Just about anyone who is in business has received regular phone calls or e-mails from companies that promise “lots of traffic to your site ” and “first page rankings” with their pay per click advertising programs. They imply that you are missing out on a great advertising opportunity that only they can offer to you. They may even throw out some impressive numbers.
But what are they really delivering?
Knowing we are a full service advertising agency, a friend somewhat sheepishly admitted that she’d signed a contract with a nationally advertised “web” company that contacted her about pay per click advertising, promising first page rankings and tons of clicks. She was getting regular reports showing exciting numbers but wasn’t seeing any impact on her website traffic or conversions. Confused, she asked us to decipher the reports and determine if the company was really delivering on its promise.
The company had given the impression that, for a (hefty) monthly fee, she would receive text ads on Google’s search engine. A little research revealed that the ads were indeed appearing on Google, but also on Yahoo and Bing. There was no indication how many of the impressions were on Google search and how many were on the others. With nearly 90% of website traffic coming from Google, she wasn’t as interested in appearing in the other search engines.
A quick look her site’s analytics revealed something even more interesting. The text ads linked to a page with a very similar URL to her business site. This alternate page had limited information about the company with a link to her real website. The reported clicks were to this intermediate page, not to her own website.
The analytics showed that the number of actual clicks through to the client website was less than 3% of those reported. Using this figure, we calculated a cost per click averaging $135.00. The web company essentially had created a competing web page which was less compelling and informative than her real website, and was syphoning off potential visitors.
Not surprisingly, we recommended discontinuing the program.
We then developed a Google AdWords plan encompassing both pay per click text ads and remarking display ads that will deliver much better results and cost significantly less money.
Why Google AdWords?
- Ads can contain visuals instead of just text for a more professional appearance
- Viewers are routed directly to the client site and not to an intermediate site
- Costs are incurred only when someone clicks through to the site not when ads simply appear on a search engine.
- Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools provide more detailed data allowing for analysis of the success of each element of the campaign
- Analytics can track conversions
One of the most important benefits, however, is that once the program is in place, the majority of the monthly budget will go towards advertising, not management. And analytics data will allow the client to see exactly how the budget is being spent.
Ridge Marketing is a full service advertising agency and we take that designation seriously. If you would like us to review your current Internet advertising program and let you know if you could be getting more exposure for less money, please contact us.