Tag Archives: digital advertising

Why your ads are not getting results!

23 Jul

By Dee Jardine

So you’ve set-up your first campaign on Google Adwords, and expected your sales to double but instead you’ve seen barely any change in web conversions or enquiries.  Here are our suggestions of what may have gone wrong and how to fix it.

1. Your targeting is wrong


Too specific?

If your impressions are low chances are the keywords you’ve chosen are too specific to reach a significant audience.  Don’t just pull a few keywords ideas from your head, people are often searching for terms you might not have thought of.  As shown in our previous blog, use Google keyword planner as a tool to find a wider range of keywords to target. It’s often best to pick a wide range of relevant keywords and then narrow them down at a later date once you have an idea of what is working best.

Too broad?

If your impressions are high but your still not seeing positive results it could be that your targeting is too broad and irrelevant to those you’re ads are appearing before.  Check the match type of your keywords.  If for example you are selling only roof tiles you don’t want to appear in front of those searching for bathroom tiles.  There are two ways you can avoid this. The first is to select “bathroom” as a negative keyword, or you can change your keyword “roof tiles” to exact match type.

2. Your Ads are dull or irrelevant

Are your Ad’s boring?

Your ads need to give people a reason to click them.  Ensure your ad text is tailored to their search term, for example if you have an AdGroup with keywords based around cheap roof tiles include the term “cheap roof tiles” or “low cost roof tiles” in your ad text.  This confirms to customers that your ad meets their needs.

Remember your Ads are competing against your competitors for clicks.  Include an offer in your ad text to persuade customers to visit your website over competitors.  For example “15% Off – Exclusive Online Discount” or “Order Today for Free delivery”.

My colleague Caroline taught me a neat trick last week to make ads more eye catching. Add a full stop to the end of the first line of your text, below the headline and this will bring this line up beside the headline on high ranking ads.

Without a full stop your ad will appear like this.

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With the full stop in place your Ads will appear like this.4

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Misleading your customers?

You might find your ads get a lot of clicks to your website but no conversions.  It could be that your ads are very enticing but not all that factual.  For example if your ad says your have a wide variety of tiles, but when customers click to your website there are only a handful of choices they will soon click back off your page.

3.  Your landing page is useless

The most common reason for failing to convert a customer once they have clicked to your website is the quality of the landing page.

Are your frustrating your customers?

How often have you searched for something online, red shoes for example, seen an ad for red shoes, then clicked on this ad only to be directed to a homepage for a fashion retailer with no red shoes insight!

Sending your customers to your homepage is a sure fire way to infuriate them, they’ve just completed a search online, and you’ve managed to tick their boxes so far, why not do yourself a favour and make converting as simple as possible for them.

Website usability has a large impact on whether a customer will complete a transaction.  If they can’t navigate your page easily they will move on to someone else.  Look out for your websites usability on mobile devices, if your page compatible be sure to target your ads to desktop users only to avoid spending money on clicks that won’t result in sales.

Is your website persuasive?

Use language to encourage customers to make the purchase today.  Often customers will spend a lot of time browsing before they make a purchase decision, adding time factor such as “limited stocks available” will be them push they need.

Match the tone and feel of your website to your customer.  If your selling corporate stationery make sure the land page is professional; avoid a casual informal tone and use colours and images that fit the theme. If on the other hand you’re selling children’s party invites your tone should be fun and casual, with bright colours and entertaining images.  You might think this is obvious advice but it’s amazing how many people get it wrong.

Make sure your landing page gives enough information to answer questions customers may have, but at the same time is not too text heavy.  Often the nature and cost your product will impact the level of detail required, but too much text maybe off-putting to a time conscious shopper.

4. Other Constraints

Limited budget

If your budget is £5.00 per day and your average cost per click is £2.00 your ad will stop showing after it is been clicked around three times.  Therefore you have limited ability to reach enough customers to convert.  A higher daily budget over a shorter time period may prove more effective.  Try scheduling your ads so that they appear at a time of day when customers are most likely to convert, for example during work hours for corporate products.

