Google Ads, Demystified
Over the past 20 years, Google has shaped and reshaped the way we search the internet for information, products, and services. It’s also provided advertisers opportunities to become more searchable and land their goods and services at the top of the search results.
In 2007, Google launched AdWords to allow us to bid on keywords to position our websites better in search results pages.
The beauty of the product, now renamed Google Ads, lies in its’ flexibility and robust features. You can target a smaller geography (say a 40-mile radius around Duluth) and keep your keywords broad, for example, “breweries.” Or you can widen your geographic target to the Twin Cities and bid on more specific keywords, such as “breweries in Duluth mn.”
You’ll want to write ad text that resonates with each audience and the search queries they used. Don’t forget to use Ad Extensions to include your contact information, important callouts, and links to different pages on your website.
The best part? You only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
WHAT ABOUT SEO, IS THAT STILL A THING?
Yes, but Google Ads gives businesses an opportunity to quickly get in front of prospects at the exact moment they are making a buying decision. Once you select your keywords and write your ad text, you’ll be up and running in no time. Then the data starts to pour in.
SEO, while still important, can and often takes months, or longer, to see positive results. It involves more than just plopping keywords into site copy—the best results require a lot of effort using both on-page and off-page techniques. And while there isn’t a direct fee to the search engine for organic listings, many advertisers invest serious time and money getting the help they need.
While paid and organic search listings are independent of one another, paid search allows you to quickly determine which keywords are most valuable. That info can be used to help elevate your SEO efforts.
So yes, SEO is still a thing and it’s still important, but it’s not as likely to get you to your goal as quickly as a paid search campaign.
BE THE CONTROL FREAK
You. Are. In. Charge.
At the very least, you are in charge of your advertising dollars and your message.
With paid search, you have full control of your message and landing page. Want to promote a specific offer? Introducing a new product? Go for it.
While you can define the metadata used in organic search listings, you really can’t control when they show. And metadata isn’t really the best place for timely announcements.
Google Ads lets you set your budget with no minimum spend required. That includes setting a maximum cost per day for your campaign. It’s a great safety net for advertisers. If your ad engagement is higher than expected you won’t break the bank. You also have the flexibility to increase or decrease the spend after the campaign starts. This is a nice option if you receive a high response from your initial push.
It is worth mentioning: some keywords are more expensive than others. Fortunately, there is plenty of data to help you figure out which keywords and bids best align with your overall budget and campaign goals.
In fact, Google Ads allows you to analyze data at the campaign, ad and keyword level. You can review performance by location, device and time of day. Organic search-generated data can be more difficult to obtain due to individual user privacy settings and search engine data fencing.
EVERYBODY’S DOING IT
Your competition is likely investing in Google Ads. In fact, they may even be bidding on your company name. All the more reason to be sure your name is at the top of the search results.
Google handles more than 2 trillion searches a year. That’s over 5 billion searches every day. This summer WordStream reported that, of those searches, 64.6 percent of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online.
This doesn’t just mean that Google is making a hefty profit, it illustrates that Google Ads are being used by more and more advertisers. So, the only way to beat them is to join them.