I call the cardinal PPC rules. Be aware of these rules before you launch your first ad so that perhaps you'll save yourself some heartache and dollars. First thing, each search engine will try and differentiate itself by using different names for features, tools, and best practices, but the basics of PPC remain the same across all of them. Some of the features or tools will share the exact same name, but they will still function slightly different.
Let's walk through a few of the more common instances of things to know for both Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Always separate out the search, display, and content networks. Each of these networks behaves differently and often has additional or alternative options in which you use them, so you do not want to use any of them together, as it would skew your results. I will go into much deeper detail on these networks later in the course. Also, always set a budget you are comfortable with. If the amount that you have set at a daily level causes you to check constantly with paranoia all day, it is too high.
Double-check your geography. Better safe than sorry, to pay for unwanted clicks, make sure that the country, state, or city you're wanting to show your ads in is selected correctly. This is the one I see most common, add negative keywords. These are the keywords that you do not want associated with your product or service. This is the most common thing that I see most often underutilized. The words around this would be like free, download, wholesale, find it and do it yourself. We'll walk through this in detail later in the course. Always choose good landing pages. These are pages on your website that your ads go to.
You don't want to just dump 'em off the homepage. You want to pick more targeted pages, like a category or product page. Additionally, you want to make sure that when you first start up your account, you pay attention to your initial account settings. There will be a couple of settings for each engine that can only be set once, so be careful when walking through the setup process. For example, Google AdWords, you can only set the time zone, currency, and billing method once. And thereafter, it cannot be changed, so be sure to choose the correct currency, and how you'd like to pay, very carefully.
Additionally, do not overwhelm yourself. There are a lot of options these days around, for example, ad extension. These are ads that show just more than ad text, but addresses, phone numbers, reviews, email sign-up boxes, the list goes on. You do not have to use any of these extensions or extras right out of the gate. In fact, I recommend starting simple, getting comfortable with the interface and how the action works before complicating things with features you might not need and will just end up costing you money. There is a phone number for both Google AdWords and Bing Ads if you run into trouble, that you can call and get live support help with.
When in doubt, please use it. They can log into your account remotely and access all of your keywords and your ads, answer questions, provide explanations, and in some cases, fix something that isn't right. And last but not least, never, never ever set your account and forget it. Always check in at least once a week. Otherwise, you might fall over with shock when you get a credit card bill in a month. The list is long for things to watch out for. And keep in mind, as you build your paid search account, that you don't forget to utilize these resources around you, like your lynda.com course, 1866 numbers for the search engines, help centers, forums, as well as social media outlets.
All of these resources are free to use, so there's no reason not to dig in.
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