You may have heard about businesses using Google Adwords to achieve a great return on investment.
Equally you may have heard from others that it’s a complete waste of money, plus that’s it expensive and tricky to manage.
That could even be your own personal opinion based on your own recent Adwords experience or what you have previously read. If this is the case, you are certainly not the first to say it and you definitely won’t be the last. It is tough understanding Google Adwords.
There has been a lot written about Adwords, which isn’t surprising when like many I believe it’s the greatest advertising tool ever invented. The trouble is much of it can be confusing for a business owner who simply hasn’t got the time to devote themselves to the steep learning curve.
The purpose of this article is to help new and existing Adwords users alike. There’s an enormous opportunity for each and everyone and it’s my mission to show you proven ways to significantly increase your business.
So let’s dig a little deeper into what others are doing and how you can replicate their success.
It’s About Time You Truly Understood How Google Adwords Works
The reality is that 96% of Google’s annual revenue of $37.9 billion in 2011 came from Adwords. Companies are spending millions to put their ads in front of people searching on Google and also browsing their partner websites as part of their Display Network. It’s a no brainer for them because they have worked hard to ensure that they each make a significant return on their monthly Adwords budget. Specifically they have mastered the art of making their ads relevant. They understand that the more relevant they are, the more Google will love them in terms of lower costs per click and higher ad positions.
You may have never considered relevance in relation to where you have specifically advertised in the past. It has always been the case that the larger your budget, the more prominent an ad you could have in your local paper or trade magazine.
Even today you can safely assume that the company with an ad on the first page has paid more than the one on page five, assuming they are the same size. Traditionally the one with the deepest pockets has always won. Thankfully for the smaller businesses, and the ones with smaller wallets, this is no longer the case.
Now for the first time, whilst budget is important for both print and online advertising, you can pay a lot less by ensuring your ads are relevant. In fact being relevant is critical for Adwords success.
Let me explain further, so as you understand the ins and outs of Adwords.
It starts with appreciating how Google works from their perspective, and crucially understanding what’s important to them. At this moment in time you only return to Google.com because you know a search will be result in a list of relevant links. Furthermore it’s likely you will find the information you are looking for on the first page of Google. I personally rarely use Bing or Yahoo because Google consistently serves me well by providing relevant answers to my search queries. I’m loyal to them for this very reason, likewise there are millions of others who equally benefit from the billions of relevant search results Google delivers on a daily basis. For the record in Europe, Google gets about 90% of all search queries; in the US it is about 65%.
Thus it is in Google’s interest to ensure that any ads presented alongside their organic search results are also relevant. Sometimes a search will result in no ads and other times it isn’t unusual for close on two thirds of the links above the fold (meaning what you see on the screen without scrolling down) to be ads where the search query has a high commercial intent.
Google has taken the decision to display a combination of relevant ads, relevant Google+ pages and relevant organic searches. It’s their way of keeping their shareholders and users happy at the same time. If your ad isn’t relevant it’s unlikely it will be shown much. Google penalises irrelevant ads by charging more per click. This is often the main reason businesses lose money from the start with Adwords. Imagine if a newspaper editor turned around to you and said:
“ Your ad sucks. The headline doesn’t attract my attention, the copy offers no benefits to the reader and there is no compelling call to action. I will run it this one time but I’m going to charge you double for being irrelevant!”
Of course this never happens. In the majority of cases a business has never invested time into learning the art of successful direct response copywriting. Ultimately whilst the newspapers and magazine owners are willing to take their money for good and bad ads alike, they feel no real incentive to improve their copy if there are no financial rewards for doing so.
No doubt about it, Adwords is unlike advertising in print media. The rules of the game are different. Businesses that lose money using Adwords have simply not learnt the new rules. It’s as simple as that. Fortunately Google will tell you where you are going wrong. They will even give you scores out of ten to help you determine where you have room for improvement. One thing is for sure, online marketing has rocked the boat. In order to succeed a new mindset is required.
In a nutshell, Google requires all of the ads they display to be relevant and as an advertiser it must be your goal to provide exactly this. By taking the time to be relevant your ads will leapfrog your competitors, often spending a lot less than them.
So That’s The Theory, Let’s Get Down To The Nitty Gritty
Today I want to show you how close you are to joining the businesses who have been prolific in maximising their return on investment. Not the likes of Amazon.com who spent $55.2 million on Adwords in 2011, but the businesses in your neighbourhood who dominate their local market with 3 and 4 figure monthly Adwords budgets.
If you are brand new to Adwords or if you are fed up tweaking your existing campaigns with little success and urgently need a helping hand, I’m here to help. I have worked hard to take all of my experience and format it into a series of steps you can immediately implement. Having used Adwords since its inception in October 2000, I have seen it evolve into the most sophisticated marketing platform in the world. Thankfully whilst the technology has advanced the marketing fundamentals that form a compelling ad haven’t. We are still all wired the same, human psychology hasn’t changed. We just have better tools to reach out and track our ads.
