AdWords and AdSense represent the two sides of the Google advertising coin. Understanding the differences between the two is essential if you want to make money with the pay per click model.
Each side requires time, attention and a touch of creativity.
This discussion will explore how each one functions, why they are used and what are the best practices when utilizing Google AdWords or AdSense.
What Is Google AdWords
Google AdWords, recently named simply Google Ads, is the advertising platform that businesses use to place ads on Google search results, YouTube and on the websites of AdSense users.
What Is Google AdSense
The AdSense side of the advertising coin is used by website owners that wish to allow Google to publish ads on their sites in exchange for money.
Understanding The PPC Model
Both platforms utilize the pay per click advertising model. For AdWords users, this means they pay a fee each time someone clicks their ads and is redirected to their website or landing page. AdSense users, on the other hand, are paid whenever an ad click occurs on their site.
What’s The Difference?
The obvious difference is that one platform (AdWords) is used by advertisers to create and manage ad campaigns that help attract more visitors to their web pages. The other is used by website owners that don’t mind publishing these ads for some money.
In other words, AdWords helps grow your business, while AdSense supplies a little extra financial support.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of AdWords?
Now that we understand the difference between AdWords and AdSense, we can examine the advantages and disadvantages of each and try and determine which is the best option and when.
The advantages of AdWords are:
● Lots of targeting options that allow you to connect ad messages with audiences that have a demonstrated interest in your products or services.
● Provides fast results in a very controlled environment.
● A shortcut to land your site at the top of the search engine results pages — way faster than SEO!
● Traffic produced by ads are qualified leads that are towards the end of the marketing funnel and ready to complete an action.
● Depending on your business and the success of your advertising efforts, AdWords can produce substantial returns that help grow your business.
The disadvantages of Google AdWords are:
● It costs money to advertise through the Google Ads platform.
● Developing successful ad campaigns can take a lot of time.
● Definitely not a set-and-forget strategy; you have to monitor and make constant adjustments.
● AdWords has become a very competitive platform, which means it can be hard to get your ads placed where you want.
● It isn’t for everyone! If the value of the action is lower than the cost per click, you can actually lose money, even if you’re converting!
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of AdSense
Compared to AdWords, AdSense is a much more straightforward platform, but it still has a number of benefits and drawbacks that we need to touch on.
The benefits of AdSense are:
● You can make extra money from your website; it’s a great tool for monetizing a blog or website that you run in your spare time.
● Compared to AdWords, there are not nearly as many signals and metrics that need to be monitored.
● Very low effort! Google handles almost every aspect of choosing and publishing the ads.
● Google selects ads that are relevant to the content on your pages, which means they can potentially add value to your site experience.
And the drawbacks:
● You have to be approved by Google to become an AdSense partner.
● Google only selects polished, active and error-free websites.
● Your website needs to have a lot of daily traffic to generate any noteworthy income through AdSense.
● Some ads can be disruptive to your users and may detract from their experience, instead of adding to it.
● If you aren’t careful, your competitors could be advertising on your site!
Google AdWords Best Practices
With a basic understanding of AdWords and AdSense, we can shift our attention towards putting this knowledge to work. AdWords has a lot of details that can make it extremely challenging to master.
Here are a few initial strategies and best practices that you can leverage in your own Google Ads campaigns.
● Take advantage of the many audience targeting options available. You can target by location, device type, age, interests, etc.
● Break down large campaigns into smaller, targeted ad groups.
● Utilize Smart Bidding techniques to save time and improve results.
● Pay attention to changes on the Google Ads platform; updates and new features can directly affect your campaigns!
● Continuously test and adjust the different ad components in your campaigns to discover what works the best.
● Ensure that your ad copy and landing pages are aligned properly; you don’t want to create a disjointed experience!
● Monitor your campaign and ad metrics to understand how your AdWords strategies are paying off and what improvements should be made.
● Experiment, experiment, experiment! You never know what will click with an audience.
Google AdSense Best Practices
Compared to AdWords, AdSense is easy to manage. There’s not nearly as much experimenting or tinkering taking place. Once you understand what works, you can leave your AdSense strategies alone for the most part.
Here are some things to remember as you apply for an AdSense account and use your site to publish ads:
● Make sure that your website is active, has high-quality content, optimized for mobile and desktop users, free from errors, etc. This will ensure that Google approves you for an AdSense account.
● Test different ad positions on your site; some spots will draw more clicks than others.
● Also, try and experiment with different ad types and sizes.
● Don’t place too many ads on a single page. It will damage your site’s user experience and Google may penalize you for it!
● Continue publishing quality content and promoting your site to stimulate traffic and potential ad clicks.
It doesn’t matter what side of Google’s advertising spectrum you’re on. AdSense and AdWords both provide value to the businesses and website owners that are willing to take the time to learn how to use them. AdWords is certainly a more involved process, but AdSense also deserves attention.