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Google AdWords can make or break an online company.  It allows you to compete effectively online, whatever your size.

Having said that, it can be difficult ensuring you get Return On Investment unless you have a great website that converts your visitors into buyers!  Even then, there are some markets – such as insurance – where it is highly likely that the cost per sale in AdWords will actually exceed the sale value of the policy.  These companies are most likely hoping that the customer will renew after year 1, so they can start recouping their costs.

Attempting AdWords yourself using a voucher from Google to get £50 of free clicks is common, and is one of the reasons people give me as to why they won’t look at AdWords again in the future.  But the problem with this is that the approach you are likely to have taken is to have added Google’s suggested keywords, maybe set up 1 or 2 ads that attempted to address all the keywords in just one advert, and then didn’t monitor the results correctly!  If you were lucky enough to have had a sale you won’t know the keywords that generated the sale, as there was no conversion tracking set up, so attempting to replicate your lucky success eats up the profit you made….It’s no wonder I so often hear people say they tried AdWords and it didn’t work for them!

Another reason I’m given is that AdWords wouldn’t work for your market.  Have you performed research to test if your competitors are bidding?  Try searching in Google for your products or services – is there anyone else bidding?  Have you tried using a competitor research tool such as KeyWord Spy to identify which of your competitors are bidding on which keyword phrases?   Even worse, try searching for your brand name, is anyone bidding on your brand name as you have  not been combatting their strategy?

Perhaps your excuse is that you’re focusing on SEO instead of AdWords, so you don’t think you need to look at AdWords at all.  What a mistake (but a common one)!  Even if you appear at the top organically, the sponsored links appear above your link, with a carefully crafted seasonal offer, stealing your traffic….. Maybe you’re targetting 10, 20 or even 100 keywords for your SEO strategy – AdWords can target many thousands of long tail keywords including the latest new trends – how can SEO ever combat this?  In addition, if you appear in both the organic and paid listings, you are far more likely to get the sale – even if you get the sale organically your visitor will most likely have been influenced by the paid listing.  So ideally a web marketing strategy will combine both SEO and AdWords to get maximum ROI. 

So, what are YOUR excuses for not using AdWords yet?

Beth is a member of our SEO team and works as a Search Marketing Executive. Her role is to write creative copy and help clients optimise their website.

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