There’s an age-old question that exists in human society that asks, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, does it make a sound?” When it comes to the content you generate and post on your website, if no one clicks to your page to read it, does it really exist? Generating traffic to a website is the primary duty of any webmaster. Every action you take during the day supports this goal. Whether you are researching keywords, creating social media campaigns, or generating a new blog post for your site, the goal is to increase traffic on your website.
Google AdWords is one of the most popular tools among webmasters. The service is used to generate revenue from page views and clicks as consumers visit your page and view advertisements. Google’s own support website states that webmasters can use AdWords to drive sales and generate leads. So the question is, should you be using Google AdWords to generate website traffic?
The Case for AdWords
There are numerous industry analysts that suggest Google AdWords can benefit your effort to generate more traffic for your website. A Google blog post offers webmasters information about the benefits of AdWords when it comes to driving sales upward and generating leads. The post points out that direct-response campaigns, such as those offered by AdWords, encourage customers to pursue a specific action. Because AdWords campaigns encourage visitors to buy a product or sign up for a newsletter, they generate traffic.
In order to increase traffic on your website using AdWords, you’ll need to consider where you run your campaigns, and learn about placement targeting, ad formats, and bidding. All of these factors can impact traffic on your site.
Where to Run Your Campaigns
If you are going to use AdWords to generate traffic for your site, we believe that you’ll need a mix of keyword-targeted campaigns on search and display networks. Here’s the reasoning behind this belief:
- Google Search Network: Advertising on the Google Search Network means that your ads appear on SERPs on the Google network. You have the power to select the keywords related to your business and set bids for ads. As people search for those relevant keywords, your ad appears.
- Alternate Search Networks: You are not limited to the Google network just because you use AdWords. You have the option to have your ads appear on search sites that partner with Google, expanding the reach of your advertisements.
- Google Display Network: Contextual targeting allows you to direct your ad campaigns to specific pages with themes relevant to the message of your business or brand. Your keywords are matched with relevant pages from across the Internet.
Placement targeting is a beneficial tool that allows you to pick and choose the placement of your advertisements. This includes specific websites you’d like ads to appear on, or even specific sections within the Google Display Network. Different ad formats can also have an impact on the success of your traffic. When it comes to generate interaction and traffic, text ads with a clear call-to-action and media-rich visuals encourage people to connect with your business.
Finally, the bidding strategy you employ will contribute to the success or failure of your efforts on AdWords. The primary goal of your traffic-generation campaign is to boost revenue. We recommend using Google’s cost-per-click bidding system for your ad campaigns.
The Case Against Using AdWords
It seems to be coming up roses for Google AdWords, but there are two sides to every story. As marketing and advertising analysts such as Nichevertising point out, Google AdWords often turns into a bottomless pit of advertising expenses for many webmasters and business owners. In order to succeed on AdWords, you need to be willing to continue spending money to buy clicks as per-click costs continue to rise.
There are three main reasons behind the failure of most webmasters on AdWords. The details are here:
- Focus on clicks, not conversions: The vast majority of users get clicks using Google AdWords. You’ll undoubtedly spend your full ad budget each month generating those clicks, and you’ll feel successful in the process. The problem is, fewer clicks and a higher conversion rate is better for business. Generic keywords and generic headlines get everyone to click on your ads, but long-tail keywords and specific headlines attract more customers who are ready to act.
- No testing: Few webmasters test their approaches on AdWords. Most select their keywords, pick specific sites they want ads to appear on, and hope Google will do the rest. Unfortunately, without testing to see which keyword bids, call-to-action headlines, and page designs work better, you’ll never succeed in generate traffic.
- Expensive: Google AdWords is expensive. Major corporations use AdWords to target customers with their ads. How are you, as a webmaster or small-business owner going to overcome their million-dollar budget?
Google wants people to use AdWords and will roll out countless support tools to help you in your quest to generate more traffic for your website. The problem with this approach in many cases is that AdWords isn’t successful overtime for small-business owners and webmasters with limited budgets. The per-click costs to buy ads with Google have been on the rise in recent years, and the higher they go, the more difficult it becomes for these individuals to keep up.
Additionally, many users experience immediate success and boost in traffic using AdWords, and then assume it will run itself. If you are going to use AdWords to try and generate traffic for your website, you need to have a hands-on approach to ensure that your advertising efforts are always focused on your target consumers.
In the end, there are a lot of other services available that help you increase traffic on your website, and do a better job than AdWords. These other options, such as blogging, using Slideshare, and participating in online discussions, can generate more traffic than Google AdWords and do so without the cost involved in buying clicks.