In 2003 I was accepted by Google into their AdSense program. Without a doubt, it has been a profitable relationship for both parties as they continuously serve up high paying content related ads and we share in the spoils. Still, AdSense does not bring me new customers, but AdWords does. Do AdWords work? Yes they do. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of running a cost effective AdWords campaign.
So, what are AdWords? AdWords is a Google product for web advertisers. Ads are written by advertisers who determine how much they will pay for each click [or impression] on their ad, where the ad will run, and for how long. The ads appear on Google's search results, on websites, virtually anywhere a web page can be served. No, they do not appear on adult or hate sites nor do they appear on any site that Google deems to be unacceptable.
The cost of running AdWords is fully under the control of advertisers. You can select payouts of anywhere from a nickel to $100. per click and budget the daily amount you want to spend. You can run one ad or multiple ads and have several campaigns running simultaneously. You can also change your ads or campaigns midstream or pull the program altogether. At the beginning of the month Google will bill you for the ads clicked; this step usually occurs as a debit to your checking account.
Do AdWords really work? Yes, they do. Several months after being accepted by Google into their AdSense program I decided I needed to launch my own ad campaign. Naturally, Google was the choice as I was benefitting from AdSense and I wanted to help Google out even in a small way. For the past eighteen months I have been running campaigns on and off and have learned the most cost effective - as well as market penetrating - ways to reach my customers. They include:
1. Run short campaigns. I keep my campaigns to a week or two before pulling them. If I am interested in going further, I usually rewrite my ads or change my target audience. I check my keywords and toss those that are ineffective.
2. Low CPCs. For awhile Google was receiving reports of illegal clicks to advertisers' ads. Many advertisers found their budgets depleted within days of starting campaigns and complained loudly to Google. For their part, Google repaid advertisers for invalid clicks, but the problem of click fraud continues. I have found that offering ten cent bids for clicks helps to bring adequate traffic to my sites; I don't seem to suffer much from invalid clicks, but when I do the loss is minimal. Many advertisers are lowering their bid amounts - to the chagrin of publishers - to avoid being the victim of invalid clicks.
3. Low budgets. I generally budget between $1-$3 per day for my campaigns. If I see a problem with invalid clicks, I change the campaign and notify Google. Google is very quick in amending problems for their advertisers.
4. The Googlebot. Yes, if you run AdSense ads, the Googlebot will visit your site as does Google's regular page indexing/spidering robot. I cannot prove it, but I seem to have generated better indexed pages with Google since incorporating AdWords. They send the traffic via the ads and my pages are moving up in the ranks.
You will need to experiment to find out what type of campaign works for your business. Keep a close eye on the reports made available by Google for AdWords advertisers and look at your webstats reports for changes in traffic. Above all, ask your new customers how they learned about your business and chances are a significant number will mention that they clicked on a Google ad to find your site. If that is the case, your campaign is a success and you will soon agree with me that AdWords does work, indeed!