does google adwords work?

business: small, medium, or large. INTRODUCTION .... account was clear: “eBay's AdWords strategy appears to be to pick every possible word in the dictionary ...



INTRODUCTION Does Google AdWords Work? Absolutely! Of course we may be a little biased, but we truly believe AdWords can work for almost any business: small, medium, or large.

We’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why AdWords doesn’t work, including “My leads don’t know how to use the internet.” (Really?!) In this guide, we’ll address the most common arguments we hear about why Google AdWords doesn’t work, and provide counterarguments to show you why it actually DOES work. Because the fact is, Google is one of the most profitable companies on the planet for a reason — Google makes so much money from AdWords because people keep using it! Check out how much money some of the biggest spenders on AdWords spend annually — $40 to $50 million a year! No way they’d be dropping that kind of budget if they weren’t getting great ROI.



Now onto those arguments...

ARGUMENT #1: GOOGLE ADWORDS IS TOO EXPENSIVE Google AdWords is like throwing your money into a black-hole!” “ROI is unreachable due to soaring costs.” “You’re advertising on Google? HAH! Say goodbye to your marketing budget!” All right, pipe down! Yes, AdWords does cost money, and often when advertisers start out they might not allocate all of their marketing dollars to the right places, leaving them with a loss of faith in the platform. But it’s important to remember that all marketing channels cost money; the question is whether or not you’re getting return on that investment. Before abandoning AdWords as a lost cause they should identify why it is costing so much.



All marketing channels cost money; the question is whether or not you’re getting return on that investment. More often than not when we look at new client accounts, they have let their AdWords account run on auto-pilot or let an unqualified third-party run their account, and therefore, yes, they’re wasting a ton of money. Here are a few things you can do to make AdWords less expensive and more profitable. Learn how to use it: This is the number one reason people are usually wasting money — because they haven’t taken the time to learn AdWords. Unfortunately, it’s not a self-explanatory, easy-to-understand system. It takes time, studying, and experience to understand the ins and outs of paid search. Spend time reading, watching instructional webinars, understanding things like account structure, match types, negative keywords, bidding strategies, and if you’re super ambitious get AdWords certified. Use more restrictive match types: Are all of your match types set to broad? Well, bingo, that’s why AdWords is so darn expensive! With broader match types your ads are more likely to be served to a much larger, and sometimes irrelevant audience, leading to wasted clicks. I’m not advising that you stop using broad match keywords, but make sure to set up negatives to block irrelevant searches, bid on phrase and exact keywords at higher bids to get more relevant clicks, and regularly monitor your Search Query report to get a sense if you’re bidding on the keywords people are actually searching for.

Are all of your match types set to broad? Well, bingo, that’s why AdWords is so darn expensive! Set a realistic budget & bidding strategy: Determining budgets and bids can be a full-time job in itself, but don’t over-complicate the process. Map out what you’re realistically able to spend on each campaign and set your daily budget accordingly. What about bidding? For budget conscious advertisers I always recommend bidding manually to have the most granular control over your account without letting Google run the show. DOES GOOGLE ADWORDS WORK?


Make sure you’re not on Search with Display Select: Being on search and display can work great for the advertiser looking to get more visibility and build their brand, but often users blindly chose this option and end up confused as to how their daily budget was depleted so quickly. Well, the display network is taking your ads and showing them across the web rather than just in the search results. The intent is different when browsing the web compared to doing a search, so typically we recommend splitting these campaigns up and having separate strategies and budgets for each.  

You need to be extremely active and review KPI’s and spend on a daily basis, even if you set aside just 10 minutes per day.

ARGUMENT #2: WE HAVE GREAT SEO SO WE DON’T NEED TO PAY FOR CLICKS Oh, do you now? What if we told you that study after study can back up the fact that paid search complements good SEO and increases overall profitability? Bing Evangelist John Gagnon recently shared an interesting case study of an account that saw a 32% gain in brand clicks from bidding on their keywords rather just relying on SEO to get the top spots. DOES GOOGLE ADWORDS WORK?


STOP WASTING MONEY IN ADWORDS Get actionable advice on how to improve your account now with WordStream’s FREE AdWords Performance Grader.


Yup, you should even be bidding on your own brand terms, because your competitors likely are doing so, and therefore you’ll want to steal these clicks from them. (It’s your OWN brand for heaven’s sake! Plus, these clicks tend to be very cheap.) Further, when you want to target new keywords in organic search, it can take a long time for your content to rank — and sometimes, it just never does. But you can target new keywords with PPC right away, then determine very quickly if they’re worthwhile, profitable keywords for you. Also, different types of keywords with different levels of intent drive different search behavior. SEO is great for informational searches and top of the funnel traffic, but search queries with high commercial intent tend to deliver very different SERPs with a lot more ads — sometimes nothing but ads above the fold. And for those types of high-intent, high-converting keywords, ads are often stealing most of the clicks. People may never get to your organic result at the bottom of the page.

When you want to target new keywords in organic search, it can take a long time for your content to rank — and sometimes, it just never does. But you can target new keywords with PPC right away, then determine very quickly if they’re worthwhile, profitable keywords for you.

