I was talking to a prospect the other day about SEO. Since he was keen to get some traffic to his ecommerce website – sooner rather than later – I asked him if he’d ever considered using Google AdWords.
His answer was along the lines of, “I never click on those ads, so I don’t want to use them. And more people click on the free listings anyway.”
Just because you don’t click…
You know, I hate Macs. I hate them with a passion. But do you think Steve Jobs cared? I doubt it. Because even though I’ll never buy a Mac, lots of other people do. About 10% of the computing public I believe.
What’s my point? Well, just because you don’t click on AdWords ads doesn’t mean lots of other folks do. Sure more people click on the organic Google listings. But tons of people are also clicking on AdWords.
Why do you think spending on AdWords keeps increasing? People wouldn’t be committing more and more of their marketing budgets to AdWords if they didn’t get a good return on their investment.
(For more on this point read Will Swayne’s excellent blog post Reasons Why Getting New Business From The Internet Won’t Work.)
And don’t listen to people who tell you they tried AdWords and it was an expensive failure. When an AdWords campaign fails it’s more than likely because it wasn’t done properly, rather than AdWords not working for that product or market.
AdWords is deceptively simple. It’s very quick and easy to set up a campaign. It takes only minutes. But to create a campaign that turns clicks into sales or leads takes quite a bit of know how and time.
My AdWords mistake
I resisted AdWords for many years. That was a big mistake. My – flawed – reasoning was, “Why should I pay to be on Google when I can do SEO for free?”
The reality is SEO is far from free. It takes a lot of time and energy. A lot.
When I finally took the plunge with AdWords I was pleasantly suprised. Yes I had to part with my hard earned cash up-front. But my ads got the phone ringing immediately.
AdWords isn’t my most powerful marketing weapon. But it does bring in a steady flow of leads and clients. I easily get 10 times return on my investment.
But is it essential?
So AdWords works. But so do dozens of other marketing weapons. So why am I claiming AdWords is essential?
Because AdWords is so much more than a cost-effective way to bring targeted traffic to your website. It’s also:
- A quick and cheap way to gather market intelligence
- A brilliant way to test marketing copy – appeals, headlines, offers, benefits, features, etc.
- The BEST way to find SEO key phrases that will make you the most money, and
- When used with Google’s free Analytics and Webmaster Tools, an indespensable tool for optimising your website content.
To understand how to fully leverage AdWords to multiply your marketing efforts you must read Perry Marshall’s “Expanding Universe Theory” for Doing a Marketing Rollout (scroll halfway down the page).
The basic premise is that AdWords is a very fast and cost-effective way to hone your marketing shtick.
Once you’ve got your marketing messages and sales process perfected on AdWords, you can roll out your marketing into more powerful, but expensive, marketing channels, such as SEO, direct mail, print advertising, etc.
Am I right? Is AdWords an essential marketing tool or can your business do just fine without it? Please post your thoughts in the comments.
Need some help?
I can’t help you with your AdWords account (I recommend Clever Clicks for that). But if you need an experienced website copywriter or SEO copywriter, I’m your man.