I have been using the same mobile phone for the past 5 years. Needless to say, its time I switch to a new phone, this one will not let me even click pictures anymore. So, I went to an e-commerce website. Browsed and browsed for hours. Almost reached a decision and then got confused among a couple of models. I then decided that I can decide between the two later, and closed the browser. That was two days ago and every time I have opened my browser after that, Google has bombarded me with advertisements of smartphones; especially those two models. Lucrative offers to buy them from different websites, offers of new phones in a similar price range, and advertisements that look like a humble reminder of my purchase from the same e-commerce website. As of five minutes before writing this article, I have ordered a new phone.
That is the power of Google AdWords. But what is it, and why should you care about it? I will answer the second part before the first. It's simple because it uses your data to advertise to you and there is a good probability that, directly or indirectly, you might end up using it for your own business or of your employer.
But what is “Ads by Google”?Seen it somewhere? This is Google AdWords. AdWords is the online advertising service which Google has developed for organisations and individuals to advertise on its various platforms. It is the largest source of revenues for Google :O. It is a paid service where you pay Google to put up your advertisements on its different platforms like its iconic search engine, YouTube and partner websites. Google uses both your cookie data and the search keywords of a user to rightly place the add for every individual. That’s a lot of Data Analytics in the background. This makes AdWords a very attractive advertisement option for organisations as AdWords makes it very easy for them to reach their target customers. They can decide on the geography, search history context, current search results and even select IP addresses to correctly place their advertisements to potential customers.
First the basics, there are four different type of advertisements:
- Search Ads: Go ahead and google “smartphones”. Even before the search results, you will have offers from e-commerce websites to buy smartphones from them. These are search adds. Advertisers pay for particular keywords on which the advertisements show up. They look like standard search results as well with restriction over the link length, heading and content.
- Display Ads: Be it the blog of your favourite chef or an online gaming site, banners of display advertisements about almost everything under the sun show up from Google there. These are the display ads. They use similar data analytics as other advertisement types and the websites on which you see them are partner sites.
- Video Ads: “The video will play in 5 seconds”. This statement has annoyed every one of us at some point. But sometimes the advertisement is even more interesting than the video which we were about to watch. These are the Video Ads.
- Apps Ads: Since 2010, Google has moved to its “Mobile First” strategy. And mobile apps have been a major player in the same. Google lets you promote your apps (both Android and iOS) to potential customers on all its platforms.
Google provides access to its powerful analytics framework so that advertisers can know how their advertisements are performing and even tweak them to get a perfect match to their customers. But the best part is the massive control it gives over budget. For small organisations, it's rather tough to spend a large sum of money on advertisements and it's even bigger a risk when you do not know how big an audience you are looking for. Google provides very flexible campaign options (the advertisements are known as campaigns) with prices based on the type of add and further on nitty-gritty like the keywords requested. Thus, if a campaign works well, go ahead and get a top up to increase the reach. If it’s not going well, try analytics. Still not satisfied? Cancel it at no additional costs.
It’s been long since AdWords have been changing the ways of doing business. As a future manager, entrepreneur, business owner, and a customer you might want to know and explore such possibilities. Oh yes, an AdWords certification also exists. You might want to add it to your resume.