Finally, the thing about great SEO is that it isn’t 100% reliable. You can follow all of the best practices, but top rankings aren’t guaranteed. Also, remember Penguin and Panda? No? Well, many marketers remember these Google algorithm updates clearly because their organic traffic plummeted overnight. With PPC the control is in your hands. But the real winning formula is optimizing your site and content for SEO purposes, while also implementing an effective paid search strategy.



Are you already doing both, but doubting the effectiveness? Just check out the paid and organic report in Google Analytics. It will help you fully understand the value of combining your SEO and paid efforts, and help you win bigger. “As a paid search marketer, you’ll be able to identify all the long-tailed queries for which organic is earning great performance and enhance your bid strategies accordingly,” says Thomas Stern, SVP of Clients Services at ZOG Digital. “To date, we haven’t found an account that doesn’t at least contain some top ranking keywords that we’ve proven should also be bid on with PPC.”



ARGUMENT #3: THE TRAFFIC I GET FROM ADWORDS NEVER CONVERTS Oh dear, there’s a reason (or several reasons) for that! In all seriousness, this is a legitimate problem, but with effective management you can turn your paid search efforts into a conversion generating machine. Back in 2013, eBay faced a similar dilemma, threw their hands up, and made the bold claim that Google AdWords doesn’t work. In response, they received a lot of backlash from marketers and business owners laughing in their faces and deeming eBay’s marketing team naïve and uninformed. The reality is, eBay just sucks at paid search. Let’s explore the reasons why some companies, like eBay, fail to get conversions from paid search. Your account is structured poorly: Often advertisers aren’t seeing conversions because their account is a disaster zone. Perhaps they’re targeting keywords that are either too broad, not relevant, or have awful quality scores. They’re likely not using negative keywords to block irrelevant searches, and their ad groups are probably stuffed with unrelated terms. Follow this guide to set up your account structure properly, because the way your account is structured creates the building blocks to achieving results with paid search. You’re abusing dynamic keyword insertion: The problem with eBay’s AdWords account was clear: “eBay’s AdWords strategy appears to be to pick every possible word in the dictionary and run them on Dynamic Keyword Insertion,” says Larry Kim. Dynamic keywords insertion is an option in AdWords where you can dynamically insert a query searched for on Google into your ad to make the ad as relevant as possible and increase click opportunity. This strategy can work wonders if done well, but eBay abused DKI and ended up with ads for things like “children” and “perpetual motion machines.” Your ads aren’t relevant: Relevancy can’t be stressed enough when it comes to AdWords. Your keywords need to match your ads which need to match your landing page. If you searched for a pair of new sneakers and were directed to a landing page with hats you’d probably bounce back, and lose faith in that brand. This tip might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people group together a large set of keywords, directing to a specific ad, then leading the searcher to their homepage. No wonder conversions aren’t coming in!



Relevancy can’t be stressed enough when it comes to AdWords. Your landing pages suck: This one is often hard for marketers to stomach. Break your ego down a bit, and come to the realization that your landing pages might suck. I know, I know, you spent hours upon hours designing them or perhaps you paid a contractor to create them. Well, if you’re getting clicks, but no conversions, it could be a landing page issue. Read up on best practices to revamp your landing pages, and don’t be afraid to run A/B tests to try out completely new variations of a page. You might be surprised by the results! You’re not remarketing: Oftentimes, especially with B2B companies with longer sales cycles, you can’t rely solely on gaining conversions through search. You need to take it a step further. The easiest and one of the most successful ways to do this is with remarketing. Cookie your site visitors and follow them around with relevant offers. Remind them that you’re there. Nowadays people have browsing ADD, so you need to reinforce your brand and their need to buy your products or services.



ARGUMENT #4: I DON’T HAVE TIME TO MANAGE IT Yes, paid search can be time-intensive, and if you’re not dedicating the proper time to evaluate, track, and tweak your PPC campaigns then your results could plummet or never arrive. What can be done? Well, nowadays there are so many tools and systems that can help drastically reduce the time spent on paid search. For instance, at WordStream we offer a tool called the 20 minute work week, which scrapes through your AdWords account to identify areas that need improvement, for instance an ad that isn’t performing well, or a keyword that’s bringing in irrelevant traffic and should be set as a negative. Make your life easier by implementing a time-reducing system to help you along the way. Here are seven more tips to help you save time in AdWords. So, stop making excuses! AdWords does work as long as you’re putting in the effort to do it well. Humans are lazy by nature, so recognize this, and change your behavior to start growing your business through paid search.

ABOUT WORDSTREAM WordStream Inc. provides search marketing software and services to small and medium-sized businesses that want better results from paid search. WordStream’s easy-to-use PPC Advisor software facilitates more effective PPC campaigns by providing a customized workflow, the 20-Minute PPC Work Week, to help advertisers Increase relevance across Google, Bing, and Yahoo and get expert-level results in a fraction of the time. Whether you’re new to search marketing or are an experienced PPC manager, WordStream’s PPC management software and services can provide the boost you need to grow your business and drive better results.



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