At Google you can buy "Google Ads"—their name for pay-per-clickthrough ads displayed at Google whenever someone searches, as well as on other websites. This is how you get one of those little text ads in a tiny box at the right of the search results (or above them) for the keyword phrases you select. Such ads may be viable for you; they are worthwhile for many of our clients. Sign up and fill in the Google Ads sign up form, and they'll give you an estimate of what it will cost you per month for the ads you want.
Bid only what you can afford—and watch carefully the return on your advertising investment! (Called ROAS - Return on Ad Spend).
Those websites selling very expensive products or services with a lot of profit in them and low overhead (consultants, expensive software and so on) usually do well with this Google Ads service. If you're selling something small, common or inexpensive, or if you don't have a lot to spend on advertising, this pay-per-clickthrough service from Google probably will not work for you. We have one client who bid $25.00 per clickthrough—and it was very worthwhile for him. Another client cannot afford to pay more than 15 cents per clickthrough. There are minimum amounts for various keyword phrases. Be prepared to pay a LOT per click, to have first page placement for any keywords that are competitive.
Over time, Google keeps on reducing how much control you have over exact keyword phrases you can bid for, and what you can exclude.... It appears to be good for their bottom line to make exact keyword selection impossible for advertisers.
To get the most out of Google, get your website listed in the Google index AND pay for Google Ads—otherwise you are missing an excellent marketing opportunity.
Google also has a program called AdSense, where third party websites (like yours!) can sign up to display Google Ads on them, as part of Google's "Search Network." The sites displaying ads for Google get a piece of what the advertisers are charged by Google. To see what kind of ads Google would put on your site if you were to sign up with them, visit here: What is Google AdSense and fill in the form. Note: Google is somewhat selective about where they put their Google Ads. If your site is easy to navigate and has a lot of traffic going to it, Google Ads should allow you to join and become a publisher of their ads.
Your Google Ads Aren't Working?
If you don't bid enough for clicks, or don't set an adequate budget, then Google Ads won't work for you.
SpyFu can give you some great free advice on how much your competitors have been paying (historical information) for keywords in your industry. It's a great resource!
We can help you find out what is happening with your Google Ads and help you fix the problem, or make a determination that Google Ads just aren't going to be viable for you. Contact us for details and pricing.
With all that in mind, some things simply don't sell well through Google Ads, especially inexpensive items that are available offline in big supermarkets.
Article updated 2023