How Much to Spend on Google AdWords
According to SI.com, a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl costs the advertiser around $5 million. When people hear that figure, they often ask "how can they afford that?" It's a valid question but perhaps a better question is "can they afford NOT to pay for that?" Advertisers who have the money for such expensive commercials aren't always hoping for a great return on investment. They just need to be remembered, especially when it's time for a consumer to purchase a product of theirs. In other words, they need to be the "top-of-mind" brand, the brand that a consumer thinks about first when they need a product or service.
You're probably not in charge of advertising for a company that can afford $5 million for a single ad. Let's assume your ad budget is much smaller. You might be a typical startup or a small business servicing local clients. In some cases, trying to have top-of-mind status for a portion of the consumers in your area might be reasonable. For example, if you're an A/C and heat company, you could spend money on local TV ads and you might become the first company 50% of the locals think of when they need their A/C unit repaired. But, you might not have the money for those ads right now. If you don't limit yourself to local customers, and you're not a huge company, you probably can't afford the top-of-mind status for any significant population. What do you do?
Luckily, AdWords works in a way that gives you the opportunity to take the "top-of-page" spot on Google search results pages. That means you can be the first ad (and the first thing) on the page when someone searches for you or your products. You can track the return on investment with precision.
How Much Should I Spend?
Google AdWords is flexible, allowing you to figure out how much you want to spend for leads, sales or other conversions. You can advertise effectively with as little as a few hundred dollars a month, in many cases. Because of that flexibility, the question doesn't have to be "how much should I spend?" It can be, "how much revenue do I expect in return for my spend?" or "how many leads should I be getting for this budget?" It could even be "how many people might remember my logo if I spend this amount each month?"
Maximize Your Results
Think of it this way: Depending on how much data you have to work with, your initial results could be pretty bad or pretty good. In other words, your conversion rate, the rate at which your targeted consumers take the action you want, could be good or bad. What you want to do is make sure your stats continue to improve. It takes a good campaign manager and/or a lot of diligence to do that. AdWords is not a simple platform. You can't really just jump in with no experience and expect things to go swimmingly. Even if it happens that way, you can probably do better if you have your campaign audited or managed by an experience professional.
What Can I Expect When I Look at The Big Picture?
If you want to become the top-of-mind brand in your market, the answer is always the same. You can't do it without spending money. However, you can steal a little market share here and there with PPC advertising such as Google AdWords. Like we said earlier, you can be top-of-page if you manage your ads well. Every business has to start somewhere, right?
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