The Three-Month Google AdWords Trial
Google AdWords is the world leader in pay-per-click search advertising. What does that mean? Well, for us it meant 91 percent more visitors to the Villing & Company web site.
Starting in May 2008, we decided to run a three-month trial in Google AdWords. Our total budget for the three months was $3,000. As you can see in the graph below, as we tweaked our campaign our results continued to increase to the point where traffic from our paid ads is more than the traffic we are getting from direct traffic, referring sites and organic search engine results combined.
As a result of our successful trial, we have decided to continue the program for the foreseeable future. If you haven’t tried online advertising for your organization or are a little unsure about the potential of pay-per-click advertising for your business, we’d recommend performing a similar three-month trial. This is a relatively low-risk way to determine whether an ongoing search advertising campaign would be a good investment. Chances are a single piece of new business or one order from a major new customer will more than pay for your program. It’s an investment that is very controllable and trackable, as well as providing measureable returns.
If you’re not familiar with pay-per-click (PPC), it is an Internet advertising model that can be easily budgeted and monitored. As an advertiser, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad to visit your web site. Since Google has a 78 percent market share in search engines, that is where we decided to start our first pay-per-click program and is also where we are recommending our clients start.
To start the process you must have a Google account. Once the account is set up, Google AdWords is where you can set up search advertising campaigns, choose your keywords and write your ads. You decide which keywords are most relevant to your target market and set a limit to the maximum amount you want to pay for each keyword. Then, you write your ads, phrasing them in a way that will be most appealing to your target market.
When a user enters a word or phrase in a Google search that matches your keyword list, your ad may be displayed. Google determines the order that paid advertisers show up based on how high your cost-per-click bid is, the relevance of your ad text, your click-through rate and the quality of your landing page once someone actually responds to your ad. Their system uses relevance so ads are not locked out of the top position based solely on price. Your ad will either appear adjacent to or above the organic results on Google’s results page.
So go ahead. Give it a test run. And remember, if you don’t get that new client or new order right away, don’t automatically think the program did not work for you. Make sure your program is strategically designed, continually monitored and changed if necessary. At Villing & Company we made changes to our maximum bid midway through our trial period, monitored it a month later and made more changes. Don’t be afraid to try different things. We believe it’s well worth the effort.
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