Google Adwords: Your problem is probably not your keywords!
The other day, one of our clients said that he didn’t have any luck using Google’s Adwords (pay per click ads). He’s an accountant and indicated that when he ran ads previously, he’d get people calling up asking for phone numbers for the IRS, etc. Clearly, a waste of ad dollars. He asked for advice about his keywords. But as I told him, keywords probably aren’t his problem. Instead, I suggested that he take a closer look at the ads themselves.
With Google’s keyword suggestion tools, finding the right keywords to target is not nearly as much of a chore as it once was. (Note: that’s not entirely true. There is more of an art to it than this article is going to get into. Like anything else, the basics concepts are simple, but if you want to really delve into PPC marketing, the more advanced concepts (including keyword selection) will take more discussion. And of course, if you want to have that discussion, we’d be happy to talk to you about the ins and outs of the matter. But I digress…)
So assuming you have enough broad keywords that you’re getting some impressions, it’s critical to make sure your ad does enough to ‘qualify the visitor’ in the ad itself. This will prevent you from wasting ad dollars by attracting visitors who have no intention of engaging your company. Let’s use our client as an example. As I said, he’s an accountant. And he tends to specialize in expatriate (“expat”) tax services (at least, that’s the portion of his business we’re focusing on for now.)
Consider the following ad:
FREE Tax Consultation!
Low cost tax advice and filings. Click here to get started!
Now consider this one:
$25 Expat Consultations
Get 30 minutes of expert tax advice from an expat specialist. That’s 75% off!
The first ad doesn’t do much to screen out the tire kickers. And in fact, that FREE tag draws them in. (Most often, serious buyers understand that nothing is free in this world.) But in the 2nd ad, that $25 price tag lets people know that this isn’t a freebee, so they’re not going to waste their time if they’re not really looking to engage someone. The fact that it talks about expat services further specializes you and differentiates yourself from the rest of the pack just offering cheap tax filings. Of course, the flip side to this is that you dramatically reduce your potential audience. But for the ones that do click through, they are FAR more targeted and likely to engage you. And since you only pay per click and not per impression, you don’t care if you have an extremely low conversion rate at an ad level. (At the extent where you can buy more traffic than Google can provide, then this strategy has to change, as you begin to leave business on the table with ads that have barriers. But that won’t happen any time soon, so what do you care if you leave business on the table. Pick the low hanging fruit, and worry about the harder sales later on after you’ve exhausted the easy stuff.
Get the idea? The higher a ‘barrier’ you set in your ad, the less it will get clicked, but the more qualified those visitors will be. And since you’re paying each time someone clicks that ad, you want the most targeted users you can get.
Of course, I’m simplifying and glossing over a lot of stuff in this example. Substantial PPC ad campaigns have to factor in a lot more than this. But at a very fundamental level, this is a pretty good strategy if you want to get your own PPC campaign off the ground without spending big money to hire professionals (like Taoti, hint hint, nudge nudge) to really build a multi-faceted campaign strategy for you.
Good luck! And when you are ready to graduate to the point of wanting more than the low-hanging fruit, drop us a line. We’ll open your eyes to a whole world of per-per-click marketing that you may not have even knew existed!