» Can They Help Your Bottom Line?
You see them every time you do a Google search, over on the right side of the screen under the ‘Sponsored Links’ heading. Sites and/or affiliates pay for these links and the positioning on the first page of the Google SERPs. Why? Well, there are lots of good reasons.
Adwords Are Easy
This shouldn’t sound like a commercial for Adwords, but it’s a program that does work, even for site owners operating on a wing and a prayer. You can open an Adwords account in about 15 minutes with as little as a $5.00 commitment. How easy is that?
To sign up, visit Google.com. Click on ‘About Google’ under the search box, click on Adwords, fill out the required information, give them your credit card number and you’re marketing your site. In fact, you can have a sponsored link up and running in less than 30 minutes from right now.
Adwords Are Flexible
You write your own sponsored link text — that little blurb that appears under your heading and the heading itself. If you find that one heading or one blurb isn’t pulling, you can go in, change the text and heading and be back on-line in five minutes.
Of course, writing the heading and the description text takes some skill and imagination, and if you don’t know a semi-colon from a kumquat, better ask one of the kids to write something for you. It’s important to get it right.
Which of the following sponsored links would you click on?
skateboards, skateboarding, boarding, buy skateboards, repair skateboards, fix skateboards, skateboard parts, long boards, skateboarding gear, helmets, sports gear
Owned by boarders to serve boarders, competition boards, custom boards, event schedules, chat room and forum. 20% off your first purchase
Your sponsored ad shouldn’t be SE gibberish — it’s an ad for your site! Sell it to a human, not a search engine. So, if you’ve paid the freight, get the goods by tweaking your sponsored ads to find the right heading and text to increase site traffic.
Adwords Is Cost Effective
No click, no cost. Adwords operates on the pay-per-click (PPC) model. So, if nobody is clicking, your sponsored link isn’t costing you money. Of course, no clicks also means your ad isn’t making you money, either. (See the Adwords writing lesson above.)
Google makes placement of your sponsored link a competitive sport. You bid on key words, along with your competition. Sticking with the skateboard example, you might bid 10 cents a click for the key word ‘skateboard’. If a competitor bids 25 cents per click, they win. Their link will appear above yours on the sponsored links side of the screen every time a user searches using the key word ‘skateboard’.
However, you could bid a penny a click on the key words ‘long board’, (a type of skateboard) and find yourself at the top of the Adwords heap on Google’s SERPs for a search using ‘long boards’. The thing is, a lot more people will enter ‘skateboards’ rather than ‘long boards’ when conducting a search, so the competitor who paid more per click for the ‘skateboard’ key word will have a lot more eyeballs eyeballing his link.
Adwords Allows You To Set A Budget
At 25 cents per click, 100 clicks a day is going to cost you $25 a day or $750 a month. Pretty pricey for a start-up site operating out of a spare room at home. So, Google’s got you covered.
You can set a limit to the number of times your link will appear each day, and when it will appear. If the link always appears at 4:32 PM, the same six people are going to see your link over and over, so Google mixes up the times of day and night your link appears, and how often it appears, allowing you to control how much the link costs you.
You can also have the link removed after a certain number of clicks in a day, or over the term the link is operative. Lots of flexibility, here.
Contextual Adwords Links
The Adwords program works for the small site owner, or the new site on the block, because it can be adapted to a variety of budgets, business models and expected ROI, and like buying a heavy-duty truck, you can add a bit more muscle to your sponsored link by upping its pulling power.
Contextual links is Google’s latest innovation, providing higher quality click-throughs for your money. Contextual links appear on sites that are related to the user’s query. Let’s say you’re selling a document preparation service for people looking for low-cost divorces and bankruptcies, and you buy the contextual links option. Links to your site might show up on an attorney referral site, a foreclosure avoidance site, a dating service site and other sites related to the ‘context’ of your link.
Contextual links provide a higher-quality click-through because users found your link while looking for the service, product or information you offer. So, when these click-throughs find your home page, you’ll see a higher conversion rate of lookers to buyers.
Google Adwords works. In addition, you don’t have to make a long-term commitment (long-term being 30 minutes in the world of e-commerce), you can increase or decrease your marketing budget with a few clicks and you can tweak until you’re getting the pull rate you’d planned for.
Try it, even for a few days, just to test the waters. If your link is compelling to Google’s users, you’ll see an increase in traffic almost immediately, and no other marketing program can offer that — at any price.