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Organic or Paid? What's Right For Your Business?

Google AdWords, BingAds or Organic Growth; Make Decisions Based On Facts.

I am a huge Google fan, the intricate web of services, tools, research, and now with all the great stuff in my google drive, I rarely have the need to even use those “other” software programs anymore for creating documents, slides, spreadsheets or even creating forms. Where would we all be without Google?

Marketing your business on Google has some fabulous advantages, organic or paid AdWords. But before we get too carried away, let’s take a look at what exactly Google AdWords really is and how does it compare to organic search results.

Google’s paid product is AdWords, the listings that appear at the top of your search page, you know they are paid ads by the (Ad) next to the listing. Businesses pay to have their listing noticed and appear at the top of the page when a potential customer searches for a product or service. And, you only have to pay whenever someone clicks on the ad (cost per click (CPC). Sounds great right? But let’s take a closer look at AdWords and other paid products.

AdWords or Organic.

With the introduction of display ads and video ads, spread across Google channels, including YouTube, the reach is broad, but how expensive is it to really make an impact?

AdWords is easy to set up, manage and set a budget, but to ensure they are placed at the right place during the right time can be tricky and may not be for everyone. No matter how much you spend on AdWords, ensuring your website has constantly updated content and information is critical to any digital marketing campaign.

How often do you see advertising splashed with a great image and website address, but when you go there, it shows nothing new or interesting. Or even worse the link doesn’t work, it’s not relevant to the ad you saw promoting it, or even the words you used to search for the product or service. That click you just paid for was useless - to both your business and the customer.

Both LinkedIn and Facebook have great product to help you promote your business, but if your prospective clients don't hang out there, then it is a waste of money.

1. You Pay For Clicks

Nowadays many new businesses are paying crazy money into AdWords in the hope to be seen, which may indeed increase visitors, but are they hanging around to buy from you? One business I manage pays as little as .14c per click, but in an industry that is aggressively competitive you can pay as much as $5 or more and as high as $60 per click. Now every time someone clicks on your ad, you still have to pay Google, regardless if you made a sale or not, or even if they stuck around long enough to have a look at your product or service, you pay for the “click”.

2. Understanding The Cost

Due to AdWords being a little on the expensive side, many small businesses are unable to compete with larger companies. Some companies can afford to pump many 1,000’s per month on an AdWords campaign and they have dedicated staff to manage their accounts. If your relevant keywords have been taken, you are bidding for those words against these companies, paying very high CPC (or PPC, Pay Per Click) .

Understand your market, do your research and don't be afraid to ask for help, there are a lot of enthusiastic, knowledgeable digital marketers out there who aren't going to cut you off at the knees to help you make sense of the digital world.

3. Getting Your Keywords to Work For YOU.

With a limited number of words you are able to use within your Ad, the restrictions can make using AdWords a bit tricky. Coming up with an attention-grabbing headline, byline or keyword, to best showcase the benefits of your product and some sort of call-to-action, can be challenging to say the least. Choose your words very carefully and check your spelling, a mistake may cost you dearly.

4. Landing Page

The words on your landing page are also searchable content, ensure it is relevant, engaging and encourages customers to take the next step. Sharing your content across all channels also helps to bring in organic traffic to your site. When creating content for a client, I generally aim for 60% or higher organic conversions. As with a store people walk into, you may have the doors open, but if your product, layout, staff and general feel makes it awkward for the customer, they will walk back out the door. The same is relevant for your website.

AdWords will help boost your views, but at the end of the day you are the one responsible for keeping them in your store. Track your conversions and use Analytics to help manage your goals.

5. Track and Tweak

For some products and services, AdWords just doesn’t work, find something that works for you, your business and your budget. Maybe test the water using both AdWords and BingAds, where the traffic is not so high, or the CPC. Or if you were in the software industry, then AdLandmark could be a better option than AdWords.

Keep an open mind and don’t lock yourself into something that may just be that bottomless well.

Research your audience, how to effectively reach them, it could turn out that they aren’t going to be effectively reached on Google AdWords at all.

My own experience is sort of like life, live organically with a good drop of wine or whiskey from time to time to enhance the experience. Don’t throw out the wine because somebody told you it’s unhealthy. Maintain a balance and do what’s right for your business.

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