Online marketing can be a daunting task. How do you get the most bang for your buck, especially with a tight marketing budget? Google AdWords is one of the most popular, yet often misunderstood, online marketing avenues out there. Succeeding with Google AdWords is a lot easier than you might think and can provide a great return on investment, IF it’s used correctly.
First, let’s get some common misconceptions about Google AdWords out of the way. When we first talk to retailers about Google AdWords, they often say they aren’t interested because they can’t afford it, it’s too complicated, they don’t know what to promote, or they simply don’t have the budget for it. While it’s true to some extent that Google AdWords can be complicated, with a little bit of practice, it can also be easily mastered. For those customers who say it is too expensive or they don’t have the budget for it, take another look. In reality, if you are losing money on Google AdWords, there’s a good chance you’re doing something wrong!
Ok, what should I be doing you ask? To be successful, you should create ads that are highly focused and targeted to a smaller audience, not larger. I know this seems counter productive because you’re trying to drive as many people to your site as possible. Unfortunately, you will find you cannot be profitable if you create ads that appeal to the mass.
Try this analogy on for size. Pretend you are sitting at a huge auction with a bunch of other retailers. Some of these retailers are specialty retailers like you and others are big-boxed retailers with deep pockets. Now pretend the person conducting the auction is Google and what he’s selling are “keywords” or the results of what people have typed into the Google search box. Can you picture it?
“How much do you give me, give me for ‘Women’s Clothing’?” calls out the auctioneer.
A ton of those fancy bidding signs shoot up in the air, increasing the price of “Women’s Clothing”.
Now Google asks the audience, “How much do you give me for ‘Dresses’?”
While a bunch of bidding signs go down, there are still a lot of retailers that sell dresses.
Google again asks, “How much do you give me for some famous designer line?”
Even more hands go down because not everyone sells this famous designer line. However, if the designer line in question is that popular, then it may be carried by the big boys; and as you have probably guessed, the price will be driven up.
What you want to promote are the brands and designers that aren’t well known! True, less people will be searching for these brands and designers, but when they do, your ad will show up and more importantly, you will be profitable with these types of ads. We’ve used this technique successfully regardless of what’s being sold, whether it’s clothing, kitchenware, wine or canoes – focus your ads on your more unique brands!
So, now that you know what to promote, I need to burst the other common misconception that paid advertising is too expensive. By following the above technique, the amount you spend on your ads can be quite reasonable; but to many retailers, any money spent can be too much. Getting them to break this paradigm and think differently can be difficult. However, I often ask my retailers if they would be willing to spend $100 if they could make $1000. For many retailers the answer is yes. If I can get my customers to think in terms of this “cost of sales” and how much money is being returned, then Google AdWords often finds a home in a retailer’s marketing initiatives.
What’s nice about Google AdWords, unlike old fashioned advertising, is that because of the great analytics available, you know your return on investment, not only on your complete campaign, but also each specific ad placed. This allows you to make informed decision on which ads, most likely your unique brands, are performing and which ones aren’t. Then you can adjust or remove the underperforming ads and invest more in those doing well.
In the end, this may be a smaller subset of the total vendors that you sell on your website. However, these are the ads that will bring shoppers to your site, proving you can be successful and profitable with Google AdWords!