Another factor to consider is your bid, if the average cost for a click is £2.00 but your maximum bid is £1.00 your ad will not rank high enough to be seen regularly.

Time & limited interest

If you are targeting an area as small as Northern Ireland, for a niche interest it may take more time to see any result from your ads.  If you’re confident in your targeting, ad text and landing page, and recognise there are few searches per month related to your product, give your campaign some time to start seeing results.

Contact Navajo Talk

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A Simple Guide to Twitter Advertising

22 Jul

By Viki McAdoo

Facebook has become the social media advertising king in recent times but Twitter has started to challenge it in some pretty interesting ways. I’m going to give you a quick crash course in how to get your mind around Twitter advertising.

Twitter Advertising Blog

Set up your credit card details and you’ll get £25 free advertising credit from the powers that be at Twitter!

There are a couple of options for campaign types on Twitter, I’ll explain them below.

Twitter Advertising 2

Promoted Tweets are…

Like regular Tweets but they get a little boost. They come up in Twitter feeds like normal Tweets but have a little “promoted” symbol below them. Of course they can still be retweeted, replied to and favourited. They will reach more people and are great to encourage click-throughs to your websites or can promote events your business has coming up, plus a lot more.

photo credit: opensourceway via photopin cc
Twitter Advertising Promoted Tweet

Promoted Accounts are…

Suggested Twitter accounts that users may be interested in but do not follow yet. You’ll spot them under the “who to follow” suggestions. They are great for reaching potential followers who have a real interest or affiliation with your brand. Promoted accounts are about seeing the bigger picture – rather than just aiming for numbers of followers it is about gaining followers who will drive leads and purchases further down the line.

Twitter Advertising Promoted Account

App instalments & engagements are…

Tweets which focus on promoting either the download of apps or the engagement of users through their apps. They offer users the chance to download the app if they do not already have it, or open it if they have already downloaded it. These are great for targeting people who already have an interest in similar apps and are likely to download your app.

Promoted App

Once you have selected what type of ad is going to produce the best results for your aims fill in the relevant details like campaign name and you start and end dates. If you choose to do an app instalment campaign there are a few extras you’ll need like the app ID which would will get here:

App ID Twitter Advertising

At this stage you will also have to choose between App downloads OR App engagements. For a lot of companies app downloads may seem like the obvious choice but it all depends on what stage you app is in its product life cycle. Promoting it to users that have already struck up a relationship with your brand can be a great way to reignite fresh interest and increase active app users.

Targeting

Targeting on Twitter is a little different to the targeting you may do for other digital marketing methods. There are four choices for targeting on Twitter:

  • Keywords
  • Interests and followers
  • Television
  • Tailored

Not every option is available for each type of advertising but I’ll give you an overview.

Table

It is always important to select your location carefully. For each campaign I would set the location to Northern Ireland, rather than waste impressions on people who are outside the target area.

Watch out for this each time you are setting up a new campaign.

Twitter Location Setting

If I was a Garden Centre and I was trying to advertise on Twitter, this is how I could use each of the methods…

Targeting using keywords

This is basically using keywords on interests, topics people Tweet about or topics people engage with to grasp and audience that will have an interest in your product. So for my florist I would use:

  • Flowers
  • Gardening
  • Garden
  • BBQ
  • Lawn

To find out more about Broad matches and Phrase matches click here and learn about match types.

Targeting using interests and followers

It is beneficial to target users on their specific interests but to target followers takes a little thought. Before delving into this it is worth researching competitors on Twitter as well as people of public interest in the area you are targeting. For my Garden Centre in Newtownards I would target the following:

Twitter Targeting using followers

The box on the right hand side give lots of useful information about how the targeting will affect your campaign.

#TopTip make sure you put as @ sign and the exact user name of the account you want to use.

By then adding in an interest category can broaden your reach…

Twitter Targeting Followers and Interests

Targeting using television

Targeting using television can be a great way to reach emerged used who are already interested in your topic but it is also a clever way to think outside the box (excuse the pun) and think about users other interests that may not be directly linked to your product. I have used a mixture of gardening TV shows, a TV personality and soaps to reach potential new customers in the area.

