Overall Satisfaction with AdWords
I primarily use Adwords for clients who are looking to direct focused traffic to their websites. Adwords is a good option for clients who have a new website with no search engine presence or those who have an existing website with low traffic. I find it particularly useful for targeting relevant users as well.
- Highly targeted traffic based on client keywords. Because there are rather advanced targeting options (geographic, time of day, etc.) and you're bidding on specific keywords, traffic from Adwords tends to be better converting than other marketing options.
- Can easily control costs. Obviously if money is no object then you can attract a lot more traffic but even for clients with smaller budgets we can set a smaller daily budget and hold to that. In such scenarios I'm usually looking for low cost keywords that have a good bang for the buck.
- Experimenting to explore potential popularity. I've used Adwords as a test bed for some clients to see if an idea or a product actually has a market. It's a quick and dirty way to answering is there an audience for this (if nobody is searching a given term, likely not).
- For the inexperienced Adwords can easily get out of hand. There are always suggestions for additional keywords to add, etc. however often times those keywords can break a client's budget (let's be real, Google wants to make money here). I actually, over time, tend to hone in on a smaller number of keywords that are top performing.
- The quality score of keywords is a bit of a dark art that doesn't always make sense to me. The quality score is an algorithm that determines if you ad will show for a given keyword. From time to time I see keywords get dinged for low quality score even when the landing page and ad contain relevant keywords.
- In my experience you do have to babysit the campaigns to make them most effective. There is some automation that has been added over time but you're still far better off coming back and regularly checking on keywords / ads that are performing well and pausing those that aren't.
- The more focused the keywords / ads / landing pages the better your ROI will be. Think specific and make these all work together seemlessly.
- One client dropped all other advertising (with the exception of email marketing) and uses just Adwords for their niche market - has been highly effective.
- Like I said, Adwords is a great option for new sites and existing sites that are looking to bolster their traffic ... with more focused, quality traffic and not traffic for traffic's sake.
- Facebook Ads,Twitter Ads,Email Marketing
Compared to these other three I generally find Adwords to be more effective than Facebook and Twitter Ads but generally less effective than good old email marketing. Granted I tend to work with clients to build high quality email lists before they are sending out email, which is the reason for the great success clients generally have with email marketing, however Adwords tends to be more focused than other options on the traditional paid advertising.
AdWords is a great place to start for most clients looking to do internet marketing. The low cost of entry and potential for highly targeted traffic makes it tough to beat.
I will say with some clients I've had great success (I can think of one client that gets a majority of his business from just running Adwords) and I've had scenarios where it really hasn't panned out well. In my experience I think the more specific an item / service you offer the more likely you'll be to have success. Clients who haven't had great luck with Adwords are those that are more general in scope and serve multiple areas. What I'm trying to say is that it's not a perfect fit for everyone but you really won't know until you try it. The good news there is that there is a really low cost of entry to experiment a bit.