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Cash in on Google with AdWords & AdSense

Two powerful tools offered by Google providing a platform for highly targeted, cost-effective advertising.




Google is synonymous with searching the Web, but search isn’t the company’s sole focus. Google also provides top-notch services that other businesses can use to improve their Web presence, reach newcustomers, and make boat loads of money.

Google’s most important services include AdWords, which allows you to reach new customers with paid advertisements; AdSense, which lets you monetise a content-based site by hosting other people’s ads; and Google Analytics, which helps you track key information about your website’s visitors – and how they interact with your site’s content.

If you’re looking to grow your website’s reach, it can be vital to use one or all of these services. They can be fairly complex, but once you’ve mastered the basics, you should be on the road to building up your business. We’ll discuss each of the three services in turn.

Getting to Know AdWords (for advertisers)

AdWords is a wildly popular advertising programme that allows your business to become an advertised search result. But if Google AdWords were simply a way to buy real estate on Google’s search pages, it wouldn’t be worth the money. The magic that makes AdWords worthwhile is its keyword matching. Essentially, you link an ad for your business to specific keywords, and AdWords shows your ad when someone performs a search with those keywords.

For example, if you run an e-commerce business selling pet food, you might link your ad to the keyword combination ‘dog treats’ or ‘pet nutrition’. This way, Google will show your ad only to potential customers – people who are searching for products like those yousell.

The second important thing to understand about AdWords is that it’s a pay-per-click system, not a pay-per-view system. In other words, you don’t pay Google anything until someone clicks on a link and travels to your website. This way, you’re sure to be paying for some worthwhile exposure.

Finally, it’s worth noting that you can target your ads in two other ways. You can restrict your ads to customers that have their browsers set to a specific language or to customers who are surfing in a particular city, state, or country (or a combination of places). That means a local business can effectively use AdWords for local advertising, without worrying that their ad spend will be wasted on the wrong audience.

Assessing the Cost of Advertising

Many keywords are in hot demand by a number of companies. AdWords has a system for managing that demand too. You, the advertiser, must bid on every keyword combination you want to use. Typical  keyword rates range from a few cents to several rands. It’s easy enough to win the bidding process some of the time and thereby get all the ad exposure you want – as long as you’re willing to pay the current market price.

Google won’t necessarily charge you the top price when someone clicks on your ad. Instead, it will charge a cent more than your nearest competitor. For example, if you bid 48 cents for the keyword combination, ‘music classes’, and your nearest competitor offers 40 cents, your ad will be shown more often, and you’ll be charged 41 cents when someone clicks on it. But if other advertisers are offering significantly more for the same keywords (say, 70 cents), Google won’t ever show your ad (or charge you a cent).

Fortunately, Google allows you to set a monthly spending limit when you set up your AdWords campaign – that means Google will stop showing your ad when you’ve used up your allotted budget.

Before you sign up for AdWords, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the current market rates for the keywords in which you’re interested. If you bid close to (or just above) the current rate,you’re likely to get some decent ad exposure. Google provides a tool for estimating keyword prices.

You can use this tool even if you haven’t yet signed up for AdWords. First, in the Enter one keyword or phrase per linebox, put in a short keyword phrase – your best guess at the keyword combination that would be your most effective buy. Google will use this (and its huge catalogue of recent searches) to suggest some good keyword possibilities for your ads. (If you want to look for frequently used variations – for example, ‘pet chow’ along with ‘pet food’ – make sure the Use Synonyms check box is checked.)

Then click the Get Keyword Ideas button.Underneath, a list of commonly used keyword combinations will appear that relate to your phrase. For example, if you searched for ‘baby music classes’,you might also see ‘music classes for baby’ and ‘baby music classes Durban’. Next to each combination, Google will add a series of shaded bars that indicate how many advertisers are competing over that term and how common the search is.

To get some pricing information, in the Choose columns to display field, select Show Estimated Avg. CPC. (This is the average cost per click you’ll pay when you subscribe to AdWords.) Then, in the box underneath, enter the maximum price you’re thinking of bidding (say, R5),and click Recalculate.

