Once you have launched your Google AdWords campaign and watched it for a while, zooming in on impressions, clicks and click-through rate to gauge success, you may be ready to take steps to get more out of your money and efforts. Here are a few key things you can do to improve the bang for your Google Adwords buck:

Words, words, words. Finding just the perfect combination of terms to elicit those valuable clicks from your audience can feel like a high-stakes game of Scrabble, but a careful look at what’s working and what’s not can help everything snap into place.

The way to success lies in striking a delicate balance between very specific terms and more general categories, pairing them strategically. This way, when people are searching online for a product or service you offer, they are likely to find you whether they type in exactly what they’re looking for or cast a wider net.

Numbers count, too. It’s not just the exact words you choose that can make a difference in your AdWords performance; the number of words you use matters as well. Several specifically targeted ads can be placed under a broader group category, and while you can use more than 20 keywords in a group of ads, most ad groups stay narrowed in to five to 20 keywords. Your keywords actually can contain several words; Google’s research shows that two- or three-word keywords (a phrase) generally are most effective.

It can be very helpful to audition a slew of hundreds of keywords. This technique can allow you to home in on some under-the-radar terms that may be cheaper since there is less competition for them. It also will assist you in finding keywords that are tailor-made for your products and services, drawing more results.

Think like a customer. Your business is your baby, and it can be extremely challenging to try to see it through a stranger’s eyes. Make sure you are putting yourself in the customer’s shoes when choosing keywords and planning your campaign.

It may help to poll a few family members and friends or even put together an informal focus group to find out how a more objective mind thinks about your products and services and puts them into words.

Don’t scrimp too much. With all the budget flexibility Google AdWords allows, it may be tempting to put just a teeny tiny bit of money into your campaign and then wait for results. But a budget that’s too low will affect the degree to which your ad is targeted to the precise person who is searching for you. Focus instead on stretching your marketing dollar further through careful planning and selecting of keywords and ad categories.

Send seekers to the right place. Once you get that valuable click, make sure it’s not wasted. Rather than pointing all clicks to a general home page, create a specific link for each ad that brings the viewer right to the product or service that matches the keyword he or she clicked. This customized result will increase the chances that the click will convert into a purchase or other measurable result.

You’ll find more in future posts about using Google Analytics to find out how many people who see your ads become paying customers, as well as how many people found your website through AdWords, which keywords they used, how much time they spent on the site, whether they made a purchase and more.