Twitter TV Targeting Advertising

Targeting using tailored audiences

Tailored audiences can be used to reach audiences by outlining potential and existing clients. You can base these lists on web browsing behaviour – such as people who have visited the barbeque section of the Garden Centre site, – email address or Twitter IDs – all which may already be managed in a CRM system.

The further customisation of your campaign can be done in a couple of ways, these are outlined below:

  • Customize where Promoted Tweets appear (users timelines or search results). This will depend on
  • Limit targeting to specific devices (iPad, iPhone, Android etc.) This is useful when promoting App instalments for specific devices and impressions are not wasted.
  • Limit targeting my gender
  • Limit targeting by language
  • Limit targeting by excluding list audiences (using email or Twitter ID lists)

Budgeting

Twitter offers you a couple of budgeting options

Twitter Advertising Budgets

It is always good to put in a total budget even though it is optional. This help keep campaigns within budgets and is more manageable. Daily budgets are required and by setting them alongside a total budget you can calculate the possible length of your campaign.

Pacing

Standard: Your ad will be shown as evenly as possible throughout the day

Accelerated: Ads are shown as often as possible from 00:00 onwards. This is very rarely a useful pacing technique unless your aim is simply brand awareness.

Promoting

For Promoted Tweets and Accounts you will also need to select the Tweet you want to promote. Doing this manually ensure you are promoting the message you want to and are creating a campaign all based around the same promotion. You can also do it automatically for Promoted Tweets. This lets Twitter promote up to five of your best recent Tweets with the highest engagements. However this doesn’t mean you will get the best results or the message across that you want.

The key to setting up a successful Twitter campaign is clearly outlining your aims before you start and then working out which targeting method will get the best results for you. This can take a while at the start but advertising on Twitter is a great method for reaching potential clients who have already expressed an interest in either your type of product or the general area you work in.

 

 

 

 

Stop wasting money. Use these keyword research tips.

1 Jul

Dee Jardine

Google Ads is an online market place filled with opportunity, but only if you can effectively target your audience. It’s important to pick your keywords wisely to make sure you get in front of customers who might actually make a purchase, rather than those with different intentions.

If you aren’t sure what we mean by any of the below check out our previous Adword’s blogs, Getting started with Adwords and Adword’s jargon busting.

Selling a dress should be simple. Bid on the keyword “dress” right?

Wrong! Firstly as so many competitors are bidding on the keyword “dress” it will cost you around 68p per click. If for every 20 people who click on your ad one purchases a dress at £10.00, it is costing you £13.60 to sell the dress.

Secondly, the keyword “dress” is not very specific. You might be selling a ladies “little black dress” yet your ads are showing in front of those searching for a child’s dress, men’s formal dress shirt, or dress fabric.

Thirdly, your target customer might not be searching for a “dress” they might prefer to type into Google “cheap dresses for going out”. Try to think like your customer and do your research.

So how do we find keywords that work?

At Navajo Talk we start with the Google Adword’s Keyword Planner Tool to generate keyword ideas and figure out what we can afford to bid on with a client’s budget.

blog1

We select the “search for new keyword and ad group ideas” option and enter as many relevant keywords we can think of.

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We then click “Get ideas” and Adwords generates lists of related ad groups and keywords we might like to bid on. We usually choose to view the keyword ideas rather than ad group ideas to keep things specific to our own campaign.

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As shown above we try to pick keywords that our customers are searching for but that are also relevant to our budget. You can also get keyword ideas and track your performance against competitors with the use of Keyword.wordtracker.com.

You can choose which keywords you want to add to your plan on Google Adwords, however we find it much easier to tweak match types, bids and sort ad groups with Adwords Editor. So we usually download the suggested keywords to an Excel CSV, and once we’ve chosen the keywords we like export them to Adwords editor. You can download Adwords editor for free if you don’t already have it.

