I cannot begin to tell you how many clients have come to me for AdWords services to find out that they spend several thousands of dollars every month for clicks without holding Google accountable. What do I mean by that?
If you do not have Google AdWords conversion tracking installed and at the minimum Google Analytics installed, you are not holding Google AdWords accountable. You must have metrics in place to be able to identify the success or lack there of of your Google AdWords program.
Without conversion tracking installed you will never know how many leads AdWords actually generated for you. When things get tight financially the first thing you will choose to chop is AdWords. But if you know you got 30 leads from AdWords last month and 5 leads from your website, instead you may choose to increase your AdWords budget to generate more leads and cut back on website services for the time being. With the knowledge of what vehicles are generating a return for you, you can make smart choices in regards to your budget. But if you do not have these metrics in place, you are only guessing at where your business has come from.
Typically we will not take on a new AdWords client until these metrics have been installed by their webmaster, as we want to seriously help our clients get the most from AdWords. We want to have conversations built around historical data not guesswork!
AdWords can bring you leads and sales but you need to do your part to keep the program accountable to match your business objectives.
So you set up your Google AdWords account, set it to run, and now it’s been a few days and nothing is happening. What should you do?
First, if you have absolutely no impressions at all, I would contact Google help through the control panel and ask the ad approval powers to take a look at your program. In nearly all cases you will get a response in 24 hours that your program was under review and is running now. It used to be that a program would run in about 15 minutes after set up, but now I have seen some accounts sit there for three to five days in the ad approval process. The contact is like a kick start. So if nothing is happening give Google a push.
If your impressions are very low, the first place to look is your daily budget and cost per click. You may not be in the auction if you settings are too low.
For clients we recommend a minimum budget of $500 to $800 for clicks for a 30 day period and we will typically set up an account to run with a default cost per click of $1.75 to $3.50 depending on the market.
For professional services like legal and medical services your default cost per click may need to be $6.50 to $8.00 to get any action. If you CPC is at this level you really should have a 30 click budget of $1,000 to $1,500 on top of our fees to manage your account to get Google to show your program.
AdWords is an auction so if you have set your account up with a maximum cost per click of $.05 or $.25 and a daily spend of just a few bucks, the reality is that you are just not going to get any action on Google. Businesses are spending big money on Google and to have Google show your ads, you have to compete in this same arena.
There is a time and place for advertising in the content network. When would that time be you ask?
Typically, we do not recommend advertising in the content network as we know from historical data that content does not convert into sales at the same percentage that search converts. However there is a reason to advertise in content. If you have a new product or brand name and you need massive exposure, content advertising can be excellent. If you expect sales from this exposure you may want to rethink your expectations of content advertising performance.
When advertising in content do not pay the full amount per click that you would pay in search. Google by default will enable content exposure at the same cost per click setting you select for search. With this particular tactic Google will rapidly soak up your cash so be careful about your budget.
In some cases to control the budget we will even set up separate campaigns for content advertising. Google does not recommend doing this, but their reason is really self serving. My feeling is that if you can control how much you spend in content and are able to clearly see what conversions come to you via the content network, you can adjust your advertising spend more appropriately.
Time for a commercial break…
I live in Maryland and this year I am, again, my two girls’ Girl Scout Troop Cookie Mom. This means I will have over 150 cases of cookies containing 12 boxes each of wonderful tasty cookies in my house. That is 1,800 boxes of cookies and the girls are still selling!
With over 21 girls in their troop, and an average of about 125 boxes sold by each girl, and some girls selling 500 boxes, cookie time is hectic and huge business for the troop. It is not all about making money for the troop though, the money raised goes to the Council to help girls participate in scouting who cannot pay and a small portion stays with the troop to fund fun activities for the girls themselves.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are some of the best activities that you can involve your kids in. Not only do they help to build self confidence, team work, and leadership skills, but scouting is just great fun for the kids AND parents alike.
If you have a Girl Scout in your family now’s the time that you buy cookies to help them make their goal. As for me, the tons of cookies arrived this past Tuesday and are filling my living room waiting for the girls to arrive to pick up their orders. It is bound to be a great sale, so do your part and support Girl Scouts this year by buying cookies. By the way, I have more room for cookies and can order more!
Blogging is big business. Website owners are coming around to the fact that they need a professional blog to build traffic and build new content for search engines, but few site owners want to blog themselves.
This is where a professional blogger can really help build your online presence. A professional blogger is more than an employee on staff who likes to write and has time on their hands. A professional blogger is one who writes content for your audience, not drivel of what they ate for lunch or the current office gossip. A professional blogger will try to create a keyword dense title and post that will win placement on search engines, all while weaving a story that draws you in from the beginning to the end of the post.
If you want to see a great example of blogging with a personal spin, here’s a blog we’re doing for a client to the tune of 10 posts per week. Visit www.CremationOptions.com/blog. Although our writers call this type of writing “experiential” and the personal tone is not one we take with all blogs, it totally works on this blog. The stories that our writers share are from real-life, from their own experiences, and each one reads like a well-written short story. We’ve had some great blogging gigs, some that we have really loved to write for, and this one is one of our favorites. Check it out and see what you think? We have four different writers working on this project and each writer has a different voice and style. The combination make for a very interesting read.
We typically do not install images on the blogs that we write for, or for that matter on our own blog. Part of that is due to time constraints and part is due to actively working to prevent a copyright violation. But this does not keep clients from following along behind us and adding photos of their own to our blog posts that we write for them.
Here’s one example, I saw an image on a new blog that we were doing and sent a quick email to our writer reviewing copyright law on images and asked where she had gotten the image. She was surprised one was even added to her post which means she did not add it but rather the client had.
Many clients simply do not understand that you can not just right click on an image your find anywhere, on Flickr, or even Google images for that matter. Someone some where owns the copyright and to just right click and grab the image is akin to stealing. You wouldn’t go to a stop and just pocket something and walkout. Why is it that people feel that you can just take any image they see?
When we use images we only use images from the Microsoft Clip Art Gallery and from iStockPhotos (where we buy images for $1 for a one time use). These are great places for inexpensive images, but never do we visit a site and right click and grab something.
Commercial businesses can end up in a copyright infringement lawsuit by grabbing someone else’s content or images. Why waste the time when the right thing is to create your own images or use legitimate resources.