AdWords is Google’s advertising service.
That’s short and sweet – but even though everyone with an internet connection has seen Google AdWords – not many quite understand it the way we understand a TV ad or a billboard.
But… AdWords is extremely profitable for Google, advertisers, and searchers because it’s a bit different from normal advertising. Here’s why it’s just so good.
But first, a couple definitions.
Organic = When you search for a term on Google, these are the search results. They are determined by Google to be the most relevant results for your search. In other words, these will answer your question.
If your company ranks in the organic results, and someone clicks the link – you don’t have to pay. (which is why SEO is so valuable).
So in the example above, Google decided (correctly) that the PUMA corporate store would be the most relevant answer for a search for PUMA shoes.
However, there are other results surrounding the organic results. Those are…
AdWords = Text ads that surround the search results. They are free to display but the company pays if the searcher clicks the ad.
What Makes AdWords Different
AdWords is such a powerful advertising tool for any business for several reasons.
1. Relevance (ie, No Interruptions)
Think about TV commercials, radio commercials, sponsor announcements, etc, etc.
What do they have in common?
They are interruptions.
You turn the channel, fast-forward on TiVo, turn the station, or zone out.
Either way, traditional commercials are fighting multiple uphill battles, because …
First, they have to get your attention.
Second, they have to sell you something that you might not be interested in – or already have, or not even need.
Third, they have to be memorable enough to make you remember the product/service throughout the rest of your show.
AdWords fixes that by allowing you to advertise when people are already looking for your product.
It’s targeted and highly effective – which means savings for companies and less annoyance for customers.
2. Pay-per-Click (ie, you only pay for trackable performance)
When you buy a billboard – or any form of traditional advertising – you pay upfront for the cost of the ad.
In other words – you, the advertiser, takes on the risk. If it’s the wrong location or wrong image – sorry. Out of luck.
Not only that – but it’s really tough to track if traditional advertising actually works. Sure, you can give incentives for customers to give you a code or “I saw your ad on ____” – but you’re already fighting an uphill battle.
With AdWords (when advertising in Search), you only pay when someone clicks your ad and comes to your site…in other words – you have no real risk.
You pay for performance.
And even on your website – you can track that “click” to see if they ended up buying something – allowing you to get a very, very specific return on investment from AdWords.
3. Quality Score (ie, the biggest budget doesn’t always win)
Look at the PUMA example above.
7 AdWords ads. Did you know that it’s possible (actually likely) that the #1 ad at the top pays less per click than the #3 or #4?
In AdWords, the biggest budget doesn’t always win.
The most relevant offer does.
For every search that you bid on – Google assigns a Quality Score (ie, how good of a fit are you to this search?) and multiplies it by your bid. The high score “wins” the top spot.
If your company has a really good website with a highly relevant offer – you can still beat a well-funded, but disparate competitor.
Because even in advertising, Google cares about providing relevant results.
In the example above – you’ll notice that Zappos (a shoe retailer) “won.” Later on in the results, soccer.com appears – they are a soccer retailer. I would guess that Zappos had a more relevant offer and page for puma shoes than the soccer site.
4. Low-risk (ie, you don’t have to bet the farm)
Remember on #2 – pay for performance?
Unlike other forms of advertising – you don’t have to sign a long-term contract.
You can literally test AdWords minute by minute to see if it’s working.
(Not to mention that I have coupons for $100 in ad credit to try it out for free – contact me if you’re interested).
Let me know of any questions in the comments – or check out our AdWords Management and Optimization services.