If you’ve considered implementing a Google AdWords campaign to help raise your company’s visibility, there can certainly be a lot to gain from it. Many companies see fantastic results from smart use of pay-per-click ads.
Whether it’s the right choice for your company depends on several factors, including your goals, budget, and timing. Most importantly, though, the success of an AdWords campaign depends on the rest of your marketing and sales processes.
Renting vs. owning
One of the biggest mistakes companies make with AdWords is to use it as their only marketing activity. This can get really expensive.
Think of it in terms of renting or owning. Paying for advertising is like renting your audience’s attention. To keep attracting people to your site, you have to keep paying, often at increasingly higher prices. Once you stop paying for an ad, it’s gone, and that visibility is instantly lost.
However, by taking the time to develop a strong content strategy, and by using keywords smartly, you create assets that you own permanently. Good content will continue to attract visitors to your site long after you’ve initially created it. Because it’s your unique content, you have something that your competitors don’t. The time and resources you spend creating evergreen content is a one-time investment in an asset that can be used as many times as necessary.
What AdWords can do
The true benefit of AdWords is that it can be a great way to amplify your message. That means that in order for it to work, you first need to have a well-developed message about your brand. Put your best foot foward by sharing your strongest content with people who are searching for your product. Ideally the ad they see on Google is just the first step to establishing a relationship with your visitors.
The timing of an AdWords campaign can also affect how useful it will be for your business. The ideal time to try to capture your audience’s attention is generally when they’re just starting to do some research about your product or service. Aim for keywords at the beginning of the buyer’s journey for your industry; this way your ad makes an introduction at a helpful moment, rather than serving as a distraction right before your potential customer needs to make a decision.
What AdWords can’t do
Once Google points someone to your site, they've given you what you paid for. From there, it’s entirely up to you to nurture that relationship and keep your visitors interested.
Remember that with an AdWords campaign, you pay per click, not per sale. An ad can get someone to your site, but it can’t make them stay long enough to make a purchase. The responsibility for turning these introductions into actual business is entirely up to your marketing and sales processes. That’s why pay-per-click advertising isn’t a quick fix; it can never completely replace a strong inbound marketing strategy.
Creating content, nurturing leads, and other activities can be labor-intensive, but they form the backbone of a strong inbound marketing strategy. Having useful content on your site for your visitors once they find you (through and ad or through organic search) is the best way to make your AdWords campaigns worth the investment.