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Old 12th June 2007, 02:11 PM   #1
Trainer Bubble
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Default Distrust In Google Ads?

I have just been reviewing my 'goal' conversions on Google Analytics and I noticed a worrying trend. It seems that although CPC is by far the greatest method of receiving visitors to my site, it is clearly one of the lowest in generation of sales (averaged out). I remember seeing somewhere that some people are a little wary of Google Ads and I wonder if this is proving true for me.

For interests sake, I tend to do far better with links from my blog, organic searches (Google, MSN, Yahoo) and various other specialist means. I'm putting a lot of work into seo and am starting to see the fruits of my labour, but had been using Adwords to promote on my way there. Interestingly enough my highest keywords are my company name in three different variations, which tells me I'm doing something right!

I'm not saying that I think Adwords is of no value, but I think I'll seriously consider my investment in what is a very costly (compared to writing articles, blogging etc) method of advertising.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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Old 12th June 2007, 03:17 PM   #2
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A LOT depends on how the advert is written and what you are offering/delivering. If for example your ad says 'cheap' and you are not cheap, then you are not going to get the conversions

Go through your analytics, and see where people are leaving your site. This will give you a better idea.

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Old 12th June 2007, 08:05 PM   #3
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I have carefully tracked my conversion rates (which I can do really precisely because I sell a downloadable product)...

I obviously can't share the actual rates here, but Google Adwords can be just an impossibly uneconomical advertising method for some kinds of products.

And maybe another thing: As people get smarter and smarter about using them, the competition just really ratchets up... or so it seems to me.

I would observe--and this is obvious to anyone who thinks about it--that a CPA who may be able to get $1000 a year for years and years from a client he or she reaches through adwords will always be able to outbid a publisher of do-it-yourself incorporation kits making a one-time sale of a, say, $59 product.

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Old 12th June 2007, 10:53 PM   #4
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Interesting conversation. We're just getting to the point of deciding which advertising options we can afford, and we're not sure if we want to spend the time and money on experimenting with Google Ads.

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Old 14th June 2007, 08:46 AM   #5
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Based on another helpful poster's suggestion, I just read Andrew Goodman's "Winning Results with Google Adwords." It's perhaps a bit dated--just a bit--but after reading that, I am going to try his ideas, spend some money, and see if I can make Adwords work.

I'm not superconfident about this. But I think I'll learn at the very least. And even if I don't make much money, I probably won't lose much either. E.g., if you spend $1000 but make even $700 of that back, you aren't that far behind. And this is probably a worst case scenario if you do a bit of upfront learning.

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Old 16th June 2007, 03:33 AM   #6
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I have done a lot of work to hone my adwords and I'm pretty pleased with the click-through rate and where people go once they have visited. However, I can't get away from the idea that for the amount of money that I invest in Adwords that the returns are good enough. I think it is better to spend time and effort in improving seo naturally than to spend top dollar on Adwords. Other companies I am in competition with seem content to just keep paying more and more for adwords, which is making it increasingly expensive, this just doesn't seem viable to me.

I'd be interested to hear about the results you get Seattle.

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Old 16th June 2007, 10:44 AM   #7
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Trainer, I think it's quite possible that PPC traffic is a poor investment.

What I would think you want to do, though, is come up with some metrics that let you see how much you need to spend on PPC traffic to get a client or customer. Then, come up with a guess as to the revenue or profit that you get from your typical client or customer. Finally, calculate a "return on investment" measure and compare it to your other marketing options.

An example: You spend $1 a click and it seems to take a 100 clicks, or $100, to get a client or customer. If a client or customer produces, e.g., $50 of lifetime revenue or profit, yep, bad deal. If a client or customer produces $1000 of lifetime revenue, maybe it's a good deal (depending on your profit margins).

A handful of other comments:

1. Google provides a conversion tracking tool which in some cases you can use to get very precise numbers for inputting to your ROI calculations.

2. If you do a bit of sampling and have good server statistics, you may be able to do multiple variable regression analysis using something like Excel to differentiate between organic traffic that converts and PPC traffic that converts.

3. I have this sort of vague feeling that conversion rates (and therefore ROIs) change, ebb and flow, over time. So I think we need to monitor this stuff.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

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Old 20th June 2007, 03:20 PM   #8
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Carefully track your conversions. Maybe rotate some different ads in and see which ones seem to have a better rate.

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Old 26th June 2007, 03:20 AM   #9
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Default Google Ads - bad customer service

Has anyone else found Google Ads customer service very bad. I have contacted them a number of times for clients and have never had a responce, except the other day asking me how I felt their customer service was.

I have also found that after a couple of days of using the service, the keywords seem to jump up in price.

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Old 26th June 2007, 05:50 AM   #10
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This is very true. My keywords started out reasonable and have gone utterly bonkers in no time at all. There are obviously competitors that don't help this, but I can't believe it is making that much difference. Paying these fees is just not sustainable IMO.

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