This keyword tool has a few other capabilities – for example, it can scan your website and suggest potentially related keywords that you might want to use. But remember, choosing the keywords that most effectively reach your target audience is part art and part science.

Google AdWords has many options, and entire books have been written on the subject. However, it doesn’t need to cost much to experiment. Just try a few keyword combinations and limit your monthly budget to a few rands. For best results, make sure that both the keywords and your ad accurately reflect the product your website offers. It’s far better to lure fewer people with a more specific ad than pay to have them to click through to your site, only to have them leave seconds later when they realiseit’s not what they want. And although AdWords is a great traffic booster, it shouldn’t replace other techniques for generating visits, such as link exchanges, community building, and search engine optimisation.

Using Google AdSense (for publishers)

Google AdSense is the reverse of Google AdWords. While AdWords allows you to advertise your business with ads, AdSense allows you to make money by displaying other people’s ads.

To understand how this works, you need to realise that when you buy AdWords, you aren’t just buying placement on the Google search page. You’re also (potentially) buying placement on third-party sites that use AdWords. Google’s keyword matching system ensures that the ads are related to the content of the third-party site.

In other words, if you buy the keyword combination ‘music classes’, your ad might end up on a website that sells music instruments, but not one that’s offering music instruments for kids. (Once again,the advertiser isn’t charged unless a potential customer actually clicks thead.)

Incidentally, AdWords users can opt out ofthis behaviour by changing their campaign settings. When you set up youraccount, look for the check boxes named Content Search and Network Search andmake sure they aren’t selected. Leave Google Search checked. That way, your adswill appear only on Google search pages.

The Value of Ad Hosting

The amount your website can make from Google AdSense depends on the number of visitors you receive and the value of the keywords. (As mentioned earlier, it’s the AdWords advertisers who determine the value of various keywords, through their bidding process.) You obviously won’t make the full amount that Google charges advertisers for a click, but your profits will be broadly in line with those amounts. Keywords that are worth a few cents will net you very little, but clicks on more popular keywords can add up quickly.

As a rule of thumb, AdSense makes great sense for getting value out of a content-based site – a site with reviews of computer hardware, for example, or one offering recipe advice.) However, AdSense makes a lot less sense if you’re using your site to sell a product, in which case the advertisements will be distracting and can potentially compete with your own offerings.

Once you’ve signed up and established anaccount with AdSense, you’ll need to wait a few days before your accountbecomes active. During this time, Google will make sure your site doesn’tviolate its AdSense policies. (For example, Google wants to be sure that yoursite doesn’t promote illegal activity, that its content isn’t blatantly copiedfrom another site, and that it isn’t a “shell” site set up simply toget money from ad clicks.)

Once you receive an email from Google telling you that your site has been accepted, you can generate an ad bar. Google takes great pains to make AdSense as unobtrusive (and as unobnoxious) as possible. When you create your ad bar, therefore, you can choose the format, the number of ads, and the background color, so that the bar blends into your website as seamlessly as possible.

When you finish this process, you’ll end upwith a small block of JavaScript to paste into all the pages where you want ads to appear. The advertisements won’t show up immediately, as Google needs to scan the content of your page to determine the right keywords. Each time someone requests your page, different advertisements will be shown, and overtime Google will identify the most successful ones – that is, the types of ads that are most likely to receive clicks. You can log on to your AdSense account at any time to view a report of your clicks and earnings to date.

Finally, don’t even think about clicking on your own ads to make yourself some money. Google uses fraud detection to spot abuse. It looks for clicks that happen too quickly to be humanly possible, repeated clicks from the same domain, and various other hallmarks of fraud. If it suspects that your business is abusing the system, it will drop you fromAdSense altogether.

Matthew MacDonald is the author of numerous books and is a contributing author to Google.

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Online Marketing

A Basic Guide To Twitter Analytics, How It Works, and How It Can Help Your Marketing

As a business owner, your marketing efforts on Twitter can now be tracked via the new Twitter Analytics tool, which shows engagements & impressions on each tweet.

