This month we’re continuing on to part two of our series in how you can use Google to market your business. This time around we’ll look at paid models for generating traffic, and primarily the use of Google Adwords.
A Marketing-with-Google Primer, Part Two
We kicked off this series last month with a discussion about organic search traffic and the importance of Google to your marketing efforts. As we pointed out, 60% of all purchasing decisions begin with a Google search, so it is absolutely imperative that you are mindful of your business’s presence and message in search results. This month, we’re going to talk about building and maintaining that presence through the use of advertising via Google Adwords.
Paid Traffic – Caring Enough to Buy the Very Best
Aside from ranking high in organic search results, paid advertisement on Google is another way to drive relevant traffic to your website. Paying advertisers represent 97% of Google’s income stream – so you can bet your bottom dollar that Google makes it easy for businesses to not only purchase and manage advertising, but also to analyze their results. The Google advertising program is known as AdWords.
Although they have other advertising vehicles like graphical ads and a content network, the primary way in which Google shows search results are as text ads above and alongside their organic search results. Whether an ad shows for a given search term, and where on the results it shows, is actually the result of a formula wherein Google takes into account both the relevancy of your ad and the amount of money you have bid for Google to show it. Let’s briefly look at both of those factors.
Give the People What They Want
Relevancy is important to Google in maintaining the integrity of AdWords. Relevancy should also be important to you as an advertiser so that your ads are only shown to (and clicked on by) people who might have a legitimate interest in buying your company’s products or services.How do you, as an advertiser, determine the relevancy of your ad to any given set of results? As a part of AdWords, Google provides tools for you to conduct your own keyword research – you can easily see what terms are being searched, and how often. You then select the keywords you would like to be associated with your ad. In effect, you are telling Google “When someone searches the phrase XYZ, please show my ad.”
You as an advertiser have a vested interest in choosing keywords that are tightly focused on your business. Why? Why not, for example, target the keyword “GPS,” instead of “location-based services”? There are two very important components in the answer to that question. The first component is that you will convert more sales if the people coming to you through AdWords were searching using specific keywords that you identified as being directly tied to a product offered by your business; in our example, someone searching for “GPS” is far less likely to be looking for a vendor of location-based services than someone who actually searched on “location-based services.”
Once you know the keywords, make sure the copy for your ad is relevant to those keywords. Ask yourself if your ad is going to be appealing to someone who has just searched on one of your targeted keywords, and don’t stop rewriting until it is. Also be certain that your ad includes a clear call to action: If you want someone to take a clear and concrete action, clearly and concretely tell them what that action is!
Pay for What You Use
The second component is just as important as the first: In Google’s pay-per-click model, every click on your ad costs you money. Since more focused keywords deliver you people who are more likely to purchase from you, your cost per sale is thus reduced. Exactly how focused should your keywords be in order to maximize your return on investment (ROI)? You will need to spend time monitoring and analyzing the results of your various AdWords campaigns, and Google gives you the tools you need to do that.
Besides keyword relevancy, Google also considers how much you have bid per click on your ad. Why “bid”? Because Google is essentially auctioning off higher placements of ads in search results, and the companies that have bid more than their competitors will get those better ad placements. This is really an ingenious way to sell ad spots: It not only maximizes revenue for Google – each ad spot goes for exactly its top market value – but it also helps to ensure relevancy. After all, are you going to place a high per-click bid for an ad spot when you are not likely to convert a sale from a sufficient number of those clicks? After reading this newsletter, I hope not!
Next month we’ll wrap up this series on marketing with Google by looking at what to do with all the traffic you’re now driving to your site. We hope to see you then – and in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line or leave a comment below!