What Is Google AdWords?

Disclaimer: This post is not a guide to Google AdWords or how to use it, it is for those of you who have heard of it or been recommended to use it for your business, but you are not entirely sure what it is

If you know what Google is then understanding Google AdWords will be pretty simple.  If you don’t know what Google is, where have you been for the last 20 years?!

So you need to find something online, you go to Google and type in what you want and a list of results display.  This list of results is usually formed or both organic results and paid adverts (or Google Ads).  Lets take a look at an example below where we have searched for “accountants in leatherhead surrey”.

If you take a look at the first post at the top of the page you will see just below title a the letters “AD” in a small box.   This is telling you that this result is a paid advert from Google AdWords.  So what this company has done is creat an AdWords campaign targeting visitors who are looking for accountants in Leatherhead, Surrey.

Google Ads generally appear in three sections (assuming we are searching on desktop and not mobile), which are at the very top, at the bottom and in a sidebar.  Obviously the number one spot at the top of the page is the best place to be as visitors will see you first, but how exactly do Google decide who goes top? It is done through a bidding process, which takes into account numerous factors to determine who should appear where.  Once of these factors is the amount of you are bidding and you set this when you create a campaign.  So when the search query is entered Google look up all the advertisers who want to appear for that term, add in all the different variables they use to determine the quality of the advert and order the them accordingly.

How Much Do You Pay?

As mentioned above, the ads are displayed via a bidding process, and what you actually enter is your maximum bid.  This means that you may not necessarily have to pay that amount, but you won’t pay more.  The great benefit of Google AdWords over other forms of online marketing is that you only ever pay when someone clicks your advert.  This give you some assurance that you are only paying for people who are interested in your product or service (because they clicked on your advert)

Where Your Advert Can Appear

Aside from the main Google search page, you can also opt in to be included in their display network which is where they place adverts on participating websites.  This is a great way to increase your reach while still under Google AdWords Pay Per Click format.  You also have the option to create both text and image adverts to further try and engage with potential customers.

Overall Google Adwords is fairly simple to setup, but there are an array of advanced methods and techniques to increase your ROI (return on investment) which when implemented correctly can make the difference between a successful campaign and a unsuccessful one.