There are a lot of moving parts in a successful online marketing campaign. SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, website user experience, and pay-per-click advertising all have to work together to keep the wheels and cogs moving nice and smoothly.
In this case, though, we’re going to take a closer look at how AdWords can contribute to your online success.
You can use AdWords to improve the sales cycle in B2C companies (ecommerce-type businesses) as well as B2B companies. It’s all about how you integrate your campaign with your other online marketing efforts.
What is AdWords?
Google AdWords is a simple and effective platform that allows you to creatively use text and images to reach a highly specific audience. When a user searches for certain terms, you can make sure that your ads appear in the search engine results.
It is a simple way to get your company listed at the top of the search engines for specific keywords, and you don’t pay for the ad until someone clicks on it. At the same time, you can set a strict budget so you’ll never pay more if there’s a sudden burst in interest around your keywords.
Why Should You Include a PPC Component with Your Campaign?
AdWords provides a number of benefits that can augment your overall online marketing efforts. These are the reasons we normally recommend getting started with AdWords.
This is usually the most appealing aspect of an AdWords campaign and what will impress most companies trying to gain traction online. PPC can provide results much faster than organic SEO. It is literally possible to immediately pay your way right to the top of the search engines – it’s just important to remember that it could be a short-lived stint at the top if you’re not budgeting carefully.
This doesn’t mean you should stop doing SEO altogether. That could drain your budget all too quickly. It is, however, a great way to generate traffic while your SEO efforts continue to push your website up to the first pages of the search engines.
2. Google is Really Pushing Ads
Not too long ago, Google only put one or two ads at the top of the search engine results, and the rest went into the right-side column. Now, it puts all the ads above the organic results, which can push the organic rankings below the fold in some cases. If you’re targeting some localized keywords, your organic results could get pushed down even further when Google decides to display Maps results.
And it doesn’t just end with ads in the search results. Google is displaying more ads in more places. It will display Shopping results in the right column of the search results and, occasionally, at the top of an Image search.
The meaning is clear. Google wants to help the people that help them.
Again, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about organic search anymore. It just means that AdWords gives you a chance to get in front of your audience while you develop your natural rankings. Your SEO has to continue so you can reach the people who will skip straight over the ads every time because they prefer natural results over paid promotions.
An AdWords campaign allows you to test almost every aspect of your efforts, from the ad text or image to the landing page and the time of day it’s presented to searchers. You can use the available tools to test everything and then make immediate changes.
It’s all about making informed decisions. Everything is measurable, and you can see what is working and what isn’t. You can quickly remove the underperforming ads from the lineup and switch them out for something new and more efficient.
This kind of testing carries over into other aspects of your campaign. If you find certain landing pages aren’t working, you can change up your content to be more effective. You can even use the same principles with your social media and make sure those ads and posts are performing well.
4. Expanding Possibilities
Just because you started with one set of keywords doesn’t mean you can’t expand on it later. In fact, you should always be open to expanding the possibilities with your keyword list. This can help you really zero in on the things your customers are naturally searching for.
This kind of research will also benefit other parts of your campaign. As you discover more words that perform well and have a high conversion rate, you can begin to adopt your SEO efforts to incorporate those keywords and topics.
AdWords gives you the ability to specify a range of variables, from keyword match types to the exact times and locations it’s published. You can also use ad extensions, which allow you to choose what is displayed – this could include contact information or the product image.
You are also able to target more than first-click customers with remarketing. This allows you to keep in touch the people who visited you once but didn’t make a purchase. There’s always a chance they’ll see your ad a few days later and reconsider their decision. (Learn more about remarketing with adwords and facebook.)
This flexibility allows you to add an AdWords push to almost any other online marketing strategy, and stop as soon as it has run its course. For example, you can use it to drive a lot of new traffic to your most recent lead magnets or highlight your new products and deals.
6. Control Your Spend and Manage Advertising Costs Precisely
Part of that flexibility is the ability to set a maximum cost per day. You’ll never accidentally go over budget this way.
You can also change your spend immediately. If you’re spending a lot on ads that work well, but you hit your budget cap too early, you can shift more of the budget that way. If you’re getting a lot of clicks, but no one is converting and making a purchase, you can lower that cap a little. You’ll still get the impressions, but won’t have to spend quite so much on ads that don’t have immediate returns.
This can also change based on your success in other areas. If your Facebook ads are performing better, you can move your spend over there. If your SEO efforts are starting to pay off, you can reduce your spend and enjoy the benefits of your organic search engine strategies.
It's All About Being Relevant
Google wants to deliver the ads that are relevant to their users’ queries. This is because Google wants them to click on an ad as much as you do, and people are more likely to click when your ad is clearly relevant to their needs.
Google judges this by Quality Score. If yours is high enough, then you’re more likely to get better ad positions, more impressions, and increased clickthroughs. Higher Quality Scores can also result in lower costs per click, so you can get more traffic for lower prices.
A good AdWords campaign is fully integrated with the rest of your online marketing efforts. This will ensure that your Quality Scores remain high and your clickthroughs continue to improve.
Ready to take a hard look at your AdWords campaign and find new opportunities with paid search advertising? Start with a detailed PPC audit: