Before we start answering whether or not Google AdWords advertising is the best digital marketing strategy a business needs; let’s look at what Google Advertising is.
Many business owners are familiar with Google Search Advertising, where they can bid on specific keywords and have their business ads appear:
But Google offers more than just Search Advertising. Google offers display advertising where a business’ banner ads appear on other websites to audiences that the business owner wants to target:
Google also has advertising opportunities on YouTube, where businesses can distribute their video content (or advertisements) on YouTube by targeting audiences that might be interested in the business's products or services:
And Google offers Mobile Apps and Shopping Campaigns, though these are not as popular as the first three options mentioned. The first three advertising channels are the most popular in South Africa, with mobile engagement campaigns and shopping campaigns starting to pick up.
Is Google AdWords the best digital marketing strategy you need?
The simplest form of this answer is: “Well, that depends.” It depends on whether your website is a landing page or a website that can be expanded to include a blog. It also depends on the buying cycle and the cost of your product or service.
How your website affects your choice of strategy
Landing pages are all the rage in the digital space, they are cost-effective, quick to create with several tools making it easy to set them up and they are goal (or lead generation) orientated. The problem with a landing page is that it will never outrank a website in Google’s search results unless the landing page is linked to a paid keyword or the search relates to your business’ brand. With a landing page, your best option is to make use of Google’s paid advertising services to send traffic to your website.
This doesn’t have to be viewed as a problem, however, if you’re providing plumbing services or you’re an electrician, a landing page with Google’s search advertising product is a good way to generate business. Keep in mind though that the cost per click will increase as more businesses start advertising on Google, so you will need to review your marketing budget every six months or change your landing page into a website that can be optimised for search engines to generate non-paid traffic to your website.
How the buying cycle and cost affect your choice in digital strategy
Take a moment to consider how you would shop for an expensive piece of jewellery. You would start by doing extensive research on what’s available, what the various diamond cuts and clarities mean, what you should select in the precious metal and much more. The less you know, the more time you will spend researching before you make a decision.
All of these engagements, also known as micro-moments, are true for all high-value products and services that are being sold. It is very seldom that a user will look at the first luxury German vehicle they can afford and say, “I want that one.”
However, these micro-moments can’t be targeted through the Google advertising platform alone. A good Google Partner will be able to use a combination of the platforms and targeting methods to reach your ideal customer as they’re shopping for the perfect engagement ring, but you will miss out on several micro-moments if you only focus on Google Advertising.
Making use of a digital marketing strategy that includes content creation, social media for content distribution and search engine optimization will reach your customers while they’re still making their buying decision.
What it boils down to
A digital marketing strategy shouldn’t be approached as a “one size fits all” solution. The use of Google advertising is helpful if you want to instantly generate leads or create brand awareness. But it isn’t necessarily the best digital marketing strategy if you’re selling a high-end business solution.