Placing your adverts on the Google Networks

I am often asked what being a pay-per-click consultant means. The easiest way for me to explain is to say I help businesses achieve profitable clicks online.

I’m often greeted with an array of responses when I explain what pay-per-click means: “Oh, that won’t ever take off” or “That doesn’t really work, does it? I never click on adverts” are but a few of the responses I’ve become accustomed to hearing.

When people say they don’t click on adverts, I simply ask: “How do you know whether you’re clicking on adverts or not?”

“I know where the adverts are: they’re the ones at the right-hand side of the Google search pages” would be a typical response.

Yes, these are adverts; generally speaking, these are the worst performing adverts. There are a great many places to advertise across the internet with much better performance – these will be the focus for the remainder of this article.


Google Search – Top vs. Right-Hand SidePPC-ads-on-Google-Search

The adverts on the right-hand side of the Google search results usually have very expensive clicks as they are on the search engine. These adverts are competing with the top three search results; naturally, these get more attention, and therefore more clicks.

As an example, the average click-through rate of the fourth position might be 0.4%, whereas the average click-through rate of the first position (assuming all the extensions are in place) may be 8.5%. The first position has a click-through rate around 20 times better than number four, despite the fact that the adverts sit about a centimetre away just to the right-hand side of the page.

What many people don’t realise is the top three listings on a competitive Google search are usually highly optimised adverts, and are generally the best performing adverts you can find – they’re almost always the most expensive adverts, too.


So AdWords IS just the adverts on the search engine?

No. We’re all familiar with the Google search engine. Using the AdWords interface, 80% of advertisers utilise and optimise for the search engine; however, the search engine only makes up around 20% of the inventory or places you can show adverts.

Advertising on the Search Network is expensive – everyone’s trying to advertise there. Without a doubt, it is a great place to get noticed; however, because it is in such high demand, it is extremely (1)

The Google Shopping Network is built into the search engine, and results usually appear at the top of the page when relevant. These adverts are difficult to create – it’s almost like speaking a new language. It operates in a completely different way, requiring data feed and automation knowledge to set up properly; as a result of this, advertisers simply don’t do it.


Google Display Network

It is commonly thought that the search engine is the only place to advertise on; the Google Display Network is an extremely lucrative option, too. Like Shopping, the Display Network is similar to speaking a different language.

An analogy I like to use is to look at Google’s search engine like a game of football: pretty much everyone knows how to play it to some degree and the world is filled with people aspiring to play it professionally.

When moving onto the Display Network, it’s like a footballer turning up for a rugby match and wanting to compete against them without knowing the rules of the game. By trying to kick the ball, the rules will immediately be broken; the footballer will get an offside warning while being tackled from every angle, resulting in injury through ignorance of the rules. Ultimately, the footballer will walk away thinking there is no way they will play a game of rugby again.

displayThis happens in the Display Network all the time: it provides advertisers with 80% of the Google space but only 20% of the advertisers know how to use it profitably. It’s the other way round for the Google search engine: the search engine has 20% of the space but 80% of all advertisers are focusing on that space.

When put like that, anyone can see it’s ridiculous to focus efforts on the search engine alone. By learning how to use it, you can compete against 20% of advertisers on Google with 80% of the space.

The Display Network can provide you with very cheap clicks. You can target people based on who they are, what they do, their interests, their location – not just by what they’re searching for. You are also able to target the two to three million websites in the network, opening up a whole new audience.

Sometimes people tell me they don’t click on adverts; however, when visiting a Display Network site and a relevant advert (particularly a remarketing campaign) is displayed, it will get clicked on. A person might find themselves browsing, clicking adverts, hopping between websites – by clicking on your adverts through another website, people will find themselves reading your content, often without even realising it.


The Video Network (AKA: YouTube)

youtube-advertising-social-media-top-teamYouTube and the Video Network is growing at an incredible rate: with 300 hours of video uploaded per minute, this is an extremely lucrative (and cheap) platform to monetise on. If you’re trying to generate leads and have yet to try video adverts, I highly recommend you try it out. It is currently the world’s second largest search engine based on queries-per-minute, only beaten by

There are a number of ways to advertise on YouTube:

  • In-Display: placing your video in the search results for clicks through to the watch pages, with the aim of getting your video more views. This is great for driving information and traffic to your website using links and annotations.
  • In-Stream: Placing your video advert in front of another video. This allows the user to skip the advert after five seconds (in which case it’s free); if interested, the user can go on to watch your video – again, through links and annotations, it drives traffic to your website.
  • YouTube, as a website, is also on the Display Network: it displays banners and HTML5 adverts like any other Display Network website.

Like the Google Display Network, YouTube is greatly overlooked. The advertising space is vast, and is a very cheap to place an advert.


One Last Thing…

With online advertising, there is usually a common divide between those that are in favour of SEO or pay-per-click. Comparing the two is like comparing a carrot to a full roast dinner: although the carrots are included, there is a lot more to be considering in terms of inventory and space.

For those of you that say “I never click on adverts”: I don’t believe you. I believe there are people that actively avoid them; however, I believe that when someone sees a relevant advert to them, they will click on it as it is in their interest to.

Pay-per-click offers numerous lucrative platforms to advertise on, and will be hugely successful for a long time to come.