Search Engine Advertising

Before our favourite social media giants took a considerable chunk of the online advertising platforms, one service held the monopoly in the Internet advertising industry – Google AdWords. As I'm sure you know, the platform allows advertisements to display alongside search results on their popular search engine, Google. While new players have entered the game, this doesn't mean the balance has tipped the favour away from Google. As of February 2017, a whopping 97% of Google’s revenue is still coming from advertisements and every week, 29% of consumers search for local businesses through Google, while 72% search for information on local merchants via Google. As far as generating leads is concerned, PPC ads have an average success rate of 54%.

This article focuses on Google and their effectiveness compared to other platforms. Plus some tips you can use to make sure you convert every user your ads reach.

The Local Numbers

In Australia, the numbers shouldn't surprise you. Google’s search engine market share stands at a massive 93% with other competitors, Bing and Yahoo, barely scraping the barrel at 5% and 2%, respectively.
As far as traffic is concerned, Google still walks all over its competitors, feeding them digital dust, so to speak. Google Australia has 8.80% of all the total traffic generated by Aussies as of 2015, while Facebook only has 3.85% and YouTube at 2.40%.

Google is an important destination when looking to promote your local business. Your ads are welcomed, with arms wide open. Recent surveys found that without the right-hand column, 45.5% of people can't tell the difference between organic and paid search results.
Not to mention, Google maintains a firm grasp of the mobile search advertising realm, taking 97% of the total ad spend on mobile.

The prices you have to pay

Targeting can be specific, but the cost per click (CPC) in Australia is downright fluid, hinging on your keyword bids, the relevance of your copy, your ad’s rank or position, your competition, and even the season. The ad’s average price per click can range from $11 for a Dentist in Melbourne to a mammoth $196 for an income protection insurance service. The denser your market, generally the more you'll pay per click or mile (1k impressions).

If we compare averages, Facebook ad’s average a cost per click of $1.72, whereas Google ad's carry a much more substantial tag at $2.32 per click on their search network. The same story goes for the average cost per action (CPA), with Facebook’s $18.68 versus Google’s hefty $59.18. For those in the dark, cost per action is the price the advertiser pays for every conversion happening as a direct result of the ad, i.e. a sale, registration, or form submission. Google ad’s price tag might be more sizable, but their more efficient incoming traffic and conversation rates can justify it, given the right conditions.

Will my ads be seen?

Yes. If your ads do not appear to you or any of its intended target audience, then it is caused by specific factors, maybe technical occurrences, e.g. your ad is paused; disapproved; has low search volumes; has negative keywords etc. An easy fix is to organise a call with Google customer service, and they'll get you sorted.

How can I convert?

Not all ads are created equal. Some are more clicked that the others. And some create more conversions than others. If your ads are boring, don't intrigue, aren't relevant, and are poorly crafted, then they will be ignored. Circumvent this by creating placements that work.

First, be very, very specific with your keywords. We cannot stress this enough. Do not just sell “shoes.” It's way too broad and will confuse. Be particular and precise. Instead, use “Men’s suede Chelsea boots.”

Second, make it current. The Internet is fast moving, and we users feel that. Whatever is recent will catch attention. “The Best Marketing Strategies of 2017” is more interesting and more time critical than just “The Best Marketing Strategies”. Use current dates, “Hundreds Helped Last October,” “Industry Forecast on 2018,” or “Hit High This Q4”.

Third, demonstrate what your target audience is trying to accomplish. Your customers are looking for solutions, not just processes. Show them what they want. Do not go for generic “Lose Weight,” buts instead, “Banish Your Love Handles, For Good.” You'll sound more interesting, more authoritative, and that you actually have what they are looking for.

And most importantly, make it personal. Speak to your audience. Use the second most crucial noun in marketing, “you” (the most important is the customer’s name, but you don't have that information...yet). “All YOU Need to Get Insured” will always beat “We Give the Best Insurance” or “10 Years of Insurance Service” because it connects more with the audience via only one word: you.
These are just a few core steps, get them right, and you will be miles ahead of your competition.

In a nutshell

Even with the all-powerful social media, Google still has the numbers to beat when it comes to traffic, click rate, and conversion. The caveat though is its ads’ hefty price tag...You should, however, still maximise your Google ads by making sure that you:

  1. Are very, specific with your keywords
  2. Make your ads current
  3. Show what your target audience what they want to accomplish
  4. Make it personal
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