Google Advertising – What are your options?
It’s no secret that in today’s online landscape, if you want any kind of significant exposure for your brand and/or website, then you’re going to need to be involved with Google in some way. Due to the fact that the top 2 search engines (Google.com & YouTube.com) in the world are owned by the online giant, there’s simply no alternative that even comes close when it comes to audience reach.
So you know that you have to use Google to promote your brand and/or website, but seeing as there are so many different Google properties available – all with different functions and purposes, where should you spend time promoting your business? To help you decide, I’ve provided a list of Google properties below with some of their pros and cons.
Google search is the term used for the Google search engine found at www.google.com.au, along with Google’s partner search engines such as www.AOL.com. There are two main forms of advertising within Google search:
SEO (‘Search Engine Optimisation’):
SEO is the process of optimising your website to ensure that it ranks highly in Google’s “organic” search results for a specific set of keywords. This method of advertising can take time to show results, however when results are seen you can usually expect to generate moderate-high volume of highly targeted traffic for your website. One of the big benefits of this form of exposure is that you aren’t paying for a set amount of traffic, so if done right you can see huge return for your effort.
AdWords (or ‘Search Advertising, SEM, PPC’):
AdWords is a ‘Pay-Per-Click’ advertising solution offered by Google which allows you to display adverts within the “sponsored links” area on Google search, seen at the very top and right hand side of the page. Although displaying ads in the sponsored links is free, you will be charged a certain amount (based on how much you’ve bid for the keyword used in search as well as your “quality score”) each time a user clicks on your ad and goes to your website via Google. This form of advertising is extremely targetted, offers in-depth reporting and allows you to be seen on Google almost instantly. However, due to the fact that AdWords is a ‘Pay-Per-Click’ model, there is potential to lose money on your investment if you haven’t got the set-up. It’s recommend that you contract an AdWords specialist to handle this for you as there are many different ways in which you can fail at running a successful AdWords campaign.
Google’s display network is a feature available via the AdWords program which allows you to advertise on ‘AdSense’ enabled websites using either text or banner ads. Due to the fact that there are millions of websites within the AdSense network, this form of advertising has the potential to expose your brand to an enormous amount of web users. Although traffic volume seen on Google Display is large, conversion rates are usually quite low just as with other banner advertising so it’s important to closely monitor performance and ensure you aren’t generating a negative ROI. You’ll be paying for your traffic here (either ‘Cost-Per-Click’ or ‘Cost-Per-Impression’) so it’s important to ensure that your return outweighs your marketing investment.
One of the newest features to AdWords, Remarketing allows you to expose your adverts to users across the display network, but only if they’ve visited your website previously. This is a great way of re-engaging with your customers, and can also be a great way to try and re-capture visitors who came to your site but did not make a purchase and/or enquiry. There are two main ways that remarketing can be set up. You can install the code on your AdWords landing page so that all site visitors are exposed to your remarketing ads (useful if you want to try and re-capture lost visitors) and/or you can install the code on your “thank you for purchasing” page as well to create a filter that allows you to target only the users who made a purchase (great for up-selling or cross selling).
Google Places / Local / Google+
Google places allows business owners to create a page for their business where they can pin their business location on a map, provide business contact details & a business description, accept customer reviews & more. Places is also linked to Google maps & Google search, so if a user is searching for “dry cleaner Sydney” for example, a list of dry cleaners within Sydney will be displayed along with their location on a map. Google places is great for local business due to the fact that it’s so targeted, however traffic volume will generally be quite small compared to other Google advertising methods.
Google Merchant Centre
The Merchant Centre allows users to upload their products so that their products can be integrated into all of the different Google search engines. Whether it is organic or sponsored links, merchant centre can be easily linked to other Google accounts to ensure that your products are gaining as much exposure on the web as possible.
Although there are many other ways of promoting your website via Google properties, the above points lay down the foundation of Google and should be a good place to start for all new business owners looking to get their brand.
Have you tried all these for your business? feel free to comment below!