If you use Google AdWords to attract targeted prospects to your website, you may soon notice that things are changing. That’s because Google is tweaking not just its proprietary pay-per-click interface, but also the underlying bidding structure.
As with most changes to the tools we use every day, you can expect that there will be a learning curve and adjustment process while you get used to a few new things. But we think you’re going to like the flexibility that Google’s new paid advertising system brings.
To show you why, let’s look at what’s new…
How AdWords is Changing
While there are lots of little features and upgrades to get familiar with, the big change in Google’s AdWords program is that it’s no longer going to be based purely on keyword matches. Instead, Google is giving you the option to narrow in on customers not only by the terms they are looking for, but also more precise factors like age, device, etc.
Of course, that option was always there in some forms, but it essentially amounted to a simple “on/off” switch, where you had to either choose between having ads displayed or not, or setting up entirely new ad groups and campaigns to tweak for things like gender and device (in the cases where you even have those choices to begin with).
Now, these options will be integrated into every campaign and ad group, giving advertisers more control and mimicking some of the newer advantages brought about by social pay-per-click systems (like Facebook’s advertising program, for example).
Make the Most of AdWords Improvements
At first glance, it might seem as if Google is just giving you more options to select and more buttons. In reality, however, what they are offering to advertisers is precision and control. These options will undoubtedly be wasted on a lot of companies, who won’t bother changing default settings, but will provide an enormous competitive advantages to others.
To be more specific, the new Google AdWords bidding platform is going to provide a huge boost to businesses who either know who their customers are demographically, or are willing to do the work needed to research and refine their campaigns. In other words, there’s going to be less of a “set it and forget it” aspect to paid search, and bigger rewards for studying buyer profiles and offering very targeted offers.
The only downside to these changes is that they add to the complexity of pay-per-pricing click advertising, which can already be overwhelming to business owners and first-time online marketers. But I think most of us would agree that having to learn a little bit more about the best ways to use search marketing is okay if it lets us do a better job of finding and appealing to our most important customer groups.