40% of consumers don’t notice Google AdWords are paid for

Some people do not see the value in using Google AdWords for advertising their business online. A recent study shows that many people are completely unaware of the difference between paid (AdWords) and organic search listings, and a significant number of people regularly click on the adverts.

In this article, we will take a look into how Google AdWords is far more effective than you might think.

The AdWords study involved asking people to click on a link from the first page of results for a search on “car insurance” on Google.  Of the people who completed the test 81% of them clicked on AdWords listings, and half of these people didn’t realise that they were paid adverts.  They believed that these were the most relevant links for their search.  To demonstrate this, the picture below shows the page which people in the test were presented with.  The coloured areas show where people were looking, using eye tracking techniques.  The red area shows where most people’s attention was drawn.

Heatmap Picture

This shows that the majority of people’s attention was focused on the adverts at the top of the page, suggesting that these are a better position than the top organic positions.  When looking at the adverts on Google they do appear more prominent than the organic results because of the yellow shading behind them.  The shading and the heading saying ‘Ads related to…’ are intended to highlight the adverts, but the heading is easily missed and the shading could mean anything.  Some people thought that these links were  the most relevant to the term searched.

Google is by far the biggest and most popular search engine in the UK and the quickest way to get up to the top page is to use AdWords.  Not only does it allow for an easier route to the top of the search results it also provides growing companies with the opportunity to compete with larger companies.  In addition to creating direct sales and enquiries, Google AdWords is a very effective brand building tool.

The key with AdWords is to create a campaign that provides return on investment – we are all happy to spend money on advertising IF it brings a good return in sales.  To do this, you need to be selling the right product or service at the right price, paying an affordable AdWords click cost and be running a well setup and maintained AdWords campaign.

Have you had a bad experience with AdWords?

Whilst the concept of setting up a Google AdWords campaign may seem simple, the difficulty arises when trying to optimise the campaign to actually make it worthwhile and profitable.  We have seen numerous campaigns that companies have brought to us where 80-90% of the budget was misspent!  Certainly, there are situations where AdWords is unlikely to prove profitable, but it depends on the product/service you are providing and the levels of demand and competition within the market in which you are operating.

For example, say that you are selling a product which makes £2.00 profit per item.  If your campaign is costing you an average of £0.10 per click and it takes around 25 clicks before getting a sale, then you are spending £2.50 to make £2.00 – a significant short-term loss.  Clearly, you need to consider what your profit margins are and how much you can justify spending monthly on a campaign.  Furthermore ensuring that it is correctly optimised to focus on the specific market that you are targeting, and not showing your advert to people who are not good prospects.

One of the biggest aspects of creating a Google AdWords campaign is time.  This is because not only is time required to research which keywords are appropriate and setup the campaign, but it also takes time after the campaign is set up to monitor it and make adjustments to ensure the campaign is running at its most efficient.  So if you have had a bad experience with a Google AdWords that proved to be ineffective, then you should consider having your campaign reviewed by someone with experience of  handling many AdWords campaigns as there are numerous pitfalls that you might have fallen into.

If you have any questions about Google AdWords, or need help from a professional to set up your own campaign or optimise an existing one then please contact me on [email protected]

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Karen King
I have been working in website promotion for the last 15 years and am now a Website Marketer at web2market. I am a qualified Google Adwords professional and can help advise on getting the most out of your digital campaigns. My experience includes both sponsored and unsponsored website marketing, Google Maps and link building.