What does this mean to you?
Well off the bat I hope I have replaced some of the fear and confusion surrounding Adwords with some optimism for supercharging your marketing within in the next week.
Let’s crack on!
Can I assume you are continually debating where best to spend your marketing budget? For years, no doubt, you have spent a large chunk advertising in the Yellow Pages. The question is for how much longer when you know the majority of people now search for products and services online. Furthermore the trend is to search less on your desktop and more on your mobile.
Thus you know you should be advertising online, but perhaps the experience to date has been disappointing. It seems to be just open up another can of worms with more questions asked than answered.
On a daily basis I feel the frustration you may be going through. Every week I talk to business owners that have tried Google Adwords, burnt through a wad of cash, and have little to show for it. It’s easy to then dismiss Adwords, not understand it and return to what you know even if you are disappointed with the results there as well.
I would be the first to admit that you do need to allocate sufficient time to your Adwords accounts and without proper guidance at the outset it can be an uphill struggle.
In my capacity as someone who has advised many companies on marketing here in St Andrews and throughout the rest of the UK, I think it’s right at this stage to remind you of the three key ways you can generate traffic to your website.
Unfortunately all three will take effort and require some kind of budget. The days of when you could design a website and see it immediately attract an ever increasing audience have gone!
1. You can generate traffic to your website by spending a considerable amount of time writing unique content about your business. Google loves this and will reward you with improving positions within their organic rankings. Alternatively you can outsource the writing. Either way it costs you money. There’s a whole industry based on “content marketing” and the companies that knuckle down and write keyword targeted content on a consistent basis will benefit in the mid to long term.
Much of what I advise regarding keyword research for Adwords will be beneficial to you if you are also considering developing a content marketing strategy for your business. Critically when you hit a homerun with a keyword on Adwords it makes total sense to write a 750+ word article exclusively about it. This is simply because your Adwords conversion tracking will unequivocally tell you which keywords result in buyers for you.
2. You can generate traffic to your website by providing an exceptional customer experience and asking each one of your delighted buyers to consider leaving a review on your Google+ Business page. For many this will push them out of their comfort zone because they believe the last thing they need is another social media platform.
They are already on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, and keep hearing industry pundits telling them they should also create a presence on Instagram and Pinterest. It can all seem a bit too much and the best idea seems to be burying their head in sand! I suggest you don’t because in short, your Google+ Business page affects your Google organic search results and your Google+ Local page (formerly known as Google Places). Increased social engagement on your Google+ Business page means higher rankings and increased traffic, but like content marketing it also comes at a cost. There is the expense of writing new content for your Google+ Business page and putting in systems to easily leverage the goodwill of your happy customers, so as they leave you excellent reviews.
It’s important to understand why you need to set up a Google+ call extension to increase the chances of your ad standing out from the rest. It’s paramount you appreciate that one of the best strategies for maximising your Adwords return on investment (ROI) derives from creating a Google+ Business page.
Take this step and will be ahead of much of your competition. Undoubtedly Google+ will go mainstream and instead of watching an ad on TV saying “Find Us on Facebook”, it will instead be a link to the advertiser’s Google+ Business page.
3. You can generate traffic to your website by advertising and paying for each click through to your website. This could be on Facebook, Bing or Yahoo, but for maximum exposure the big daddy for the foreseeable future is Google Adwords. Like the two previous methods this costs time and money to set up, but the overwhelming advantage comes in how quickly you can receive the traffic. Furthermore, as you will find out further in this report, you have the controls to really target your ideal customer, unlike the other two methods.
There is a learning curve and it can be daunting. Thus it is my job to guide you through the complexities. As a member of Google’s Engage program I have the ability to speak directly to representatives at Google. This affords me the opportunity to stay informed of all of the changes and work with them to resolve any problems you may have.
In summary, all three methods are very important. My clients have seen success in dedicating resources to any one of these strategies. An overall marketing plan incorporating all three has much merit. Critically though, when you want a guaranteed return on all of your investment in a short space of time I would wholly recommend Google Adwords.
I’m sure you’ll agree it’s worth taking a closer looks at Google Adwords and seeing what it can offer your business. Adwords is an automated auction where you bid for keywords in real-time. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad in Google and in their Display Network. There are also options to pay based on the number of times your ad is shown, but for the most part I will stick to talking about pay per click.
Most importantly, Adwords provides a cost effective way to bring customers into your business. This is achieved by taking full advantage of the opportunity to be very precise in how you target your prospects, customers and clients.
Whilst it may seem quite straightforward to set up an ad, the rules that govern how well you will fare are not. As a business owner it’s essential you first understand the core fundamentals that underpin how this automated auction works. Secondly, as stressed before, you need to make sure all of your ads are relevant. It’s fair to say that without this knowledge you will be severely hampered in making a great return on investment.