Google AdWords: Hits the Target, Misses the Bullseye
By Randall Erkelens
At first, Google AdWords sounded too good to be true. The pay service claims to reach people actively surfing online for info about your products and services. Here’s how it works: you only pay Google when people click on your ad. You will also know exactly what you’re going to pay, too, as a cap is placed on spending. For pennies a day, you can target the consumers you want with accuracy.
That was their sales pitch, and it was a marketing tool we couldn’t pass up. Our ads appeared when our target audiences would type in “Denver,” “Advertising,” “Agency,” and a string of other keywords.
We started to get some momentum. Clickthroughs were made to our site. The phone rang often. Deals were made. We stumbled upon what we believed was a marketing secret weapon. We scratched our heads over why more small agencies we’re snubbing AdWords. We soon knew why.
After the first few months, we quickly realized that our newfound client base lacked a solid understanding of marketing. They had no idea what they wanted. Time became quickly scarce as we wound up training our clients versus creating work for them. The end results of Google AdWords turned out to be the most painful and short-lived nightmares in our first year in business.
AdWords may be great for anyone on the lookout for a flower shop or an oil change. We have our doubts that it can generate qualified leads for our more specialized industry. Yes, visibility may increase for you. You’ll garnish some calls. But in the end, are these pay-for-click calls the calls you want? Our advice: save your cash.
Randall Erkelens is Principal and Creative Director of Denver advertising and design agency Section 45.