Whether through computers or cell phones, the accessibility of Internet-enabled devices in South Africa has increased over the last ten years. With the advent of BIS (Blackberry Internet Service) and the more recent Internet service for Nokia smartphones, Internet access is no longer restricted to ADSL or slow dial up connections.
Online advertising has become the preferred choice over print, TV and radio. Why? In addition to the designers or marketing agents you employ, print, television and radio advertising requires additional staff and expenses related to collation, packaging and distribution; script writer, video filming, venue and equipment hire, voice over artists and in the case of TV and radio advertising the final cost is the airtime for the ad.
Online advertising gives you the benefit of flighting your ad to the pubic immediately, with little to no extra cost. There are no delays with printing, distribution or waiting for a cost-effective hour to flight your ad on TV. You can also have your ad viewable to the public 24/7 with minimal effort from you.
Google is the most-utilised search engine in the world. This is how Google makes their money: through online advertising.
Making Google work for you
Businesses pay Google per click to advertise their business on the search results page. When anyone searches Google for a query, Google returns standard results of the most relevant websites. In addition to the search results, Google includes adverts at the top, bottom and on the right hand side of its search results pages. This space is reserved for advertisers using Google’s Adwords facility.
An Adwords campaign consists of one or a group of adverts utilising the same settings ie. demographics, geographic location (you can target specific suburbs or regions), daily budget and how your campaign should be run. Your advert also allows you to setup the maximum bid (how much you are willing to pay) per click, and a list of keywords that should link to your advert (you can list as many as you want).
When a campaign is first created, there are a few factors that influence the date that your advert will start showing. Some of this includes how you choose to pay, validity of your advert, and status (all ads are reviewed). Once you have created your ad, it takes three to six business days to be reviewed.
Each time your advert is clicked on, Google charges you. If you don’t get any clicks, you don’t pay. Google Adwords uses a bidding system when calculating how much you are charged for a click. Each advertiser selects their bid for a click. The Adwords system then uses this information, together with the relevance and quality of your ad to determine the weight of your bid. There are tools available to assist you in making the most out of your daily budget so that you can get the most number of clicks for your money. Research the costs in detail as some keywords cost a lot more and may be more relevant to your site – you need to then make the decision on which keywords you want to spend money on.
Once your ad is online, it’s not as simple as sitting back and waiting for potential clients to call you. Online advertising affords you an added insight into your clientele and allows you to optimise your advertising as often as you need to.
You can monitor the hits on your ad daily as well as create a custom report that could be emailed to you whenever you want. This allows you to change your daily budget so as to make the most out of your ad ie. if you get most of your visits to the site in the middle of the month, you may want to increase your budget during the rest of the month so that your site gets maximum exposure throughout the entire month; or you can increase your budget during the high visit period to take advantage of the added response rates.
You can also make changes to your ad campaign as often as you want to. Remember that if you change the ad wording, it will go through another review process. The great feature of Adwords is that you will never pay more than your budget each day. When your budget is used up for a day, your ad will stop showing until the next day.
Online advertising is possible on other sites as well. Facebook has a similar advertising set up which allows you to advertise on their pages. Your ad is shown based on the interest of the person logged in and is not based on searching. For us in South Africa, Google is the better online advertiser.
Google Adwords use is on the increase in South Africa. It is worth some time to investigate how best Adwords can assist you in obtaining more visitors to your site. Visit their site now (http://adwords.google.com) for more information or contact an Adwords service provider like Qubicle 5.