Climbing the Google mountain

July 17, 2012 12:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Climbing the Google mountain

This is the first installment of our three part series focused on search engine marketing (SEM), specifically the use of search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Adwords to get your company to the top of Google. Each is a viable marketing strategy with advantages as well as disadvantages. They are not mutually exclusive; in fact, combining the two is generally the recommended online marketing strategy.

This installment is going to focus on Google Adwords—what it is, pros, cons and how it can help grow your business.

What is Google Adwords?

Google Adwords is the Pay Per Click program that has made Google one of the world's fastest-growing and richest companies. When you enter a search phrase into Google such as "Body Shop Wilmington NC", you see paid advertising across the top, down the right side and sometimes along the bottom. These are paid slots, where companies and organizations have set up advertising campaigns through Google to appear when certain keywords and phrases are searched.

How Adwords can help you

Gets You To The Top Fast

There is no faster way to get to climb the Google mountain than an effectively run Adwords campaign. A well-managed campaign can put you at the top of search results the same day you activate the campaign. With SEO and other forms of advertising, small businesses generally have a hard time competing with the big boys. With well-written ads, quality keyword research and daily monitoring, your ads can be seen at the top of the page, even in front of those competitors with a larger advertising budget.

 

Directly targets your customers

With Adwords, you are targeting those customers actively seeking out your product or service. They are searching for you. At the particular moment they are searching for what you offer, you are there with your message. If they don't click on your ad, it doesn't cost you anything. If they do, it's time to start selling to an interested customer!

Low cost

While the cost of clicks will vary based upon the competition for the keyword and how Google views your ads and website, clicks generally cost $1 to $5. It is affordable even for small businesses. You determine your budget. If you want to spend only $25 per day, you can. You pay only for the clicks, not the number of times the ad is shown. You may read elsewhere that cost can be a disadvantage with Adwords, but this is only if your campaign is not well-managed. Controlling daily budgets, bid amounts and keywords greatly increases your return-on-investment.

You control the message and when it's shown

You create or approve the ad copy as well as the keywords and phrases used to trigger your ads. You can even remove words or phrases. For instance, if your products are high-end, you can use negative keywords such as "cheap" and "discount" to prevent your ads being shown when someone combines those words with your keywords in a search. Also, you can turn the ads on and off any time you wish with the click of a mouse.

Directly measureable advertising—finally!

Adwords is also easily trackable and measurable. For most forms of advertising, you have to work off inexact reports such as Nielsen to determine how often your ad is seen. You then have to be creative to get even a glimpse of the results of your efforts. With Adwords, each impression and click is recorded. You know how many people visited your site from specific ads, how long they stayed, which pages they viewed and what actions they took while on your site. If you offer online purchases, you can directly relate a purchase to an ad.

Google lowers their veil of secrecy

You may already be aware of this, but Google is incredibly secretive about how their search engine works and are constantly making changes. This makes getting results from SEO difficult. While there is some secrecy about how Google determines the cost per click, Google provides much more information about how to get your ads to perform well. So when planning your Adwords strategy, you have much more information at your disposal.

What are the disadvantages?

Now that you are pumped up about Adwords, let's discuss the downside. It does require constant monitoring to be effective. There is trial and error when constructing ads and bidding on keywords as well as ongoing tweaking. If the campaign is left to its own devices, you may exceed your budget, leave potential clicks "on the bench" or have your ads showing for keyword phrases that don't convert to sales.

Also, once you stop your Adwords campaign, the lasting effects are minimal. While running the campaign, you hopefully found customers and clients that will provide you with repeat business, but new site visitors will slow to a trickle.

Do people really click on the ads?

It is a common belief that most people skip over Google ads. You may do the same. Statistics show that only about 20 percent of search engine clicks are for ads, leaving 80 percent for organic search engine results. Don't let these numbers scare you. Undoubtedly, you are aware of the mantra that 20 percent of efforts provide 80 percent of the results. The fact that you have control of the message, can target those customers looking specifically for your product or service, and that your ad will be one of the first options seen by customers is what makes that 20 percent a potential gold mine.

To put the effectiveness of Adwords campaigns into perspective, we pulled some numbers from four of our clients who are currently using Adwords. Over the past month, 53.3 percent of their combined site visitors came from their Adwords campaigns. Even if most online shoppers jump to the organic search results, there is still plenty who do not and they are essentially your captive audience.

If you would like to learn how to take advantage of Google Adwords for your business, give the Wordwright team a call at (910) 452-6345. 

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This post was written by Steve

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