Does Google AdWords Complement an Inbound Marketing Strategy?

Joel Szymanski
Posted by Joel Szymanski on August 5, 2014

Google-Adword-inbound-strategyHere at Weidert Group, we decided to take advantage of a Google AdWords promotion we received in the mail. This particular deal included $150 free ad dollars if you spent $50. For the small investment, we decided to dedicate a campaign to do a mini case study of PPC and provide all of you with our findings from the particular campaign.

For those of you unfamiliar with Google AdWords, it’s a paid advertising platform where you target specific keywords, geographic locations, and offers that you then “compete” against others trying to display their ads in the same place. The competition is judged on a quality score from Google that gets ranked on relevancy of the ad and offer, how much money you bid on each keyword, and how well you have strategically targeted your keywords for relevancy and average number of impressions. 

Our Approach

Considering the fact that we had a limited budget to spend, we wanted to focus our campaign on a single offer. The “Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing” was the perfect top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) offer to begin educating visitors about inbound marketing.

By using two AdGroups (subsections of a campaign to more specifically target individuals based on keyword searches) we were able to write copy directly related to individuals’ searches. Here is an example of two of the ads we used with the relative list of keywords: 

ads-and-keywordsThe Results

Analytics are a prominent feature of the Google AdWords tool. Information such as the number of impressions, clicks, and cost are all provided in an easy-to-read table format that is also available for download. Some of the data is shown in a per-day format. For instance, you can see how many clicks you got per day on the provided graph atop the data table.

Setting down to the details… the campaign that we ran took place over a period of a month where just under $200 in ad dollars was spent. Let’s take a look at how this campaign turned out:

PPC Data
Conversion Rate = 0.74%
Number of Landing Page Visits = 136
Number of Contacts = 1

Organic Search Traffic Data
Conversion Rate = 30.38%
Number of Landing Page Visits = 79
Number of Contacts = 24

Conclusions and Closures

As you can see from the above statistics, the organic search traffic was by far a better candidate for creating lead conversions. Our SEO, keyword, and other strategies for this particular landing page and content piece paid off. Something to keep in mind while gawking over the numbers is that the effort used to create PPC ads differs greatly from the kind of effort needed to achieve high-quality organic search results. In a short-term situation, PPC costs a lot with very little effort, while organic growth in search requires effort over a long period of time.

This evidence doesn’t suggest that the only approach to marketing is inbound rather than outbound. In our particular case, being a B2B inbound marketing agency and not offering a niche product or service hinders the ability to target a shorter string of keywords more effectively. Companies selling a very specific product or service, selling as a B2C, or in a market with little competition could be more likely to see better results because of a larger availability of highly targeted, low competition, and specific keywords leads would be searching for. In the instance of searchers looking for marketing advice, there is a high amount of competition for keywords and a variety of keywords that can be searched to produce findings for the particular topic.

The moral of the story is this: know how and why you're spending your company’s marketing budget and the return on investment you’ll receive. Throwing ad dollars into the great wide open is a bad idea. Dip your toe in the water to get a feel for the temperature before diving in head-first. Find a strategy for your marketing efforts to decide which avenue is best for you. Sometimes a mix of inbound and outbound marketing is the best option, while other times a focus on one or the other will be most beneficial.

 The life of an inbound marketing lead. Nurture your leads at every stage in the lifecycle. Download your guide.


Topics: Search Engine Optimization

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