To boost sales it is not unusual for small businesses to paying for advertising through Google Adwords. Also known as pay-per-click (PPC), the technique gives your ads and subsequently your online business more visibility.

The problem for many business owners is they are not converting ads into sales and the marketing costs subsequently outweigh the ROI. But even eBay admitted in 2013 that their Adwords campaign was a failure.

So are paid searches worth the investment?

Why does your PPC campaign not work?

When a campaign does not work, it is usually because it is not being executed right. Non-SEO or PPC professionals that try Adwords for themselves often do not always understand the value of keywords and how to use them correctly.

It can take quite a bit of experimentation to find which keywords work best for you, so do not be too deterred if you don’t get immediate results. It typically take a month or two to identify effective words for your ad.

Keywords should be relevant to the page you are linking the ad to. Don’t send every advert back to your Homepage, direct the link back to the page that most strongly sells your product or service.

PPC tweaks

Another potential reason your PPC strategy is failing is because you have not set up your campaign properly. This is where a little technical know-how helps.

First of all, are your ads finding the right audience?

If you rely on local trade to survive, you should be geo-targeting your ad campaign to users searching in your area. If you are selling cakes and your ads are being clicked by web users in the United States or Brazil etc, you will not find cake munchers that are going to buy from you.

When executed correctly, pay-per-click advertising generates organic traffic. If you ads are not converting to sales, the chances are that it is your on-page sales copy needs revising to copy that sells.

What Google says about Adwords

In 2011, a Google study found that 89% of clicks generated through Adwords was not replaced by organic traffic when the PPC campaign was ditched. If nothing else, paid search attracts visitors to your site.

It is therefore useful for improving your page rank, but if your website is not converting, the bounce back rate could adversely affect your search engine standings.

Paid search does have its uses, but Adword campaigns do not work for every business. If you are going to try it by yourself, test it with a small budget for several months. Alternatively hire a professional with a proven track record.