Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees, and in working hard running Google AdWords campaigns for so many industrial and scientific companies, I will admit to not really having appreciated the inexorable rise in the cost of this essential advertising medium. Of course, it was always this way: in the past when we all advertised in print magazines, the more successful a magazine became, the thicker it got and the less likely our ad was to be seen. Less for the same money. Over the past five years, this effect has been happening with Google AdWords, and today it’s rare that you’ll get a decent position on a traffic-generating search term for a bid of under £1 a click. As recently as a couple of years ago, I’d see 25 pence clicks quite frequently. But no longer.
That said, Google AdWords is still, without question, the best place to be spending your advertising budget, because as the cost of this medium has slowly risen, others (online and off) have fallen in effectiveness …but not cost. Even if you completely outsource your campaigns to organisations like ours, and end up paying a fixed rate of – typically – £1.50 a click, you’ll still get, for example, 500 visitors for a £750 advertising spend, and if you can convert them to enquiries at 10%, that’s 50 enquiries. Show me anywhere else you can get sales leads for industrial and scientific products at £15 a time, reliably, and I’ll be very interested.
So Google AdWords: a great value medium, but don’t think it’s a cheap one.