Remember back when Google Adwords was cool? Me neither. Google has always been awesome at search, but Adwords only became popular by association with Google search. The truth is, there are numerous other ways to advertise your business that are more cost-effective than Adwords.
Social advertising is all the rage these days. Information on social networks is better than Adwords because social is a better indicator of genuine interest.
Google Adwords tries to guess which ads are most relevant to your search based on a variety of stats. But they don’t tell you what those stats are, so you just have to trust the Google machine.
On the other hand, social advertising is based on what people have actually shared. If you share a lot of links about disco, there is a good chance that you have a genuine interest in that music for some reason. This is obviously better than someone who searches for the term “disco” a few times out of curiosity, but has no real interest in the subject.
Therein lies the problem. Google stinks at social. Plus, most of the good social networks don’t use Adwords. The result? An Adwords campaign is unlikely to get in front of an audience that has a genuine interest in your product.
It isn’t cheaper
Another reason people have lost interest in Adwords is because it isn’t any cheaper than other forms of advertising. It is true that Adwords only charges when someone clicks your ad. But the cost of one click is usually so high that the total budget required to get a visitor is about the same as regular banner advertising.
The cause of this problem is the nature of how Adwords works. It is literally an auction for keywords, so the price of good keywords always moves gradually upward. By buying a keyword, you are pushing up the price of your own keywords. That seems counterproductive if you ask me.
By choosing high-quality websites to post banner ads, you can achieve the same results at the same or even lower total cost.
Content is still the king
The best way to advertise is still to just write great content. High quality content will get you into Google and be shared on social media. You get the best of both worlds. But what if you run an e-commerce site or some other business without much content? There is a solution for that too.
The cool kids have given it a fancy name: native advertising. But basically this just means you pay someone to post great content on their own site, then make sure they mention your business in the article. When that awesome content appears in search engines and goes viral on social media, your link will go along for the ride.
Native advertising has the added benefit of creating more backlinks to your site. This makes it a nice way to improve ranking for certain keywords. It is also immune to ad-blocking software. When people with Adblock visit that blog post, the ads in the sidebar never appear. But your link will still be tucked inside the content, driving targeted traffic to your site.
The bottom line is that Google Adwords is overrated, and wise marketers don’t care about it. There are better ways to get targeted traffic, and those alternatives are usually cheaper.