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No BS Guide to Digital Marketing

7 Chapters

Google AdWords is one of the most hyped digital marketing options. There’s a good reason for that – lots of people look for products and services with a Google search, so it’s a great place to find qualified buyers.
However, hefty agency fees and technical quirks can get in the way of your AdWords success. We’ll help you decide if it’s really worth the trouble in Chapter 5 of the “No BS Guide to Digital Marketing on a Budget,” with answers to questions like:

  • What is Google AdWords?
  • How much does Google AdWords cost?
  • What are some of the best Search Engine Marketing tips?

What is “Google AdWords”?
Google AdWords is Google’s advertising platform. It allows advertisers to bid for ad placements at the top of a search results page. Google will show the ads with the highest bid and the most relevant content. Rather than being charged for a placement, advertisers pay for every click on their ad.

Google AdWords goes by many names. Since Google charges by the click, some to refer to it as PPC (or “Pay Per Click”) advertising. More broadly, it is also often referred to as part of “Search Engine Marketing” or SEM. SEM refers to a host of services that help your search engine performance, such as updating a website’s content with keywords, creating high-quality landing pages, developing backlinks, and doing some Google AdWords testing.
Yep, there are a lot of acronyms in this field. Here’s a quick rundown for you:

How much does Google AdWords cost?
The answer to this question depends on your industry. AdWords costs are defined in part by a bidding system, meaning more competitive spaces will render a higher cost per click. Google also gives you a “quality score” based on how relevant your ad copy and landing page is to searchers. This will affect both the placement and final cost of your ad. Here’s how the AdWords auction works, according to Google’s Chief Economist:

To manage your budgets and see your costs, you’ll want to check out your Google AdWords dashboard.

According to Wordstream, the average cost per click (CPC) across all industries is $2.32 on the search network. Legal services have the highest average cost per click (CPC) at $5.88. The lowest average cost per click belongs to dating websites, with a CPC of $0.18.
Ultimately, your overall cost will depend on:

  • What you are willing to bid for higher placement
  • Your quality score
  • How competitive your targeted keywords/location/device is
  • Optional services associated with your AdWords campaign, such as tracking software integration, hiring experts to manage your accounts, or upgrading your website to allow for more conversions

The best Search Engine Marketing tips for ROI
Whether you choose to outsource your AdWords or learn the ropes in-house, doing the right prep work can help you improve the ROI of your campaigns.First, you should make sure whoever is running your AdWords knows what they are doing. Anyone running your campaigns should have an Adwords Certification under their belt to ensure they don’t make costly mistakes with your campaigns. You can even get certified yourself through Google Partners!

Next, it is important to define which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you care about. Remember that for many people, a click on a Google Ad may just be part of their buyer journey and may not convert on the first visit. Big-picture clues, like overall leads being up as clicks increase, are good indicators.

Finally, testing is a must for any digital marketing investment. Google AdWords offers built-in technology to A/B test your ads. You should also take a look at which keywords and ad copy are driving the most traffic for you, as well as which landing pages are converting at the highest rate. Be sure to test only a couple things at a time – too many variables can make it tough to read real results. For the best results, don’t just stop testing once a “winning formula” is produced – always keep a test or two running to see what is most effective.

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