If you’ve been following the latest trends in digital marketing, then you’ve probably come across Google Adwords before. Actually, even if you’re not an avid follower, just hearing that it’s from Google is enough to make you think that it’s another top-notch service. If we really think about it, when has the company ever failed us?
Anyway, to give you an idea about how this new service works, let’s play a little game of recollection.
When was the last time you initiated an info search on Google? Not too long ago, I suppose. Maybe you even found this article by doing a quick search just a couple of minutes ago and that’s pretty good news for us (it means we’re ranking so yay!). But what I really want you to take notice of are the top results that have a small “Ad” icon underneath the link snippet’s highlighted title. It’s a teeny-tiny green box with the word “Ad” in it. They usually come up with single-word or short-phrase searches. This is a product of Google Adwords.
What Is Google Ads?
SEO has been around for years, more than a decade even, and I’m pretty sure that by now, the King of Search Engines has enough information about what it really is. So I’m guessing that it probably got some ideas from it. If people want to rank so much for high-traffic keywords, then why shouldn’t I have them pay for high-traffic keywords? I’m just speculating here but I really think that this dialogue isn’t so far-fetched. If I were Google, assumingly the strongest and most powerful business tycoon in the digital world, I would have thought up the idea myself.
And so Google Adwords was born.
Google Adwords is basically an auction-system but not for things, valuables, cars, or houses though (here’s a quick video to explain it). It’s an auction platform for keywords – the most high-traffic and high-frequency keywords, to be specific. When people conduct a search, Google records its search data. They take note of what the person is searching for and what type of information he or she is most likely going to find helpful in the results mix. This data is them compared to the rest of the world’s data. There are practically 63,000 searches made on Google per second. There are bound to be similar or identical entries along the way. When a keyword is receiving an enormous amount of traffic and it seems like all the advertisers want to get their hands on it, it becomes a candidate for auction.
Take note that there are many types of ads in the Google Ads platform. There’s video, shopping, app, text, and many more. But since text ads (written queries on Google search) are by far the most popular and frequently used by advertisers, we’ll focus our attention on them today.
Anyway, let’s move on to more pressing matters: How does Google Adwords (now just Google Ads) work?
How Does Google Ads Work?
It all starts with a search. Now, this may sound like an opening statement for a matchmaking website but it’s not. But I guess the way Google Ads work is kind of like a matchmaking thing as well. Going back to the topic, advertisers typically begin their correspondence with Google Ads (hereon known as GA for simplicity) by making a list of all the high-traffic keywords they are willing to pay or bid for to get featured as an ad copy on the SERPs later on. This means that once the list is created and submitted to the GA team, the advertiser expresses purchase intent for them. This may mean that the advertiser wants to buy or bid for the exact keyword or a keyword similarly phrased. The advertisers’ selection may range from short-tail to long-tail keywords depending on the market they’re trying to tap on.
For example, the advertiser for an ice cream company may bid for the following keywords:
“Best ice cream”
“Delicious ice cream”
“Best ice cream flavor”
“Ice cream shop near me”
“Ice cream shop Manhattan”
And many others. Advertisers are responsible for conducting their own keyword density research and for determining which ones they would like to make an offer for. Once submitted, GA then launches a search for keyword matches. You see, it is possible that more than one advertiser wants the same word or phrase. Since there are only a total of 6 slots in the SERPs for the ads (4 on the top and 2 on the bottom), they have to manage the number of advertisers who get the deal. So when there is a match and the number of matches is high enough, an auction begins. Check out more information here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-googles-ad-auctions-work-1484827203 .
During the auction, advertisers who are determined to earn the ad placement for the keywords start dropping bids. The amount of the bid is per click, okay? That means that if you are the winning bid, the amount you bid for the keyword will be charged to you whenever your ad gets clicked on. This also means that you only pay whenever your website receives real, organic traffic. Otherwise, you won’t be charged a penny (which is unlikely since you’re bidding for a high-traffic keyword, a keyword searched for on high demand).
Unlike your usual auction, the final decision isn’t decided based on the highest bid. Even if you were to make a ridiculously high offer, say $100 per click, it still doesn’t guarantee your win. Or at least, it won’t guarantee your spot in the ads. As I said, there are only 6 spots and depending on your bid score, you can be placed at the top or the bottom.
Bid offers are calculated by Google Ads based on this formula (Bid + Quality Score). This means that if you have the highest bid but your quality score is the lowest of low, you still won’t land the best spot in the ads – unless the rest of your competition has sucky scores too. If you bid just right but your quality score is high, you have better chances of landing that top spot and also paying a much affordable PPC rate. This only goes to show that even if you can rank Google using money, you still can’t win the best spot with a bad website. Google still values Quality above all things so they will prioritize websites that try to make users the happiest. Websites that have great quality scores often have to pay very cheap PPC rates to Google Ads.
Should You Be Using Google Ads?
This here is actually a matter of how flexible your budget is. Google Ads is a terrific way to get traffic to your website. It’s fast, sure, and effective. It is bound to get people on your website. The question lies in whether you attract the right people to your website.
Ads are PPC. This means that you pay the bid price whenever someone clicks on your ad link and enters your website. However, this does not mean that every click leads to a sale, subscription, or conversion. You basically pay for someone’s entry to your website – not whether they make a purchase or not. The tricky part with GA is that you have to be sure that your sales (the money that your business generates) are actually gaining even after you subtract the money you owe Google for the advertisement. You can only weigh in these factors after you’ve actually tried using GA. So as I said, it’s a matter of how flexible your budget is. If you don’t have too much, then maybe Google Ads is putting the stakes a little too high.
Will You Need SEO On Top On Google Ads?
Do you need people to buy? If your answer’s yes, then YES – you still need SEO on top of Google Ads. There is so much going on with SEO marketing other than just making your website rank. A great SEO campaign can help you create a website that not only drives in traffic but makes people stay. And that’s exactly what you need here. Aside from getting a prime seat on the SERPs, you also need a website that captures users’ attention and encourages them to make a purchase. By optimizing your content and improving on-site user experience, you can encourage visitors to take a look at what your business has to offer.
Google Ads may help usher traffic into your website. But at the end of the day, SEO can make sure that this traffic is transformed to profit. Not to mention, you can’t possibly bid for every high-ranking keyword out there. You’ll go broke if you do so. This is why your SEO is still a matter of importance – and we can help you make it happen.