Acquiring Traffic

The Google Adwords Question for Franchises...Do I Have To?

Eli Robinson
Saturday, October 11 2014

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Google absolutely dominates the search engine space these days.

comScore search engine share report

Whether it’s loading Google.com, built in search bars in other browsers, Google Chrome, Google’s Android Operating system, or seemingly every other space in the world, Google is there waiting to answer everyone’s question about everything.

And to accompany this ubiquitous search engine, they have the number one online advertising platform in the world. In 2013 alone, Google made $59.8 Billion in revenue. The vast majority of which came from their advertising products.


So what is AdWords?

Essentially, AdWords is their advertising platform that displays ads to accompany Google’s organic search results.

They look something like this:

Google SERP and ads for franchise keyword


In a different post, well get into how to use AdWords and all the different nuances associated with managing a successful AdWords strategy. But for now, let’s dig into the pros and cons of using AdWords.

Pros

  • Seemingly infinite scale – Because Google is found in every nook and cranny of the online world, they have the ability to reach basically everyone. So if you have the desire to reach more and more people, they can almost certainly help you do it.
  • Control of Your Ad Spend – Google allows you to adjust your bids and budgets as often as you’d like. If one day, you don’t think that your franchise is particularly attractive, you can turn it down or off. On the other hand, if your CEO says, “I want 100 new franchisees in the next 3 months,” you can turn everything up.
  • Very nuanced targeting – While other advertisers may be able to let you target certain geographies (countries, states, etc.) and maybe some demographics, they can’t give you keyword level targeting. If you think of lead generation as a search for intent, you can’t imagine too many better ways to target than having the potential franchisee provide you with their intentions!

Cons

  • It’s expensive – Boy is Google ever expensive. In some cases, you could be paying well over $1 for a single click! In a world driven by revenues and costs, Google is likely to be one of the highest costs. Google’s good at what they do, and they know it. So if you want to play the Google game, the price is steep.
  • The dreaded “Google Algorithm” – Arguably the most famous algorithm in the world, how Google decides which ads to display for different search terms is anyone’s best guess. Some people will tell you that no humans even actually know how it works. It’s just a machine. And like most good algorithms, it changes at the drop of a hat and without any notice. One day, everything seems to be working fine. The next day, Armageddon. (Ok, that’s a little over-stated, but you get what I mean.)
  • No Customer Service from Self-Serve Advertising – There’s no substitute for the human touch. The vast majority of money spent on AdWords is done via Google’s self-service platform i.e. by entering a User Name, Password, and Credit Card, you’re ready to go. This can work in your favor if you’re super tech savvy, but it can also be very uneasy if you’re used to someone helping manage your campaign for you.

So that begs the ultimate question referenced in the title of the post, “Do I Have To?”

Of course the answer is no, but it may feel that way some times.

If you’re ready to go for it, do it!

If you’re not quite there yet, check out search providers like Bing and Yahoo! if the cost is too high. Or maybe you want to stick with email and display while you get you bone up on your tech skills.

Either way, good luck!

The best news is we’re here for you. If you have a question about AdWords, shoot us a question here.