Steven Slotow




In 2014, Twitter finally launched Twitter Analytics, which allows the more serious user to track their tweets from a marketing perspective. Using this tool, you can see which tweets reached the most users, how many impressions it received, and the overall reception for specific marketing campaigns. Here is a simple guide to using Twitter Analytics.

Using this tool means that you can gauge tangibly and transparently the reach of each marketing campaign you launch. The launch might have been long overdue, but since then Twitter has been updating their analytics tool little by little and improving the user experience.

They have since launched a Twitter Analytics standalone app called Engage. They also launched Twitter Moments, which allows users to edit multiple tweets and stitch them together into a single slideshow or video. This is another excellent tool for concluding or summarising a marketing campaign from beginning to end for prosperity and marketing purposes – for example, Rocket Ellie, the flying elephant billboard in Cape Town, South Africa.

For any regular Twitter user, you might have given Twitter Analytics a quick look when it first came out, but unless you’re interested in evaluating the reach a sponsored tweet would have versus a regular tweet, it won’t mean much to you. Just a glance shows that you can view impressions and engagements, but unless you know how to use this tool to its full potential, it might as well be useless.

How To Use Twitter Analytics

This tool can be found in the drop down menu underneath your name on the homepage. Here you’ll also find options for your profile, Moments, Twitter Ads, settings and more. With this tool, you can see your Twitter engagement rate. This is where you can view how many people saw your tweet, how many new profiles have followed your account, and how many likes, impressions and retweets each tweet has gained. It also includes replies and how many clicks your links or hashtags received. This is very helpful to see if your content is getting the desired reaction, and maybe you should take your hashtag back to the drawing board.

What’s the point in posting content that your audience isn’t interested in? This tool is an excellent way to evaluate how your target audience has received your content. You can use it to see what works, and what doesn’t. Your audience will tell you if they like your content, but it might not be as blatant as you would prefer. Therefore, using this to drive your content and marketing strategies provides a massive benefit when launching future campaigns, if you want them to be successful.

Use it to better connect with your audience, and at the end of the day, more prospective buyers will become real, paying customers who are interested in your business, and who will help further your brand.

Related: 10 Examples Of Companies With Fantastic Cultures

Impressions vs Reach

A Twitter impression is how many times your content has appeared on someone’s timeline. Twitter’s new algorithm has made this easier by posting your tweets onto other users’ timelines if many accounts they follow have liked or replied to your content already. The point of this algorithm is to help people engage with others who are like-minded, which means that if five like-minded people enjoy your content, the chances are high that some of their followers will enjoy it too. However, the number of impressions doesn’t tell you how many accounts, if any at all, actually interacted with your tweet. Therefore, how do you know how many people you are reaching with your content?

If impressions tell you how many times your content appeared on people’s feed, then your reach is how many users have the potential of seeing it. When your content appears on the timelines of people who do not follow your account, as stated before, that is your reach.

Tweet Activity

So how do your tweets perform on this platform? The tweet activity tool allows you to see, in a chart, if your tweets are achieving their goals. For many users, a question they ask themselves frequently is how their tweet took off so suddenly, in comparison to others? Even regular accounts who use Twitter for the social aspect of it, can spend time constructing the perfect joke only for another to perform better. There are tools available that can analyse your followers or recommend what time of day, or day of the week, is best to post your best content. However, the easiest way to answer the question of performance, and how to get to know your audience, lies within your own account data.

There are two ways to do this: you can either post tweets in groups within a particular time frame or analyse the activity on specific tweets individually. The latter is simple – when you select one of your own tweets, along the bottom bar, next to the attach images, GIF and emoji tabs – picking the bar graph icon shows the number of impressions, likes, clicks and retweets that single tweet received. It can be time-consuming; however, it provides valuable information according to what your audience likes. For example, your tweets with images or video content attached may receive more impressions than tweets without, meaning that you should post more content like that, more often.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa (PART 4)

In Twitter Analytics, under the tweets tab, you can customise your tracking to show only a certain period – for example, the weekend where most people receive their salary, or over the Christmas holidays – to see how your tweets performed during that time.

