By now Google is a household name to virtually everyone who uses the Internet. The 20-year-old tech company earned its claim to fame by surpassing early competitors in the search engine sector, and since then has expanded into a vast reach that touches on just about every function of the World Wide Web.
Its focus on commerce has been wildly beneficial for its own sake, and also for vendors hoping to leverage the power and reach of the web. What makes this colorful Silicon Valley giant so enticing, however, is its ability to seamlessly tie together the consumer shopping experience with the vendor marketing experience.
Enter Google’s AdWords, an online path for businesses of all types to quickly display advertising copy that grabs at targeted audiences and offers visibility that’s budget-friendly. It’s a win-win.
But how does this strategy play out for e-commerce merchants as opposed to brick-and-mortars? Good news: there’s really no difference.
AdWords is 16 years old, so it’s entirely possible that you have been treated to a marketing pitch while browsing the web. Now the single most high-volume source of revenue for Google, its growth is largely attributed to the transformation of commerce from traditional and physical to virtual. Relatively affordable and more precise in its targeting, it allows startups and just plain cautious vendors to keep an eye on their ad budgets while measuring success through tangible, trackable results.
AdWords is based on search engine optimization (SEO) and keywords, which is neither revolutionary nor surprising to merchants tackling online commerce. What is somewhat new and explosive is the ability to increase your chances of reaching audiences who enter keywords and send cookies across the web. No longer are you left saturating website copy with keywords in an awkward and often fruitless attempt to push hits to your site.
Here’s the lowdown on this clever marketing concept: obviously not every ad will appear at the top of a search page, so advertisers bid on positions based on the keywords used in their ad copy. It’s a nouveau and fairly fascinating process, and one you’ll want to be familiar with before you start playing.
For a basic primer on how AdWords works, take a glance at this informative page from WordStream. It’s graphically festive and fun, but it’s also comprehensive, and can give you excellent headway into exploring possibilities for turning a popular Internet product into a business lifeline.
The first reason you will want to consider AdWords—particularly if you are a newer e-commerce player—is the fact that it offers a leg up against longtime merchants who have either tons of experience or a full staff, or both, and have an advantage when it comes to playing the SEO game. Google’s AdWords does that work for you, with an appropriate amount of effort on your part.
AdWords identifies prospective customers through their Internet use, and uses your pre-defined criteria—location, demographics, hobbies, etc.—to direct them to your ads, which appear to users as if they were typical text-based hits resulting from web searches. It looks something like this:
Is it a cure-all? No. You still need to be smart with your marketing strategy, and to access resources to help you craft ad copy that is poised to make hits. But here’s how it can be a gigantic boost to your business:
This is a good time to mention that AdWords is not for the lazy. It’s a cutting-edge way to increase visibility for even the smallest fish in the e-commerce pond, but in order to make it work for you, due diligence is required.
With a fair amount of energy and effort, though, you can witness a respectable growth in sales and visibility to future clientele. Take the time to study up on its pluses and minuses as they relate to your specific business. With the right balance of strategy and quality, it may be the vehicle to which you attribute remarkable success.