Jun 19, 2015

5 Reasons why you should and should not use Adwords

Google Adwords is the best known digital advertising platform. While banner ads have managed to outlive their perceived usefulness (and their 20 year anniversary), when it comes to providing (almost) guaranteed search placement for your product or service, Adwords is hard to beat.


I generally describe the Adwords utility as need based. In other words, users click on Adwords results because they have asked a question of Google, usually in a bid to solve a problem. In the same way that remarketing display ads outperform conventional display banner ads (usually because you have visited the website you are being remarketed by), Adwords has a ready made opportunity to match a user’s search engine query and invite a click.


The basic Adwords model can be viewed as a synergy between the following components:


  1. The search term, or keyword.

  2. The ad copy.

  3. The landing page.

Google calculates a keyword Quality Score from these elements and this calculation is critical to the likelihood of your ad showing in the number one position as well as how costly your click will be.


A quick example of what is likely to result in a low keyword Quality Score.

  1. Search query: Hi Fi Speakers sale.

  2. Ad copy: Includes associated terminology, but doesn’t reference Hi Fi Speakers.

  3. Landing page: Features information about high end stereo equipment, but no speakers, no sale information and no products or terms that satisfy the user’s request.

The keyword score for the above example is likely to be low - 1 or 2 and if it does secure clicks, will cost more than a well optimised keyword, ad and landing page combination.

Conversely, a high Quality Score may comprise:

  1. Search query: Hi Fi Speakers sale.

  2. Ad copy headline: Hi Fi Speakers on sale.

  3. Ad copy text includes: Hi Fi Speakers now on sale. Major brands, Ends Sunday.

  4. Landing page: Is a product catalogue page that depicts the on sale speakers, is easy to navigate and enables users to complete their desired transaction.

bwired Google Adwords Image

This type of synergy results in much higher keyword Quality Scores and tends to be cheaper per click for the advertiser.

If your business is interested in running Adwords campaigns, here are five reasons why you should and five reasons why you shouldn’t.

5 Reasons to commit to Adwords.

  1. Your product or service isn’t getting as much organic traffic as you’d like. You have a clear SEO plan and want to increase traffic while your domain and site content matures.

  2. While not every web user will click on an Adwords listing, it is legal for competitors to bid on branded and trademarked terms and if you’re not competing on those terms, competitors can capture the number one paid result. The brand owner generally pays a nominal fee for clicks that result from their own branded terms.

  3. The business wants to compare the difference between users’ behaviours. Do more conversions originate from search marketing or organic traffic?

  4. Achieving immediate campaign visibility. If your organisation’s sale runs for four days, it’s going to be difficult to generate awareness organically before the sale expires.

  5. A KPI of the business is to get more traffic to the site - qualified or otherwise.

5 Reasons not to commit to an Adwords spend.

  1. The thrust of the campaign is to bid on competitor terms. This is a game that can’t be won. See the low keyword Quality Score example above.

  2. There is no landing page that amplifies the offer featured in the ads. Your intention is to send people to your homepage and hope they work out where you want them to go.

  3. There is no compelling reason to click the ad - no offer, no call to value.

  4. The business can’t support the requisite ad spend for the market you are in. While Adwords spends can be minimal, an insufficient daily budget will result in your ads not being shown, or shown intermittently.

  5. While there are no barriers to entry for running ads on the Search Network, unskilled campaign managers will struggle to get great results.

About The Blogger.
Jason Healey is bwired’s Head of Delivery. A passionate digital strategist, Jason loves mining data in Google Analytics and promoting approaches to problem solving aimed at improving your digital ecosystem. Read other posts by Jason about Strategy, Google Analytics and Digital Marketing.

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