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Using Google Adwords for Market Research

Using Google Adwords for Market Research

When is a failure not a failure? When it's market research. If you are conducting a marketing campaign of some description and it doesn't generate the results you are expecting then to most people this would be considered a failure.

This is why large companies often conduct trials, focus groups or some other type of market research. Large companies what to have small failures and large successes. This type of research can be an expensive process that requires specialized skills but there is an alternative - Google Adwords.

Google Adwords is a popular advertising medium that displays ads based on what someone enters in to the Google search engine. These ads are contextually aware. That means if you are searching for 'milk chocolate' you will likely see ads for companies selling something milk chocolate related. Adwords are a very effective way to reach your target audience - assuming you know what search terms your audience is likely to enter.

The best thing about Google Adwords is how easy it is to measure return on investment. It's the ability to measure return on investment that allows you to use Google Adwords for market research, here's how: run a Google Adwords campaign and measure its success. Keywords that don't perform have just told you something very important about your market.

Those Adwords that failed told you either you have the wrong keywords for your market or your pitch wasn't appealing to your market. These two things alone will allow you to fine tune your marketing. You have just had a small failure that will lead to a more successful approach in the future.

Here is a real world example:

I have helped a number of companies in the Records Information Management industry. To the participants in that industry the term 'document destruction' is synonymous with 'shredding'. The reality of search is a little different. People searching for 'shredding' do not immediately make the association with 'document destruction'. By running various Google Adwords campaigns it is possible to MEASURE the difference in perception. This is market research.

Google Adwords uses a sophisticated matching system to match ads with keywords entered. To help advertisers control this matching process Google Adwords provides three matching types: broad, phrase and exact.

  • Broad: matches keywords in any order - searching for milk chocolate or chocolate milk will return ads for companies that have either 'milk chocolate' or 'chocolate milk' as a keyword.
  • Phrase: matches keywords in a specific order - searching 'cold chocolate milk' or 'chocolate cows milk' will return ads for companies that have 'chocolate milk' as a keyword but not 'milk chocolate'.
  • Exact: matches keywords exactly - searching for 'chocolate cows milk' will not return ads for companies that have 'chocolate milk'. Only companies that have 'chocolate cows milk' will have their ads displayed.

By using matching variations it is possible to determine certain aspects about your market. Do searches look for my term exactly or do they modify it in some way? By cross-referencing searches that match with actually visits to your site you can determine what the keywords are that are actually being used.

Google Adwords can also give you a sense of how big your market is. Google Adwords provides statistics on the number of times your ad was displayed, the number of times it was clicked and some other helpful information. In mast cases we want the number of clicks as a ratio of how many people saw the ad to be as high as possible.

It doesn't always happen that way though. In some cases there are a lot of impressions for your ad but few clicks. Don't be disheartened. You can always fix your ad but you can't always find a keyword that will generate a lot of impressions. You can use the number of impressions as a gauge of the size of your market for that particular keyword. This isn't an exact science but the price is right!

With Google Adwords you do not pay for impressions, you only pay for ads that receive clicks. Ads that don’t generate a lot of clicks are a very inexpensive way for you to determine what is popular with searchers. You can then refine your product and marketing to suit their tastes. I'm not advocating you purposely create poor performing ads, quite the contrary.

What I'm suggesting is that you learn from what isn't working in order to improve your business. Google Adwords provides almost instant feedback on what your market is thinking.

I have intentionally left out any discussion on how the amount you are prepared to pay will contribute to the success of your Google Adwords campaign. I will discuss pricing strategy in a future article. If you're current Google Adwords campaign is producing lemons then I suggest making some lemonade.

I concentrate on optimizing for the genuine pain your product or service addresses. By using search engine optimization to address the problems your product or service solves then you can rest assured that your visitors will convert as you would like them to.

About the Author

Visit my site to learn why I should be your Google Adwords Consultant.


Web Marketing

Search Engine Optimization, SEO Search Engine Optimization
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Affiliate Marketing Affiliate Marketing
Link Popularity Link Popularity
Web Traffic Analysis, Web Stats Traffic Analysis
Google AdSense Google AdSense
Google AdWords, PPC Google AdWords
Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC Pay-Per-Click Advertising

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