The top search results have become more and more dominated by companies that appear to offer a wide range of products and services. In fact a lot of these are simply middlemen selling on leads to other providers. So called Lead Generation or Drop Shipping businesses. But what's behind this trend?
Search Engine Optimisation (aka SEO) is a process of improving your web site’s performance on search engines, notably Google which dominates the search market with well over a 90% share of the market.
Are you considering promoting your business via a channel on YouTube? If so you need to get things right first time around and develop a clear strategy. Luckily YouTube are very clear about what they expect of you to make your YouTube channel a success.
If your business relies heavily on phone calls for sales rather than electronic enquiries then you probably need some kind of call tracking system. But implementing call tracking can be challenging and confusing to your customers. What’s the solution?
There have been a fair number of articles (and even ads on Facebook) promoting the idea that the traditional view of a marketing sales funnel no longer applies. The argument goes that the sales process is far more complex and nuanced. It’s fair to say that the sales funnel IS an oversimplification of the sales process but is it invalid as a tool to understand the sales process? Personally, I think it is still useful for most businesses.
How do you know if your Google Ads spend is working effectively? The answer is to track your leads and sales back to the source campaigns, ads and keywords that bought in the lead or sale. If you don’t get any leads or sales you know your campaign isn’t working.
So here’s the thing. A lot of clients we come across spend a large proportion of their budget on Google Ads with no directly measurable benefit. Are they wasting their money? In short, yes.
My grandmother used to say to me “You don’t ask, you don’t get”. In a sense, it’s the same with Google Ads in that if you don’t specify what you want well, you won’t get what your business needs. In short, you have to be careful what you ask for via the settings in the Google Ads system. Ask for the wrong things and you can unwittingly damage the performance of your marketing campaigns and consequently your business.
When you start a search on Google you’ll often be presented with the most common searches via Google’s Auto-suggestion tool. This is very convenient for users as it saves them the bother of typing in long search phrases and allows them to simply pick the search phrase that most closely matches their needs. However, it has a couple of major downside for Google Ads customers when it comes to advertising costs.
The great thing about Facebook is that they know a lot more about their users than other marketing platforms. (It explains why Facebook’s valuation was so high.) In particular Facebook are very aware of their users location. So if your business relies on local customers then Facebook can be a great place to advertise your products and services.
For some businesses the products you are trying to sell can overlap with other highly competitive products and services, sometimes in completely different market sectors. You want to target relevant keywords for your product but find you are prevented from doing so because other bidders in other markets are locking you out.
Quality Score is a metric that Google provides to give you an indication of how suitable your Ad and web site page is for the keyword being targeted. Low quality scores can mean your Ad and page are not considered particularly relevant for the keyword being targeted. In these instances you can find your Ad exposure reduced or your bid prices rising.
It’s remarkable how easy it is to spend money on Google Ads in the wrong places. We come across many customers who are metaphorically trying to sell sand to Arabs. We strongly suspect there may even have been companies out there in the past that actually did mistakenly (literally) try to sell builders sand to Arabs or ice creams to Eskimos using Google Ads simply by getting their Geo targeting wrong.
Sometimes we come across clients who are flogging a dead horse when it comes to marketing their products. This is particularly true in retail environments where prices can fluctuate dramatically over time. One minute all can be well and you can be selling a lot of product, the next sales just stop dead. Usually this is when a competitor has entered the market with a much keener price than yours – often Amazon!
If you are still micro-managing bid prices, you’re probably wasting your (very precious) time. If you are paying someone to mico-manage your bid prices, you are probably wasting a lot of money in management fees. Maybe you don’t even know that your supplier is micro-managing bids but you are just getting very high service bills on an ongoing basis.
One of the key elements in a successful Google Ads campaign is finding the “sweet spot” for your max bid price that works cost effectively for your business. It’s much more complex than it might at first seem to find that “sweet spot”. It’s not as simple as setting the max bid to the most you are willing to pay for a click. You might be paying too much for each click or indeed not be bidding enough. In addition that “sweet spot” can move over time as competitors enter the market.
It may seem at first counter-intuitive, but Google will stop you advertising on their system if you don’t do it well. “Why won’t they just take my money?” I hear you cry! Well, Google are balancing their own commercial interests for your money against that of protecting their user’s loyalty.
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Mark Twain wrote, supposedly quoting Benjamin Disraeli.
Simply put, statistics only tell part of the story and the same is true of Google Ads and Google Analytics metrics. Metrics are great but interpreting them to improve your business is an art and one can easily be lead to believe that all is rosey (when looking at raw metrics data) when in fact the reverse can be true!
“A fool and his money are soon parted” **
** King James Bible: There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up. The exact wording by Dr. John Bridges' Defence of the Government of the Church of England, 1587.
There’s no doubt about it, Google Ads Pay-Per-Click is expensive. But is it good value? Many businesses find themselves dependent on Google Ads for their business performance and can resent having to pay Google so much.
We outline here a typical breakdown of how a web site build project plan might look like for a new business engaging our services. Your business needs may require some or all of the services in this plan depending on what you have already done yourself, how far along the process you are and what content you have available.
This is a very common question we are asked but it’s not really the right question. An analogy with cars can help understand why it’s such a difficult question to answer.
At the top of this blog is a photo of a puppy. But what was your first thought when you saw it? If you live in the UK and are of a certain age group, the answer is probably “Andrex”. (For those living abroad here’s the Andrex Puppy in action.) For those of a younger age it might be meaningless or perhaps a reminder of how popular puppy and kitten videos are on social media.