There’s no shortage of ways to get traffic to your website.
There’s all that “free” traffic you can get from SEO…
…You can’t throw a rock without hitting an online marketing consultant telling you have to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and dozens of other social media sites…
…Oh, and let’s not forget email, Joint Ventures, guest blogging, forums, ebooks, coupon sites, podcasting, press releases, free classified ads, free directories, social bookmarking, Q&A sites, oh my!
So, with all these options available, why does paying for traffic through Google AdWords deserve a spot in your marketing plan?
Glad you asked… here are 11 reasons:
1. Unparalleled Reach
In 2013 Google averaged about 6 Billion searches a day. 6 BILLION. That’s over 4 million searches every single minute!
And every one of those searches represents a need, a desire, or a problem someone wants to solve… and they want to solve it NOW!
If you can help even a tiny fraction of those people (and your prospects are almost certainly among them), that’s a really big opportunity for you.
Oh, and by the way, that’s just Google Search!
Using AdWords, you can also reach people who are using other search engines like AOL, Ask.com and others.
And you can run ads through AdWords to reach people on YouTube, the 2nd largest search engine around.
And let’s not forget the Google Display Network, a network of sites that according to Google reaches “over 90% of internet users worldwide, with more than a trillion impressions served over 1 billion users every month”.
Combine all those together and you can pretty much access a worldwide audience of over a billion people in a matter of minutes!
2. Nearly Instant Guaranteed Page 1 Rankings
Want your website on Page 1 of Google? Ummm, well… duh!
AdWords is hands down the fastest way to get your business there.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Local Search are great strategies, but it takes time to get results with them (at least months, if at all with all the Panda and Penguin turmoil, for any kind of competitive keyword).
With AdWords, you set up your campaign and can see your ads on Page 1 pretty much immediately. And, if you bid high enough, you can pretty much guarantee you’ll have a spot on Page 1 for whatever keyword you want.
3. Reach Highly Motivated, Targeted Prospects
Okay, so you have a huge audience that you can reach really quickly. Well, here’s the real beauty of being in front of people while they’re doing searches on Google…
These are people who are ACTIVELY looking for what you offer.
As we just said just a minute ago, when people go to Google and type that keyword in it represents a pain, a desire or a problem they need solved… NOW!
This isn’t like TV, radio, magazine or even display advertising where you have to interrupt people (most of whom don’t want what you’re offering) from doing something else and try to get them to notice you.
On Google people are identifying themselves to you as hot prospects through the keywords they type into the search box. If they see your ad and believe you can help them, you have a very qualified and motivated prospect coming to your website.
One of my friends once posted the following on Facebook:
“I’ve realized that instead of posting all my problems on Facebook, it’s better to find solutions for them on Google.”
When you can get in front of people whose intent/mindset is that they’re actively looking for solutions to their problems that you can help solve, you wanna be there!
4. You Only Pay for Clicks/Website Visits
With AdWords, when you use Cost Per Click (CPC) bidding, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
Again, compare that to TV, radio or magazine advertising. With those media, it doesn’t matter how many people see your ad or, of those that see it, how many are interested in what you’ve got. They make you pay a set rate. If no one cares about your ad, you’re outta luck… and your money.
With AdWords, however, you only pay for people who are interested enough to click on your ad and visit your website. This helps you use your marketing budget much more efficiently and effectively.
5. It Dominates the Search Results
I just did a search for the term “life insurance” on Google. Take a look at the results…
This is a screenshot of the “above the fold” (the part of the screen you can see without scrolling) results I saw on my 17” laptop monitor. The top 3 listings on the page are AdWords ads as are all 6 of the listings down the right side of the screen. Google left room for just 3 organic listings which are visible above the fold.
Check out this screenshot of the above the fold results for the term “Samsung Galaxy S5”…
Again, AdWords ads get most of the real estate (including the one from Samsung that absolutely dominates the screen) with a few News stories in the organic rankings.
One last screenshot for the search term “laptops”…
Again, first 3 results at the top are AdWords ads. And notice all those images on the right? Yep, those are AdWords ads too. Only room for 2 (and maybe a half) organic results on this page.
You HAVE to understand this… Google makes most of their money from AdWords. And it’s no coincidence that the search results pages are dominated by AdWords ads. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon ever.
