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Is Google AdWords Really Worth the Investment?

By Web Copy Hub, Mar 14 2017 06:22AM

When it comes to gaining recognition online, ranking your website is the number one way to get all eyes on you. There are multiple ways to ensure that your products and services are given the credit that they deserve, but there is one in particular that literally puts you at the top - and that's Google AdWords.

Services like search engine optimisation, otherwise known as SEO, can rank your page based on a range of specifics that work alongside the rules of search engines, but Google has their very own advertising platform to offer a different approach.

AdWords is a paid service that gives you the option to feature at the top of a search engine's results page as an advertisement, where you can aim to enjoy immediate results for a small fee. In simpler terms, a quality SEO campaign could get your website to page one with a decent investment and a good few months of behind-the-scenes work, but this service can get you right to the top in a matter of minutes, and for less money... apparently.

Sure you'll feature above the most relevant results in a much shorter timeframe, but is AdWords really all it's cracked up to be?

The reality of Google's advertising campaigns

When you sign up to use AdWords, you will be prompted to choose a set of keywords that are relevant to the website that you want to promote. Once these are chosen, you'll then create a clickable advert that is central to those terms and this will feature at the top of the results page. Google will try to make this advertisement look as natural as possible, but it will be highlighted (albeit in a minimal way) to denote it.

Sounds good, right? Well yes, but the chances are that you're not the only person hoping to advertise for your niche, or for your particular set of keywords either.

What will this mean for your campaign? Well, it can affect it in two ways. The first is that you will have to fight for your space in terms of bidding (which means you'll have to pay more for your keywords) and your ad will appear alongside a number of others that will all look almost exactly the same. As you will pay per click, these events can impact both your chances of maximising your traffic and your wallet.

Then we have the fact that Google uses a quality score to determine your advertisement's relevance, too. This score will be based upon not only its appeal to those searching, but also on how many clicks your ad has previously received and how relevant your landing page actually is to those initial keywords. It's worth noting that your quality score could put you above your competition, even if they are willing to pay more per click as with Google, it's all about quality and not quantity.

This all sounds pretty straightforward, but there are other factors that can affect how successful your AdWords campaign is, outside of the advertisement itself.

Do people actually click through to your website?

In no uncertain terms the answer can be yes, but it isn't as easy as it may seem. Even if your quality score is near perfect, your bidding budget is high and, as if you feature above everybody else - the fact is that many people either don't realise that your ad is an ad, or they overlook you simply because you are an ad. So, your campaign would have been entirely successful in and of itself, but not in terms of actually enhancing your visibility or improving your sales (which are often the main reasons for using the campaign in the first place).

Then there's the issue of your own business practices and your actual business to consider.

A successful AdWords campaign is only as good as your websites' efforts - and traffic won't always equate to better engagement. You should also consider how much work needs to be dedicated to maintaining your advertisement, too - as keeping on top of your campaign and tracking your success can also have an say in how well it performs.

Can SEO and quality content beat an AdWords campaign?

To be honest, SEO and quality content can improve your efforts much more than simply setting up an AdWords account and hoping to get the reach that you so desperately need. You may need to invest a little more to the cause, but once the hard work is taken care of, the results should speak for themselves.

Among other things, an SEO expert can target the right keywords for your website and implement them in a way that adheres to Googles' strict policies, to ensure that you get your marketing campaign just right. Couple these efforts with honest, tailored content - and Google will see that your efforts are not just relevant, but organic.

Compare that to the clear sign that a website has paid to rank in the top spot. Who likes ads? They can be irritating and annoying and as Google insist on marking AdWords users as advertisers with their very own golden box, this can often be enough to turn a potential customer away in favour of the results below.

Search engine algorithms are being updated on a consistent basis and nothing but well-written, fresh content can keep your website at the top of its game. When the right SEO strategies are implemented alongside informative and relevant content, you could well see your website at the top of page one soon enough - and you could stay there if you maintain your content and search engine optimisation services.

So, when asking 'is Google AdWords really worth the investment' the short answer in our opinion (and that of experts) would have to be no - simply because the effort needed to achieve success far outweighs the results. When considering SEO and good written content - it can be far better to invest in these services to get you to the top spot than anything else!

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