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If Your Google AdWords Campaign is a Lemon, Make Lemonade
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By John .Robb

When is a failure not a failure? When it's market research. If a marketing campaign doesnít generate the results you are expecting, most people would consider it a failure. Guarding against such outcomes is why large companies often conduct trials, focus groups or some other type of market research: They want to have small failures and large successes. This type of research is an expensive process that requires specialized skills. There is an alternative, however: Google AdWords.

Google AdWords is a popular advertising medium that displays ads based on what someone enters in the Google search engine. These ads are contextually aware. For instance, if you are searching for "milk chocolate," you will likely see ads for companies selling something milk chocolate-related. AdWords are a very effective way to reach your target audience - assuming you know what search terms your audience is likely to enter.

The best thing about Google AdWords is how easily it measures return on investment (ROI). Indeed, the ability to measure ROI allows you to use Google AdWords for market research. Here's how: run a Google AdWords campaign and measure its success. Keywords that don't perform have just told you something very important about your market. Those AdWords that failed told you either you have the wrong keywords for your market or your pitch didnít appeal to it. These two things alone will allow you to fine tune your marketing.

You have just had a small failure that will lead to success in the future.

Here is a real world example. I have helped a number of companies in the Records Information Management industry. To folks in that industry, the term "document destruction" is synonymous with "shredding." The reality of search is a little different. People searching for "shredding" do not immediately make the association with "document destruction." By running various Google AdWords campaigns it is possible to measure the difference in perception. This is market research.

Google AdWords uses a sophisticated matching system to match ads with keywords entered. To help advertisers control this matching process Google AdWords provides three matching types: broad, phrase and exact.

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John Robb is the principal of SEO Expertise.
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