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Google is doing some pretty serious promoting at the moment. This week alone I’ve received two letters in the mail, an email offer, and a variety of online offers for $100 in free advertising.
What could be better than that?
Have you ever tried Google AdWords? With AdWords, you can set up an account, put in your credit card, and choose the keywords you would like to advertise under. Then any time a potential client heads to Google and types in your keywords, your ad will come up in the sponsored section of Google. The more you are willing to pay, the higher you’ll be placed.
In theory, it’s a great form of advertising. You can be up and running, and have the top listing in under 15 minutes.
But is it the right way to advertise your business? That depends.
1. Are people searching for your specialty online on a regular basis?
While it may seem like people search online for everything, the truth is you have to know before you assume.
Visit the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and type in your niche. What are the stats for your keywords? For example, when I typed in “boudoir photography”, over 90,500 people searched for that term this past month, and 720 people searched for “boudoir photography denver”. That tells me that there is a lot of interest in boudoir photography, and quite a bit of searching for that term right here in my local community.
2. Will they click the sponsored links?
Google AdWords is powerful because it achieves results. While you can’t put up a campaign and expect clients to start flowing in your front door, I have had success with it.
I’ve read a ton of reviews on Google AdWords. I know pricing is high because a lot of people use it. So you may pay anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars for the keywords you choose to sponsor.
But you can do a lot of testing too. Maybe you only want to spend $10 a day to start. Maybe you choose 3 keywords to focus on. Maybe you play with the context of the ad to see what results you can achieve.
Statistics show that sponsored links are clicked on less than natural results. Yet if one click brings you one new client that spends hundreds of dollars with you, it may be well worth the risk.
3. How much money do you have to spend?
With Google AdWords, you choose how much you want to spend. Let’s say you start wit
h $100. You can choose how much to spend each day – $10 a day for example.
When you start a campaign, the key to success with AdWords is watching your stats and knowing what is happening. Lots of clicks and no action can be very expensive in a short amount of time.
4. Is your website a good converter from visitors, to prospects, to customers?
How much success do you currently have with your website? Do people call you regularly raving about your online presence?
The better your site is at converting, the better chance you have at success with AdWords. Make sure you have everything in place before you drive more traffic.
While AdWords may not be the best for every photographer, it can be lucrative, especially in well-defined niches. While wedding photography is highly competitive, items like boudoir may offer you more opportunity. AdWords is simply another way of marketing – another marketing tool. If you are going to use it, dedicate time to learning how to do it the right way, and use it for a long enough period of time to judge whether it’s the right tool for you.