Is Google AdWords a Gamble for your Marketing Mix?

Is Google AdWords a Gamble for your Marketing Mix?

Who’s Clicking on Google AdWords ads?

One of the longest running oddities for Digital Marketers is how when you ask a room filled with people if they click on Google AdWords ads the majority will say no. Yet,  this can’t be true as Google is making loads of money from their AdWords advertising. Thus, two questions we have to ask are:

  1. Is Google AdWords a gamble?
  2. Where does it fit in your Marketing mix?

Long ago, when Google first came to public recognition it was immediately apparent how much better they were as a Search Engine than the others at that time. Google’s ability to quickly point people to relevant information for the terms (keywords) they were seeking is a major reason the Internet took off. After all, the more people return to search, the more common the ‘Net became – and this during the days of slow, noisy dial up modems.

Once Google learned to monetise itself, Seach Engine Marketing was born and in early days it was cheap & simple to get people to your website. Cost per Clicks of 0.05 were almost the norm. As the AdWords auction system grew more robust and crowded, many websites started paying more for the same keywords. Clearly, things were working for both sides, and Google especially profited becoming the behemoth it is today.

Don’t get us wrong here – unlike many large media agency guys we do NOT see Google as a threat or competition. In fact, we strongly believe they are a must in your marketing mix. This blog post is to share an explanation which we’ve seen help others understand the landscape a bit more clearly.

Here’s an analogy to help get started. If you think of Google and AdWords as Las Vegas, it’s clear Google is the house and thus they always win. And like Vegas, any savvy card player can also make a handsome living playing the game. So what’s the game?

Most businesses look at Google AdWords as an expense, and not with the perspective of an investment. When AdWords is run effectively it can make a consistent ROI for most every business. This differs from how many think about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation – the organic side of Search). Due to AdWords being Paid Search people want to see an immediate return. While for SEO they respect it takes more time. So, SEO often isn’t looked at with the same ROI lens.

Thus, the game is Time vs Money. A classic battle which most businesses are losing as the SEO side (Time) doesn’t also account for the Money – paying the SEO agency or people doing the work for you. To help you place these two sides of Search into your marketing mix we believe AdWords is the better tool to use for:

  • Finding keywords which do work best for you
  • Expanding to have other keywords which could work for you
  • Testing messaging
  • Remarketing (this one is getting to be a key staple in every digital marketers’ tactics and is how ads follow you around)

SEO is best used for Content Marketing to showcase your expertise and start to rank for the keywords which are converting from your AdWords campaigns. A simple 4 Step methodology we like to help clients employ is:

  1. Set up an AdWords account and toss a fairly wide net of keywords to see what works
  2. While optimising your AdWords to increase clicks, conversion & lower cost per click/conversion you begin to write Content Marketing pieces for your top keywords
  3. Create Videos for your top keywords so you’ve now got two ways for people to get the information (recall people have different learning styles – some prefer to read, some to watch)
  4. Start doing classic SEO link-building techniques for your Content Marketing and Video Marketing assets
  5. AdWords Strategy Bonus tip – If an asset proves to be a really stronger converter set up a separate AdWords campaign and budget to test the ROI of sending traffic directly to it.

Overall, you can see the battle between: how Time is spent on the SEO side of things, and Money in AdWords, with a much faster potential return of website traffic & learning from the data it provides. Like any game you need to have a strategy with which to start playing, increasing your chances of winning versus the House. Hopefully, you can see how our Google AdWords management and methodology can help you. Feel free to ask any questions as we’re always happy when readers get in touch