Confessions of an AdWords addict

When you launch your business it is vital to make sure that people can find your company when they search online for the product or service that you offer. The first thing that usually springs to mind to help you with this is Google AdWords. This is an easy to use way of getting people to find you online. You put in the search terms that your potential customers will be looking for and you then bid for these terms against competitors. Then the leads start to come in and you pay the cost per click for visitors to your site.

But, as with most things in life, it’s not always as simple as it looks and it can even be detrimental to your business. It’s all too easy to become addicted to AdWords and here’s why…

Why is AdWords so addictive?

We find that we get many customers who come to us after relying only on AdWords to bring them their online customers. The thing about AdWords is that, due to the fact you pay per click, the more leads you get from them the more you end up paying! This means that we see customers who start off with a conservative budget for their AdWords campaign (around £300) – but as the leads come in they spend more and more and they just can’t stop.

The danger of relying on AdWords

So if AdWords works why is it so dangerous? Firstly if you rely solely on AdWords you risk neglecting your organic SEO. This is the term we use to explain how you can help the search engines to find you via their own algorithms and is, in the long term, more cost effective than AdWords. When you neglect your organic SEO you can forget about the things that really matter to your customers such as high quality content and great website usability. Of course, this is really damaging as you will end up with a poor website that turns off customers. Therefore, even though they may find you easily online, they won’t stay on your site long enough to make a sale and will have no reason to return or to recommend you.

The cost of AdWords can also depend on how much competition is out there for the same keywords. This means that as your product or industry becomes more popular you end up paying more per click.

This starts to affect your budget and you may end up getting less for your money.

Finally, by relying on Adwords you may be missing out on a large chunk of your target market. Those who are savvy, and know that the listings at the top of the Google are paid ads, will often avoid clicking as they prefer to see organic, natural listings. A study by Econsultancy shows that less than 10% of people claim to ‘often click on the ads on Google’.

Do you need to go cold turkey?

The good news is that you don’t always have to go totally cold turkey from AdWords. The key to making it successful is to realise when it works and when it doesn’t. It can be great for a short term boost to your SEO particularly for seasonal campaigns, new product launches, or when you need to get a message out within a certain timescale. AdWords can also be a helpful way to run comparison campaigns to see what really works online. It’s also a great way to get leads to start to coming into a new website whilst you wait for your more robust organic SEO to start working.

AdWords can be a really useful tool but don’t over-estimate its value to your site and remember to exercise caution with your AdWords campaigns. In the long term it is organic SEO such as interesting content, high quality links and fantastic usability that will provide you with a high search engine ranking – and then you don’t have to pay more money for becoming more successful!

Contact us for more information on our organic SEO campaigns.

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