We shot up the Google rankings and have since won business .... and would recommend them to all bar my competition.

Tim Waters, Inverurie

3 Misconceptions about Google AdWords

Last week I gave a talk to 50 businesses in Aberdeen. There were many questions, and much discussion about Google AdWords. If you have tried them without success, want to improve your use of them, or are simply confused by them, then spend one minute reading the following. It addresses three common misconceptions that can harm your decision making process.

It Costs a Lot

We have clients with quite modest budgets, through to those spending many thousands of pounds every month; and there are businesses spending millions on AdWords. So I suppose "a lot" is a relative term.

As with any marketing or business activity, the intention should be to achieve a positive return on your investment. Investing £1,000 to generate £50,000 would be good. Spending £100 to generate nothing would not be good, even though you have spent much less.

With AdWords, you can set a cap on how much you are willing to spend per month. This is the maximum you could spend. You are only charged when someone clicks on your advert. Therefore you can precisely control your budget.

There is one caveat. In our experience, those who are only willing to spend a very small amount, tend not to enjoy success. The reasons are something that we might address in a future tip.

It Will Improve Your Organic Website Ranking

No. No. No. However it might.

Google explicitly states that the two are not linked. Organic ranking is based on a different set of criteria than paid search. We often recommend paid search to clients for whom we have achieved top organic results, simply to command the top of the first page.

In an ideal world, a successful Google AdWords campaign will link to enhancements on your website. These will have been made to improve the effectiveness of your paid search. However, they should also improve your organic performance; but this has got nothing to do with paying Google.

My Competitors Will Click on my Ads

This is a distinct possibility. However, unless you have a very small budget (and so we wouldn't recommend you using AdWords), this shouldn't have a noticeable effect.

Google is very aware of this as a real and perceived threat. They have a team dedicated to addressing these issues. Not only do they constantly strive to identify and restrict such behaviour, but when they identify any, they will reimburse you for such "invalid click activity".

Of greater concern should be the clicks from the "wrong" people; those who are not your potential customers, but who clicked on your advert because it hadn't been carefully crafted (to exclude them).

There are many more facets to Google AdWords. Indeed, many people offering SEO don't do AdWords because it is so complicated. Paradoxically, many people use AdWords because it is so simple. In the final analysis, it is what you make it. However, as with many things, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Initiative2 has been successfully helping clients with AdWords for over 12 years. Get in touch and I can tell you how we could help you.

By Kenneth Mackay, 3rd February, 2015

This is one of a series of articles that deal with common issues when promoting your business online. We hope that you found it useful. Go to our online marketing tips to see previous pieces of advice. If there are any topics that you would like covered, please let us know.

If you need to promote your business online, then contact us.