Using Twitter Analytics, you can do so much more than what has been mentioned. You can track your followers, and more specifically, the types of people who follow you. If you notice that a large portion of your followers is stay-at-home mothers between the ages of 28 – 35, you can customise your content according to the interests of that demographic. You can also learn about Twitter ads, how to promote your business, what works and doesn’t work, and if it is even worth the money. Twitter Analytics is an untapped oil reserve when it comes to tracking and gauging your audience’s reaction to your content, and adjusting your content and marketing strategies accordingly. Take the plunge into Twitter Analytics; it’s worth it!

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Online Marketing

The Top Ten Marketing Trends To Look Out For In 2019

With 2018 behind us, there is no better time to start looking to the future.

Jandre de Beer




Most people start making their new year’s resolutions this time of the year, goals to make things better for themselves in the coming year. This is something that businesses need to look at doing too.

Running a digital marketing agency means one needs to keep ones finger on the pulse.

The world is continually changing and developing, and if businesses want to survive and thrive, then they need to grow and develop too.

As with everything else, marketing is also continuing to change over time, so it is important for businesses to be on top of the newest trends. Even if 2018 was a successful year for you and your marketing team, don’t get left behind by ignoring the latest trends. Make the necessary adjustments to ensure that 2019 is just as successful.

Maintain an advantage over your competitors by preparing yourself and adjusting your marketing strategy before they do. Whether your current marketing strategy is working for you or not, this article will help you by identifying the top ten marketing trends that businesses should look out for in 2019.

The first few trends look at technology that you have likely already heard of, but with constant advancements in technology, it is still worth taking a look at.

1. Chatbots and live chat

Although this is not a new technology, chatbots and live chat is becoming very popular with businesses all over the world. People are interacting with more and more chatbots on a daily basis. This technology has become so popular because of the benefits it offers businesses in terms of customer interaction and better customer service.

In a very conversational way, chatbots message back and forth with customers for a number of tasks, such as suggesting products to customers and ordering the items. Chatbots enable businesses to provide a 24-hour service to customers by providing customers with an instant response to questions, providing an easy form of communication, resolving complaints quickly and providing a good customer experience. It is a lot easier for customers to communicate with chatbots online than it is for the customer to phone or send an email to a company representative.

According to research, live chat makes it three times more likely that customers will complete the purchase process. With so many benefits to businesses, it is very likely that the use of chatbots and live chat will continue to grow in 2019 and beyond.

If you want to experience chatbots, feel free to visit this link and click on the chat button that appears on the screen.

2. Enhanced personalised recommendations

This technology has already stared becoming the way of the future. Personalising the customer experience is a trend that most businesses are already starting to implement, whether it is recommending movies or series when watching Netflix or recommending other products that the customer might be interested in based on previous buying behaviour, this technology can help businesses enhance the customer experience by giving the customers more of what they want.

This artificial intelligence algorithm is constantly being bettered and is making more accurate recommendations as time goes on. This is a trend that should not be ignored in the coming year.

Related: The Complete Guide To Writing A Marketing Plan

3. Facebook and Instagram adverts

The trends around paid social media ads are constantly changing. With these changes it is becoming obvious that businesses prefer to focus their attention on Facebook and Instagram ads over other social media platforms.

Social Media Examiner published the following data to show how ads on social media sites like Snapchat and Pinterest are becoming less popular with businesses, while Facebook and Instagram are growing in popularity.


As we know, Instagram is owned by Facebook, so it is not a surprise to see these two social media sites growing in popularity together. Businesses are able to manage ads on both these social sites in the same place. The format of these sites make it much easier for businesses to create ads that target the right audience, based on its needs.

Although it is a good idea to advertise on as many social media sites as possible to ensure that you are reaching the largest audience possible, it would be wise to focus most of your attention on these two top trending sites. If you are only looking at making use of paid social media ads in the coming year, then these two sites are the ones to start with.

