The digital marketing landscape is rapidly changing and it’s not only important to keep up, but to stay ahead of the curve! From strategy and analysis, to content and paid advertising, each has seen its own unique set of changes over the last years – and sometimes even months!

In this article, we wanted to address questions about Paid Search, often referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), specifically those questions regarding AdWords. We’ve been working with clients for over a decade and have seen AdWords change and evolve in multiple ways. In fact, any online search for AdWords news will likely result in articles with titles such as, “11 New Changes & Features Coming to AdWords,” The Biggest Trends & Changes in PPC So Far in 2017,” and more. It can be overwhelming when you’re looking for answers – the correct answers.

Listed below are the most commonly asked AdWords-related questions that we receive – and the up-to-date answers you’re looking for.

How much budget do I need for Google AdWords? 

At Mad Fish, we determine recommended AdWords budgets after diving into a client’s business goals, and doing in-depth research on keywords, target audiences, and the client’s product or service. After this analysis, we provide a budget recommendation that aligns with a client’s core strategy and business goals.

Good to know: What’s great about AdWords is that businesses choose a daily budget and can decide when or if they want to stop spending.

How do I get my ads to rank #1 in Google?

Unfortunately, no agency or consultant can ever guarantee a #1 rank. This is because there are many uncontrollable external factors that cause rankings to go up and down. Some factors include:

  • Seasonality
  • Competitors in AdWords
  • Google algorithm updates
  • Quality score

The best AdWords specialists are always prepared to change or pivot strategies to keep their clients at the top. This means constant vigilance when it comes to monitoring campaigns – whether it’s modifying keywords, creating new ad groups, or more. Having a team who understands Google’s algorithm updates, has experience reacting to an ever-changing digital environment, and can dive deeply into troubleshooting will help improve your ad’s rank in search engines.

I only want qualified leads. How do I get that?

We consistently do A/B tests to learn what ads, bidding strategies, landing pages or keywords bring in the most qualified leads.

This is the most efficient and cost-effective way to discover what works, and what doesn’t. The idea is simple, take two different ads, show them to the same audience, and see which one performs better.

The data from the A/B test is captured in both Google AdWords and Google Analytics. Our analysis of the resultant data allows us to determine the next optimization steps in order to capture the most qualified leads for our clients.

Why we love testing: A/B testing is the fastest way to discover insights on your audience, your messaging, and sales cycle.

Is SEO or AdWords a better strategy to rank in Google?

This is a tough question, but the answer comes down to how fast you need to see results and what you want those results to be.

If your goal is to improve your website’s credibility and relevance and expand your online presence organically in order to reach new customers, choose SEO.

If your goal is to increase traffic to your website immediately, choose AdWords.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the overall strategy to improve the organic rank of your website in search results.  This can be done by “technical on-page SEO” and by writing relevant content for potential customers, also known as inbound marketing. By creating thoughtful, keyword rich content, visual assets, and more, Google’s “bots” will “learn more” about your website. They will crawl the site, note each page, index them, and serve relevant results to those searching for information.

Good to know: SEO takes time, experience, research, knowledge and a strong team in order to see results. If your business has many competitors, ranking #1 from SEO may be a challenging goal.

AdWords immediately increases website traffic because you are paying for your ads to appear on Google search engines. What is great about AdWords is that it introduces your products or services to new people actively searching for them. This strategy is recommended if your website isn’t appearing on the first page of Google search results. Google AdWords helps millions of business reach new customers, and increase brand awareness, traffic and sales or leads.

In short, SEO is a long-term strategy with slower results, while AdWords can get businesses appearing on the first page of Google within hours. 

Tip: We often recommend other paid search platforms to complement AdWords, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Pinterest. 

How long will it take to see data and achieve goals with AdWords?

As soon as an AdWords account is live, data (like clicks, cost per click, and impressions) can start collecting within a few hours. However, it takes time to gather enough statistically significant data to analyze patterns and trends to make optimizations to AdWords accounts. Achieving business goals with AdWords can range from a few days to twelve months. When an AdWords account goes live, our Mad Fish team closely monitors performance and makes small changes to improve metrics.

A few things we keep our eye on are:

  1. Searches that trigger ads
  2. Number of ads clicks
  3. Ad rank
  4. Budget spending patterns
  5. Number of conversions
  6. Day and time of conversions

Good to know: We use Google AdWords, Google Analytics and other digital platforms to measure, calculate, and compare performance.

While these are just a handful of questions we’ve answered in the past, they continue to change as digital marketing evolves. Google AdWords continues to add cool new features, make changes to their interface, and offer new products and updates. There are always new questions to ask and, of course, new things to learn.

Don’t see your question? Get in touch with us today, or try reading our “Questions to ask a prospective digital marketing agency” post.

Thanks for reading!