5 myths and a reality about Google AdWords

I recently received an email from Google AdWords “5 myths and a reality about Google AdWords.” I searched for an online release of this article to link to, but was unable to find an official one (other blogs had copied the email in their posts). As a result, I’m going to copy the email here and give my thoughts below.

Myth 1: “Online advertising is not for local businesses.”
Actually, research says 89% of people in the US search online for products and services before they make a purchase – even when the purchase is made at a business in their area1). What most people don’t know is that with Google AdWords you can set your ads to show only to people in your area whether that’s your city, state, or just your zip code.
Myth 2: “If your business is already on Google; advertising on Google can’t help you.”
Sure, your business may already appear in the natural search results on the left side of the page. But test it: Does your website appear on the first page of search results? 2nd? 10th? Does it come up for all possible search terms that your customers may be using when they are looking for what you have to offer? Even if the answer to both questions should be “yes”, studies have proven that search advertising can still increase traffic to your site. In fact, appearing both on the right and on the left side of the page at the same time increases the perceived relevance of your website and as a result even increases the number of free clicks you get to your website2).
Myth 3: “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is better than paid search.”
Google strongly encourages you to optimize your site for search engines by applying webmaster best practices. However, paid search such as Google AdWords has a few key advantages: It is easier and quicker to setup, it offers much more control over when and where your ads appear, and its impact is easier to measure. We recommend that website owners do both apply good SEO practices and advertise online.
Myth 4: “Google AdWords costs too much, I can’t afford it.”
Long time AdWords advertisers consider Google AdWords an investment, not a cost. You only pay per click so there is a direct return on however much or little you spend. How much you spend is entirely up to you. There’s no minimum spend requirement and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You can even set a maximum that you are willing to bid per click and you can start and stop your advertising at any time.
Myth 5: “You need to be an expert to get started.”
Actually, getting started is easy – no expertise is required. You don’t need to start out with the perfect set of keywords or ads; after getting started you can see what works and what doesn’t. From there, it’s easy to adjust and fine tune your campaigns based on results. And, if you don’t want to do it yourself, we can set up your first campaign for you, for free. (Give us a call: 1 800 848 9257)
…and one reality about Google AdWords
“I am too busy to do this myself.”
Okay, we understand you may be right about that one – you have a business to run. Thankfully, you don’t have to set AdWords up yourself. We can help. Call us under 1 800 848 9257 and we can build your entire first campaign for you, for free. Also, keep in mind that once a campaign is set up and running you don’t have to monitor it every day. It does the work for you and allows you to focus on your business.
Sincerely,
Your Google AdWords Team

Google has been pushing AdWords very heavily this year, which is understandable considering that’s where most of its revenue comes from. I’ve seen all sorts of emails encouraging me, as a Google Analytics user, to give AdWords a try. I’ve even had numerous $100 free offers. As an existing AdWords user, I’ve received emails like this one trying to persuade me to spend more money.

While most marketing messages need to be taken with a grain of salt, I’m going to say Google hasn’t taken many liberties with this. I fully agree with their responses to Myths one through four. I’ll even admit Google has made it incredibly easy to get started even if you have no experience with Google AdWords in that they offer to set up your campaign for you to get it started. This is very similar to services they used to offer to agencies. Years ago Google had an agency partner program where they dedicated teams of AdWords specialists to working with agencies on their clients campaigns. Agencies won because they got to charge for their time (dishonest agencies would also charge for the free services they were getting from Google), and Google won because more money was being spent on their ad network. Within the past few years though, Google has all but shut down this program for agencies, and is trying to work directly with businesses. Google also retired it’s GAP program and replaced it with a newer certification model.

While this left many agencies scrambling, the more reputable and transparent agencies are doing fine. As I discussed in my earlier post Should SEO be outsourced or an in-house initiative? there is definite value that good agencies bring to the table. The same challenges companies face with doing SEO in-house are also apparent with paid search. Keyword research, constant monitoring, conversion tracking, and budget management all take time, and someone willing to keep up with the industry. On top of that, paid search is digital media, and thus should be part of a comprehensive digital media strategy and not done in a vacuum.

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