The internet of things has made advertising more accessible to businesses of all growth phases and sizes. It has also complicated the advertising landscape. Whether you are used to “business as usual” when it comes to purchasing ad space on traditional media outlets or you have just started your E-commerce business, the advertising landscape still functions as an auction model. And that’s good news! 

Never forget that the advertising platforms are in the business of giving their audience what they want. And advertisers are not the target audience. Consumers have not only become habituated to a personalized internet experience. They expect it. They search the internet for what they want to see. They close the pop-ups, leave the websites, and block content from things they don’t want to see. If Google doesn’t serve up exactly what people are looking for, then Google is not doing its job.

Yes, you need google and you need to consider it in your marketing strategy. In a big way. Keywords are important in your Google Ad strategy but so is ad placement. And let’s not stop at picking the most logical keywords for your products and services. We can do better than that. You need to think like a bidder at an auction. Your goal is to get exactly what you want (more sales) without losing your shirt (cost efficiency).

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Consider this scenario. You are selling popsicles. People must purchase popsicles from your physical location. You don’t ship, deliver, or take online orders. Your business name is Popsicles-a-go-go. And your location is Anchorage, Alaska. Let’s ignore the fact that the business model may not be on the track to success for obvious reasons. Our goal is to sell popsicles. The goal is not to convince people to purchase a popsicle in Alaska. Let that sink it for a second.

Now, let’s talk about the Google strategy for Popsicles-a-go-go in Alaska. First, establish the Google My Business Profile needs. This is the FREE real estate Google gives you in searches and on its maps. You want to show up when anyone searches for “Popsicles-a-go-go” on Google. Having your GMB profile updated and full of vital information consumers want will ensure you show up in searches in Google Maps and on Google.

Next, let’s make sure Popsicles-a-go-go show up at the top of the search results too! Each website for PGG can show up in the search results. This means that Popsicles a-go-go needs its own website, Facebook page, Instagram, and any other social media that fits. For this business, I would suggest Twitter over LinkedIn. These sites alone could take up the “above the scroll” results for a Google search. 

Next, you need to keep these pages up to date. Does it matter that no one likes your posts? Yes, but for the sake of Google searches, no. Does it matter that PGG only has 80 followers on Instagram? Yes, but for the sake of Google searches, no. So, keep posting!! We’ll get to social in another blog, but for the sake of Google relevance, keep posting!

There are many other things to go over for showing up organically, but this blog is about advertising (i.e. paying for eyeballs). PGG wants to PAY to show up for people looking for popsicles in Alaska. PGG also wants to be considered for anyone looking for DESSERT or a SWEET TREAT in Alaska. Here’s where it gets interesting…and why I’m talking about organic tactics in a paid search blog.

Let’s go back to the fact that Google is in the business of giving the people what they WANT. Not what you want or even what you are willing to pay for. For example, if PGG wants to target people who also buy gym memberships by bidding on keywords related to gym memberships, they will pay more. A lot more. And maybe not the expected results. PGG internet content is all about popsicles. Let’s think like a computer here. Is the computer going to show All Planet Fitness regular, Miss Sculpted-for-life-with-abs-of-steel Popsicles?? Even if Popsicles-a-go-go wants to pay $50 per click for All Planet Fitness regular, Miss Sculpted-for-life-with-abs-of-steel to click on the ad? Now, is the computer going to show All Planet Fitness regular, Miss Sculpted-for-life-with-abs-of-steel low calorie, low fat food options? If All Planet Fitness regular, Miss-Sculpted-for-life-with-abs-of-steel looks at content that fits with low calorie, low food options, then Google might find the connection here.  But Popsicles-a-go-go will need to close that loop with content on their website related to popsicles being a low calorie food. Then it makes sense for Popsicles-a-go-go to bid on “low calorie dessert” keywords. And when it makes sense to bid on a keyword, then you get the results you want without having to pay $50 per click. 

Guess who else is bidding on “low calorie dessert”? The company named Low Calorie Dessert with the url Since Google Ads is an auction, both businesses are bidding to get to the top of the search results, and Google does its job by showing Mis Sculpted-for-life-with-abs-of-steel exactly what she wants to see, who do you think Google will push to the top of the search results for “low calorie dessert in Anchorage”? Popsicles-a-go-go can certainly land at the top but they will have to pay more to beat Low Calorie Dessert. Low Calorie Dessert can expect a very cheap cost per click and probably the number two spot without a paid ad. Popsicles-a-go-go, on the other hand, will have to work harder (ahem, pay more) to make it “above the scroll.”

As you plan marketing strategy, think like a bidder at an auction. When the digital marketer calls you up promising fast results to get to the top of searches and drive more sales, ask them how they plan to do this. You don’t have to run your own Google ad campaigns but you do need to know how your campaigns are working, what questions to ask, and how to measure success. You wouldn’t send someone to bid on your behalf in an auction with complete blind trust. You want to know how much you are bidding on the goods, is it worth it to you, is there another way to get what you want without being the highest bidder.