4. Voice search

Voice recognition software has been around for a while, but the technology is evolving at a steady pace. Google Home now has a 95% word accuracy which shows how the technology is gradually getting better and more accurate. Voice search makes it easier and faster to search apps, to conduct web searches and even conduct image searches. Very soon, voice searches may represent the majority of total searches.

With voice search technology, people are searching for information, making purchases and even interacting with websites using only their voice. In time businesses will need to rethink how information is presented to audiences and may even be forced to come up with entirely new structures to keep up with this change.

In was reported that as of January 2018, voice searches were conducted 1 billion times a month, and in 2019 this figure is expected to grow. As a business, this should be flagged as technology of interest.

5. Mobile payments

Marketing your products and reaching potential customers is only half the battle won, the other half is completing the sale. Being able to offer customers a variety of payment options is something all businesses need to look at. A growing trend in this regard is mobile payments, so this is another option that businesses need to look at offering customers.

One portion of mobile payments allows customers to pay for goods and services directly from a mobile app, another portion of mobile pay comes from alternative payment options.

In 2018 an estimated 440 million users across the globe used contactless pay options, and this number is expected to increase in 2019.

The following graph shows exactly how this trend has been growing.


Your business should be prepared to accept these types of payments because consumers are getting used to it. If you don’t have their preferred payment option, they may take their business elsewhere.

Related: Free Sample Marketing Plan Template

6. Interactive video content

Video marketing is a trend that has been on the rise for many years. More and more videos are being uploaded to social media and websites as part of marketing strategies. Video blogs (vlogs) have also been taking off in this regard. In 2019 we will start seeing changes to the way video is consumed with an increase in interactive videos.

An example of an interactive video is a 360-degree video that allows users to view the whole area being discussed in the video by clicking the navigation button in the top left-hand corner of the screen while the video is playing.


This 360-degree video was uploaded to YouTube by Washington Post.

Offering interactivity with videos means that more people can engage with your content. Interactivity also makes your videos more exciting for your viewers to watch than traditional videos. Research has shown that 360-degree videos have a greater click-through rate than traditional video formats, offering a higher return on your investment.

This is a trend that will continue to grow due to its popularity, so it definitely worth looking into now.


Instagram has decided to re-envision mobile video with the introduction of IGTV. This new standalone platform has been developed specifically for mobile phones. Instagram has caught onto the fact that people these days are watching less TV and more videos. They have decided to develop this trend and cater to the growing wants and needs of the masses.

Instagram is definitely evolving with the times and its popularity has continued to grow because of this since its launch in 2010. Instagram currently has over 1 billion active users on its site, so even if a small percentage of these users download IGTV, it is still a large audience for marketers to target.


It will be highly beneficial to have an active presence on both Instagram and IGTV in order to use the large number of current users to your advantage. With the IGTV platform being so new, try to get a step ahead of competitors by getting to know the platform and producing content for it.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

8. Beacon technology

In a mobile era where mobile apps are becoming more and more popular, businesses need to get onboard with the latest technology if they want to stay current. Beacon technology is a great way for businesses to improve the profitability of their mobile app. This new technology works in a similar way to GPS, just not quite as complex.

Firstly, with this technology retailers need to encourage their customers to download their mobile apps. Once the customer has downloaded the app on their mobile phone, the app will be able to track their location. Retailers can then strategically place beacons around the shop so when the app users walk past a beacon, the business will know exactly where the customer is and what the customer is shopping for. With this information businesses can then send the customer a promotion via push notifications.

This technology can even be used by businesses that only have an ecommerce platform. Beacons can be placed in public areas relevant to what the business offers. Promotional push notifications can then be sent to the user when they are in the vicinity of the beacon.

Below is a visual representation of how the beacon technology works.


