Is Google Advertising Right for My Company?
Google advertising is one of many advertising channels marketers refer to as "ppc advertising." The most popular type of Google advertising is search advertising. It targets consumers who include specific keywords, selected by the marketer, in their Google searches. More or less, AdWords targets consumers who are actively searching for your products or services. AdWords can also be used to manage display ad campaigns and shopping ad campaigns, but we'll focus on search ads in this article.
Who Uses Google Advertising (AdWords)?
Countless businesses utilize Google's ppc search ad platform, called AdWords, to generate revenue. We've seen ads for all kinds of things. Just google any product or service you can think of and you're likely to see some "Ad" icons near the top and the bottom of the page, indicating you're seeing a search ad. We just searched "guitar paint" and found an ad for guitar refinishing.
Some advertisers continuously advertise on AdWords just to stay competitive. Retailers like Sears advertise most of the items they sell because if they don't, competitors like Walmart will claim all the online sales.
Why Do All These Folks Use AdWords?
Let's take guitar refinishing as an example. That's quite a specific, niche item. If you advertised that in the NYC subway, it would probably generate a poor ROI. Too many people who don't even have a guitar would see the ad, and you'd pay for those useless views (impressions). By using AdWords, advertisers can ensure most impressions are being delivered to people who are actively searching for the product. There are many AdWords search features, besides the keywords themselves, that allow fine-tuned targeting. Here are some examples.
Enter negative keywords to indicate when your ads should not display. For example, maybe you're selling iPhones. In some cases, the keyword "iphone" could generate impressions when someone searches for "iphone user manual." You don't want impressions for people who want user manuals, so you can enter "user manual" as a negative keyword (The quotation marks do not indicate a match type for the purposes of this article. More info below).
Location, Device and Schedule Targeting
If you can only sell to consumers in a certain area, or if only certain regions are profitable, you can restrict ads to those regions. If you're selling something that only tablet users want, you can avoid impressions on laptops and smartphones (and still show the ads on tablets). Likewise, you can choose which days and hours to advertise and which days and hours are off limits.
Keyword match types allow tighter restriction of the searches that trigger impressions. The concept is slightly complex. Essentially, it's like using negative keywords but isn't as time-consuming to set up. Adding a couple of characters to your keywords can prevent impressions for hundreds or thousands of searches. For more information, see this page. Match types can be used for negative keywords, as well.
Ad extensions aren't really targeting features but they give you another way to cater to your target market's behaviors. You can add a phone number, product categories, details about your company, direct links to website pages or other types of "extensions" to your ad text. The idea is to give consumers more reasons to click the ad. Using extensions usually increases the size of the ad, which can also be helpful. Information about each type of extension can be found here.
Is Google Advertising Right for You?
PPC ad platforms like AdWords can be useful for just about any business. The question is whether your budget is sufficient and whether the ROI you'll receive is good enough. Don't set the bar unrealistically high. Everyone wants as much profit as possible, but the quickness of setting up and using AdWords does come at a price. You could be generating conversions in a day or two if your account manager is ready to get started. Try AdWords and decide if it suits you.