Paying for Hits: Search Engine Marketing

If you kind of slightly like Gambling, then Google AdWords is for you!

What if Google actually made that the official slogan for AdWords?

Okay, so what really is AdWords? Well, remember last post we talked about Search Engine Optimization and how important it is to use the right keywords to impress outdoorsmen Hunter. Well, forget about Hunter. You’ve picked up a horrible gambling addiction and Hunter left you. Search Engine Marketing is about using search engines (Google, obvi) to ahem, market your company. No brainer.

To do this, you’re going to use Google AdWords! Where you’ll be paying for your advertisement/sponsored result. It’s different from SEO because with SEO, you’re just tinkering with your content to find that sweet spot. Notice in the screenshot below, the tiny little “Ad” next to the top 3 results. It’s because they paid for that to show up when you search something.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 8.31.41 PM.png

Lets say you sell used athletic gear online. You would type in “Used Athletic Gear” into you AdWords search, find the keywords that you feel match your items the most, and place a bid on these keywords. So you could place like a $1.00 per click bid on “Used Nike Shoes”, and hopefully you would be the leader of that keyword category. Does that make sense? It’s complicated, it really is. I’m still getting a grasp on it, and I use it at work everyday.

Another difference? The way they set up the algorithm. With AdWords, it’s based off of expected click through rates, landing page experience, ad relevance, and ad formats.

When you sign up for AdWords as a Google Partner, you’re going to be faced with a screen that allows you to type in your main keywords, search through a list of relevant ones, and compare a bunch of details in order to decide what’s best for you (like conversions, cost per click, and stuff like that.) So you get to see what your “odds” are so to speak, for how much you’re spending. The more you spend (or bid), the more likely you are to see conversions. And that’s how it’s similar to gambling. In a round about way.

What are your options here exactly?

Cost Per Click (CPC, for us marketing-savvy folks): If you’re focusing on traffic to your website, the CPC is the way to go. You’ll be paying per click, obviously. Depending on what kind of market you’re fighting for it’ll either be expensive (heavily saturated and bidded upon market), or rather inexpensive (lightly saturated and rarely bid upon market). So, a website like BuzzFeed, that publishes content, would want to use CPC bidding.

Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM): This is if you’re more concerned about how many times your ad shows, and how many people you want to have see your ad. This is mostly for folks who are concerned about your brand awareness.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): If you want conversions then use CPA bidding. You lookin’ for them conversions, use CPA.

*Okay, seriously, Taylor Swift just won album of the year on the Grammys. Seriously? Hasn’t she won enough?*

What more do we need to know?

So. Much. AdWords is an extremely comprehensive program, and the best way to get a strong grasp on it is to review HubSpot’s eBook, or Google AdWords guide.

But I’ll tell you a little bit more, just a little bit.
What’s cool about AdWords, and about Digital Marketing in general, is that everything is totally trackable. So lets say you’re putting money into your AdWords and hoping to see results, but you’re not. It could be for a number of reasons (you’ll have to do the digging, this is where A/B Testing, UX and other concepts we’ve covered comes to action). But you’ll know, because you won’t get the results you originally expected from AdWords. On the other hand, the more positive hand, you might be seeing more traffic based on a keyword you hadn’t originally expected to perform well. That would be awesome, now wouldn’t it? If that’s the case, then you can put more money into the keyword, and you’ll see even more of your goal happen. Woohoo!

dancing hipster spongebob spongebob square pants

So, thats the bikini bottom basics of Google AdWords. Trust me when I say that this is not an easy program to use, and that SEM is complicated! You not only have to be strategic, but you have to stay on top of it! Because you don’t want to be wasting money on keywords that you aren’t really gaining anything from.

That’s it from me on SEM. If you’ve given it a try and haven’t seen much success, remember to check out the Google AdWords guide and the HubSpot Beginners Guide to AdWords.



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