You’ve heard the name everywhere, and you’ve probably even used it without even knowing, but you don’t really understand what it is, or why it should matter to your business. It’s not quite magic, but it can be a mystery – I’m talking about Google AdWords.
Let’s be brutally honest here – with any new business tool, everything pretty much boils down to three main questions – what is it, how does it work, and what do I need to do so that it starts making my business more money? They’re simple questions, and you deserve a simple answer – so lets get stuck into it:
1) What is Google AdWords?
Google AdWords is a sponsored (paid) Search Results platform – where businesses pay Google money to have their search results placed above everyone else’s for certain. It’s the main way that Google makes its revenue (USD$42.5 billion in 2012 according to Wikipedia), and works on a ‘Cost Per Click’ basis.
That is, rather than with a TV Advertisement where you’re paying for an expected audience size, Google only charges you when someone actively clicks on your paid search result.
In order to ensure that Businesses use only quality advertisements for relevant products and services, they also integrate a ‘quality score‘ calculator – the more that Google believes your website helps visitors and is showing potential customers what it is they’re looking for, Google will give you a discount on how much that ‘cost per click’ actually is.
Of course, if your ad is talking about hairdressing, but links to a page about carpentry – expect Google to give you a heavy penalty (sometimes in excess of a 1,000% surcharge – wowzer!).
This helps keep Google’s searchers happy (Good for Google) and gives honest businesses a chance to save money and generate more leads (Good for Businesses too).
2) How Does Google AdWords Work (and what does it look like)?
It’s little surprise that Google likes people more when they give them money (I can certainly see the appeal), but there’s a little bit more to it than that, as there are rules regarding how this sort of thing can work that try and make sure that things remain fair for everyone.
When creating a Google AdWords advertisement, Businesses write a subject, two short lines of text for the body, and select a URL that they want to point their advertisement to. There’s a few rules, character limits, and restrictions on how many symbols you can have, but in the end – it’s all about making sure your point is memorable, easy to understand, and makes people want to click it.
Once that is done, you then need to select a series of “keywords” (things people search for – such as “hairdresser sunshine coast”) that you want your ad to show up on. This is where things start to get a little tricky, because knowing the right keywords can make or break your campaign.
Finally, you nominate how much you’re willing to pay as a maximum ‘per click’ for these keywords, as well as a total monthly/daily budget.
Google AdWord’s Cost-Per-Click billing system relies on an automated silent auction (a little like buying things on ebay).