Search Engine Advertising: Case File 1907A
” I have a question about best search engine advertising” began the conversation
From the Search Engine Advertising Case files. It all began with a prospective client who had been turned onto our site. She continued the call with: “my phone ain’t ringing”.
References to the hit Randy Travis song from some years back aside, this is the sort of comment we have heard more than once here at Inside Out Marketing Solutions. You see, there are those out there that, shall we say, put themselves out there as Search Engine Advertising experts without really being able to back up their claims.
Although that may at first sound like a bit much , read on to learn what was learned from just a few diagnostic questions with this caller. The remainder of the conversation is excerpted below to illustrate the point, the truth in fact about best search engine advertising practices.
She needs the phone to ring!
The first question posed to this computer repair expert desperately wanting to build her new business asked her what sort of marketing she had in place to get people to call her direct. That is, how many lead gen ads is she running and where are they placed.
She replied: “I pay for Google Pay Per Click (PPC) search engine advertising”. Terrific. That is an awesome strategy to get new customers and clients.
What about the CTR?
Pay attention here, now is where this tale gets really interesting. We asked the next most obvious question for any sort of paid search engine advertising campaign. The question of do you you know your Click Through Rate (CTR)?
Clicks but NO Calls 🙁
She replied with a “…well people are clicking on my ad for sure. Its just that my phone ain’t ringing, not ringing at all”.
More Clues Show Up
Now we are getting closer to solving this search engine advertising mystery. At this point, we are starting to put the pieces of this puzzle together. Take a look for yourself. We have a relatively new business owner who is paying for a Google Search engine advertising campaign. We have ads that are generating clicks.
Question: Do you know what the next question should be here?
If you happened to say or think to yourself something related to where does the click take the prospect, congratulations. Pat yourself on the back and go ahead and move straight to the head of the class.
So we asked her directly: where does the ad take the prospective customer?
Oops, Wrong Answer
She thought for a minute, then said: “the ad takes them to the home page”. Gasp! was the response on our end.
Really? Are you sure? Before making any assessment, it was important for us to understand what is really going on. “I’m sure” was her answer.
Oops, that’s not going to do it. Not anymore, if it ever did. Sure sending paid traffic to the Home Page may have worked when Adwords first rolled out.
Nowadays if any so-called Adwords Expert mentions that your PAID Ad sends the click to the home page you had best get out of that relationship as soon as practical. As in back away slowly, with your hand on your wallet and politely say “Goodbye”.
Rookie Mistake from so-called expert!
Why so? Sending targeted, paid for traffic to a Home Page is the sign of, shall we blunt, a RANK AMATEUR! Got the point?
FACT: any sort of paid search engine advertising must send the traffic directly to a targeted landing page. Targeting means that the landing page in one sense continues the conversation started back when that prospect first moved the mouse over to click on your Ad.
What Has To Happen
Here’s the thing to keep in mind with this sort of search engine advertising. You have to do a LOT of things correctly for search advertising. Consider that just to get that potential client or customer to move that mouse over to your Ad and not someone else’s ad and then to Click.
That means you have the right keywords so your ad is showing up to the right prospects. That means the words (copy) in your ad is enticing enough for that prospect to make a move in your direction by daring to risk a click.
Its Really A Conversation
That also means you have in one sense started a conversation with this potential client. The last thing you want to do is to abruptly change this conversation to something way off topic like your Home Page.
Can you see how disruptive that sort of thing can be? Is it any wonder that her phone is not ringing from this ad?
Search Engine Advertising Failure Diagnosis: Clicks are sending prospects to the wrong page.
Search Engine Advertising Prescription: Arrange for at least 2 Landing pages to be created. Split test those 2 pages against each other for no less than 30 clicks or 30 days. Tweak the under performing landing page. Repeat. And so on.
More To This Story Although we had heard enough evidence at this point to diagnosis, if we had continued, it would have gone something like the following.
What About Your Bounce Rate?
The next question that is typically asked is what sort of Bounce Rate she is experiencing on that page? Bounce Rate meaning people that show up to the page and then just as quickly click off. More often than not that tells you that that person was expecting something that just wasn’t there.
Google Analytics Tells The Whole Story
In this case, the potential client could not answer the question. It seems that she had not yet taken the time to set up Google Analytics for here site. As you probably know, Google Analytics can and does tell you what is really going on with any website, search engine advertising or not.
Lastly, as you can see from the above, there has been no discussion of optimizing the actual Adwords Account itself. That would mean opening up the hood and taking a good hard look at factors such as:
- Quality Score
- Keyword and Ad Group metrics
- Split Testing insights
- Negative Keywords
The not to be taken lightly fact of the matter is that Search Engine Advertising deserves to be taken seriously. Whether you are using Google Adwords, Bing Search Ads, etc. you can only expect positive results if best search engine advertising practices are followed.