For those of you who are not 100% sure what Google Adwords is here is a quick overview before we go into more detail:

Adwords is Google’s paid advertising platform. The Ads that appear at the top of search results, to the side and at the bottom of them. If you are looking for a particular product then you will also see Google Shopping Ads (now known as Product Listing Ads or PLAs) appear at the top or to the side of search results. If you click on the shopping tab (just below the Google search bar) you will be able to browse far more of those ads there.

So just to be clear the text ads do not contain images and the PLAs do. There are plenty of differences between them but as a general rule if you sell products online then PLAs would be the strongest advertising platform for you to use. If you sell services online then you will be using Text Ads. You can mix both for retail and appear in as many places as you can (depending on budget).

Text Ads =

  AdWords Search Ads

PLAs =

AdWords Product Listing Ads

But why do I need these Ads?

Maybe you don’t need them. But if you haven’t looked into them and trialled them you could be missing out on a fortune! Google have made it fairly difficult for some websites to rank and get their stock or service in front of the people who want to buy it. They enhance their algorithms, declare wars on spammy backlinks and thin content, penalise sites for not being mobile friendly, user-friendly and fast to surf. They do not do a great deal to help those suffering in organic search change their fortune, especially if they have been penalised in the past.

A good way of solving your ranking pain points in the short – and hopefully – long term is to focus your efforts on AdWords advertising. Google Adwords is very powerful in that you can target keywords, refine at what times of day your Ads are posted, over which devices and in which locations. You get tonnes of data every day that helps you refine your ads to make sure they are as targeted as they possibly can be.

What kind of data do you get?

  • Exact return on investment stats – conversions & form fills
  • Clicks & Clickthrough rates
  • What keywords perform strongest & trigger impressions & clicks
  • When you use broad match what search terms trigger the most impressions & clicks
  • Negative keywords attracting clicks that you don’t want
  • Reach – number of people exposed to an Ad
  • Frequency a visitor was exposed to your Ad
  • The time of day you receive most impressions & clicks as well as the least
  • Locations that converted best
  • Demographics of your audience
  • Biggest converting device and the least

The list in many ways is endless! Once you have sufficient tracking on your website and you have married up Google Adwords and Google Analytics the possibilities are endless.

The point is that you know exactly where your money is going at all times and you can restrict your budget, scale it up, reduce it down. It is an immediate form of advertising that you can ramp up for Bank Holidays, Events and Seasonal Holidays where you know there will be increased demand.

How much does it cost?

That is entirely up to you and of course your Adwords skills. You bid on each advert. So if you are willing to pay more to get click-throughs on an item or service then you increase the bid. If it is a low-cost item or a free consultation you are offering them you may want to try and low bid. The initial budget is worked out based on a look at your competitors are doing (you can get some useful data on this from SEM Rush). Combined with how much money you can afford to lose initially as you get enough data to tailor your campaigns and get them in front of the right audiences.

Every campaign starts with a few wobbles as adjustments are made and data is analysed so see where money is being lost and where there is potential to make more.

So why would we recommend PLAs or Text Ads?

  1. The immediacy of the return is exciting and can get you some serious sales in quickly. That is good for brand awareness, increasing positive reviews on your website by delivering quality products and great customer service.
  2. You can scale your campaigns up so it is possible to dip your toe in and gauge return before ramping up your spend.
  3. You have the power to try lots of different campaigns and get lots of data about your audience that will help you enhance your website and other marketing channels. For instance knowing when people are more likely to buy from you means they are online so you can engage with similar people on social media then too. If there are locations performing well then you can tailor Facebook Ads to support your Ads and target those locations. Best converting keywords can be considered in website copy and phrases can give your organic rankings a boost!
  4. We have seen businesses triple their revenue by venturing into PLAs in particular and we also have clients whose entire business survives due to their text ads.
  5. Google are very transparent with the data so you can see exactly what is working and what isn’t. The only way most people lose money is by not monitoring their campaigns and putting the time and effort in they deserve.
  6. Google provide an excellent range of PLA and Search Text Ad courses so you can train up in this area before risking a penny. There is even the chance of becoming a certified Adwords professional at the end of it which should give you the confidence you need to manage those Ads and avoid wasting money.

This intuitive platform changes regularly so we are not saying Adwords is for everyone. We manage a lot of spend in Adwords and there are certainly some industries that it does not work for. But on the whole, we see great results so if you have the budget and the time to monitor those Ads closely then you could be missing out by ignoring Google’s premier advertising platform.

Finding the perfect combination of Paid and Organic Search is an essential part of any campaign and can truly revolutionise your marketing approach. In our most recent eBook, we look into the key differences between the two elements of search marketing. Download your free eBook here.

Organic vs Paid Search eBook