What is Google AdWords?
Whenever a business talks about their digital marketing strategy, often a large portion of that is composed of Google AdWords. In fact, a staggering 96% of Google’s revenue in 2011 came from AdWords.
That’s no surprise when companies like Amazon, Lowes, and Home Depot each spent over $50 million in advertising with them that year alone – more than $4.17 million per month.
These kinds of investments are worth it for any business who wants to advertise online. Google’s advertising networks reach roughly 90% of all internet users worldwide, and with customization can reach a very specific audience ready to buy your products or services. With this kind of buzz, more than likely at some point you have considered advertising your business with AdWords.
At Everest Agency, we’ve helped clients from a diverse range of industries set up and succeed in their own AdWords campaigns. But before taking the plunge for yourself, do a bit of research and learn what you will be getting into. Thankfully, we have created a comprehensive guide to take you from setting up an account to seeing your first conversion, starting with the most important questions to ask:
What is Google AdWords?
Briefly, Google AdWords is a form of digital marketing that allows you to create and display ads in a variety of styles and across a wide network of websites.
More precisely, AdWords allows you to create text, image, video, or rich media advertisements and then display them on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) or throughout their network of affiliated sites:
Who Uses Google AdWords?
Industries ranging from fashion to home construction to dentists use AdWords to sell products, get more contracts, or find new patients. Even in as early as 2007 (the Stone Age in Internet years) there were already over 1 million advertisers using AdWords.
Perform a search for just about anything – paintbrushes, swimming lessons, hotels in Poughkeepsie – and you will find an advertisement or twelve.
Why Use AdWords?
One of the main reasons AdWords is so popular is that it follows a pay-per-click (PPC) model. This means that unless someone clicks on your advertisement, you don’t pay to display it.
Because of this, many larger companies have been able to almost guarantee a return on investment on their advertisements. If you know your website’s conversion rate and how much an average conversion is worth to your business, then chances are very high you will make a profit with a well-constructed AdWords campaign.
Who Should NOT Use AdWords?
Any business in any industry can benefit from an AdWords campaign provided it is constructed carefully. However, there are a few circumstances under which you may not see much benefit from even the most expertly created campaign:
- You have a very low budget in a high-competition field
If you are in a highly competitive industry, such as insurance or hospitality, you will generally find that the prices to target your ideal customers are astronomical. While there are plenty of strategies to lower this cost, if you have a very low budget ( <$1000 per month), it will be difficult to have your ads seen.
- You cannot commit at least $300 per month (with $500 really being the lowest we would want any client to start with)
With less than $500 per month, it will be very difficult to see if your campaigns are successful. Similar to how a larger sample size in scientific experiments leads to more accurate results, in AdWords a higher number of clicks and impressions on your ads will give more accurate and actionable data. It is imperative to learn what is an isn’t working in your ad strategies, and without enough data you cannot tell what is random chance and what is meaningful.
- Your website is not primed to convert those who click on your ads
It is possible to have great ads that earn thousands of clicks, but do not return a profit. If your site does not clearly show a visitor how to become a customer, a click is a waste of your money. Additionally, Google ranks ads that do not direct users to well-made landing pages lower, decreasing your visibility and increasing your costs.
- You need an immediate return on investment for your first campaign
Google AdWords requires experimenting and tweaking the first few months of use. The first 3 months (typically the duration of Phase I with our AdWords clients) are used to gather data and discover what is and isn’t working. We then use that data to increase your subsequent campaigns’ success.
How to Get Started
We’ve covered how to create your first AdWords account and campaign, but there are a few different options on how to get started:
- DIY – If you’d like to learn more about how to create and manage your own campaigns, check out some of our AdWords Guides.
- AdWords Express – Generally we do not recommend this option, however if you have the money to spend and don’t want to think too hard about your advertisements, this could be an option for your business.
- Outsource – There are a large number of agencies who offer digital advertising and PPC services for their clients, including Everest Agency. Outsourcing allows you to have an optimized campaign without the hassle of learning the ins and outs of AdWords yourself.