Top Google AdWords not off limits to start-ups: Survey

A new survey reveals the world’s most expensive Google AdWords, with “insurance”, “loans” and “mortgage” emerging as the top three categories, but experts say start-ups can get in on the action.


Google AdWords allows advertisers to bid on keywords in an auction-based marketplace on a cost-per-click basis. These keywords provide them with top ad placement against rivals.


Media analysts regard Google AdWords as the most dominant player in the $US6.3 billion global search advertising market, with 97% of Google’s revenue in the past year coming from advertising.


Net marketing firm Wordstream, based in the United States, used its own keyword database and the Google KeyWord tool to determine the top 10,000 most expensive English-language keywords over a 90-day period.


The survey ranked the keywords into 20 categories, with “insurance”, “loans” and “mortgage” coming out on top, followed by the categories for “attorney”, “credit” and “lawyer”.


Other categories in the top 20 include “donate”, “degree”, “hosting”, “claim”, “conference call”, “trading”, “software”, “gas/electricity” and “classes”.


Experts say many of the keywords associated with these categories could sell for tens of thousands of dollars. WordStream says depending on the keyword in competitive categories, Google can be making up to $US50 per click.


WordStream points out the categories at the top of the list are associated with companies that will be able to pay more in order to acquire new business.


It found the keyword categories with the highest volumes and costs were those where the customer had a “very high lifetime value”.


In other words, insurance companies, banks and legal firms can afford to pay the higher prices per click for their ability to generate lucrative leads or sales over a longer period, whether it be a 30-year mortgage or a three-year degree.


This presents a problem for many SMEs who find themselves in the same categories as these larger businesses. With all the generic keywords requiring thousands of dollars, many businesses are unable to afford them, resulting in little search traffic.


But local experts say businesses need to think a little differently.


“You’ve firstly got to know what you can afford to spend,” Reseo chief executive Chris Thomas says.


Thomas says businesses need to understand their ROI and then bid on appropriate keywords accordingly.


“As a business owner, you need to know what your sales are worth, and adjust bidding when keywords become too expensive. You want to make sure your conversions are good and giving you the best opportunity,” he says.


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