Most things in life have been built upon things before it. Electricity, for example, has brought us all sorts of wonders, freedoms, in fact completely life transforming experiences. Think about the combustion engine – cars, airplanes and so many other things are based on this engine for transport all over the world. From one invention our lives have been transformed.
I don’t mean to sound “emotional” about this, but these are the feelings I think about when I think of Google. Because of Google’s lead in making information accessible we have gigabytes of free email at our disposal. We have dozens of FREE online tools to make our business and personal lives better (maps, price finders, news, online video, answers…) – not to mention powerful and ever competing search engines. Microsoft, Yahoo and dozens of other companies have had to rethink their business strategies because of Google.
Google has also brought small businesses a way so that ANY business, no matter how big or small can advertise online for the precise budget that they have. Even more than just advertising, Google now allows a growing array of local advertising options. Overture had its time of fame for a short while, then was bought by Yahoo, but for some reason, Google stole the show.
I spoke with the Queen of Google’s AdWords program, Emily White, Online Sales and Operations Director for AdWords who has been with Google for 5 years, she was the first hire for their Ad Words sales program and therefore KNOWS quite a bit about the insides and outside of cost per click advertising.
AdWords is a Google advertising service that enables someone to bid on a keyword, which triggers the display of a text or banner advertisement. The advertiser then pays a certain amount for each click.
Google’s vision is to bring democritization to the web and value to the user, Emily explained. Thus online advertising is priced low enough so that anyone can run advertising. On radio, television, print – you find many of the marquee brands being advertised but very few, if any smaller businesses. Why? These media are relatively expensive and not simple to participate in. Small businesses pretty much could only afford word of mouth (free) and Yellow Page advertising. Until cost per click online advertising came along.
When you are browsing a web site, targeted cost per click advertising means that a) keywords you search on trigger relevant advertisements b) the pages you are reading display more relevant advertising.
Emily explained that one differentiating factor that separates Google’s AdWords service from other cost per click services is the ease of which a small business person can sign up for it. Recently Google added another interface, the “starter edition” to make AdWords even easier to sign up for.
This low cost advertising allows a customer to do a limited and economical test of their advertiser and see how it works. In addition, CPC advertising allows a very granular level of control and flexibility. Another benefit of CPC advertising is that very niche markets can be targeted based on keywords.
Doing cost per click advertising is a science and an art. You have to know precisely how much to bid, how effective your advertising message is and how many sales you are generated.
Google’s secret sauce is more than a company simply buying keywords to display online. But Google’s technology promotes SUCCESSFUL advertising and assigns a score to each advertisement which results in advertisement being combined with a quantitative component (how much was bid on the keyword) and a qualitative component (how well the ad is performing).
Google’s latest feature, blends perfectly with Ad Words and capitalizes on local advertising. If you type Pizza New York City (or a zip code I think) in Google, Google will give you Pizza shops in New York via Google Local. With this new program, up to three local business ads will display on Google Local above the normal search results. Each ad will be associated with a marker on the map that users can expand to reveal more information such as phone number and a customizable logo or image. Both small businesses and large chains can easily target multiple locations within a single Ad Group using the same keyword list ¬? yet another way of targeting more customers more effectively. As with regular text ads, local business ads can be continually updated or enhanced based on user response or local promotions to give advertisers maximum campaign efficiency and flexibility. If local business is your bread and butter, I would highly suggest you invest a small amount to try this new service.