Google It!

It seems like everywhere you go these days, everyone’s talking about Google. From “Hey did you hear about Google’s latest toy?” to “Let me Google it and get back to you.” And whether you’re a business person, a mom, a student, or a puppy (ok, maybe not a puppy)…you’ve probably used their service to find a website, an address, a product, a stock quote, the latest news, or even to check your email.

“Great, but how does that apply to my business?”

Well, if you’ve ever done a search on Google, you’ve probably noticed those links at the top and along the right side of your search results. These are the “Sponsored Links”. Basically Google charges advertisers to have their ads appear in those spaces. Now the reason you’ll want your ads to appear there, is because…people click on them. And not just anyone clicks on them, qualified, interested people click on them.

It’s like having a billboard on the highway – but the sign is free, and you only pay when someone sees it and contacts you!

As a business owner, you know the value of being in the right place at the right time and it’s no different with marketing. When your potential customers are searching for your product, they’re expressing a direct interest in it. Whether they’re ready to buy it now or just want information, you can put yourself right in their path instead of hoping they’ll stumble across you some other way.

There’s another benefit to this too…if someone is searching for a product or service you don’t provide, you’re ad won’t appear. Why would you want this? Because you’ll save money by not advertising to people that aren’t ready for you. Its a benefit that newspaper, radio, TV, and magazines can’t match!

“But don’t people just ignore the ads?”

Normally, yes. See, with other forms of advertising, over 90% of ads are of no interest to the viewer. For that reason, we’ve become accustomed to ignoring them…but the nature of targeted ads makes them more interesting to the customer. They know that the ad is a solution to the exact problem facing them.

“But I don’t use Google.”

Here’s the most beautiful part…it doesn’t matter. According to comScore Media Metrix, over 80% of internet users are still exposed to Google ads on a regular basis. That’s because these ads appear not only in regular search results but also on map pages, blogs, news pages, shopping pages, email pages, and much more throughout the internet. Some of the internet’s most popular sites display Google ads relevant to the individual page’s content. These companies include AOL, Netscape, EarthLink, NYTimes.com, About.com, Business.com, Ask.com, and many more!

Of course, advertising can be set up through other search engines as well, including Yahoo!, and MSN. Though these networks don’t have the reach that Google does, they’re not to be ignored. Each has it’s own advantages and is working hard to compete for your business.

“I’ll bet it’s expensive.”

Not really. Google uses a bidding system similar to EBay’s to determine how much to charge for each slot. They also analyze and rate the ads that are submitted. They then calculate an ad’s quality against the bid and determine where the ad will appear and how often. This helps ensure that the ad-space goes to the most relevant ads and not necessarily to the highest bidder.

In the end, clicks can cost as little as $.05 each (depending on keywords selected). Sound like a lot? When you compare that to the cost of advertising in traditional media, such as newspaper, radio, magazines, and TV, (often several hundred dollars per occurrence to reach a whole lot of people who aren’t interested anyway) it’s easy to see the advantages.

“How do I get started?”

Admittedly, getting everything up and running can be a bit complex; especially when you have work you need to get done. I recommend contacting a reliable online marketing company that can take care of the whole process for you. It may cost a little more upfront, but their experience will help you to get the most clicks for your budget.

They’ll set up your account, develop a customized ad-campaign, and then maintain the campaign for you so you don’t need to spend time every day, adjusting bids, etc. Plus, if they really understand your website, they’ll be able to suggest changes to improve the overall visitor experience.

If you’re interesting in giving it a shot on your own, visit http://adwords.google.com. It takes a few minutes to create an account and then you can begin building your campaign.

Consider the advantages:

  • Reach only those who are interested in what you offer, at the exact moment they’re looking for it
  • Set your own monthly budget
  • Target customers in your particular city or state
  • Pay only when your ads are clicked
  • No long-term commitment
  • (Get a 100% satisfaction guarantee when you sign up with StarPointe)

Learn more about StarPointe‘s search marketing services.