Looking for something? How often do you say “I’ll Google it”? The reality is that Google has nearly a 90% share of UK search traffic, meaning that if you’re not on the first page of Google search results you may as well not exist!
Look closely at this first page and you’ll see that the top all the page is taken up by sponsored links and Google shopping, in other words, paid for ads — which is how Google makes a living. Even the local business listings (Google My Business) are now prioritising business who pay.
Is the number of ads on Google something you should worry about? That depends on what side of the fence you are on. If you’re a buyer of online advertising, an online retailer or a business owner looking for new customers. You’ll be entering the bidding ‘arms race’ for space against your competitors to be top of Google — fantastic for Google revenues, especially with their market dominance in the UK.
Being top of Google with natural search is starting to become more valuable, especially to those who spot the difference between what are ads and what is genuinely interesting online content.
Optimising Your Online Marketing and Ads
Google’s Ads do give you lots of tools to optimise your online advertising and you can track most things, helping many marketers justify their spending. If you don’t make the best use of these optimisation tools you’ll be spending even more of your budgets on Google – smoke and mirrors come to mind! This complexity has spurned a new industry of consultants and agencies who can manage your campaigns, as it becomes increasingly more challenging to run simple Google’s Ads or Bing campaigns. Add in re-targeting advertising (these are ads that follow you around as you visit sites) and the online advertising landscape becomes evermore confusing to navigate.
What Google AdWords and Bing Ads (approx. 7% market share) are good at is tracking engagement, which helps rationalise spending on online advertising, sometimes at the expense of traditional media channels. It’s always easier justifying spending more budgets on online ads when there are impressive graphs showing pay-per-click (PPC) campaign clicks and an endless stream of sometimes meaningless data. And who are all these punters clicking on my ads? Are they genuine or trying to sell back into my business, competitors or consumers endlessly researching their next purchase? The most important thing to ask is “are these clicks converting into business for you?” or just generating click revues for our friends over the pond.
Don’t forget Content and Video Marketing
Is there an alternative to paying Google or Bing? Yep, there is… it’s can be more complex, potentially time-consuming, yet more rewarding and valuable to any business. You are trying to please good old Google the main difference is you’ll not be paying them, but generating information and content that’s of interest to your customers, clients, and Google’s algorithms.
Content Marketing Strategies puts you and your business centre stage; you’re the experts in your field. This involves generating useful information and content, anything from product information, articles, short videos, podcasts, anything that engages with your clients and customers. This builds trust with your brand; it becomes less of a hard sell. If you get the content right there is traceable traffic to be had if your website is performing correctly (SEO’d). Content marketing isn’t a quick fix, but miles more engaging long-term. Kick-started with a pay-per-click campaign, well-optimised web pages or even social media promotion and it could make a real difference to your 2016 marketing campaigns.
Please give us a call if you need any help with pay-per-click campaigns or would like to explore how Content Marketing could TurnRound your Marketing in 2020.