Choosing who to marry... that life-partner, sure I agree that can be a bit tricky. Thankfully choosing if you should try Google AdWords to help promote your small business is certainly easier to answer — you just need to know the right questions to ask yourself. I had three new female clients contact me this week asking this question so I thought it time to post on the subject.
To Google AdWords or Not, That is the Question
If you have a new or even an established small business and are looking to grow, obviously Google Adwords is an option many consider. But is it a good decision? There is the setup cost if you want to engage some Google AdWords Help (think AdWords Manager) to ensure you set up the campaign correctly and get the maximum benefit for your spend dollars. Of course there is then those spend dollars each month. So how do you know if its going to be worth employing an AdWords Company and trying an AdWords Campaign on your new small business website? Why not try answering these questions and then see what you think?
1. Is Anyone Searching for Your Product?
If you are selling a "market-leading new gadget", the odds are low that people will be searching for your product on Google. Imagine being the marketing manager at Skype when it launched. What words could you buy on Google? If you have a new product, or simply sell something people don’t search for on Google, you will likely waste a lot of time / money on a google AdWords Campaign that will never get any clicks. Perhaps its better to "not" than to "to".
2. Are Your Economics as Good or Better Than Your Competitor?
AdWords determines which ads show up for a given search, based on an auction between advertisers. To simplify this, lets say you bid $1 and ten other advertisers bid $2 to $3, it is unlikely you will be able to have your ads displayed on page One of Google, and hence unlikely to get any clicks and visitors to your website. If your competitors sell the exact same product or service that you do, but make two times the margin on every sale, they will be able to outbid you. If you have a better business structure, a healthy profit margin, perhaps lower costs, low overheads, fewer staff, or even a home office, then you can likely out bid them and you will receive the clicks and website visitors.
3. Do You Understand Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing is easy to do but hard to do well. If your plan is to read a "how-to" book on AdWords from the library and then launch your AdWords campaign, you will likely cost yourself a lot of money. There are many, many nuances to running an effective AdWords Campaign. If you don’t have someone on your team with years of expertise, you will have far more success and profit at the end of the day by engaging an experienced Google AdWords Company or AdWords Manager.
4. Do You Have an Effective Conversion Funnel?
Having a great product and a terrible web site is like spending millions of dollars on an awesome State-of-Origin night TV Ad but leaving the doors locked at your store when customers show up. Success with AdWords requires a deliberately designed Sales Conversion Funnel website or Landing Page. The ad text, the page a consumer lands on and the checkout or form submission experience needs to give that consumer confidence that you are the right merchant for their needs. Not to be put off though, even if you have a website which is a little lacking, you can have a one page custom landing page built and attached to your website, and have your Google AdWords point to this sales landing page.
5: Do You Have a Good Offer?
If your competitors sell a blue gadget for $5 with free shipping and you sell that same product for $10 with $5 shipping, the best AdWords strategy in the world will not be successful. It is simply too easy to click on the next ad and comparison shop. Advertising on Google is no longer a secret. The odds are high that your competitors are already running AdWords campaigns. As a result, effectively competing on AdWords means that you need to at least be equal to, and hopefully better than, the competition. If your product and price is competitive then a trial on Google AdWords is likely a good idea.
To Google AdWords or Not
The points I have covered above are really just a "gut check" to determine how competitive your products and services are to your rivals. Do you have the right margins? The right marketing? The right Web site? The right offer? If you can answer yes to all of these questions, not only will you have great success on AdWords, you’ll also have a superb business :)
David — OURDESK — Strategic IT & Website Packages for Small Business