Pay Per Click Advertising with Google Adwords: more than just clicks and traffic.

Google Adwords, or any Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaign must be clearly defined, carefully monitored, and maintained, to be the most effective. It is vital to understand your audience, and have clearly marked goals, not only to make sure that your campaign is providing the most value, but to understand the benefit of Adwords on other channels.

Google Adwords is not a risky advertising move, it’s more targeted, more measurable, and ultimately more profitable than almost any other medium, but that ease of use does mean, that inexperienced advertising can lead to missed opportunities and misguided interaction.

Using Adwords to gain leads, conversions, brand awareness, or applied as tool to understand keywords and audience, are some of the best uses of the service. When applied correctly, it is possible to create highly specific targeting which fulfils the needs of your business, allowing you to turn those leads into highly profitable, engaged customers.

Adwords is not a click factory

Let’s clarify one thing right off the bat, if your PPC account manager is only reporting clicks and traffic, they’re doing something wrong, very wrong. Google Adwords in partnership with Google Analytics allows bidding to not only be highly specific, but also highly measurable and accountable. This means that you can focus on specific endpoints for your Adwords campaign, whether that’s conversions, click-through-rate to a specific page, or engagement with your brand, and the route that users have taken to reach it.

Before monitoring any metrics, or even considering the analytics that Google provides, you should set goals and conduct research.  When you research keywords, competitors and audience, you can build a more complete view of how your goals can be achieved, and with tools such as Google Trends, you can monitor peaks and troughs. Which is especially useful if you’re in a seasonal or resurgent industry.

I cannot stress the importance of setting and fully discussing goals with the team who will deliver your advertising campaign. Not only to create a clear set of success criteria for your campaign to understand whether the campaign is working for your business, but also to allow your search engine marketer to discuss ways in which you can increase the reach of the campaign; offline, through social, and other marketing channels. Goals are important… they let everyone working on your campaign to plan, become profitable, and sustain a strong and positive relationship.

Using Google Adwords and PPC for Lead Generation

Creating leads and acquisitions are commonly seen as the primary functions of Google Adwords, and Google has created a great marketplace to drive customers and possible conversions towards your site or store. Profit on a per acquisition basis allows advertisers to balance the price of a conversion, with the limit of their budget to create the best possible return on investment.

Whilst some businesses use Adwords to provide a constant flow of users, it is also possible to create a campaign tailored around a specific product range, store, or even promotion, allowing your scope to fit your goals and budget. All campaigns allow your adverts, whether it be a text, image, product or video ad, to appeal to a specific user’s need, whether they’re precise such as “buy macbook pro 2014” or as vague as “new laptop”.

Lead generation can be used as effectively for offline businesses. All you need is a store location registered with Google+ Local (Google’s service for associating real-world businesses with their identities online), or a call extension (which allows users to call you from their phone with one button press), and you can prompt a conversion to your store, without the user having to complete complex directory enquiries.

Using Google Adwords and PPC for Brand Awareness

Google Adwords allows your customers to make instant purchasing decisions, yet is equally effective at building relationships with your brand, products or company.

A key metric here is impressions, the number of users who have seen your ads. Impressions can easily be in thousands with Google Adwords, this is due to Google’s incredible volume of search traffic, but also its many partnerships with sites online. Through Google Display Advertising, you can have adverts appear in email-boxes, on thousands of partner sites, on YouTube, and many other media providers, all of which can be highly targeted to reach your audience.

Google Adwords also has a feature called Remarketing, this allows you to continue to engage users after they have left your website, keeping them in contact with your brand, while they browse other website. This can be highly effective for products and services which have longer lead times, but also this re-appearance of your advert is great for cementing a brand in the mind of the user.

When using Google Adwords for brand awareness, messaging, imagery and branding are of upmost importance, that is why, for larger campaigns, I would recommend you work with an organisation which has these elements built into their team. With great branding, messaging, graphics and video experts in addition to your advertiser, you can create an advert which can create a customer relationship which is long, stable and profitable, while missing one of this components can mean a less successful campaign.

Using Google Adwords and PPC for Keyword Research

Google Adwords can also be used as a search tool for other methods of online marketing, such as Search Engine Optimisation. Creating broad-reach adverts, with effective landing pages (page the user goes to when the advert is clicked), it is possible to get data not otherwise accessible to search marketers.

As Google has made changes towards privacy and implemented solutions which protect user data more deeply, strategies such as Keyword Research with PPC continue to be effective, consensual ways to get data which will let Adwords Campaigns be targeted to the correct user groups.

There are many applications of Google Adwords, only a few of which have been described here. If you business has goal, which involves leads, conversions, brand awareness, or many other measurable targets, then Advertising through Google Adwords will likely be a highly effective solution for your business.

  • John Scott

    Adwords is complex and getting more complex as they release more features and enhancements. The complexity of the interface is not helpful as there are lots of filters and functions and none of them are clear. To get the most of Adwords it takes considerable time and assistance from Google just to scratch the surface.

    • Yiannis Pelekanos

      Google has made a lot of effort in the last few years to provide a more diversified approach to advertising online. For small budgets and people who wish to advertise without expert help Google have developed Adwords Express, which is a very usable way to advertise online (if at a slightly higher price per click).

      Getting back to your point; Google Adwords is developing into a more fully featured toolset for professional marketers and advertisers. It is a tool which allows professionals to advertise in very large volumes, with highly specific (or intentionally broad) targeting. In addition, Google are making changes behind the scenes not just in software, but also in culture to make sure that businesses get the best possible value from Google Adwords.

      Such a tool within Google Adwords, as you have said, is the ability to filter and segment data from multiple sources. These features enable marketers to view a subset of a possibly millions of data-points and infer trends to better optimise their advertising options. I personally find this functionality completely invaluable.

      I personally welcome additional functionality and products which Google has rolled out as part of Adwords, they have enabled us at Klaxon to investigate different methods of reaching possible customers, in a way which meets both their needs and ours. Which I think can only be a good thing. What do you think?