2019 Will see a rise in popularity with this technology because of the rise in popularity with mobile apps.

9. Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics is very much related to personal recommendations in the sense that it uses a variety of statistical techniques that analyse current and historical facts to make predictions about the future. Businesses can use predictive analytics to gain a competitive advantage by uncovering new opportunities. Predictive analytics are used to determine customer responses or purchases and help businesses to attract and grow their customer base.

Technology like this can be so beneficial to a business, and that is why more businesses are making use of it. Its popularity is growing and will definitely continue to grow throughout the coming year and many years to come.

10. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is by no means new technology, in fact, many of the trends discussed in this article make use of AI and machine learning. It is so important for businesses to learn the marketing skills needed to survive in this age of AI as it is the fastest growing technology and no business can afford to ignore it. Ignoring developments in technology could mean that businesses will not be able to keep up with competitors.

Related: The Curious Case Of AI And Legal Liability


It is so important for all businesses to recognise the newest trends and to keep developing their marketing strategies along with new technology in order to be able to compete in such a competitive, ever-changing market.

2019 Is sure to be a very big year for marketers so I hope that by following these trends, your business will find success in the coming year.

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Now’s The Time To Go Digital

The digital age has completely transformed the way businesses market their products and services to their customers. As a result, the playing field of industries both big and small has forced companies to relook their strategies.

Digital School of Marketing




Vital Stats

Digital marketing is a broad term covering digital channels that people use to market their products. But what makes digital marketing different and unique compared to traditional marketing channels?

It gives the marketer or advertiser the opportunity to hone in on specific audiences that are more likely to purchase or see value in their offer, says Lisa Schneider, Managing Director at the Digital School of Marketing.

“Because digital marketing is computerised, it allows the marketer to get accurate analytical data about their campaigns, both in the research phase and when their campaign has finished. This makes digital marketing an easy way to gauge ROI of marketing and advertising efforts.”

Do you know how to market your businesses online?

Regardless of the size of your business, to remain successful, you need to have a good understanding and grasp of what digital marketing is and train your organisation on the skills it involves. According to Lisa, digital marketing skills encompass aspects that include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Social media skills
  • Search marketing skills
  • Copywriting skills.

“Without a doubt the most important element is understanding who your customers are and what makes them tick. One of the biggest advantages by far in digital marketing is the ability to market to an audience, assuring that your message will be seen, heard and appreciated,” says Lisa.

“The technology that is made available to market products in the digital realm is sophisticated software that allows the marketer’s message to be seen as widely or as granularly as they would want. A solid understanding of your target market is absolutely one of the most fundamental and important elements of digital marketing.”

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

Advance digitally without breaking the bank

Marketing is an expensive exercise no matter how you look at it, says Lisa. “Digital marketing requires a solid understanding of many different areas that are quite broad, and how to manage and understand a multitude of platforms and analytical data is imperative. This will allow the marketer to extract the most value without burning a hole in their pocket.”

As a business owner, you must look at what is out there in terms of online education providers. It’s important to do your homework about the company and what accreditation and endorsements the company holds.

Lisa suggests contacting the accreditation body to find out the legitimacy of the educational provider. The Internet provides a wealth of information regarding different institutions and how their courses can benefit the company.

What defines a reputable online marketing education provider?

Authentic online education providers have a third-party accreditation or endorsement. In a nutshell, accreditation means that a third party, that is usually government regulated, has looked through the institution’s educational material and internal business procedures to see that it has met their standards of approval.

What this means is that the education provider is not self-governed but is regulated by higher government authorities. This makes your course more credible, recognised and respected compared to a non-accredited provider.

For best results, choose the experts

“The Digital School of Marketing stays on top of trends through solid research,” Lisa explains.

“Google is constantly updating algorithms and adjusting their online marketing platform capabilities. Social networks also come and go and adjust their marketing and advertising platforms.”

Related: Free Sample Marketing Plan Template

DSM prides itself on the ability and appetite to constantly research trends by reading industry journals, attending workshops and seminars, but only publishing what is relevant and has longevity. “We also benchmark the changes that are made on online learning platforms, so we can offer our students an experience that is unique and truly fulfilling on their educational journey,” says Lisa.

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