Online Campaigns with Google AdWords: Risk vs. Chance

According to the Nielsen NetRatings October 2006 Google is leading the search engine market in the USA. Nearly 50% of users choose Google for search queries on the web. Thus, Google is the most popular search engine.

For companies it is therefore useful to think about Google as a platform for their advertisements. Google AdWords is a service to use this platform. So, how does it work?

Your company creates ads and chooses keywords. This have to be words or phrases related to your business. When users search on Google, using one of these keywords, your ad will appear next to the search results. People can simply click your ad to get to your website. Seems to be very easy.

But you have to consider: if you want to start a successful campaign, it is necessary to regard it as a process. Individual management and on-going optimization for an online-campaign needs time and online-marketing-know-how.

A typical process for the management of Google-AdWords-campaigns looks as follows:

1. Set goals for a campaign (e.g. number of info requests, sold items).
2. Set up initial text-based AdWords-campaign with little but relevant keywords.
3. Run campaign for a couple of days with maximum budget.
4. Analyze budget with Google Analytics and conversion tracking.
5. Adjust click-prizes, ad texts, deep links, landing pages.
6. Optimize until the relevant keywords run as perfect as possible.
7. Generate report to keep track of performance of these ad groups.
8. Add new keywords and proceed alike from 3. on.

This concept can be applied on other online-advertising-systems such as Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft AdCenter or MIVA.

If done so professionally, a failure of your campaign is just not possible. But there are also problems with this procedure: The budget required for a campaign can not be predicted before starting it, neither the success of a campaign. The only way to get optimal results consists in an iterative process of trial and error. At first glance, it seems that you could lose control over your campaign. But if you look a little bit closer, you can see that there are big advantages:

  • Targetability:
    Online campaigns can be adjusted exactly to your target group, your ads will be placed just in front of people who are interested in the objects of your business. So it is nearly impossible to waste media budget with an online campaign. In general you will generate more leads.
  • Cost Control:
    There are low costs and efficient budget consumption. Web technology allows you to measure exactly the advertising effect of a campaign. You can keep track of your cost and cost-efficiency.

To put it in a nutshell: advertisements on the web in general have much more potential to measure and optimize than classic media ads. By means of continuous professional support your online campaign will be much more effective and successful than any classic campaign in traditional media.