Does Search Engine Advertising Work?


By Jay Adamsson

The short answer is yes – search engine advertising does work.

But for any organization or business that has dipped their toes into the search engine advertising pond, you know that it can also be a big draw. Sure, it only costs a dollar or two to get someone to your website. But those dollars can add up, and have limited return if you aren’t careful.

So what does it take for successful advertising? It takes research, planning, action, and observation.

Get started with research. Discover your target market. Understand their mindset when they are looking for your product, service, or information. Find out what they actually type into the search engines. See what Google and other tools say about search frequency.

Move onto planning. Focus your research on what you think might work. Select the ones with the best anticipated cost/potential combination. Keep other ideas around for later – you’ll need them. Write ads that you think will be compelling for your targeted searchers.

Take action. Set up your campaigns. Set budgets and bid amounts. Enter your keywords and advertising text. Get things rolling.
Now, watch what happens. See what is working the way you thought it would. See what is not working.

And, be prepared for failure.

Unfortunately, this is where most ad campaigns stop. Rarely does a campaign work in your first iteration. Some aspects of it may work, but odds are most of what you anticipated does not happen as planned.

Don’t give up – this is normal. Success with search engine advertising does not have a start and end. It is a cycle. It’s time to start again.

Take what you observed. Note your success and failures. Then use that information to start the cycle again – more research, planning, action, and observation.

Each time around the cycle, you learn more, and things get better. But it takes time and effort. Search engine marketing is a complex beast. There are hundreds of options you can set and adjust, and hundreds of measures you can pull. It all takes time.

All I promised is that search engine advertising works. I never said it was easy.