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3 reasons NOT to use Google Adwords to drive traffic

google-adwords-to-drive-trafficWhen it comes to paid advertising on the internet, the first thought any website owner typically has is to get a Google Adwords campaign up and running.

Google Adwords is slick and fun to use.  The ability to pay for keywords and show up at the top of search results is super valuable.  However, the reality is that this value cannot and will not be harnessed by most businesses. Surprise! Surprise! Google Adwords will probably not work for you.

The Harsh Reality of Google Adwords

It’s a harsh reality, but the flat out truth is that it’s extremely likely that Google Adwords will perform as nothing more than a bottomless pit of advertising expenses that will never provide you a ROI.

The way Google Adwords works is that you must bid money to show up in the search results based on keywords you buy.  You also must set up a daily budget of how much you want to spend and authorize payment in advance to fill this quota.

No matter what happens, Google is going to make sure you spend your daily quota.  YOU WILL GET CLICKS!

Let me use 3 very common scenarios to show you why this is your problem.

Scenario 1: You Don’t Understand The Funnel

As I just stated (and its worth repeating) you will get clicks using Google Adwords.  As a matter of fact, 9 out of 10 people will get enough clicks to use up their entire budget every single day.

The problem is that it’s likely better to be in the 1 out 10.

Most people assume that getting more clicks is better than getting less clicks.

Seems obvious right.

Wrong.

What’s better is to get less clicks and a higher conversion rate.

So instead of bidding for generic keywords and creating generic headlines that get everyone to click, its better to bid for long tail keywords and use very specific headlines that get only certain type of people to click.

Scenario 2: You Don’t A/B Test

As described in Wikipedia, A/B testing is the experimental process of comparing two versions (A and B) of a marketing message.

The two versions are usually identical except for one variation that might impact a customer’s behavior. That variation is then monitored and measured to identify the best one.

I believe A/B testing is one of the 5 critical skills all entrepreneurs must learn.  I wrote a detailed blog post explaining this and the 4 other skills just a couple months ago.

If you are not A/B testing  your Google Adwords campaign you are throwing away money.   Chances are, you can’t afford to throw away money.

To get value from Google Adwords, you must A/B test all of the different elements of your Google Adwords campaign that impact your conversion funnel.

Here are the 4 basic elements that you must A/B test at a minimum:

  1. Your keyword bids ( does bidding higher or lower give you the best conversion rate)
  2. Your call to action headline
  3. Your landing page design
  4. Your call to action buttons on your landing page

Scenario 3: You Are a DIYer

I hate to break it to you, but if you are a Do it Yourself  penny pincher, Google Adwords is not for you.

When you bid for keywords, you are competing against hundreds of search engine marketing professionals, multi-million dollar corporations, and sophisticated computer algorithms.

This type of competition has the capacity to test hundreds if not thousands of Google keyword bids every day.  In addition, thousands of dollars are spent on landing page design, call to action button design, and A/B testing each step in the conversion funnel.

This is what they do all day, everyday.  They know every trick in the book.

If you have the inclination to go after a popular keywords, you can’t win.  I am not trying to be a debbie downer here.

Like I said, you will get clicks to your site.  However, chances are these professionals have already driven up your conversion cost so that those clicks won’t be profitable for you.

My recommendation, consider getting professional help.  Especially if  you need  to reach people using a popular keyword.  A professional will help you go after less popular keywords and optimize your campaign for conversion rate, not clicks.

Google Adwords is a classic example for when not to be penny wise and pound foolish.

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