Remember the “Just Say No!” ad campaigns during the 80’s and 90’s to discourage children from using recreational drugs? The one comeback line that I’ll never forget is, “I’m not a chicken, you’re a turkey” which you can watch here and reminisce about those earlier years.
While the intentions of this ad are good and I support the effort, that line has to be the single worst comeback of all time. First, It doesn’t make any sense. Second, it doesn’t address real reasons to say no to drugs, which of course, there are plenty. And third, I’m willing to bet the situation depicted in the ad has never happened in real life.
In other words, children like me were led to believe older kids were going to try to force drugs on me and my best comeback was to say “I’m not a chicken, you’re a turkey.” Looking back, I just laugh at those ads because they aren’t anywhere close to reality.
That brings us to the topic of this article. In my experience, businesses sometimes say “no” to Google AdWords and brush it aside too quickly as if it’s a recreational drug in a “Just Say No!” commercial. Google AdWords is not inherently bad and it’s important to take a closer look at the facts before you make a decision about using it in your marketing plan.
In this article, I’ll walk through 4 of the reasons that I’ve heard over the years, along with the facts so you can make a more informed decision.
Response #1: “I only want free traffic”
This is one of the most common reasons for not wanting to use Google AdWords. However, like the “I’m not a chicken, you’re a turkey” example above, this response does not make any sense.
There is no such thing as free traffic!
Typically, people are referring to search engine optimization (SEO) when talking about “free traffic,” but SEO is not free. To get your website ranked high, and stay ranked high in Google, you need to invest time and money optimizing your webpages. Either you invest your own time or you need to hire an agency to do the work for you. In both cases, it’s not free.
Also, Google AdWords is a much faster way to get targeted traffic compared to SEO. So when you consider the time required, investing in AdWords may be the better option for driving traffic, at least in the short-term.
Response #2: “Nobody clicks on those ads in Google”
I’m always surprised when I hear this response considering the majority of Google’s revenue, which is in the billions, comes from Google AdWords income. In other words, Google generates billions of dollars from people clicking on “those ads in Google.”
Clearly people are clicking. This also points to the fact that businesses continue to invest, year after year, in these ads, which indicates the ads are profitable. If the businesses were losing money, then they would stop advertising and Google would stop growing.
Response #3: “It’s too expensive”
OK, now we’re finally to a seemingly logical response — especially in some industries where the cost per click can be well over $10. That can add up quickly and may seem expensive at first.
However, advertising should not be viewed as an expense. You don’t look at a particular stock or bond and say “that’s too expensive” so I won’t invest. No, you look at the potential returns to make a decision.
That’s the same approach you need to take with Google AdWords. To quickly estimate whether or not you could profitably advertise on relevant keywords, use the following formula:
(estimated sales conversion rates) x (average value per customer) = Maximum cost per click
For example, if you estimate you’ll convert 2% of the prospects that click on your ad and your average customer value is $1,000, then your maximum cost per click is $20. If you can buy clicks in Google AdWords for less than $20, then you would be profitable with those estimates. At first, $10 per click sounds expensive, but now you can see it’s only half of the maximum you could invest.
Response #4: “I tried it already and it didn’t work”
The final example response is that you tried Google AdWords and it didn’t work. This may well be a valid reason, but it depends greatly on how you tried. In my experience auditing hundreds of AdWords accounts, I find that most businesses do not have the ad campaigns set up properly and are wasting money unnecessarily.
If you tried AdWords already, then I urge you to review your campaign using our Google AdWords Checklist. It’s possible your campaigns were not set up correctly and with a few tweaks you could be on your way to a profitable ad campaign.
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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