What is Adwords?
Adwords is a powerful ‘pay per click’ (PPC) advertising platform created by Google. It is the Search Engine’s main source of revenue, with publishers ads running alongside and above natural search engine results (highlighted below in red), as well as on thousands of websites.
Adwords publishers can opt to be visible in Google’s search results for chosen keywords and searches (the Google Search Network), or they can publish their ads on ‘contextually targeted’ websites (the Google Display Network – GDN). Traditionally, the Google Search Network is used to target visitors who are further along in the buying cycle, and the Google Display Network is used for brand awareness. However, this isn’t to say that you can’t make direct sales with the Google Display Network!
Many publishers will use a combined strategy, using the GDN to build brand awareness. Instead of clicking on the publishers ad, they may go to Google and search for it. The publishers Search Network ad will then be shown. This is an extremely powerful strategy when executed properly.
What are the benefits of using Adwords?
Adwords allows for instant visbility in Google’s search results for competitive phrases which may otherwise take months of traditional SEO work. As soon as an advertising campaign is created, it is live in the search engine. Publishers can receive highly targeted traffic within ten minutes of creating their campaign.
What are the drawbacks?
PPC advertising means that you pay for every visitor that clicks on your ad and ends up on your website. The cost per click depends on the competitiveness of the keywords/niche, as well as the quality of your advertising campaign (keyword relevancy, ad text, landing page quality, etc). Google will display a campaign’s quality with its ‘Quality Score’ metric. A higher quality score means advertisers can pay less for clicks.
Clicks on the GDN can cost as little as 5p, whereas highly competitive clicks on the Search Network (‘Car Insurance’ for example) can easily cost one hundred times that! If there are high ROIs to be made, often the click price will reflect that.
5 key tips for getting started
- Choose a highly relevant group of keywords. Generic keywords are good for brand awareness, but not for targeted traffic that convert in to sales. (“Bicycles” is a generic Keyword, whereas “buy Bicycles in Oxford” is a targeted keyword phrase)
- Beware of ‘Broad Match’. Using broad match lets Google show your ad for keywords that it feels are relevant, but may not be. (If you are using broad match and targeting the keyword “Bicycles”, Google may also show your ad for “Unicycles” or “Motorcycles”. By using ‘Exact match’, Google will only ever show your ad for the exact keyword you’re targeting.
- Optimise your Landing Page. Make sure that your landing page is highly related to your keywords and ad text. This keeps conversion rates and quality score high (which results in lower click costs).
- Set a weekly budget, and stick to it. Publishers new to PPC can quickly overspend if not careful. Be strict about your budget whilst testing your campaign.
- Consult an Adwords Certified Professional for advice. At times, Adwords can be complex and expensive for new advertisers. It is however an extremely popular and proven platform, which can provide a great return on investment when used properly.
Adwords allows advertisers to track conversions within its interface. By adding a tracking code to their website, a publisher can assign a monetary value to each conversion, and see their Costs vs Sales within Adwords itself. This lets publishers see instantly whether their Adwords campaigns are effective or not. If a publisher doesn’t track conversions within Adwords itself, it is still very important to ensure that the costs of the PPC campaign(s) do not outweigh the return on investment that the PPC traffic has provided.
The next step
If you’d like a discussion with a Certified Adwords Professional about how Pay Per Click Advertising can help your small business, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us today!