Navigating Google AdWords


Larry Page and Sergey Brin may not have known that they would change the world when they invented Google. But, nearly 20 years later, their company has exploded. In 2014, its revenue was $66 billion and it had over 55,000 employees.

Each year, Google has made additions to its company. In the year 2000, one of those installations was Google AdWords.

As an advertising service on Google, AdWords can be an intimidating tool. “It was a learning curve in terms of the right words and the right positioning, as well as the right keywords,” said Sue Walton, the owner of Big City CrossFit in Chicago, Illinois.

Despite the challenge, for three years Shahin Naghavi, the co-owner of CrossFit EaDo in Houston, Texas has been paying for the service. “Google tends to be one of the most used platforms to search,” he said.

How does it even work? There are two options: Google AdWords and Google AdWords Express. AdWords is a self-managed advertising campaign. You determine the keywords that trigger your ad to pop up, your budget, how much you pay per click and where your ad will appear. AdWords Express is automatically managed.

Overall, AdWords is largely focused on keywords. Matt Hathcock, the owner of CrossFit Unbroken in Englewood, Colorado, explained you need to really divulge which keywords are beneficial, not just the words that give you the most traffic. For instance, when he used the keyword ‘running,’ he had upwards of 300 views on his ad in just a couple of days. However, there were no actual clicks and thus, no real leads indicating potential new members. So, the more specific, the better.

Before using AdWords, Hathcock recalled that his Box’s website wasn’t on the first page when people in the area searched CrossFit on Google. AdWords changed that. “There are so many gyms. You really have to do everything you can to try to be the first thing people see,” he said.

Naghavi wanted to see if AdWords was working, so he stopped his ad for two months. There was a significant reduction in calls and emails. “On a monthly basis, I think we spend anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 just on social media marketing,” said Naghavi. “It helps our presence for sure.”

He also recommends setting up a Google Plus account so people can leave reviews. And to make sure you don’t spend too much time on Google Plus, Naghavi suggested linking it to Facebook so that every time you post on Facebook, it will post to Google Plus.

Walton said to take advantage of resources available to learn how to best use the service, because AdWords is continually changing. “It isn’t an end all be all,” she said. “You really need to be managing and paying attention.”

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at