What do you mean by tweaking match types?

We’ve been over this in our getting started blog in more detail. The match type decides how accurately your keywords need to be typed to show up for a user’s search. You can choose between, broad, phrase and exact match. Broad match, as it suggests, gives you the opportunity to get in front of a larger audience, however it might result in a lower click-through rate, more irrelevant clicks, a higher bounce rate and wasted money!

Exact match however means that if a customer types your keywords in another order, or with something additional before or after they will not see your Ad. Phrase match is the happy medium and in most cases for us the preferred type, it allows for your Ads to appear in search when a user’s queries includes more words before or after your phrase. We highly recommend pairing exact or phrase matches with negative keywords to increase the relevant click through rate.

Downloading Adwords Editor allows you to simply select the match type you want, but if you’re not going to use it you’ll have to get familiar with the below symbols and edit your keywords accordingly.

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What are negative keywords?

As illustrated in the above table negative keywords are those terms that we don’t wish our ads to show for. Seeing as we are selling a little black dress, we don’t want our women’s dress to show in the search results for formal dress, as people will click on the ad, costing us money, to then click straight back out of it when it fails to meet their needs.

You can also use negative keywords to avoid appearing in the searches of those who have no purchase intent, e.g. those looking for advice, freebies or a job.

How do I know if my keywords are working?

Review you keywords on a daily basis once your ads are up and running to check how effective they are. If the bounce rate is high, check the wording of your ads to make sure it is not misleading, and check your landing page to understand why it is not meeting customer’s needs. For example if your advert is for a little black dress but when your customer clicks on it they are sent to a full product listings page they will be frustrated and click straight off your website.

Click through rate gives an indication of how enticing your ads are to customers. If your click through rate is below 1% take a look at your ads to see if they could be written more persuasively or would be more effective in a different rank/position. You might need to adjust your bid.

Keep an eye on your costs, are you making a return on investment or are you spending so much on a single click that you are failing to make any profit from the sales you are making. Reducing your bid or picking less popular keywords will reduce your audience but may increase effectiveness.

I’m typing in my keywords, why can’t I see my Ads?

Google will try to spread your budget throughout the day; therefore your ads are being shown, just not for every search. We recommend not searching for your own ads are this will reduce the click through rate of your ads. Google Adwords allows you to view ad with the ad preview and diagnosis tool, which will not affect your statistics.

In the Google Adwords dashboard, the clicks, average ad position and search impression share stats are all far better indicators of how your keywords are performing. So stop searching and start analysing.

 

Getting started with Google Adwords advertising

10 Jun

By Dee Jardine

Adwords can be a bit overwhelming when you first get started.  However it’s definitely worth the effort. It’s a great way to promote your business, manage your spend, review results and tweak as necessary.

There’s so much detail we could go into, check out Google partners learning material if you want more in depth info. Today we are going to keep it short with a brief overview, but over the next few weeks we’ll go into more detail on those all important stages.

1. Goals

Make sure you get the most of your money by having goals from the outset.  Do you want your Ads to result in direct sales, capture data or create awareness of your brand.  You need to decide this sooner rather than later as it will affect your choices in the next stages.  For example if you want brand awareness you will want a wider audience, however ever you want direct sales you want to keep things specific.

The biggest mistake we see is when people jump in and bid on the most competitive terms without thinking about how many clicks they need to get a return on investment.

e.g. You know that on average, 2% of visitors to your page will go on and make an enquiry, you have a £50 per day Adwords budget, but you are bidding on a popular term at £5 per click. Your budget will be used up after 10 clicks and you’re looking at a cost per enquiry of £50, which you might find a bit expensive?

