The question of whether or not to pay for AdWords as part of your SEO strategy is one that comes up A LOT. I mean a lot. If you’re new to the SEO game and haven’t really come across AdWords before, then hearing the kind of money that can be clicked away before your very eyes as the result of an over-zealous PPC campaign can be a pretty heartbreaking lesson for even the most staunch of characters.
That’s why we’ve had a chat with Nick Livermore, Marketing Manager at SearchStar. They’ve helped loads of businesses manage their PPC and AdWords, so if anyone is going to give you the honest lowdown on AdWords, it’s this lot!
Hi Nick! Thanks for giving us your insight today. So firstly, what would you say are the benefits of AdWords?
AdWords is the platform used to run paid advertising or pay per click (PPC) advertising on Google. It’s a biddable media platform that governs the ads that appear at the top of searches across Google (Bing has its own platform).
The very nature of AdWords - how it works, and the fact that it’s Google owned - means that using it has a number of inherent benefits for almost every business.
Firstly, because you use AdWords to bid on specific keywords, using it (properly) unlocks a huge amount of incredibly relevant traffic. But AdWords also goes beyond targeting relevant search terms. You can target specific advertising to people in certain locations, at certain times, those on specific devices (and much more).
Secondly, AdWords is a particularly cost-effective approach to advertising. As the name ‘PPC’ suggests, you only pay when someone clicks on an ad. As long as the ads you’re running with Google are relevant and compelling (and so are your landing pages), there’s a good chance you’re maximising conversion potential.
Finally, measuring and tracking success in AdWords is incredibly easy. After all, it’s a digital media buying platform owned by Google. You can easily track every metric you can think of - click through rate, conversion rate, cost per acquisition and many more. As a result it’s incredibly simple to measure your return on advertising spend (ROAS) and optimise each group of keywords down to the finest detail.
Do you think paying for AdWords should be a part of any SEO strategy?
An SEO strategy is something every serious business should have, but SEO and PPC don’t necessarily provide the same traffic. For instance, if you’re targeting commercialised search terms like ‘holidays to France’ or ‘car hire in Bristol’, organic results may not even feature above the fold.
Remember, Google wants you to spend money on Google platforms. So, while a comprehensive SEO strategy is key, any business hoping to drive traffic to their website for commercial traffic should absolutely be using paid advertising to drive business goals.
Beyond commercial goals, PPC is also a more immediate digital marketing approach than SEO. Good organic search takes significant time to build up, whereas AdWords campaigns can be set up incredibly quickly enabling you to adapt quickly to goal, keyword and audience changes.
And lastly… How much budget should be set aside for AdWords?!
This wins the prize for the question most asked of media buying agencies! And the simple answer is; how long is a piece of string? If only it were as simple as ‘£2,000 a month’...
The most important thing about AdWords is to make sure you’re optimising your spend and advertising to maximise your ROAS (return on advertising spend). But if you want an approximate starting point it’s important to define your marketing goals, which will usually be a target ROAS.
From there you can use this figure to work out a target cost per lead goal and therefore a monthly ad spend based on target lead volume. However, this should not be seen as an exact science, and your spend will likely change based on the result you see. It’s vital that you’re always looking to tweak and optimise your campaigns to achieve the best results.
Hopefully now you should have a good idea of what AdWords is and how it can be a valuable part of your SEO strategy. If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what all this SEO business is as well, then sit back, relax and download the free guide below.