What's wrong with this Google Adwords Ad?

By Rebekah E. Donaldson

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Today I was poking around regarding the keyword "b2b marketing packages." The first sponsored result returned is this ad on Google for Google Adwords:


Google Adwords

It reads,

Generate Leads on Google
For Only $5 To Start. Pay Only If
Your Advertising Works. Learn More!

"Pay Only If Your Advertising Works"

What caught my attention in this ad is the phrase "Pay Only If Your Advertising Works." It refers to how Adwords advertisers pay only if their ad is visible and compelling enough to prompt a click.

It doesn't mean that you pay only if your traffic converts.

Is a click that takes a prospect from a paid ad to the advertiser's website a case of advertising working? Google Adwords says yes. I say heck no.

Here's an illustration of how I think we differ:

Google Adwords

PPC -- how is it linked to business success?

To be fair, Google Analytics is helpful in tracking conversions. And that means you have a closed loop system for seeing if your advertising works... and throttling up or down accordingly.

Still, if you pay for ads that don't produce desired actions, that's a campaign that doesn't work.

I believe CMOs have lost a lot of sleep over this very point. For quite good reasons, they're not comfortable insisting to their CEOs that, because prospects clicked their ads, their advertising works. CEOs, they know, can't miss it when advertising really works.

Be aware, new Adwords campaigners

It's definitely not up to Adwords to ensure your site is engaging to those who click through. That, I would argue, is up to your B2B marketing consultant.

It definitely is up to Adwords to phrase ads so they do not foster false expectations.

When a prospective advertisers read, 'only if it works', they may well think that means "only if it converts." It doesn't.

Adwords conversion tracking more intelligent than CPM

I wonder whether it's useful to think of cost per million (CPM), pay per click (PPC), and SEO as points on a continuum -- like points in evolution. On this analogy, CPM is like a jellyfish; PPC is an amphibian; and SEO is a great ape.

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Creative Commons License

What's wrong with this Google Adwords Ad? by Rebekah E. Donaldson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.  

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