You don’t, but done right, it works for most people, despite what you may have heard.

Here’s the thing . . . it doesn’t cost much to find out.

Here’s the other thing . . . even if AdWords won’t work in your particular situation, you will inevitably find out things about your market and your marketing that you didn’t know, and you can use that knowledge to improve the marketing strategies and tactics that do work for you.

“Done right”, as I said above, is the key.

It’s real easy to spend and waste a lot of money very quickly with an AdWords campaign that isn’t smartly conceived and managed.

AdWords is so powerful, and there are so many subtleties, and its reach is so enormous, that you need to set things up properly. Otherwise you can generate huge numbers of expensive clicks very quickly from people who aren’t going to call for a consult, or sign up, or do whatever it is that you want them to do.

On the other hand, you may be able to buy clicks so cheaply, that convert so well, that you can build a very lucrative business on one little AdWords campaign.

One project we worked on some time back generated $8.12 in product sales, right off the website, for every $1.00 spent on AdWords clicks. And that wasn’t some flash-in-the-pan event—it was over the course of an entire year.

Pretty nice ROI, right? Spend a dollar, get back eight?

(The $8.12 was sales, not profits, and there was a “cost of goods”, just like you have– but spend a minute or two thinking about what numbers like that could mean for your business.)

But let’s say that it won’t work that way in your market. Your market is a big, mature one, and clicks are expensive. Even the so-called “long-tail” keywords are expensive.

Even in that situation, someone who really knows AdWords can almost certainly find some niches where $100 worth of AdWords spend can generate $150 in profits. Or $125. Or $250. Or a lot more.

Even if you can only get $125 in profits for $100 in click costs, guess what? That’s a pretty nice return on investment. If it’s a big market, and you can spend $1000 a day and make an extra $250 profit per day, that’s $7,500 a month. $90,000 a year in extra business is not chicken feed.

We have an appraiser client who closes an appraisal at an average of $350, for every $120 he spends on clicks. Since he sells a service, not a product, most of the $230 left over is profit.

And we haven’t even started optimizing his account by, for example, bidding more on the keywords that are generating sales, and not bidding at all on keywords that get clicks, but no sales. When we’ve collected a little more data, and can start really fine-tuning his account, his click costs will go down, and his net will go up.

Besides that, he’s collecting email addresses so he can continue to market to people who didn’t buy today, but might buy later. (See our post on Autoresponders.)

Here’s one of the real beauties of Pay-per-Click advertising– the wealth of data that is available.

You might find out that the clicks you get from midnight to 6:00 a.m. convert better than the ones you get the rest of the day. Or maybe clicks on Mondays don’t convert well. Or maybe clicks from people 65 and older get you more sales than do clicks from people aged 35 to 44. Or maybe people from a certain zip code buy like crazy. Or maybe women buy more frequently than men.

You can tailor your campaign to take account of all those factors.

In the olden days of advertising, it could take months to find out what worked and what didn’t. Today, with AdWords, you can find out what works best, sometimes in a matter of hours!

It’s easy to do. You simply send half your traffic to one version of what you want to test, and half to another version and compare the results. It’s called “split-testing”, and the basics are pretty simple.

Test the same ad, just with different headlines. Keep the headline the same, and change the body copy. Change the color scheme of your landing page. Create a completely different landing page. Move the testimonial higher on the page. Or lower. Or move it to the other side. Make the opt-in box bigger. Or smaller. Or bolder. Ask for name and email address, or just email address. Offer a free report and compare it with the results you get by offering a coupon.

Working with a pro, you can find out if AdWords is right for you, without spending a lot of money. By setting a daily budget, you can very tightly control how much you spend.

Rather than committing to a year’s worth of Yellow Pages ads at a cost of thousands of dollars, the results of which are very difficult to measure, let us help you put together an AdWords Campaign for a fraction of that amount, and find out what works, very quickly.

After collecting some data for a few days or weeks, or months, you’ll know exactly what works and what doesn’t. You’ll ramp up what’s working, and stop doing what isn’t working. As you collect more data, you’ll continue to fine-tune your campaign, make it work better, then expand it to Bing and Yahoo and the second-tier search engines. Then you’ll expand it to text and banner ads on the Content network, and beyond.

And just to come full-circle—in the unlikely event that we can’t make Pay-per-Click work for you, you’ll learn all kinds of things that will help you fine-tune the other marketing you’re doing.

As an example, you might find out that people in your market, for whatever reason, are more interested in knowing about facelifts than about breast augmentation, even though that’s the most popular procedure nationally. Knowing that, you change the focus of your direct mail flyer, which starts working better.

Also, you start talking about all the alternatives to a rhytidectomy (assuming you’re good at those alternate procedures), and you start capturing patients you’ve been missing out on.

And then you try another AdWords campaign based on the revised website, which now works really well and gets you a really nice return on investment, which finances the expansion you’ve wanted to do for a while, so now you have a bigger, nicer office, so you do more procedures (including rhytidectomies), which finances more advertising, which brings more consults and cases, and so on and so on and so on.

Or let’s say you do sclerotherapy. We know that people search on “varicose veins” much more often than they search on “spider veins.”

Nevertheless, you might find that in your local market, for whatever reason, people that click on “varicose veins” don’t pick up the phone and call you nearly as often as people who click on “spider veins,” so despite the lower volume of searches, you find that bidding on “spider veins” makes you money, where “varicose veins” loses you money.

Take it a step further.

The results of your AdWords campaign suggests that a special landing page that people searching on “varicose veins” are sent to, that speaks powerfully just about how you can help varicose vein sufferers, might work better.

So you develop a special “varicose vein” landing page, and now bidding on “varicose veins” gives a nicely positive ROI, because when people get to your site, they immediately see what they expected and hoped to see—the promise of help for their specific problem.

Take it a step further.

Your good results with “spider veins” suggest that weekly or monthly talks on that subject might develop some plus business. So you write an AdWords ad that shows just to searchers in your immediate neighborhood, that promotes your free weekly talk on spider veins. That ad brings a few visitors each week, and a few extra new clients each month.

Bottom line: don’t discount Pay-per Click advertising. In the hands of a professional, there are lots of ways to make it work.

The stories you’ve heard about Pay-per-Click being expensive and useless have to do with people, and even consultants, messing around with it, without sufficient background and understanding.

We’re a Google Certified Adwords Partner. We do have the background and the understanding. We’ll get you the results you want—results that will make our fees seem tiny.

What have you heard about (or experienced) with AdWords?  Tell us about it below.