6. Control and Flexibility
AdWords is about the most controllable form of advertising around. As an advertiser, just a short list of things you control in your campaigns includes:
- The keywords your ads show up for
- Your monthly budget (with no minimums)
- How much you’re willing to pay for a click
- The geographic areas where your ads appear
- The days/times your ads run
- The messaging of your ads
- The page on your website the ads lead to
- The ability to turn your ads on/off at any time
- Whether you reach people through Search, Display, Remarketing and/or on YouTube
- The ability to run text, image and/or video ads
- The ability to bid for the top spot, bid for ROI, bid to get the most clicks possible for your dinero, or bid for conversions
I don’t know of any other advertising platform that offers this level of flexibility and control. With so many options, understanding which ones to choose and how to control them all is key to running a successful campaign.
7. Geographic Targeting
For local business owners, AdWords may be the only way you can reach most of the local prospects who are looking for you on Google.
Take the example of someone who wants to buy a new mattress. If they just type in “buy a mattress”, most, if not all the results in the organic rankings will be big national companies.
For a local business to compete on that level for SEO is nearly impossible. Plus, most of the people typing in “buy a mattress” are not in your local area anyway so they’re not good prospects (unless, of course, you have a mail order business).
With AdWords, however, you can limit your ads to specific geographic locations. This means if you own a mattress store in Boston, you can set your AdWords campaign so that your ads are only seen by either people in the entire Boston metro area, in specific cities/towns/zip codes around Boston, or in a specific radius around your business.
So in this case when someone types in “buy a mattress”, the organic search results would still show all the big national mattress companies/sellers, but your ad can show up in AdWords results so you can reach local searchers you wouldn’t reach through SEO.
8. Highly Measurable
You have access to more data from your AdWords campaign than you’ll know what to do with (especially when you combine it with Google Analytics)!
You can track:
- Cost Per Click
- Performance of individual ads
- Performance of individual keywords
- The search terms people typed in before clicking on your ads
- Impression Share
- Average Position of your ads
- And much, MUCH more.
And having this degree of measurability of your campaign leads to the next benefit…
9. It Forces You To Get Your S#!& Together
When you have access to all the data mentioned above and are paying for traffic, a funny thing happens…
- it forces you to hold your marketing accountable.
- It forces you to pay close attention to how much you’re spending and what you’re getting back in return.
- It forces you to think about how to improve your conversion funnel to do a better and better job of converting clicks into dollars.
When you can’t measure your advertising and/or rely on “free” traffic, it’s easy to be lazy and not worry about things like ROI and optimizing sales funnels. But when your own, hard earned semolians on the line, it changes your mindset. It forces you to optimize like you’ve never optimized before!
10. Highly Effective Keyword Research and Market Research Tool
AdWords is not just great for generating traffic and leads, but for research too.
One way is using AdWords for keyword research. Understanding the keywords your prospects are typing into Google to find you is critical to search marketing. But Google doesn’t necessarily share the most accurate keyword data with advertisers (and has been sharing less and less recently with the dreaded “not provided” keyword in Google Analytics).
But by using the AdWords Search Query Report, however, you can get a clear understanding of the actual keywords prospects are typing in to find you. And you’ll also get to see exactly how many times each keyword is being typed in per day/month.
AdWords is the only way to get truly accurate data like this. In fact, we’ve set up campaigns for clients for the sole purpose of collecting keyword data.
You can also use AdWords for market research. You can use it to test out offers, headlines, book titles (did you know the title of Tim Ferriss’ best seller “The 4-Hour Work Week” was decided by an AdWords test?), landing pages, etc.
When you find an offer, headline, title, etc. that works well in AdWords, there’s a good chance it’s going to work well in other marketing pieces.
11. The Little Guy Can Still Win
Just because you bid the most in AdWords for a click, doesn’t mean your ads will show up first in the rankings.
Google uses an algorithm, known as Quality Score, to level the playing field a bit.
If you can show your ads are the most relevant ones for the keywords you’re bidding on and can get a high Quality Score, you can end up paying less per click than your competitors and still rank higher than they do.
Plus, if you optimize your conversion funnel so that you can convert more clicks into more dollars than the competition, you’re in the driver’s seat. Because that means you can afford to pay more for clicks.
And at the end of the day, the advertiser that can afford to pay the most to profitably acquire a new customer wins.
That means that the little guy can outmarket the big dogs in AdWords and come out on top.
It Ain’t Perfect, But…
AdWords certainly has its flaws.
Google’s Terms and Conditions can be a pain in the ass and cause problems for certain types of businesses/campaigns.
Their Support Team is hit or miss.
And it’s not gonna work for every business, product or service.
But if you’ve never used it or haven’t given it a try in a while, I hope this article has given you a number of reasons to take a closer look.