A Marketing Necessity: The Importance of Google AdWords

person sitting at a wooden table typing on a computer, image has dark green square shapes around edges

Attention marketers: Google paid search advertising should be a part of your online marketing mix. For those of you who do not use paid search, you are missing out on a delivery platform that, according to Internet Live Stats, accounted for over a trillion search queries in 2016. That’s roughly 3.5 billion searches a day. If you aren’t using AdWords by now, you’re checking yourself out of potential business. By avoiding AdWords you have, in a way, avoided your potential customers. Why would anyone want to do that?

I know missing out on potential customers is not the intention. The reality is AdWords can be intimidating. Before working at an ad agency, I had this same experience. Previously, I was the marketing manager for a local dog and horse boarding business. I must admit I was more of a dual marketing manager and ranch hand combo. I had never run any type of PPC campaign before. I was afraid to try AdWords and decided to stick to social media instead. Now, just two years later, I work for Go Local as a Paid Media Coordinator and I realize how much traffic I missed out on when I made that decision. I’m comfortable with chalking this up to a “learn as you grow” situation, but I’d like to save others the time. I know that the marketing mix for every business is different. However, I want you to know how much potential AdWords has for generating new business. Here’s the information I wish I would’ve known:

Positive ROIs Breed Competition

The bottom line in advertising is to generate sales at a positive ROI. According to the Google Economic Impact Report, marketers that use AdWords, see a 2 to 1 return on their investments. It is easy to see why AdWords has gained so much popularity when you consider these numbers. Since it’s auction model launched in 2002, over a million businesses have used AdWords to reach their customers. The search platform shows no signs of slowing down in popularity, which makes the space more and more competitive. If you aren’t staking out your territory, you can bet another competitor is.

Strategic Options

Strategy with Google AdWords, at times, feels infinite to me. Trying to pick the right strategy is a lot like preparing your dinner plate on Thanksgiving. There are an abundance of different things to try, but you need to make sure they all come together in the right mix. You must plan how to implement your strategy so that you end up with just the right amount of food on your plate. With Google, you have the ability to really be creative with your strategy. You can change things like the time of day your ads run. The geographic locations you want to reach. Even demographic information (age, gender, etc.) can be accessed in AdWords dashboard.

demographics dashboard on Google AdWords

The list of modifiers you can place on campaigns for targeting is always being refined. What is great about AdWords is that Google is at the top of the list of companies trying to decipher the most effective way to reach strategic audiences. As we get closer to that goal in the digital age, I expect AdWords will continue to lead the field in strategic targeting capabilities.

Quality Customer Leads

Quality lead generation is what PPC excels at. Quality leads are important because they are how the customer will close the sale or ask for more information about the product. A quality lead could be a call to your store or a form submission on your website. PPC is great at generating quality leads due to the state of the consumer when encountering your ad. Simply, consumers are being proactive about making a purchase. They either want to buy now, or they are seeking more information before buying later. What this means, is that with PPC you are jumping ahead a few steps in the sales process. On top of that, when you use Google AdWords you are placing your ad on a search network, that according to Net Market Share, controls 79% of the market. Ask yourself, when was the last time I used Google to find what I was looking for? I’m sure many of you would say not long ago. Google has taken over as our fix all solution for information and answers. As marketers, we need to recognize this and use it to our advantage.

Tracking & Data

What makes AdWords a lot different than other advertising models is the level of tracking you have access to. Like Google Analytics, AdWords allows you to visualize the impact of your advertising. Ordinarily, you wouldn’t be able to discern what advertising effort caused an increase or decrease in sales. AdWords provides a more scientific test feedback loop than a billboard or post in the local newspaper. With AdWords, you’re never in the dark. The guesswork is gone. The feedback data your campaigns generate will inform your future decision-making processes.

Speedy Setup Times

If you’re short on time and need to generate leads quickly, then PPC is your answer. The short window of time it takes to create a PPC campaign in AdWords makes it a great pairing for other online strategies. The best example would be SEO. The importance of having an established SEO program for your website can not be understated. Ideally, most of your traffic will come from your SEO efforts, because organic clicks are free. The drawback for SEO, is the time it takes to develop the program. A quick turnaround for a new SEO program is roughly 3 months. Unlike SEO, a PPC account can be set up in AdWords within a month. What that allows you to do is maintain consistent website traffic while your organic program continues to grow. When you lose online visibility, you become non-existent to potential customers who may be prepared to purchase today.

Lessons Learned

If you are not currently using pay-per-click advertising on the Google AdWords network then you are missing out on a large portion of consumers. Currently, Google networks control 79% of the search engine market. AdWords is a platform that has been shown to generate a 2 to 1 return on investment. Paid search campaigns can be set up quickly and complement other forms of online advertising. The performance tracking capabilities in AdWords go beyond what traditional advertising campaigns can provide. For marketing managers, it means you are armed with the hardened proof your boss demands. For business owners, it means you’ve updated your advertising with responsive data driven campaigns. Paid Search advertising is a great investment any business can make. Large or small. If you’re behind the curve, I strongly suggest you take my advice and explore your PPC options with Google AdWords.

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