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Is it worth advertising on Google?

AdWords or search engine optimisation (SEO) – is it necessary to choose one over the other?

No, because you need both. However SEO requires a lot of time and effort, while AdWords gets faster results. Search engine optimisation is important and somewhat more sustainable than AdWords, but it takes a few months to have an effect for newer websites. Start-up companies that cannot wait until potential customers find their website usually achieve more immediate results with AdWords, provided the campaign is properly set up and managed.

Can I set up an AdWords campaign and let it run by itself?

No, in that case you're better off not starting in the first place. For an AdWords campaign to be successful, it must initially be checked and adjusted every day. Later on once a week may suffice depending on the scope of the campaign. AdWords software is incredibly extensive and it takes time to become familiar with all the capabilities and navigate the settings. The AdWords tool is like a cockpit with thousands of buttons, levers and dials. With the correct settings your campaign will take off and fly, but it can just as easily crash if an important lever is forgotten. In other words, high costs and no revenue.

Do I need a specialist to use AdWords?

Not necessarily. I recommend start-ups begin by reading up on the subject and attend one of the free Google workshops. Then to gain some experience, first create a campaign with a small, limited budget. If you are pressed for time, it's a good idea to attend a half-day workshop with an AdWords professional who will help you set up a campaign and show you the program's most important features. I wouldn't recommend completely outsourcing AdWords, particularly in the case of start-ups. In my opinion, it's very important to understand what it takes to manage everything in AdWords and what uncertainties to expect. Business owners who don't familiarise themselves with AdWords at the beginning and have no real understanding of how the system works might end up surprised by the high costs and start doubting the provider.

How do I ensure that my competitors do not click my whole AdWords budget away?

From my own experience, I know that AdWords campaign managers can get quite suspicious. Why do so many people click on the ad, but few convert (i.e. order or fill out a contact form)? Google reimburses the costs of invalid clicks. Google defines invalid clicks as "not resulting from genuine user interest. This covers intentionally fraudulent traffic as well as accidental clicks and other mechanically generated traffic." Unfortunately you cannot check where the clicks are coming from and whether Google really detects and reimburses all invalid clicks. Provided the campaign is still profitable, you just have to live with it.

My colleague tells me that he only pays a few cents per click, but I pay up to CHF 4 for a single click. Surely that can't be right?

If you use very generic terms for which there are many competitors, a click may cost CHF 4 or even more. For example, if you have an accounting firm and use the keyword "accounting" for the whole of Switzerland, it will be very expensive to gain a top ad space. In addition, a lot of people will click on the ad who are not even looking for an accountant, but rather want to find out something about accounting in general, or software, etc. However, if you use "accounting Lenzburg", the click is much cheaper. What's also important is that your website content is descriptive and provides the information that they are looking for in connection with "accounting Lenzburg".

I could go on and on, because AdWords is incredibly extensive. Yet – if handled properly – it's a very effective way to attract the right people to your website. Give it a go! If you have any questions I can help you find the right contacts.

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