Another call I get about once a week: can you help us get set up with Google AdWords? Wait! It Google AdWords costs money? Hmm.. Should we do it?
I get this call more than you'd think. A lot of times, I get this call after a company has run an AdWords campaign for several months (and a few thousand dollars). It's usually at this point where the company realizes that there is a little more to targeted advertising than they initially thought.
Really, it depends. In order for this kind of marketing to be effective (because it is fairly expensive), a business needs to make sure that it has something to offer or something to receive from a visitor to this site. In most cases, there are two different things that a site might be looking to do: sell a visitor a product or service, or get a sales lead from them. Keep in mind that these ads are Pay Per Click. This means that you pay every time someone clicks your ad, regardless of they purchase status. You want to make sure that since you have paid money to get a visitor to a page on your site, you can make that money back.
Here are two examples of cases where AdWords makes sense.
In this case, a company sells a product. They may have a widget factory that sells deluxe widgets. In this case, they need to do some serious keyword searching to find if there is a market for deluxe widgets, and how much it costs to corral potential deluxe widget buyers. If deluxe widgets are a specialized enough item, and the internet marketplace is not flooded with them, they might find that they can cost effectively reach out to those buyers.
Once they have done this, they need to actively work on their campaign to do the following:
Qualified leads are valuable. For the most part, there needs to be a high profit margin to make these leads worth paying for, but this does happen every day. In order to use AdWords to gather qualified leads, there are a few things that you will need to do besides driving potential customers to a page. You can have them sign up for a mailing list, request more information, or fill out a survey. In all cases, there needs to be a "call to action." A task that a potential lead must do to prove that they are interested and worth pursuing.
Obviously, there is much more to this than meets the eye, and I have just skimmed over the top of the problem. This article really isn't a how-to as much as it is a "Should-I?" If you decide that your business is a good candidate for using targeted marketing, I would definitely suggest you enlist the help of a someone who has a working understanding of these concepts. Sure, you could learn to use the tools and manage your campaigns yourself, but you most likely have a business to run.
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