Google Adwords

For someone who is advertising online, the thought of running a Google Adwords campaign can be tempting. Those prominent links at the top of the search results. Some of our customers already run a campaign, and many more receive phone calls or emails from companies offering to run a campaign for them. Our work is principly aimed at getting your website found in the natural listings.

Right. Stop. "Natural listings?" I hear you ask. OK. When you search for something on Google you are brought to the search results page, this page divides the results of your search into three distinct sections.

Section 1 is sponsored (read: paid for) advertising, a.k.a. Google Adwords.
Section 2 is optional (depending on what you searched for) and is the map (or Google Places) results.
Section 3 is the 'Natural' listings, those that Google's algorithms work out are most suitable for your search results.

Google Adwords

The natural listing work because Google, like all search engines, have computers connected to the internet who spend all day, every day going through the internet, following links, and retrieving information about the pages they find. These can be called robots or spiders and they are constantly updating a big long list of all the pages on the internet (well, almost). When you search on Google you are not actually searching the internet, you are searching through Google's long list (which is referred to as an index). This means that any changes we make to your website won't have any effect on the Google search results until the website has been visited again by the spiders and the index updated. You may encounter the phrase 'reindex' in conversations with us, we are sorry if we baffle you, but now you know what we are talking about if we let this peice of jargon slip.

How Google decides which websites to put at the top of the natural listings is decided by the Google search algorithm which is a more closely guarded secret than the recipes for Coca-Cola, Pepsi and KFC combined. Our work focusing on producing websites which are purpose built to tell the search robots what each page is about, so that your website is seen as being relevant for the keyphrases we have agreed with you.

 

There are several reasons that we focus on the organic listings. First of all: it's free. Now and (hopefully) forever. Once we have got your site to the top of the listings, it doesn't take so much work to keep you there*. Nor does it take as much work to have you score at the top of the list for similar search terms (branching out into related fields or nearby geographical areas).

Secondly: the natural listings still get the lions share of interest from the general public. Although sponsored links and Google places have both increased in popularity, the natural listings still get over 60% of traffic globally (this varies massively depending on the search phrase used). There are reasons why Adwords doesn't attract the same attention as natural listings. Some people are inherently wary of the sponsored links. For a start, there is no guarantee that they will be relevant to what you are searching for. There is also no system in place for Google to check the honesty of advertisers, it is enough that they have money.

The other reason that natural listings tend to be more popular is that a lot people searching the internet for goods or services are generally looking for either a bargain or something special. Neither of these groups are going to be impressed by Google Adwords. Bargain-hunters don't like adwords as they will be wary of going to a company who has already been charged money just for you to look at their website. Those after that special something might look at the Adwords and see the predominance of large, national companies. These are usually the same companies which are rejected in the search for something unique.

So we arrived at the biggest down side of Adwords from the point of view of the owner of a website. You may not have any real idea whether your target audience are going to respond to sponsored links. On the upside you can work out the probable cost of running an Adwords campaign. As an example a locksmiths company and work across the a major metropolitan area with a £500 website from us receive an average of 41 visits a day (three quarters of which come from natural search results, the remainder are mainly direct links from other sites or in emails). An Adwords campaign was started for their primary keyphrase target.

So over the first year of the website site, they average 41 visits per day. So 41 x 365 = 14965 visits. For £500, that means just under 30 potential customers viewing their website for each £1 of investment.

Using a voucher an Adwords campaign with a budget of £55 was run. This lasted barely a month and of using adwords, they spend an average of £1.40 for each visit.

So, while adwords is more expensive, but if you have a firm target audience in mind it may be worth it. It is also important to make sure that what he customer sees when they visit your website catches their attention. Attracting visitors in at over a £1 a pop means that when they see what you have to offer, you had better have something that is going to make them want to give you their money.

* FRESH CONTENT! All you have to do is send us a few pictures, or a testimonial once a year and we can usually keep your website at the top.

 
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