It's been around for over 15 years now, and as you may have noticed, the list of ads is getting longer on searches. I searched "B2B Inbound Marketing," and the results pretty much consumed the entire space before the fold.
So should your business invest in Google AdWords? Here are some considerations to take into account.
Can You Afford It?
AdWords is Pay-Per-Click (PPC), so it seems cost effective, but it isn't too hard to run up a hefty bill. You can be paying $5-$7 dollars per click, says blogger/marketer Robert Kenney, which can become expensive quickly for a small business.
Do You Have Time to Monitor It?
AdWords is not passive advertising. If you forget to turn it off, as John Rampton of Forbes says he has, you can waste thousands. For some businesses, it will be necessary to have AdWords turned off for the weekend or during a vacation, as no one will be there to answer the phone for leads. In addition, in off-time keywords that are general enough will be found by non-leads and clicked at whim, costing you lunch every time.
On the positive side, taking the time to monitor AdWords makes it a great SEO tool because you can measure the effectiveness of different keywords.
Is It Right for Your Industry?
There are alternatives for some industries. For example, software companies have the option to use a Pay-Per-Download (PPD) advertising service called AdLandmark. AdLandmark is more cost effective for software companies, as every time you pay it is because someone is using your product.
Is It Right For Your Audience?
Where does your audience hang out online? While nearly everyone uses Google and YouTube, Kim Shandrow from Entrepreneur makes note that one can advertise on Reddit or Facebook, or can pay to have their website included in StumbleUpon.
The ultimate question is whether or not your potential leads will click the ad. I personally never click the AdWords results at the top of a Google search. Take a survey of your existing clients and leads, and ask them if they click these ads and how often.
To make sure AdWords will work to your benefit, you have to know what you want from your advertisement and what your potential customers want. Your content marketing strategy may be sufficient to bring in leads.
Looking for more info about lead generation? Check out our e-book, 30 Lead Generation Tips and Tricks: