The basic fundamental of business marketing 101 is to get your message or product in front of as many people as possible to convert leads into sales. Sounds pretty simple, right? In the world of today’s internet marketing, however, you can’t stand in front of your clients and offer your wares; you have to trust the internet gods to do the work for you. This is where a program like Google AdWords can work for your business.
Google AdWords is a marketing program that gets your company seen on the internet and while it seems simple enough, there are many variables that can constitute whether or not the process is successful. The process works like this: a consumer goes on the internet to search a particular keyword or keyword phrase—i.e., ‘flowers’ or ‘flower delivery’. For those companies that pay for Google AdWords, their company or service will pop up first in the search returns with the word “Ad” in front of their listing. This is called a paid search. Instead of using just content to show up on page one of an organic search, these companies will pay Google to put them on page one of a search. Each time someone clicks on the ad, the company pays Google a fee, whether or not the ad converts into a sale or service. These ads will either show up as the first few entries in the search or on the right side of the page, sometimes with just copy and sometimes with pictures, depending upon the type of ad that is purchased.
Businesses want to be on the coveted first page of a Google search; it is where all the action happens. These pages are called SERPs, or search engine result pages, and there are times when you can have hundreds of them with a basic search! By paying to be on page one, a company not only has more eyes viewing their name, regardless of whether they click the ad or not, but they also position themselves above their competition. While a potential customer may not initially click on the ad the first time they see it, they may remember the company name when later making a decision on which company to choose. In case of the ‘flower company’ search, it is literally and figuratively planting the seed.
One of the great components of Google AdWords is the built-in tracking method. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine which ads are working when you use several different advertising methods. You could invest in billboards, bus benches and Google AdWords, but when the call comes in, how do you know which advertising technique is working the best? With Google AdWords, the answer is in the clicks. Every single metric can be tracked, including the number of clicks, the number of conversions and even the conversion rate, to name just a few. For instance, if someone clicks on your ad or even calls your company directly from their mobile device, the record is there. Even better, if you are the owner of the flower shop and you offer 24- hour delivery service when your competition does not, you can set up your Google AdWords to show up at a specific time of day, and you can see if the overnight delivery is a lucrative venture for you. Or, you can use various keywords or phrases in your advertising to see which garners you the most internet action. For instance, ‘flower delivery’ might attract more attention than just ‘flowers’, or vice versa. Running ads at different times of the day or with different keywords is an excellent way to track the productivity of your advertising with Google AdWords. Another plus: you can even select the geographical location of your ad, so that if you deliver flowers within a 25-mile radius of your store, your ad will not be listed in neighboring cities or states. This way, you are not paying for an ad that appears in Topeka when you are based solely in Denver. However, if you want to publicize your ad nationally or even internationally, that is an option for you as well.
So say you and your neighboring flower store down the street both purchase Google AdWords—how does Google determine who gets the desired first ranking position? The answer, of course, is money. The company that pays the highest amount for each PPC—pay per click—is the one who wrangles the top spot. It may seem unfair, that the company with the deepest pockets is the one who gets the first ad, but Google has taken that into account, as well. In addition to the money aspect, Google also takes considers how relevant your ad is to the search itself. It counts the number of clicks the ad has received previously, also known as the click-through-rate, or CTR, to determine the relevancy of your landing page. This is considered your “quality score” and the higher the score, the better your chances of getting that number one spot—even if your competition pays more per click!
Google also has other options available, including a maximum bid method where Google chooses the number of clicks you get for a flat fee, which gives you many clicks for just one cost. Another option is paying per views, meaning that you can pay a fee to have your ad appear a specified number of times on the first page, regardless of whether or not it results in a click on the ad. There is a budget and a method for every business, from small mom and pop shops to large, multi-location superstores.
Google AdWords puts your ad in front of relevant consumers and you can fine tune your advertising to work for your company by selecting cost, time of ad, location of ad and keywords. In the age of internet marketing, getting on that all-important first page of the search is the bottom line. You can attempt to up your standing by using your content alone, but Google AdWords can move you directly to the front of the line!