When you think about Internet marketing, is Google one of the first things that comes to mind? Many business owners are aware of Google ads, but while AdWords and AdSense can boost your success there are also some crucial pitfalls to be aware of. We’ve compiled a list of the top five myths about Google ads so you can avoid the mistakes that so many new advertisers encounter:
1. You need to be advertising on Google
It’s true that consumer behavior is changing, and many of your customers may be turning to Google or other online channels to learn about your business before making a purchase or even contacting you. If you jump too quickly into Google ads, however, you may find that Google’s impact on your business is disappointing. The truth is that AdWords isn’t right for every business. Before you start advertising on Google, think about your average sale and do some research on keywords. If your average customer only spends $15 per purchase, but your average cost-per-click is going to be $3, you should probably reconsider Google ads unless you’re confident that you can convert over 20% of those viewers.
2. Google is more important than Bing or Yahoo
While Google traffic makes up the majority of search traffic in the U.S., traffic from Microsoft sites is on the rise. According to comScore, Bing achieved an all-time high for search traffic in the U.S. in 2013. Although 67.3% of users still turn to Google for Internet searching, a significant minority – nearly 20% – uses Bing or other Microsoft sites. If pay-per-click advertising makes sense for your business, consider investing in Bing Ads as well. The ad campaigns are extremely similar to set up and manage, and you may reach a demographic you’ve been missing.
3. The more keywords, the better
The truth is that the best AdWords campaigns have extremely targeted lists of fewer than 10 keywords. If you can identify those few, unique keywords relevant to your business, you’re much more likely to see quality leads clicking on your ads. Create ad groups with fewer than 10 keywords and keep your ad copy extremely targeted to those phrases. Depending on your business, you may also want to consider your keyword matching options. Google’s default is broad match – for example, if you list “wedding catering” as one of your keywords, your ad could appear for searches such as “wedding dresses” or “corporate catering.” Depending on your business and the cost of your keywords, it may make sense to limit keyword matching to phrases or exactly the keywords you choose.
4. Search & Display is “the best opportunity to reach the most customers”
Google recently announced a switch from their previous default campaign, Search & Display Networks, to a new default called Search Network with Display Select. While this may be an improvement, the truth is that you should never accept their default option. For most businesses new to Google ads, we’ve found that the Search Network is best. Search Network campaigns tend to have much higher click-through-rates than campaigns on the Google Display Network. This is because on Google search, you can leverage the power of direct response marketing and target someone exactly at the moment that they are searching for a need. If you do want to try Display Network campaigns – and this is important for some businesses – you should still set up these campaigns separately. Optimizing your Search and Display campaigns will require different tactics, and should be handled independently.
5. Organic search is better than pay-per-click
Internet users have become increasingly savvy, and some are wary of clicking on paid ads over organic search results. Yet leads who click on your website organically are not necessarily more qualified. In fact, if you’re bidding on highly targeted, specific keywords in your pay-per-click campaign, you may see higher quality leads from this channel. For organic searches, every landing page is your home page, but pay-per-click campaigns allow you to optimize conversions with targeted landing pages for those who will click on a relevant paid ad. Organic search results are critical for your business to be found, but while its increasingly difficult to control your rankings on Google, pay-per-click campaigns can be tested and optimized for a positive return on investment.