Many people are aware of what Google AdWords is, it’s the very first ad or listing you will see on top of the page when you make a search through Google, they are also usually down the right hand side of the page and you can generally identify them from a non-paid listing by the little ad logo at the side of the listing. People also refer to the system as PPC or pay per click as that’s exactly how it works.
In a nutshell you set a price with Google or its partners and the higher your bid the higher up the listing your website will appear, it is a bidding system and can be very expensive to stay at the top for certain keywords as the more competitive the word the higher the bid will be. Many SEO companies will say that it’s vital to have or use this but we believe it should really only be used to kick start your website if its new until the organic marketing you should have done or be doing falls into place.
AdWords is certainly a numbers game and should only be done if you know what you are doing, it’s a very complex system that involves all types of knowledge of positive keywords, negative keywords, misspelt words and I would say it’s not for the faint hearted or the lazy people amongst us as it requires constant changes and constant monitoring or your budget will be stripped very quickly indeed.
We spent 10 years playing the PPC game and spent a fortune trying to drive customers to our website. From our experience the reality is, at least in the industry we were in, that it is very hard to actually make a profit using AdWords pay per click.
Try as we might we could never get the conversion rate down to less than £5 a conversion. (A conversion is when you turn a click through from the listing into a sale, basically it adds all the clicks up that it has cost you to finally get the sale and this amount is the conversion rate). We resigned ourselves to the fact that we were paying £5 per sale and hoped that the customer would either remember us or bookmark our website and come back to us for free next time they wanted our products so we justified using AdWords in this way.
So now that I have given you a brief overview of how the AdWords system works let me tell you about an interesting conversation I had with Yell the other day….
I took a call from a very polite sounding sales person, the website she called me about was a freshly launched SEO website so I did what I always do in this situation and added it to the Yell database for a free listing. Within an hour of the listing going in and here was this young lady trying to get me to pay for a premium listing. I spent quite a while explaining that I didn’t want this when she changed tact asked me if I was aware that Yell is now a Google partner (isn’t everyone these days) and would I like to try the Google AdWords or PPC through Yell, she went onto explain that we could even get a better price if we benefitted from Yell and Googles partnership. I tried to explain to her about what we had learned (see above) over the years but she was adamant that I should set a small budget of say £100 pounds a week. She said we would see some great traffic from this budget.
I continued to explain that should I choose to use AdWords the main key words I would target would be SEO Company, SEO Agency and SEO services and based on my knowledge of the PPC bidding system if I did set a budget of £100 I would expect that to last me no more than 30 seconds as the words are so competitive. She said that this is not true, so I said don’t take my word for it, have a look yourself. After a bit of chat going round in circles she said” I’ll get my manager to talk to you and she will explain that you have your estimated figures wrong, would you mind holding?
So I reluctantly agreed, about 2 minutes later she came back on the line saying that she had spoken to her manager who had advised her that if I wanted top positions for my chosen keywords I would have to set my budgeted spend somewhere between £8,500 and £28,000 per month!!
After a silent pause that seemed to last for ages she said “I guess you’re not interested then?” “Erm no thanks” I said. I would have to gain a lot of SEO customers to justify that ridiculous price.
In my humble opinion AdWords and PPC is set up so the fact cat can get fatter, there is certainly profit to be made here…..but only for Google and its partners.
By: Johnny G
Posted: October 3, 2014, 3:11 pm
Strategic Digital Media LTD are based in the Hunslet area of Leeds UK, The company specialise in local and national SEO services and social marketing to drive more visitors to your website. We also...