What is Google AdWords and why is it important?

If you have researched online marketing in any capacity, you would have heard of Google AdWords. Even if you haven’t done the research, you’ve probably seen the ads promising your business a prominent place on the front page of a Google search. While many of these promises cannot be guaranteed, this shouldn’t put you off using the platform for your business. In fact, this post is about convincing those of you who haven’t started with AdWords to do so, and making sure your business doesn’t get left behind.
"80% of consumers state that the internet is the first place they look for information."

- Consumer Barometer, 2015

Google AdWords is a godsend for small businesses. It can put your company on the world stage for relatively little investment, compared to many other marketing types. On the flip side, it can be a money sink if not used correctly. So, what is it exactly? Well why don’t we ask Google itself?

“AdWords is an advertising service by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network.”

You may notice that the definition we were after is not the first thing we are presented with in the results here. Directly underneath the search bar, is an advertisement. This is a paid ad (shown by the small yellow box stating ‘ad’), ironically promoting another advertising service from search engine competitor ‘Bing’. How did Microsoft convince Google to promote their own Bing ads? Well, they paid for it using AdWords.

After creating an account, users can set their location target allowing them to specify which geographical location will be served their ads. You can then specify a daily budget, and how much you are willing to spend on each ad. Setting a budget of $20 per day however, doesn’t mean it will cost you $20 every day. Google AdWords uses a ‘pay per click’ (PPC) method of advertising, which means you are only charged when a user clicks on your ad. The amount you pay when a user clicks is completely up to you, however the higher your proposed cost per click, the more likely your ad will be served.

AdWords works using a keyword bidding system. First, you’ll need to think about what users are typing into Google in an attempt to find your business offering. If you sell footwear for example, your selection of keywords may include: shoes, boots, sandals, jandals etc. Now depending on the popularity of these keywords, the more expensive it will become to use them in your advertisement. ‘Shoes’ in particular will likely have a number of competing businesses all wanting their ad to show up when a user types ‘buy cheap shoes in Auckland’ into Google.  The result is that you may have to tell Google that you’ll pay 50c for every person who clicks on your ad, to out-bid the others who are only willing to pay 25c. This still doesn’t guarantee your ad will show up when somebody searches for ‘shoes’, but it gives you a higher chance, and potentially a higher placement on the page.

There isn’t any sure fire way to ensure that every ad campaign you run on AdWords will get the best placement in Google searches for the best price, but there are various things you can do to come as close as possible. Ad serving and placement is not solely determined by your keyword bid, but by AdWords quality score. This is determined by relevance, landing page (where your ad links to) and expected clickthrough rate. Each of these factors can be dissected even further but to put it simply, Google can determine if your customers are going to be interested in clicking the link, before it’s even shown to them. Obviously it’s in their best interests to display the most effective advertising, and so they do.
You can find out how to set up a Google Adwords campaign in this blog post.

Now that you have a basic understanding of Google AdWords and how it works, it should start to become clear how important this tool can be for small businesses. You can pay what you want, tap into a very large user base, and only reach those who will be most interested in what you have to offer. It gets even better though. Not only does AdWords allow advertising through Google Search, but through all of Google's networks. This means you can show your ads through YouTube, Google+, TV, mobile and the Google Display Network. The latter being a collection of over two million websites that give Google space on their sites to show advertisements. 

Google AdWords is absolutely a valuable investment for small business. Whether you just run a couple of ads every now and then, or analyse all the results and tailor the perfect digital marketing campaign, AdWords is a great way to get results online. 

You can check out this blog post to see if you should tackle AdWords yourself, or feel free to contact the Google Certified experts at Zeald.
Understanding Calls to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a phrase that is intended to motivate the reader to take action. On a website, a call to action would be something like ‘sign up’, ‘buy now’ or ‘click here’.

As you can see in the example above, an effective CTA will speak to the correct audience and urge them to click. Remember to keep the message short and use attention grabbing action verbs like ‘watch’, ‘discover’, ‘learn’, and ‘find’. You can also use words like ‘now’ to insert a sense of urgency, and encourage users to take action quickly. Another important thing to remember when deciding on the messaging, is to make sure it matches the page that the user will actually be led to. If you refer to your offering as a ‘white paper’ in your call to action, you don’t want it referred to as an ‘e-book’ on your landing page.

Once you’ve figured out exactly what you want your CTA to say, you’ll need to surround it with supporting messaging that communicates what is on offer. What makes clicking this so valuable? What is the user going to get out of it? Will they make money? Will they be happier? Again, be as brief as possible, while still getting an effective message across. This should be possible in one or two sentences max. You don’t want the user to be spending all their time reading this page, you want them to click the button to find out more!

Speaking of buttons, the CTA itself should be a big clickable button. You don’t want a little underlined piece of text, you want a massive button. It needs to be big and bright, and the most obvious thing to click on the page. You want users to be gravitating towards the CTA and hovering their cursor over the button before they’ve even decided to click on it. Just make sure it looks professional, and not like someone trying to steal credit card information.

Design is obviously a huge part of any CTA, so once you’re happy with your copy, it’s time to think about what sort of design will complement it best. Note that you don’t always want the CTA to match your website design. It’s often a good idea to have it contrast with your existing page design in order to stand out. Think about what colours and fonts ‘pop’ when superimposed over your website background. 

So once you’ve followed these steps and chosen what you think is the perfect CTA, it’s time for the real work to begin. 


But we just made our CTA! It’s all done!

Not quite! Like all things web-related, your shiny new CTA needs to be tested. Oh, that bright orange button you thought was a great idea? Well it’s only getting 10 clicks a day, try a red one and see what happens. Every part of a CTA can be tested: font, colour, size, location etc. At Zeald for example, we use tools such as heat mapping for testing. This determines the placement of the CTA on a page. Creating a successful CTA is the exact same process as creating a successful website or digital marketing campaign. You need to test what happens when it's presented to a real audience, make changes, and learn from what works best. It’s all about testing, measuring and tuning your product so that you can get the best results possible.

If you need help with your calls to action, or digital marketing in general, don’t hesitate to...                        ctabutton

About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest SME website design and digital transformation agency in New Zealand and has clients throughout both New Zealand and Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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