My brother Padraig is a pretty bright guy. He has a degree in electronics and another one in law so I assume there are some brain cells there.
Over coffee this morning he asked how websites actually got business. He was probably expecting a quick answer, but instead I set up a demonstration for him.
In the time it took him to finish his coffee I set up a quick Google Ads campaign linked to one of my customers websites (they didn’t know I did this).
It wasn’t perfect by any means but in about 20 minutes I had their website showing up top of the search results for one discrete set of keywords.
I showed my brother the search engine results displaying the website in question. He couldn’t tell that they were ads till I took out a pen and pointed to the small little Ad icon next to the search results.
So what does this demonstration prove?
Google now is really the only game in town when it comes to search and you have to pay to play. In one way this annoys me as I started off when the web was open to everyone but that is the past sadly.
Of course people can scroll down the Google results page and see the non-advertising search results. And yes some people do ignore ads, as I do in most cases. But hundreds of thousands of people worldwide don’t. Google Ads helps business get customers, and businesses are willing to pay for it..
My brother doesn’t own a laptop or use a computer regularly. He uses his phone: search, click, contact. He doesn’t forensically analyse what he sees, he believes what he sees in those moments is the best result (and he doesn’t process that little Ad icon at all)
And he’s not alone. As I said, hundreds of thousands of people do this every day..
I often have to explain this to businesses who can’t understand why they aren’t showing up at the top of search results. They’re annoyed at seeing lower quality competitors showing up ahead of them in search results. They often resent giving money to Google.
But most new websites have no hope whatsoever of getting any traffic in their initial months without Google Ads.
Of course a Google Ads campaign needs to be taken care of and the one I set up above was far from perfect. But the ads did get 4 clicks that day to the companies website page. Total cost of the clicks was €24.50. Their service price starts at €900. If they even converted 2 of these to customers then they are happy.
So the barriers to entry in any business are practically zero. With the right tools and expertise you can be online in days getting customers in hours and doing business. This may sound unbelievable, but it’s how the new online world works.