It’s just Google AdWords…how hard can it be?

Pay per click (PPC) advertising plays a key role in digital marketing strategies for many organisations, and Google leads the way with their advertising network. However, without effective planning this type of advertising can quickly eat away at a marketing budget, without achieving the desired results.

I’ve heard so many times how businesses have ‘had a go’ at Google advertising but ‘didn’t get any leads’ from it, only to discover that their campaigns were not actually ever planned or analysed effectively.

Google AdWords is a service provided by Google, enabling businesses to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The service was launched in 2000 at a time when there were over 20 million searches per day on google.com. The adverts are often referred to as PPC as the account is only charged when users click on these adverts. It’s a great way to appear high up on Google search pages, especially if organically this is not happening yet.

Sounds fairly simple right? Well, actually no. This is where many organisations go wrong and can be throwing their marketing budgets down the drain, with no return on investment in sight.

Google AdWords is essentially a live auction site. Organisations advertising similar products and services will be competing for those top three hot spots on a Google search page. Many feel that setting a higher daily budget along with using the automated maximum PPC option will result in this crowning glory.

It’s a lot more complex than this, and even my colleagues and I need to continually develop our skills and understanding to ensure we handle campaigns in the most cost effective way.

Firstly, a website landing page will have an impact on how well a Google advert performs. Google call this the ‘landing page experience’. Essentially, if website content does not reflect an advert’s content it will affect the ‘Ad Rank’ and therefore the cost per click and position in the auction. A poor user experience will result in poor advert performance.

At this point, we haven’t even got to setting up a campaign. Planning and preparation is key to making an advert successful. What are audiences currently looking for and clicking on? What is the competition and how much should be budgeted? What is the search volume likely to be? This useful research will help to shape the keywords used in AdWords campaigns.

Once at the content creation stage, there are still elements to consider including campaign types, ad groups, ad extensions and advert wording before that publish button is clicked.

And then relax…definitely not!

After a few days it will be possible to assess how well a campaign is performing. If it isn’t, something needs to be tweaked. If it is, are those advert clicks actually resulting in any further action from the user?

PPC can be a quick win for any organisation wanting to see instant results on the Google network and to complement any existing SEO (search engine optimisation) efforts. It’s also a great way to stand out against competitors.

But used incorrectly, it can be a disaster.

At GD PR & Media, we are experienced in managing Google AdWords accounts; from setting up, managing existing campaigns and providing analytical information. We are happy to provide information on the best way forward if you are considering using Google AdWords in the future, or if you feel your current adverts could be working harder for your budget.