Deciding the advertising methods that will best serve your business is not a simple decision. The choices are numerous, and your customers are sophisticated; so you definitely want to weigh up your options to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.
Essentially, the two primary types of searches are paid search and organic search. Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) display the websites with the highest pay-per-click bid as (typically) the top two and bottom two search results on a page.
Organic searches are all of the other sites listed on the search results. These are listed as they rank based on search engine optimisation (SEO) and the Google algorithm. Both types can be effective depending on your business and not every company will see the same results.
What Are Some Positive and Negative Points to Paid Search?
Paid Search Pros
- Targeting – Good advertising that focuses on those most likely to convert, from visiting to purchasing, is something manageable by paid search. By leveraging the strength of analytics, your business can effectively engage those most interested in what you offer.
- Feedback – Because Google Ads easily generates tracking information, you have fast access to what is working and what facets of your advertising should not continue. This information helps to fine tune your advertising as well as control costs.
- Time – Waiting on your site to naturally progress to the top of the search page will take months. Even with an optimised and savvy campaign, progress does not happen overnight.
- Immediacy – Launching a Google Ads campaign requires very little from the business owner. After you have set up your ad, your customers can immediately see your ad and visit your page. Additionally, Google Ads can place your product and service in the right place at the right time (for a searcher who is actively seeking what you offer).
Paid Search Cons
- Expense – Because of the auction-like premise, a significant amount of the cost for a Google Ads campaign depends on the competition for the best words at a fair price. Additionally, because of the cost-per-click feature, you run the risk of paying for clicks that may or may not lead to potential customers.
- Lack of Trust – Many consumers are aware that companies seek business by using Google Ads. While this is not a bad thing, some people fear being tricked by smooth advertisements. To these customers, the idea of a business website earning its way to the top of the page through SEO practices is preferable to paying for the top spots.
- Short Term – When you choose to end your paid campaign, your paid ad goes away with no trace. Unlike organic searches where even if your page drops a few spots, your site is still in front of potential customers.
What About Organic Search?
Organic Search Pros
- Trust – Customers are aware of how search engines rank the results on their pages. When your site is at the top (or at least on the first page) of a search results page, those searching feel they have more reason to trust your information or believe in your product or service. Your high ranking tells potential customers you have earned your way to the top.
- Augmented Rankings – By earning your way to the top of a search page, you build even more credibility. This makes maintaining a top spot easier than the road to get there. A word of caution though; be sure to avoid the false sense of security of thinking optimising is a one-time production. It is crucial to maintain your page and be aware of changes to the algorithm that governs SEO.
- Long-Term Results – A relevant and well- maintained site with a high ranking for organic searches has the potential of producing great traffic for a considerable length of time.
Organic Search Cons
- Time Consuming – Reaching the top SEO ranking, or anywhere on the first search page is no small task. To accomplish this, you need the work of dedicated professionals with a strong understanding of search engine algorithms. Rising to the top of the rankings can take months or longer. This begs the question, “Can you afford to wait for results?”
- Expense – To have a high-ranking website, a company must either devote the time and talents of staff members to focus on optimising your business site and maintaining it, or hire an outside company to do this work. Both options come with price-tags, but the resulting traffic and conversions can be worth it. This can be problematic for businesses without budget space for SEO staff as optimising is not a do-it-yourself proposition.
Is Google Ads an Easy Quick-fix to Up My Site Traffic?
Often, businesses believe that the Google Ads function as a guaranteed can’t-miss way to drive traffic to websites. Unfortunately, even though there is merit to the notion, paying for your site to stand out from the pack is not the sure-fire fix many businesses need. The notion that this is the perfect route for everyone is not accurate. Google Ads is indeed quick, but it may not be the best option for your company.
- While you will get traffic from Google Ads, it is often not quality traffic that will result in conversions. The reason is for a site to get the sort of clicks that turn into customers, the words used need to have a laser-like accuracy. Otherwise, you will likely get traffic that is not suited for your business. For example, if you are a builder who focuses on large-scale developments and big apartment complexes, you will not benefit much from calls about putting up sheds and granny flats. It is easy to see why who is clicking (especially in a pay-per-click situation) matters.
- Choosing the right words can be costly. While this may not be a concern for mega-corporations, if you have to pay for the best keywords and phrases, it may not be worth the price. There is no getting around the fact that some words and phrases lend themselves to particular industries. Additionally, many small to mid-size companies fall into the cheap words trap. Spending your advertising budget on less than optimal words, just because they are affordable will not help your business.
What Sort of Companies Benefit From Google Ads?
As with many facets of digital advertising, what works well for one type of company may serve no purpose for another. These factors gauge if Google Ads can help your business.
- You Have a Healthy Advertising Budget – In order to reap the benefits from your Google advertising campaign, you need to have room in your budget to pay for the top keywords. This is crucial because Google Ads operates on a bidding system and essentially auctions keywords to the highest bidder. If your business is backed tightly to the wall financially, the odds of you claiming top words for your ad are slim. Conversely, companies with flexible budgets can have marvellous success and conversion rates using Google Ads.
- There Is a High Search Volume for Your Product – If your company is selling backpacks that can charge mobile phones and tablets, you likely have impressive search numbers. On the other hand, your volume is likely measurably lower if your products appeal to a narrow audience, like a guide to cooking with dried lavender. Likewise, you may have lighter search traffic if you offer items that are quite unique, such as hats for dogs (these actually exist, by the way). In cases like these, even if your products are popular in your niche, spending a great sum on Google Ads when you have a low search volume is not in your best interest. Instead, focus on gaining traction in the area of organic searches.
What Should I Look for When Hiring an Outside Firm to Work on My Digital Advertising?
Hiring professionals to build your digital presence can be just what your company needs to make it to the next level. However, preface this with the idea that the statement is only true if you are working with knowledgeable professionals. There is a misconception around the industry that anyone with a computer can design a great digital marketing campaign. So be sure to keep an eye out for:
- A Company Who Will Partner With You – Many who work in the industry want to provide a few reports, shuffle some papers, and essentially hand out updated Google reports. Someone who is partnering with you can provide specific advice, create targeted strategies relevant to your niche, and show you what progress you have made digitally.
- The Ability to Track Your Progress – You deserve more than a firm that recycles Google analytics reports in exchange for your money. A savvy digital marketing group can track a keyword from the first click through to conversion. Along the way, you will find out the type of responses various facets of your campaign elicit from searchers. This knowledge gives direction to the marketing team. In response, they will adjust keywords and shift budget focus on strategies that will be profitable and align with your business goals.
- Companies That Paint the Full Picture – The data compiled should give you a clear picture of the interaction taking place between your company and a potential client, every step of the way.
The decision regarding which kinds of searches is critical to gain your share of the market. While many businesses try to manage this facet on their own, the most successful digital marketing work comes from professional agencies who have your best interest at heart.
Do Google Ads sound like the right fit for your business? Contact us today for a free consultation with our in-house paid search specialist.