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Should You Use Organic or Paid Marketing?

Them: "do you do Google ads? As we are using another company to run our Google ads and its not working out."

Us: "well, what do you mean when you say it's not working out?"

Them: "we get a lot of clicks, but that's about it."

Us: "It sounds like it's working."

Them: "but we're spending a lot and not getting any sales..."

This is a conversation we have had many times when we are at trade shows such as the Gloucestershire Business Show or the Midlands variation.

Truth be told, there is a time and a place to use Google ads. When done right, it can see a massive return. Done poorly, it can be a huge cost with no significant financial benefit. It often feels that businesses see Google ads as the miracle marketing answer when, really, there's no such thing.

Adverts are designed to get people to click through to your website, with the advertiser charged every time there is a click. In Google's eyes, more clicks equals a better ad. There's nothing more to it. But this, however, is where the critical stuff comes in. If your website is a pile of 'quack', then the people clicking through will leave almost as quickly as they came in. For example, if someone comes in and sees a poor graphic, or that the layout of the website doesn't work, how can you expect them to trust anything you say?. In short, If they don't trust your website, they won't trust you with their money.

Another flaw with relying on Google ads is that Google ultimately wants you to keep spending. This shouldn't be a shock, as every business wants customers to spend. Now, to do that, Google will use relatable keyword searches to the website. So, for example, let's say it's a website selling apples. If someone searches, "how do I grow an apple tree", they aren't necessarily looking to buy apples, but looking for advice on growing their own. Well, Google will say "hey, you are looking for something related, how about this advert that will make us money if you click on it?'. This might be useful in steering the person toward a company selling apples if they can't grow their own, but it's still poorly targeted. In essence, Google wants as many people as possible to click on the ad, even when that means encouraging people who aren't looking for what you're selling.

Also, there's always the risk that some people may want to sabotage your ad campaign. You might be thinking: 'wait, that happens?'. Well, unfortunately, it does. Bots are used to click on ads in order to waste your spend. Apparently Google is pretty hot on blocking bots, and there are apps that claim they can block bots clicking on your ads, but none of this can stop a competitor from effortlessly wasting you money.

Now, even though, as we said earlier earlier, ads are designed to be clicked on -- people everywhere have made it a habit to skip them. It happens on all platforms from TV, YouTube to Spotify for one simple reason: people don't want to feel that someone is selling them something. The perfect customer may click past an ad and end up buying somewhere else just because your ad made them sceptical about you. At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust. They would rather buy from a company that has earnt the right to be on the top page of searches instead of one that bought their way there.

Google ads are a great way to be at the top, but we are more passionate about helping companies reach the top of search pages based on an organic approach. This organic approach is slower, but far more sustainable and rewarding. It involves: getting your SEO right and using Google's best practices, such as making sure your short and long form keywords are used naturally in copy; telling Google the priority of titles through Heading tags, alt text on images, page titles and descriptions; and making a site that people want to click on and spend time on. SEO takes time to do, and it takes time for Google to understand your copy and keywords on your website, but its ultimately a worthwhile exercise if you want to build a strong digital presence that lasts.

We know that we, as a marketing agency, are in a crowded market on Google. There are so many other creative agencies to choose from. However, within 3 months of launching, we were ranking highly for the keywords that we expect to be found by and, at the time of writing, we are still high on searches and expect to maintain ranking. We're even increasing our position for more search terms, like graphic design Gloucestershire. Oops, slipped a keyword in there -- but hey, its organic.

So when should Google ads be used? There are two instances. The first is when you know you have your website right and it is performing well and getting sales. All your user experience is refined and your brand guidelines are being used well. This is why you will see a lot of big name organisations using it, as they want to guarantee they are at the top of Google for everything that matters to them. The second time is for companies just starting out but who have decent web design and don't want to wait for Google to read their website and understand their SEO. Yes, you might still, in both instances, see a big spend on ads -- but you should also see some return if the ads are managed correctly.

So, do we do Google ads? Yes, but before we will run a Google ad, we will work with you to ensure your website works from an SEO perspective, a graphic design perspective, and also a user experience outlook. We want to give you the best opportunity to see a good return on investment.

Get in touch to see how we can help you get to the top of Google.

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