With traditional banner advertising, you will pay for the number of times that your ad is seen. Whether anyone is interested enough to click on it is irrelevant. If you want people to come to your site, and only want to pay if and when they show up, then Google AdWords is something that you need to look at.
Do a search for just about anything on Google.com or any site running AdWords ads, and you will see a set of ads on the right hand side that have something to do with your search. These are AdWords ads, and they are based on bids that advertisers have specified they want their ads to be seen for.
Google AdWords are what is referred to as PPC or "pay per click" ads. The advertiser is not charged unless the user actually clicks on the ad. In most cases and assuming you have written a reasonably intelligent ad, the people who are clicking on these are interested prospects. So essentially, anyone clicking on your ad has the potential to become a customer of yours, and itís up to you and your site to convert them once they get there. Google has done their job by getting people to your site.
Cost of keywords will vary depending upon who is currently bidding on them, but Google allows you to place a maximum bid and then further control it by limiting the amount you pay per day. Keywords start at .05 per each click and go up from there. Depending upon the level of competition, they can get quite high but for most industries, they are reasonably priced, and one of the best returns on ad dollars that you can find.
Google AdWords and your ROI
Since you only pay Google when someone clicks on your AdWords ad and goes to your site, AdWords could be compared to paying per lead. There is obviously no guarantee that any given click will contact you much less become your client, but the same thing holds true with people who call you from your other ads too.
Nobody likes paying for clicks that donít turn into leads, but you have to factor those lost leads into the cost per acquisition of the ones that you do get. Letís say that only 1 out of 5 people who come to your site actually ends up as your customer. Your AdWords conversion rate is then 20%.
If you pay 50 cents per click, then you have to figure that each customer you get costs you $2.50. Thatís a pretty low cost of acquisition by any standard and if someone offered you an unlimited number of paying accounts for a one time price of two and a half dollars each, youíd be crazy to not take as many as you can get.
Developing your Google AdWords Ad
Thereís nothing magical about writing a Google AdWords ad, but you do have to keep several things in mind:
With Google AdWords, you have 3 elements that are part of the ad, the title, the ad content, and the URL. The searcher will only see the URL for your home page. However, you can set the actual URL to whatever page you want. Just copy/paste it into the AdWords box and this is where Google will send your customer. Or, you can just set it to be your home page. Itís up to you.
Google allows a limited number of characters for the title. Take some time with this and make sure that you donít make it too general. Itís a good idea to use at least one of the keywords in the title and people will be more responsive. Donít get cute. Be blunt and give the most descriptive title that you can.
The last thing that you will do in your AdWords ad is to set the description underneath. Again, take your time and work out the best combination of descriptive words to use the allotted space and yet be very obvious as to what you are about.
The biggest mistake that people make in developing their ad is to be too general. You will get more hits that way, but more of them will be out of curiosity. Obviously, you arenít looking for curious people. You want qualified leads.
The Downside of Google AdWords
While Google AdWords has some great features, its biggest downside for small marketers is that you cannot bid on keywords individually. Google AdWords requires you to create ďcampaignsĒ, which amounts to a block of keywords and you bid a single price on all the words in that campaign.
That probably means that you are going to pay a bit more on some keywords than you would if you bid on them individually like you do with Overture.
Another downside is that which you will run into in any situation where you are purchasing advertising, and that is, when the advertising is stopped, so are the leads. The only alternative is competing with the other few million sites out there that also use the words that you want to target.
That aside, costs for obtaining new clients through clicks from Google AdWords is very much worth the effort. Yes, there are other programs out there that do the same thing, but Google alone delivers more than half of the searches on the entire Internet. If you add in the Google network of publishers that display your ads, thereís nothing even close. It will be a long time until anyone effectively delivers the potential coverage that can be obtained through Google AdWords.
Thereís no reason to choose only one PPC program, even though Google does deliver more. If you pick up 100 leads from one site and 30 leads from another, it just means that you have 130 leads. However, if you are just getting your feet wet and only choose to do one PPC program, choose Google AdWords.There are also many other resources that will tell you how to maximize your ROI on AdWords, how to generate the best leads and valuable tips on writing your AdWords ads. Many of these are good, others are not. Watch out for the ones who make promises they canít keep. Google AdWords resources can be packed with tons of make-sense tips and help you walk through the project. But since none of these run the AdWords program, itís just not possible for any of them to promise you a thing.