Google controls access to your customers
For almost any business trying to operate in the modern economy it is almost impossible not to pay Google. Google controls access to most customers when they search for products or services online, or when they are spending their leisure time online by watching free videos.
Google is utterly and completely dominant in search. World wide Google holds more than 92% share of searches and in South Africa it is even more extraordinarily dominant with more than 95% of all online searches being made via the Alphabet owned Google platform. There is no doubt that you have to go via Google to access potential customers at the moment when they signal that they have a product or service need.
You might think that you need not pay to show up in their results, but this is not a very successful strategy. Even if you succeed to make it high in the natural ‘organic’ search result rankings with fantastic SEO and inward links, ads feature more prominently. This is especially true for mobile searches.
When a cellphone user uses Google to search, the normal free results that come back may be most relevant to their search, but most of the precious visible screen real estate is taken up by paid-for advertising. The natural organic search results are mostly invisible until a user starts scrolling down. Most mobile users don’t bother and click on the first visible relevant link. A paid advertisement.
More and more space is being taken up by paid advertisements, and the number of available slots for normal search results are reducing. So even if a business features well in the normal unpaid-for search results, a paid for customer will still feature much more visibly.
Advertising using your own branded keyword costs money
Especially galling for businesses is the use of branded keywords. This is where businesses buy ads based on a registered company name or registered trademark. When buying ad space, Google allows any business to bid on a branded keyword, whether they own it or not (you can’t use the word Google in your own ads without special permission from Google, though...). This means that your competitors can bid on ‘your’ company name or trademark and display their own ads. So if you don’t buy ads based on your own brand, only your paid-up rivals will show up in the prime spots. You will be relegated to the also rans. Google is effectively forcing you to pay to use your own trademark.
Google says “Limiting the ability to advertise around brand names would restrict competition and make it harder for people searching for one brand of product to make informed decisions by comparing features and prices”. This should not be the case if the organic search results are relevant and representative of all offerings related to the search term.
As matters stand, Google controls your access to your customers and you have no choice but to pay to play, even if you legally own the keyword as a trademark.
Let Clickalytic help you get the most out of this grudge purchase.
Contact us now for an effective online campaign integrating your Google Ads, Website and Facebook pages and get the most out of your online marketing spend.