Instead, I'm going to talk about Google AdWords. AdWords is Google's advertising platform that allows you to place text ads in Google Search results and display banner ads throughout Google's huge network of websites. As a Google Partner Agency, we're talking to current clients and prospective clients daily and we hear all types of questions and feedback. But for every client who has seen their business grow from using Google AdWords, there are another two companies who do their best to avoid it. Below are some of the popular responses I've received.
This one always makes me chuckle. I've seen companies pour tens of thousands of dollars into trade shows, but then they don't develop a lead generation strategy. I've seen companies dump money into print advertisements with no way of measuring if they saw any type of success. But then when it's time to talk about Google AdWords, the well is dry. The truth is, with the Google Search Network, companies only pay for the actual traffic that these ads generate, and with the Google Display Network, the cost to display the ad each time (called impressions) is so low that we often generate thousands, if not millions, of ad views each month. We're able to track where the website traffic is being generated and what users are doing once they're on your website, and we're constantly making adjustments to make sure we're generating the right views and clicks for your business.
Oh, and our minimum budget is only $500/month. Some agencies allow for less, but it's hard to properly track search and display trends and make educated decisions about how to optimize campaigns, so we start a little higher. But either way, $500/month to spend on qualified leads is pretty reasonable, right?
You're right - Google is free. However, ensuring that your website is relevant and ranking high enough for it to receive traffic typically isn't. Your website has a lot of online competition, so even if you're focused on the "free" organic search rankings, chances are you're still going to need to invest in search engine optimization to get the desired results. SEO is absolutely important, so I'm not discouraging anyone from doing it, but it can be a more substantial investment than Google AdWords, and will take longer for you to see any results.
A majority of Google's revenue, which is in the billions of dollars, comes through their Google AdWords program. Most of this revenue comes through the Google Search Network, which operates on a Pay-Per-Click model. If companies are only paying when their ads are actually clicked, then clearly those ads are getting a lot more attention than you realize! And when the ad isn't clicked on, whether in the Google Search Network or the Google Display Network, your business is still gaining brand recognition, which is more valuable than you may realize.
If you've been hesitant to get your business involved with Google AdWords, I would love to hear what's been holding you back. Maybe I just answered your reason for hesitation, and maybe I missed something that should be addressed. If you're another marketing agency, what type of pushback do you receive?
Tell us what you think!