Let’s be honest from the outset, I’m an AdWords advocate living and breathing the stuff so I really want to say ALL BUSINESS (please give me a call with your credit card details) and finish this article right now.
But I’m also pretty honest and realistic, so let’s firstly be honest about what AdWords won’t do.
It’s NOT instant.
But isn’t it like a tap I often hear? Well not really, unless you have previously built and optimised the account and then paused it for a while. In that scenario you could switch it back on and start getting results pretty similar to when you paused it. But if it’s a new account then it’s going to take a few weeks to get it to the sweet spot.
It’s NOT going to increase the size of a market.
You see all Search Engine Marketing does is help you get a bigger share of an existing market. I never really saw this until I sat in a lecture at Hero Conference by Larry Kim (founder of Wordstream and now Mobile Monkey) who made the point rather well.
If no-one searches for your product or service we are going to struggle. I had a really good example of this a few years ago when I was approached by a company who’d invested tens of thousands of pounds in their start up making cakes for a niche market. When they asked how I’d promote it, I said I can’t – no one is looking for what you sell, sorry!
It’s not always cheap.
Ok I’ve seen exceptions to this, but generally in a commercial environment savvy companies are getting better and better at understanding the true value of a click. They know their conversion rates, their acquisition costs and importantly the lifetime value of a customer.
So if you are in an industry where customers repeat purchase, you will often find you’ll need to make a loss on the first sale – simply because other companies are prepared to bid higher to acquire that customer.
Well that’s the negative stuff out of the way. So you may be wondering does AdWords actually work for anyone then?
Yes of course it does! In fact pretty much any business with a website should be running AdWords and if it isn’t working for them, questioning why it’s not working rather giving up on it. (Note this excludes the niche cake business and anyone else working in a business type that no-one ever looks for!) In fact the main two business types are fairly obvious but let’s briefly look at each in turn.
AdWords and E-Commerce are a match made in heaven. With full tracking available it’s possible to accurately measure sales from AdWords and calculate your marketing ROI.
With product lines changing seasonally and due to other trends, a product like Google Shopping also allows a retailer to get traffic as soon as a product is available for resale allowing them to move much faster and flexibly than SEO. Although before you say it - it’s not quite like a tap remember!
I’ve split lead generation into both local and national. The principles are the same but one of the great benefits of local lead generation is geographical targeting.
Let’s say your business is an accountancy practice or caterers, it’s likely that all your clients are only within a certain number of miles of you. AdWords is brilliant for this, you can run Ads that only display to users within that location. No wasted budget on people too far away to service.
It can get more sophisticated as well. You might have multiple locations all near to each other and need Ads for each. We just built an account for a company in London in this situation and are running Ads within a one kilometre radius of each location (so just 500 metres away at most). Given the level of relevance the response to these has been fantastic.
Running lead generation nationally works because you can focus more on certain areas. For instance you may find most your leads come from Birmingham, so using bid adjustments we can increase Ad positions in the Birmingham area.
The other great thing about lead generation is it is completely trackable when set up correctly. Leads tend to come either by forms being completed or phone calls.
Forms can be tracked through Google Analytics and AdWords provides free call tracking – both of which are free but need a developer to install in your website.
In the next post we will look at these in more detail and how they could and should be working for your business.