I belong to the IT Specialist Group within LinkedIn and I wanted to pose a question about Google AdWords. On behalf of my client, I wanted valuable feedback & input from IT professionals on the value of AdWords. Would it be valuable for niche marketing? Is it money well spent? Is it simple to setup AdWords? Could my client’s advertising campaign benefit by including AdWords?
I am grateful for all the insightful and thorough contributions made to this question. There were many contributors who made me think about a variety of things. They even brought up Search Engine Optimization which I became familiar with.
Because there were many diverse contributions on this subject, I created three separate categories (blogs).
My goal was to get familiar with other alternative advertising and hopefully these posts educate others on various aspects of PPC (Paid-Per-Click) and Non-PPC advertising. These three categories include: Why Not Try AdWords?,There Are Other Options Available Besides AdWords, & Potential Issues With Adwords.
There Are Other Options Available Besides AdWords
1. A few of those who commented on the value of AdWords did not necessarily have critical things to say about the program but emphasized the importance of using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) before spending money on AdWords.
2. One contributor to this discussion felt AdWords was more commodity oriented — most people coming to them through AdWords were too price oriented. These consumers were primarily focused on getting the best price with very little consideration to the value being offered. Regarding SEO, they found if SEO was surrounded around brand building, it should attract a higher level of client.
3. I noticed one contributor made an interesting point on how often they use the pay-per-click (PPC) option. In other words, if those who are considering using Google AdWords don’t regularly use the PPC option, and if we are behaving like the average eCommerce consumer, how useful will the ads be to the target audience? A very interesting perspective.
4. If your primary goal is revenue, use SEO strategies writes one contributor. If you are targeting Buyers and not Browsers, again, use SEO strategies whenever possible. This may take some time to plan, research and organize but most of these strategies are free. His examples of SEO strategies include backlinks, writing articles, indexing, link wheels, etc.
5. According to another writer, if you are not changing any code on your website, there are two ways to drive traffic to your website. One, build as many links going in and out – it’s preferable to especially focus on links coming in from various sources. Second, you need to ensure your website is content rich and that it changes from time to time to remain fresh and attractive.
6. I also received feedback from one contributor who mentioned research shows the majority of web users see Google ads but most people (88% or so) don’t click on them.
The majority of users will click on the non-pay-per-click (N-PPC) instead.
7. Another contributing source had an interesting angle on AdWords. He was interested in seeing whether ads on his site (through AdSense) could primarily fund his AdWords advertising. Interesting paradigm but the tests did not bring successful results. He found very little correlation between the two; and if he went ahead with AdWords, the majority of this expense would come from his online advertising budget and not funded through his AdSense revenue.
8. I had one person recommend a book by David Meerman Scott who talks about much free, relevant, and useful content available to help build your brand. This contributor doesn’t discount AdWords but suggests those who are considering it try AdWords on a limited basis and then analyze the results. Of course, he recommends a more methodical course, monitoring each campaign separately to gauge what’s working and what’s not.
9. Another contributor reminds us again that traffic to one’s site does not necessarily generate income. You need to somehow convert that traffic to revenue. Is your site ready to handle the extra traffic and then convert to revenue? AdWords may help but there is blogging and other methods to generate interest and traffic to your site.
10. Again a comment mentioned using SEO effectively might be as much of an art as a science. If you can, leveraging SEO can be effective without too much money involved. If time is limited, you may need to follow the PPC route.
11. I will bypass AdWords and not spend the money upfront adds another contributor. I have the time to do my homework and work with SEO as much as possible. Pursuing a lower cost alternative first may help determine the viability of the site to convert browsers into contacts & prospects.
12. It is always better to get traffic for free through SEO, Blogs, articles, and social media strategies including Twitter. Adding useful free tools is helpful to generate traffic.
13. Another contributor asks, what do you want to accomplish? If you want to raise awareness and traffic, then AdWords along with a healthy marketing plan, social media campaign and proper SEO will bring people to the site. You may eventually see an increase in your non-PPC search results and could begin to reduce or eliminate PPC. If your primary goal is to build your brand where you’re not solely concerned with your sales results to cover your monthly click costs, this might be the right approach.
If your goal is to bring traffic that you directly monetize against your advertising costs, you can have success using AdWords but be very deliberate in your marketing.
14. I also received feedback that there are other options available. Use proper search term density, relevant links with similar websites, SEO terms on every page (not just the main one), bot-text.
This contributor concludes that his non-PPC approach has been effective for him. Even before AdWords, he’s considered using the PPC approach but found there are other non-PPC strategies and approaches he can employ to generate traffic to his website.