The Effectiveness of Google Ads
“Why use AdWords” and "Does Google AdWords Work?" are pretty common keyword phrase searched on Google, which suggests that there are a lot of marketers and business owners out there who have heard about Google AdWords but aren’t sure if and how it can work for them. We believe that AdWords – Google’s enormously successful pay-per-click (PPC) advertising system – can work for almost any type of business. Using AdWords (or any PPC platform) requires time and money, but thousands of businesses have found that it’s time and money well spent, because AdWords delivers measurable ROI. We’ve devoted countless pages to how you should use AdWords. In this post, we’ll answer the question of why you should use it.
Before any of our SEO-loving readers get up in arms, let me preface this by saying that we’re not advocating that you do PPC to the exclusion of other marketing activities. As always, we recommend a healthy balance of marketing channels, including organic search (check out our recent 10-step guide to ranking for a keyword), email marketing, events, social media and other lead sources. How you allocate your marketing budget will depend on which channels turn out to be most effective for your business.
But if you’ve never used Google AdWords before, and you’re wondering whether or not it’s worthwhile, this post is for you. Here are 10 reasons to use AdWords.
1. AdWords Is Scalable
One of the trickiest challenges for any marketer is finding lead sources that scale – meaning, it doesn’t require five times the effort to get five times the leads. Google AdWords is highly scalable, which is why some business spend millions of dollars a year on AdWords advertising. If you create an AdWords campaign that is converting at a profitable rate, there is no reason to arbitrarily cap spend on that campaign. You can increase your PPC budget and your leads and profits will increase accordingly. This makes AdWords highly effective for businesses that need a lot of leads but are short on time and heads.
2. AdWords Is Measurable
Compared to traditional marketing channels like TV and magazine advertising, online marketing is highly measureable, and AdWords PPC is one of the most measurable of online channels. It’s difficult to make exact measurements in SEO because you can’t always know what actions led to increased or decreased rankings. Then there’s the whole “not provided” fiasco. Social media can be equally difficult to measure. In comparison, AdWords is more transparent, providing tons of PPC metrics that allow you to see at a granular level what works and what doesn’t. You can pretty quickly determine if your campaigns are sucking or returning ROI.
3. AdWords Is Flexible
AdWords provides tons of options so you can customize your campaigns and ads to your particular needs, hyper-targeting the audiences you most want to reach. For example, with AdWords you can:
- – You can, for example, only display your ad to people who search for an exact keyword you specify, like “vegas hotels” – filtering out traffic on general terms related to Las Vegas or hotels. (SEO, on the other hand, is aspirational; you can’t define what you rank for, you can only hope for the best.)
- to display product images, a phone number, a mega-pack of links to your site, your physical location – you can even initiate a chat or get an email address right from the SERP.
- Narrow your audience by location, time of day, language, browser or device type and more. A good portion of your SEO traffic may be worthless to you (for example, if you only need US-based leads, and half your web traffic comes from Australia), but in AdWords, you don’t have to display your ads around the world.
- Access an enormous network of non-search users on properties like Gmail and YouTube and tons of partner sites.
- Leverage the display network, which is great for building brand awareness and often converts at a lower cost than Google Search.
4. AdWords Is Faster than SEO
For new businesses and websites, it can take months to see results from SEO. This perceived “penalty” used to be referred to as the Google sandbox effect – people assumed Google was intentionally filtering new websites out of the results. More likely the problem is that competition is fierce and it takes time for a website to “prove” itself and earn authority and links.
AdWords is a great workaround for new businesses because you don’t have to wait around so long to see results. While working on your site’s SEO, you can put resources into an AdWords campaign and start getting impressions and clicks immediately. Because it’s so speedy, it’s also a good way to test whether a given keyword or audience is worth pursing via organic search – if it converts well in AdWords, you can deduce that it’s worth trying to rank for in SEO and build out your content in that area. (Just one of the ways that AdWords and SEO are two great tastes that taste great together.)
As an added bonus, you can often get started on AdWords very cheaply – Google often offers vouchers (basically free PPC budget) for new advertisers. Right now it’s running a special for AdWords Express: Sign up by December 16 and get a free month of advertising.