Using Google AdWords is an easy and effective way to expand the reach of your digital marketing campaigns by putting your message directly in front of your target audience with paid ads. These ads allow you to be seen by customers at the very moment they’re searching on Google for the things you offer. Best of all, you only pay when they click to visit your website!
Although it’s easy to sign up for a free account, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to generate a positive return on investment (ROI) using this service.
Here are some pros and cons of AdWords.
Pro: Keywords Keep You Competitive
When consumers research products or a particular service, it’s Google’s job to give them the most relevant and accurate results possible. That said, it’s not as easy as you’d think to be among the top results for particular searches. This process involves a bidding war in terms of AdWords to determine which businesses are displayed first upon searching for specific keywords.
Google operates with the consumer’s best interests in mind and places priority on the relevance of specific businesses to corresponding searches. If the content of your website or landing page is more relevant to the search than a competitor’s, then the potential journey of the consumer is weighted higher for your particular ad, and thus, yours will be prioritized. This sort of filtering within the Ad Auction ensures that only the most relevant ads are presented to the user and serves to level the playing field for all advertisers.
AdWords are also able to spread throughout multiple social media platforms. This means if consumers saw your ad on one platform, but didn’t commit, there’s a strong likelihood that they will encounter your ad again in the future based on their previous engagement with it. This enables you to boost your conversion rate and see an increase in ROI.
While some marketers see this kind of re-marketing as lazy, it can actually be curated in a way that generates specific lists of users based on past web activity. This allows your ads to follow potential leads and increase the likelihood of closing the deal.
Con: Keywords Must Be Specific
Not all Google searches are created equal and using broad keywords could pit your business against bigger companies.
For instance, if you’re a new menswear company, trying to compete for the keyword “men’s clothing” could result in exorbitant costs and could potentially not even increase your sales. Start with specific AdWords campaigns, using groups of five to 10 long-tail keywords that you’ve identified as good candidates from previous Google Analytics data. Once you’ve dipped your toe into this market and proven a positive ROI on previous attempts, you can then expand campaigns to broader keywords.
Pro: Measurable Success
With Google AdWords, every single aspect of your marketing campaign is measurable, right down to the number of clicks and impressions, click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per click, and cost per acquisition. This makes it easy for you to measure your ROI, determine the cost effectiveness of certain strategies, and plan for future advertising investments.
Con: Unnecessary Features
Google offers various levels of pricing (and even a streamlined “Express” service), but Google sometimes rolls out new features that aren’t necessarily right for your business.
Depending on your ad campaign goals, not all features will be useful. For instance, a campaign that cares about desktop conversions and click-through will not require any metrics that relate to mobile traffic or calls or texts. Instead, there would be a greater need for links back to your main website to encourage more desktop engagement.
It’s important to identify precisely what you need so you aren’t just buying into services or analytics you won’t actually use.
Boost Your Business
Although AdWords have their pros and cons, if you invest in savvy marketing strategies and hone in on the right keywords, you can make sure your business gets found by people on Google precisely when they’re searching for the things you offer.