When I started my job at Equals Creative, I explained to my friends and family what my role involved.
“I help clients become more visible online,” blank faces followed. “My job is to make sure that our clients appear on places like Google when customers search for things.”
I briefly explained SEO, but this was somewhat lost – meta descriptions don’t make for thrilling dinner party conversations. But what sparked more of a debate was the emergence of PPC Ads amongst the search results.
“I don’t trust them!” said one friend.
“It means the company has to pay to get customers,” said another.
To an extent, my second friend is not wrong. Some brands benefit from investing in paid promotion whilst squirrelling away behind the scenes to improve their organic SEO.
“No, I don’t think that’s true,” said another, “I think it shows brands have a good amount of money behind them to pay in the first place,” this was also a fair assessment.
I asked my friends if they would click on the ads that appeared at the top of their search, they answered with a resounding no!
Why do some disagree with paid advertising and not other methods?
There does seem to be a stigma around paid ads – not just with my friends – that paid advertisement cannot be trusted. But why?
Why do we, surrounded by a culture of digital advertising, not trust companies who pay for us to see them? How is this different to adverts in a newspaper or banners on the walls of tube stations?
Chances are, if you know about a brand, they paid for that; from hiring staff to run SEO campaigns to paying for features in a magazine, their outreach will have investment behind it.
According to studies by Bunnyfoot, 36% of people tested still do not know the distinction between paid ads and organic listings (source: WordStream).
Is this part of the problem – do people simply not understand let alone trust paid ads?
Maybe their experience with paid ads overall have been tainted. Banner ads being a culprit for displaying irrelevant ads on websites and social media? People have been warned about viruses and so maybe they believe to stay safe online they must avoid paid advertising?
Google ads are perfectly safe to click. Google is a vast, intelligent search engine which is not easily fooled by con artists!
What’s your view our Google ads? Feel free to comment whether you’re for or against them!