I’ve been asked this question many times, but in truth it’s like asking how much it costs to buy a car.
The answer to which is: as much or as little as you like. Google doesn’t impose any minimum monthly spend and unsurprisingly, there is no maximum either.
However, just like having the smallest advert in the Yellow Pages meant that the chances of getting business from it were remote, so it is with Adwords. Although the similarity ends there because Yellow Pages advertising was, and still is, almost impossible to measure.
By contrast the return on investment from Adwords isn’t that difficult to calculate as long as you have appropriate tracking in place. These days you can even track phone calls made once visitors have reached your site. How clever is that?
Okay, if you don’t know what you are doing it is easy to waste a lot of money on Adwords, but that argument surely applies to most forms of marketing! I might be an expert at PPC (Pay Per Click) but I wouldn’t know where to begin with a PR campaign.
I could probably learn – there will be books, websites, webinars etc – but I neither have the time nor the inclination! So if PR was going to rapidly grow my business (and I could measure it), I’d be talking to my local PR guru.
The trick to achieving an escalating return from Adwords is to consistently refine keywords, ads and bids until you find the sweet spot. Then you change your thinking from ‘how little can I spend’ to ‘how much I can invest’, in the knowledge that every pound spent will pay you back manyfold.
The other vital ingredients in the Adwords mix are your web site and its content. The old adage of ‘leading a horse to water’ is highly appropriate here! Think of your web site as if it were a high street shop – imagine one with dirty windows, dim lighting, poor signage and a totally uninspiring display of stock. You wouldn’t bother going in would you?
Adwords can certainly bring prospects to your ‘door’, but don’t expect them to stay if they can’t see what they want!