April 18, 2015 - Zbigniew Jasek
Over the last several weeks, my sister and I have been working feverishly to bring our new web agency to life, and exciting as it is, it's also challenging to be the new kid on the block. You have ideas and you know that you have something of great value to offer, but now you need to convince the world to give you the chance. Being a web agency, we first turned to search engine marketing (SEM). As we're learning new things, we will be documenting our findings to share with others. But we'd also love to hear your experience with this, so please, leave a comment.
This was kind of a no-brainer for us. We were too new to rank for any keywords organically, so we felt we had to try something. Some may argue that organic results are better than paid ads, but I think that really depends on intent. Think about it. If I'm doing research and am in need of unbiased information, organic results are probably going to be my choice. Obviously, paid ads are trying to sell something, so their information will probably be skewed, if not irrelevant. On the other hand, if I'm looking to make a purchase, I may actually be more likely to click on a paid ad since that is much more aligned with my intent to purchase. Maybe it's just me, but when I plan to buy something, I look at ads which I would otherwise have ignored - and this goes for TV, newspaper and other mediums, not just the web.
Okay, so pay-per-click it is, but how much per click? This was actually an interesting find for me and answered my question of, 'How do Google and FaceBook make money?'. How much depends on which keywords you target and I have personally been charged between $2 to $20 per click with Google Adwords. Yes, per click! That quickly made me realize that my landing page better be good. Really good. Definitely don't want to spend 20 bucks and send someone to a contact form. FaceBook also offers a similar service (Promote Your Page/Site) and is much cheaper. I'm not exactly sure if it's priced per click or per campaign, but 8 bucks got me 11 clicks - not bad. The question is, is there a difference between the 'quality' of clicks. I believe there is.
Intent is where it's at. Someone who is looking for 'shoes', probably does not have their mind made up and maybe at the beginning stages of their search for 'shoes'. Maybe they're just researching the history of shoes. Who knows. With a generic term like that, intention is kind of hard to figure out. This is also ironic, because most business people I talk to who are interested in SEO/SEM, think that ranking for terms like that is what they need. These are known as fat head keywords, and are competitive, expensive, and probably not as valuable as long tail keywords, such as 'red Doc Martens on sale'. Yeah, I'll target 'red Doc Martens on sale' any day over 'shoes'. This person is ready to buy some Docs! Now!
So how does intent relate to the 'quality of clicks'? Well, it comes down to the context your ad is displayed in. If you're specifically searching for 'red Doc Martens on sale' and the ad pops up in the Google SERP, there's a pretty good chance you'll click it. At least I will. On the other hand, if your ad is sent or displayed randomly on FaceBook, the intent may or may not be as great. In other words, when YOU'RE searching, you are on a mission. When ads are sent your way, you may or may not be on a mission, but that doesn't mean you won't check it out. You're just not as impulsive at that time.
This is where the beauty of pay-per-click lies, in my opinion. You get to control your message quickly and easily.
I found this to have a SIGNIFICANT
impact on clicks. You only have a title and two lines with Google, so make it compelling. My advice? See what your competitors
are saying and compete. Don't do what they do, if you can help it, but stand out. This has been the single most effective tool
I discovered and got me pretty darn excited. Especially when I started seeing click counts spiking after making a message adjustment.
As a matter of fact, I had to adjust my
keywords in response and remove fat heads so that they don't bankrupt me. (A 'web design' click cost me $20. I'll take 'web design agency' instead
for $2, thank you. More focused intent, in my opinion).
Seemingly small changes in message can make a significant difference.
Next episode will be about landing pages and conversions. If you spend money on getting people to your site, you better make it worth the investment. At that point, the ad has done it's job. Now it's your turn. We're working on that aspect now, so I will write the next post as soon as I have something to report.
Until next time, search on.