Google Adwords in a Nutshell

Typically when we think of google, we envision an all powerful search engine that has the answers to just about everything. How often though, do we think of all the magic that goes on behind the scenes? More oftentimes than not, we overlook the amazing tool’s that Google has to offer. One of Google’s most widely used tools is a paid advertising service called Adwords. You know those little advertisements that are along the top, sides, and sometimes bottom of your search results? Yup, those are none other than Google Adwords. Whether you like them or not, or choose to click on them, the reality is that these are (or can be) very successful in driving traffic to your website.

Google Adwords has changed the marketing landscape to offer a relatively inexpensive solution to getting your name, product or service out there. Offering pay-per-click (CPC), cost-per-thousand impressions or cost-per-mille (CPM) advertising, as well as site-focused advertising for text, banner, and rich media ads; Google Adwords has a vast array of arsenal to choose from.

With that being said, many of you probably have glazed over eyes and are starting to drool .. but not to worry! Google Adwords isn’t as difficult as it appears to be.

Here are the basics you need to know:

Augie with HatGoogle Adwords are keyword-drive ads that are visible along the right hand side of a google search page under the heading “sponsored links”, they also show up in the light shaded tan colored box at the very top. Anyone who searches for terms related those you pick - say “Augie the Pug’s Homemade Dog Hats” - will see your ad alongside the results of their search.

How high up your advertisement appears on the list of sponsored links will depend mostly on how much you are willing to spend on your campaign. Like most things in life, the more you spend, the better quality you will get - but not always. Typically, the more money spent, the more relevant your ad and thus the higher it will rank. Due to Google Adwords being a pay-per-click service, you only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad.

When you embark on your campaign, you construct a text-only ad that includes a link to your website. From there you select the keywords that will determine which searches your ads will show up on. This is also when you need to determine how much you are willing (and want) to spend, and who you want to see your ad geographically. Because let’s face it, sometimes you want to spend hundreds, and sometimes you want to spend thousands to make sure all of those adorable pugs have cozy hats for the winter (but maybe only in the midwest, Florida pugs don’t need as many hats). Google also allows you to post ads through it’s content network, AdSense, which positions your ad on sites that offer content related to your keywords.

Like most decisions, there are certainly pros and cons to be considered when determining if Google Adwords is right for you.

Some Pros:

  • Google Adwords can be tremendously helpful if you're looking to drive traffic to your site fairly quickly. SEO can sometimes take weeks to months to really grab hold. AdWords, however, is instant.
  • Setting up Google Adwords is a fairly simple process. By doing some keyword research, figuring out a budget, setting up a campaign, selecting a few adgroups, and writing some phenomenal copy, you are off and running in relatively no time. Your ads also appear as soon as they have been approved (which most of the time is instantaneous).
  • You get to have your ads on Google! That should be a reason within itself. Google is one of the internet's largest search engines. That means your ads are getting exposed to large masses of people who are searching for exactly what you're selling.
  • It can be done on a budget. Adwords doesn't have to be expensive, unless you want it to be. It's easy for large business and small business owners alike to reap the benefits of their campaign. By specifying how much you want to spend, and setting you max cost per click for your keywords, you are able to maintain complete control of how much you are spending.

Some Cons:

  • You are restricted to the amount of characters you are allowed. With only 25 characters in the headline, 35 each in the two lines of text, and 35 in the display URL, you need to be sure to have an attention grabbing headline, keywords, benefits and call to action all in one small space.
  • You pay for your clicks. While this is good in the sense that you aren't paying for an ad by just throwing it out there and hoping for results. However, you still have to pay if someone clicks, regardless if that click converted or not. So that means you pay for clicks even if a user doesn't stay for long, or doesn't intend to buy your product/service.
  • There can be a learning curve when it comes to Google Adwords. To ensure your campaign is efficient, and has been set up properly, you need to invest some energy into monitoring your campaign. This can sometimes take time and patience.
  • Your landing page needs to be up to par in terms of relevancy to the search query. While this should be the case anyways, if you neglect your own websites SEO, and rely solely on Google Adwords to drive traffic, Google will look at the quality of your landing page and determine if it is adequate. If your landing page is not relevant to your ads, you will need to make sure it is up to date. The bonus here is that the more relevant it is, the higher of a "Quality Score" you will receive, meaning you will end up paying less for your clicks.

Overall, don’t let the cons scare you away from Google Adwords. It is a great tool, that if used effectively can have great benefits. If you want to learn more about Google Adwords,  or are want help setting up a campaign, feel free to contact us here at the nest! We have a Google Adwords Qualified Individual in the office who can help you get started, answer questions, or help you with a current account.