To get the most out of Google AdWords and online advertising in general , it’s critical to understand exactly how it works and what it can do for your business if done well.
Just about every business has dabbled in some kind of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Just as it sounds, PPC is a type of advertising and Internet marketing where you pay a fee every time someone clicks on one of your ads. The goal is to increase your website traffic, which ideally drives more sales and better search engine rankings. Arguably, when businesses choose to use Google AdWords they are leveraging the king of PPC advertising.
While a number of businesses sing Google AdWords’ praises, it can quickly become a money pit for others. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using Google AdWords to help you determine if this is an appropriate advertising measure for your business:
Pro: Target Specific Traffic
One of the biggest reasons businesses use Google AdWords is the ability to direct targeted traffic to your website. By using specific keywords related to your business, people searching for your service or product are serious about buying. This means, if they click on your ad and visit your website, there’s a good chance they will convert from prospect to customer. With Google AdWords you can also target by location, which is beneficial for restaurants, hotels, and other local businesses.
Con: A Learning Curve
There’s no easy way to become a master of Google AdWords. It is a game you have to master through experience and testing. This isn’t always an option for those with limited time and small budgets. If you don’t know how to select your keywords of budget your campaigns, you can end up spending more than you make.
Pro: Easy Measurability
Your marketing is only as successful as your tracking and measuring. With Google AdWords, you can measure every element of your marketing campaign. You’ll know exactly how much you’re spending, how effective the effort is, and what your return on investment is. This can make it easy for you to determine whether this form of advertising is working for your business.
Con: Potential to Lose Money
As we stated earlier, you can quickly spend money and see little to no results if you don’t understand how Google AdWords works, how to monitor campaigns, and how to make the most of your keywords. For one, Google evaluates how your campaigns are organized. If you have a poor quality landing page or if it doesn’t meet Google’s guidelines, your quality score will decrease. The lower quality score you have, the more you have to pay for the keywords you want. Additionally, it’s pricey to use valuable, and competitive keywords. The more advertisers using your desired keywords, the more expensive it will be. You could end up paying $5 per click and deplete your budget very quickly. Often, large companies with big budgets are the only ones that can afford popular keywords.
Pro: Faster than SEO
In driving traffic to your website via ads, Google AdWords also helps your SEO. It’s also more instantaneous than the old-fashioned SEO techniques – changing titles, headings, and meta tags – which can take months to implement and see results. According to research conducted by Moz, Google AdWords can even be more effective at converting than organic search traffic – twice as well, in fact. Thats not to say that traditional SEO doesn’t matter. In fact, if you’re looking to improve SEO rankings read our guide How Rich Schema Structured Markup Helps to Improve SEO Ranking
Con: Be Careful With Google’s Recommendations
If you’re going to use Google AdWords, remember this: Google is making money off your campaigns. This means they are likely going to recommend that you pay more and pursue more popular (and more expensive) keywords in order to get listed on the first page of Google. While these suggestions can be nice, you have to be smart about your strategies. Run your first campaign to determine what price you actually end up paying per click. Then you can adjust your campaign settings based on your needs, not what Google wants.
As you can see, Google AdWords can be very powerful for those that know what they’re doing. If you want to harness the powers of Google AdWords, but aren’t a master yourself, consider working with a marketing agency or someone who is well-versed in the intricacies and nuances of creating effective and cost-friendly campaigns.