what is google adwords and how to determine if it is for you

What is Google AdWords?

Google Adwords is an advertising product from Google which allows users to create, target and track the performance (of your) advertisements on the internet. That is probably as simple and short an explanation as it is going to get. Google provides this free product/service which allows you to market and monitor your performance online. While the product and service itself is free to use, you do pay for the advertisements that are served and the leads that are generated.

When should you use Adwords?

Adwords is a cheap and easy option to get started with your online marketing. It is a good option to start with if you do have a large business, small business or an online business. While optimizing your search engine ranking is usually a better and effective strategy, paid advertising usually serves as a faster alternative while you improve your SERP. It serves as a complement to the organic search engine optimization as it allows you to target more keywords and specific keywords than your website itself would.

Where does the Ads show up?

Adwords allows you to create ads which shows up next to the organic search results when someone does a Google search. It also show your ads in the Google search network which includes many affiliate websites and searches. It is also displayed in websites which are in the Google Adsense network. Among all these different options, it gives the potential for your ad to show up in a wide range and variety of most popular websites all over the world.

Why should I use Google Adwords?

The number of people who search and purchase merchandise online is increasing by the day. Even if you have a small business and donot sell online, online marketing still is a major factor. It builds brand awareness and allows you to present yourself as a local alternative to big box stores and online retail websites. Moreover, customers do use the internet to find local businesses.

Google Adwords provides you with the ability to start marketing with the minimum of budgets you can afford. It allows you to start with just cents (or pennies) per day. Of course, with just pennies your leverage is limited but it provides a starting point for your to start working upwards. There are several great features that come with Adwords, which are beyond the scope of this post but to enumerate some of them …

  • Small Budget : Ability to start with any budget, however small it might be. When you do a print, audio or video advertisement it usually involves a standard flat fees and/or a commitment for a longer period of time. Adwords gives you the flexibility to start with any amount with no commitment. You can suspend or cancel the advertising campaign at any time.
  • You can pay per click (CPC), that is you pay only when someone clicks on your advertisement and visits your website. Also you can specify the maximum amount that you want spend on a click.
  • You can also choose to pay per every thousand impressions (CPM). It can be useful if you are in a high priced niche with several big players or competitors with a lot of marketing cash.
  • Keyword Targeting : Ability to target any keyword which you might find relevant to your advertisement. It ensures that your ads are shown only when it is relevant to the user.
  • Performance Tracking: Ability to track the performance of each of our ad and keywords. This gives you the flexibility to track the performance of your ads and keyword at any time as tweak, change and modify it all times.
  • Customer Reach: Currently Adwords provides you with the largest reach among all competitors with the biggest search engine and Adsense network
  • In spite of your budget, it gives you a fair chance to compete with high spenders.
  • Customer Targeting: Ability to target a specific demographic which might be relevant to your campaign. Though not always reliable, you can specify the gender, age and other parameters of the potential target audience for your ads.
  • Geo-targeted marketing : Target customers in very specific geographic location. This is quite useful for small business who like to market locally.

There are several ways you can start with Google Adwords. The easiest and the expensive way is probably to hire a Google Adword manager or management professional/service who will do the marketing for you. As you can imagine this can get pretty expensive depending on who you hire. I am yet to be fully convinced that you need a consultant to do it, Google has made the product so user friendly and easy to understand that you can basically start by your own.

If you have some spare hours every week and an overwhelming desire to save money, then you probably should give it a shot yourself. The worst you can is that you donot get enough clicks or customers, and when you do get is to overpay for those clicks. It is very easy to get carried away and bid high without understanding all the various factors and nuances of the product. Start SMALL….

Figure out a reasonable budget that you want spend on internet marketing, something that will not break your bank. It could be as low as a dollar a day, and it probably should be when you are starting out. Learn how the system works with trial and experiences….Well, even if you mess up you will only “lose” a dollar or so. Evaluate how you are doing every week, and increase your budget accordingly every week by a small amount (as low as a dollar) as you get more comfortable with the system. It is not an overnight process by any means, even professionals would require some time to fine tune the advertising campaign to suit your needs. (Don’t believe if any tells you they can create a good working campaign overnight).

Even with the “mistakes” that you might make, it should still come out much lower than what you might pay a Google Adwords manager or professional.