Is Google Ads the biggest advertising platform?
Google ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is one of the most powerful digital marketing channels available to marketers today. Not only that but Google Ads is arguably the largest advertising platform to have ever existed. In 2017, for example, the majority of Google’s $110.8 billion revenue was generated through its advertising platform, which was known as Google AdWords at the time. Through its knowledge and collection of people’s internet activity and relatively straight forward method of creating ads that can be launched globally at the click of a button, Google has created an advertising eco system like no other.
Why is Google Search Ads so important for digital marketers?
The key reason that Google Search Ads is important for digital marketers (and the companies they promote) is because they serve adverts to people while they are actively seeking a product or service. Compare this to a TV ad. You are watching your favourite TV show on a Sunday evening and during the break an advert for a new cleaning product is shown. This advert, regardless of whether or not is relevant to you has interrupted your viewing and you had no choice on the matter. Whereas with a Google Search Ad you will only see an advert for cleaning products when you are actively searching for a product or similar keywords or phrases to that product (more on keywords later). A term commonly used for this is “search intent”. Search intent is the single reason why so many digital advertisers flock to Google’s Ad network and allocate their budget to this behemoth platform.
Is Google Ads expensive?
The cost associated with Google Ads is dependant on a variety of factors.
For a search campaign (i.e. one where your ads appear on Google search results page), it will depend on the level of competition for your chosen keywords in your chosen region. For example, if I was to bid on the keyword “Google Ads” across the entire globe you can be sure that to rank above Google I will have to pay a high price every time my advert is clicked. Not only will it be expensive, but I will also be attracting a lot of unwanted traffic for people that simple want to learn about or access the Google Ads website. Whereas if I took a more tactical approach and instead targeted the term “Google Ads for B2B” and focused my search on only Ireland then it will be a much more affordable campaign to run and the traffic coming to my site (as a B2B Marketing Agency) will be of higher relevance. Having a strategic keyword selection is of prime importance when considering a search campaign and it is worth taking the time and adequate steps to properly scope out this part of the project prior to launching into setting up a campaign. You keyword selection is the foundation of your entire ads campaign.
While we would always recommend search campaigns as long as there is adequate monthly search volume around the chosen keywords, there are other lower spend options within the Google Ads platform.
Display & Video campaigns can prove to be an extremely cost effective and beneficial campaign for many companies to run when looking to build awareness and to some extent generate leads. Although the targeting will never be as accurate as having your ad appear when someone types in your chosen keyword into a search engine, display and video ads can be focused to only show to a focused and targeted audience. Simply because of the low cost and excellent brand awareness these digital display and video adverts command, we generally advise our clients to allocate some of their digital marketing budget to these areas.
Do Google Ads work?
The simple answer to this is yes. If Google Ads did not work then advertisers, marketing agencies, companies and individuals would have stopped running their digital adverts on this digital marketing platform. But! They don’t always work and they are not always the right move for every company. This is why a good deal of effort needs to go into the scoping and planning stage prior to launching into a campaign. There are times when at first glance it may seem like a campaign could be too costly to run or there isn’t enough search volume around your chosen keywords, but with some further investigation we often discover some very valuable low hanging fruit. For example, if your industry is very niche and has long sale cycles then the term that only gets 10 searches a month could be a strategic move for you to target compared to one that gets 10,000 searches a month. The beauty of Google Ads is that you only pay when your advert is seen and clicked so as long as you’ve a well thought out campaign, there is very little wasted budget.
Is Google Ads the best channel for my digital advertising needs?
Again, this is a based on a number of variables. What is your budget, who is your audience, what is your product or service and what is your capacity to handle sales enquiries? Certainly, we believe that Google Ads and their range of digital advertising services is worth exploring for most businesses, but often we advise clients of alternative options and alternative uses for their marketing budgets. Depending on your sector you may have excellent results on Facebook, and with their detailed targeting in Facebook Ads Manager, even purely B2B companies can have success here. Or for many B2B companies, we point them in the direction of paid campaigns on LinkedIn over Google, especially if the digital marketing efforts are very content focused.
Digital marketing is a large toolbox filled with a variety of tools to get the job done. Choosing the right tool for the right job is why companies chose to work with professional marketing agencies to help them plan and execute their digital campaigns.
Because you don’t want to spend all day trying to tighten a screw with a hammer!