A frequent question we hear from the small to medium-sized business community runs along the line of “How much does Google AdWords cost?”
The Answer: It depends.
While businesses of every size and stripe have done well with the Google AdWords platform, your individual cost and success will vary. It largely depends on how closely you follow the recommended best practices. The keywords and geographic areas you target, and your per-click bidding strategy will also affect cost & success.
Just How Expensive is Google AdWords?
Your Google AdWords per-click cost will depend on your niche and location. For an idea of what your competitors are currently paying for AdWords clicks, we suggest you check out Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. It’s free to use although you’ll need a Google account (Hotmail or Gmail email address will work) to access the tool.
Once inside the Keyword Planner, enter some basic keywords for the niche you’re interested in.
Example: “locksmith in Toronto” or “Toronto locksmith.”
Along with an estimated search volume range, you’ll receive a minimum bid figure for each keyword. While this only an estimated number, it will give you a pretty good idea of what you should expect to pay for each click for those keywords and locations.
How Does Google Decide What to Charge Me?
To answer that, I’m going to have to offer up a brief explanation of how Google AdWords works.
You start by creating one or more ads within your account console. Next, you pick the keywords that you wish to bid on and decide how much you’re willing to pay for each click. Once your campaign has started, whenever a search user chooses one of your keywords, your ad will display in the top position of the results – but only if your bid was higher than those of the other advertisers.
When the user enters your keyword in the search query box, an auction is triggered. Your ad placement and per-click cost are determined by your ad’s Ad Rank – which in turn is based on the following:
- Your maximum bid.
- Your ad’s quality score. Your ad’s quality score is a composite of the following:
– the relevance of your ad to the keyword
– your ad’s click-thru rate (the ratio of user clicks compared to the number of times it’s been shown)
– the quality of the landing page that users clicking on your ad are being directed to.
What’s the math?
To determine your Ad Rank: multiply your maximum bid by your quality score.
For your per-click rate: simply divide the Ad Rank of the ad appearing directly below your ad by your quality score and add one cent.
A little long-winded perhaps, but I hope this answers your question of “how much does Google AdWords cost?”
How Google AdWords Could Benefit Your Business
Besides allowing you to target search users who are specifically interested in the keywords you’re bidding on, the AdWords platform provides the following:
- A degree of budget control superior to most other marketing channels. For starters, there is no minimum investment required. Test the waters with as little as a $5 daily ad spend if you want. Just keep in mind that your results will depend on the competitiveness of your niche and chosen keywords.
- The ability to quickly scale up or down as conditions warrant. You are never locked into a contract or minimum ad spend. When you see great results with a test ad, increase your investment gradually until your campaign stops producing. When a campaign slows down, pause your campaign and try another ad or keyword.
- Detailed analytics. A marketer once said “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The problem is I don’t know which half.” This is not a problem with Google AdWords.Your Google AdWords campaign dashboard provides detailed analytics about:
– the number of times your ad was displayed
– the number of clicks it generated
– how many conversions were generated once it was clicked on
– which hours of the day your ad was most productive
– and details about the type of users your ad is attracting
Tips for Maximizing Your Google AdWords Investment
Use long-tail keywords
If your niche is fairly competitive, chances are many of the broader-based keywords are already being used by your competitors and may be prohibitively expensive. If this is the case, go after long-tail keyword variations that may not be oversaturated. The search volume will probably be lower, but your potential audience will tend to be highly targeted.
Say your niche is plumbing and you primarily serve customers in the Edmonton area. If “Edmonton plumbers” and “plumbers in Edmonton” are already filled with competitive ads, drill down with long-tail keywords such as “Edmonton clogged drain service” or “water heater installation Edmonton.”
Google’s Pay-per-Call option
If your business lends itself to handling live phone calls from prospects, consider using Google’s Pay-per-Call option. This can be considerably cheaper than Pay-per-Click. While your website will not be displayed, your phone number will – and you’ll pay only when someone actually rings through to your business.
Targeted Landing Page
Direct all ad clicks to a targeted landing page rather than your website. Your site typically provides a broad overview of your entire business, and you don’t want your ad prospects to get lost and confused. Create a specific landing page that delivers a clear-cut call to action that relates directly to whatever your ad promised and no more.
Let’s Wrap Up…
Answering the question: “How much does Google AdWords cost?” is not so cut and dry. As you have just learned. The key to remember is that you are in control of your Adwords Campaigns.
You hold the power.
- You decide which keywords you’re willing to pay for
- You decide when your campaign runs, for how long it runs, and daily spend
- There are Google AdWords tools and resources to help you with your campaigns
Google AdWords doesn’t have to be intimidating. It’s a great advertising strategy to add to your overall online marketing strategy. Need help – Contact GILL Solutions today for a no-obligation consultation. Let’s discuss marketing strategies to help you and your business grow in the right direction.
Do you have any tips & tricks to share with fellow readers that have helped you in your Google AdWords adventures? Leave us a comment below.