With the right approach, AdWords is often a very useful marketing vessel for small companies and larger organisations alike, with big names such as Amazon and Microsoft spending millions on ads every year.
Unless you’ve taken the plunge and set up an account for yourself, however, you might be wondering what the fuss is all about. Here’s a few reasons why you should start investing in AdWords – but first, an introduction…
How does it all work?
For the uninitiated, Google AdWords is the tech giant’s pay-per-click advertising platform, allowing marketers to serve up ads to web users on Google’s search results pages and other digital spaces. (We’ll go into more detail about where ads are shown later in the article.)
Every time a Google search user types in a keyword, all the campaigns which are targeting that particular keyword are placed in a mini auction. From here, Google decides which ads to show to the user (and the order in which to feature them in) based on the bid amount and the ‘quality score’ of the page (among other factors).
You only pay for your ads each time a user clicks on them, and you can regulate how much you’re paying by setting a daily spend limit and/or a maximum cost-per-click. Once a campaign hits its limit, the ads won’t show until the next day.
So, what makes AdWords a great investment for your business?
Getting started is easy
While tricky to master, AdWords is relatively accessible and user-friendly for newcomers. Depending on the keywords you’re targeting and the quality score of your website pages (which Google assigns based on their relevance to their particular ad and their own users), you can get your ads showing with very little monetary investment. It’s also a quicker route to Google’s front page than organic search marketing, where you’ll need to invest a lot more time and effort to achieve and maintain high rankings.
You don’t even have to pay to open an AdWords account. Registering is free, and while you’ll need to provide your billing information to ‘activate’ it, you can delay this until you’re ready to commit. In the meantime, you’re free to play around with the user interface, learn where everything is and what everything does, and even set up your own campaigns (though they’ll remain dormant until your account is activated).
You’re only paying for ads that work
Offline advertising mediums have traditionally followed a rather rigid structure – you pay a flat fee to get your ads out there, but you’ve got no guarantee that they will get any impressions, or if any of the impressions you do get will lead to actual sales.
AdWords is a less risky affair. As we’ve already pointed out, you’ll only pay each time your ad is clicked – and since users have to be engaged enough by your proposal to click in the first place, you’re more likely to get tangible sales from your advertising spend (assuming your website is up to the task of converting clickers into customers).
Meanwhile, if a particular ad isn’t attracting any clicks, you won’t be wasting any money to keep it running.
It offers a huge potential reach
It goes without saying that Google has a rather large audience – it’s the world’s most widely used search engine, with more than 100 billion searches from around 1.17 billion users every month. Even if your ads only show for a tiny fraction of those searches, you can still expect to get impressions in the tens of thousands for most search keywords.
And your ads aren’t limited to search pages, either. AdWords lets you promote your business on the Google Display Network, which encompasses more than one million third-party partners, as well as Google properties such as Gmail and YouTube.
There’s a variety of display options to choose from
The latter example above highlights another great aspect of AdWords – you can choose from a variety of ad display formats, ranging from simple text-based adverts to images, animations, banners and even videos.
Taking advantage of the more visual formats can result in more creative, eyecatching ads that generate higher click-through rates. They’re especially useful for showcasing attractive products which rely on visual appeal to sell, such as fashion and furniture items.
You can also opt to incorporate ad extensions, which can include extra features such as call buttons, download buttons, business location details and more.
There’s plenty of targeting flexibility
With AdWords, you can simultaneously run up to 25 different campaigns, and each campaign can be highly targeted to a specific audience. As well as selecting the search terms you want your business to appear for, you can narrow your visibility down by geographic location, language, user device, the keywords you don’t want to appear for, and even the Google partner sites that you know your potential customers will be visiting.
Not sure which keywords and demographics to focus on? The Keyword Planner, tucked away in the Tools section of AdWords, has all the answers to help you plan your campaigns. You can investigate search numbers, levels of competition and recommended bids for a list of target keywords, get keyword suggestions based around your industry area, and compare metrics based on time period, geographic location and more.
Using cookie tracking, you can also set up remarketing ads for users who have already visited your site, enticing them back to make a new purchase or return to an abandoned cart.
It’s easy to monitor your progress
Having a user-friendly ad platform is all well and good, but if the money you’re spending on it isn’t delivering results for your business, it all means nothing.
Fortunately, AdWords makes it simple to view the progress of your campaigns, as it reports on each of your campaigns with various valuable metrics. You can look up the number of clicks and impressions you’re getting, as well as the click-through rate and the average cost-per-click. You can also view performance stats for the keywords you’re targeting, so when it comes to refining your keyword list, you’ll know which ones to keep and which ones to put on the back burner.
But that’s not all – if you have a Google Analytics account (which is also free to sign up for), you can share data across both platforms, helping you identify if your ad click-throughs are translating into actual sales.
You can ‘scale up’ as your business grows
Once you’ve built a campaign which is working to bring in customers, you should be able to boost the number of clicks you’re getting by simply raising your budget and/or optimising your ad copy and landing pages, thereby giving your campaigns more visibility.
To save time and simplify your approach, you can also set a shared budget which covers multiple campaigns – that way, you can adjust all of them at once without having to edit each campaign’s settings individually.
Likewise, if you need to scale back your advertising efforts for any reason, AdWords lets you easily lower your spending cap. You can even switch off individual campaigns and switch them on again when the time is right for you.
If you’re ready to start investing in AdWords, but you’re not sure where to start when it comes to planning and managing campaigns, Advantec can help.
With fully AdWords-qualified PPC managers and a close working relationship with Google themselves as a partner agency, we’ll be able to help you set up an AdWords account, develop an advertising strategy and maintain your campaigns to get the most return on your investment. Get in touch with us today to discuss your requirements.