2. Account set up

Setting up an account is the easiest part but there is still room for error.  Take your time, make sure you select the right currency and time zone because if you skip this part you won’t be able to change it later.

account set up

3. Campaign

When you first set up a campaign you will be prompted to select your settings.  The two main types of campaign are Search and Display, or you can use a combination of both.  Search Ads appear alongside Google’s and Google partner’s (aol etc) search results, as shown below and are text only.

search Ads

Whereas display ads can be media rich; images, video or text and can appear on websites and Apps within the Google Network, as shown below.

display ads

You can select the region you want your campaign to run in, the language and set a daily budget.  You can also choose whether you want your Ads to appear on mobile devices or desktop only, this is especially handy if your website is not mobile friendly as you would not want these Ads to appear on mobile search if they eat into your budget but provide limited return on investment.  Alternatively you can target specific mobile devices, such as iphone user only and target an Ad specifically to them.

4. Ad Groups

It’s important to structure your campaign properly in order to create effective Ads that target specific queries and customers, so that your Ads are relevant and more likely to convert.  This will also improve the quality score of your Ads, improving the their chances of ranking higher than competitors and also reducing their cost per click.

Below outlines how to divide your campaign into Ad Groups for each product type or service.

adgroups

5. Getting your Keywords right

Within each Ad Group choose relevant keywords to bid on and target your Ads to as shown below.

keywords

When choosing your keywords you have to getting into the mind of your customer and what they might be searching for.  For example a fashion retailer might have specific name for a style of wedges,  however if this is industry jargon their customers won’t be searching for it.

Fortunately Google Adwords has a Keyword Planner under the Tools section to help with this process.

keyword planner

Select to search for new keywords and group ideas. Enter in the keyword ideas that come to mind and the region your Ads will be shown in (as shown below) and hit get ideas.

keyword finder

Google will then indicate how frequently the search terms you entered are being searched for, how competitive these keywords are and how much you will need to pay per click if you want your Ads to show for these terms.

keyword ideas

Google will also suggest similar terms that people in the area are searching for to give you ideas as to what to bid on.  You can use this to decide what you can afford to bid on with your budget, if a cost per click is more than you are willing to pay for a competitive highly searched term you can pick less commonly searched term that will cost you less.

keyword suggestions

At Navajo Talk we tend to export these keyword suggestions to a Excel CSV document and use this to refine the list to the ones we would like to use for our campaign.  We can then upload this Excel document onto our favourite Adwords Tool, “Adwords Editor”.  The editor allows us to group keywords into Ad Groups, edit the match type of keywords to broad, phrase or exact, and tweak bids to suit our budget, all while offline and without making anything live until we are ready.

Negative keywords

To avoid irrelevant clicks you can add negative keywords to an Ad Group so searches with these words or terms are excluded.  Commonly used negative keywords include words like “FREE”, “REVIEWS” and “JOBS”.  However you have to think about similar products as well for example if your product is “flat shoes” you should add negative keywords like “rent” to avoid showing for queries such as “flat for rent”.

Match types

Selecting the right match type will also ensure you don’t show up for irrelevant queries.

Broad match allows you to target a wider search base as any of part of your keyword can trigger your Ads. It will include close variations such as plurals, synonyms and possible misspellings.  Google will set your Ads to broad match by default, which may be too general and cause more irrelevant click throughs, leading to a higher bounce rate, resulting in a lower quality score and in the long run costing you more.  If you are using broad match to save time as the plurals will be included be sure to use a lot of negative keywords. Broad match can have advantages however for those whose aim is general awareness as opposed to direct sales.

Phrase match allows for your Ads to appear in search when a users queries includes more words before or after your phrase.  For example if your keyword is “red high heels” your Ad will still appear if “Diamante red high heels” is searched for, however if they searched “red diamante high heels” your Ads will not appear.

Exact match means your Ads will only appear when users have search for your keyword and no more.  This means your Ads can be more specific and therefore more likely to gain a higher click through rate.  If your aim is direct conversions and return on investment exact match should be your preference.  However you will have to invest a lot of time into thinking up as many keyword variations as possible to ensure you get in front of your audience.  For this reason we generally prefer phrase match along with the use of negative keywords.

Bidding

Set the most you’re willing to pay per click from each keyword.  You can always come back and tweak this while your Ads are running to ensure your aren’t paying too much.  Often you will pay less than your maximum bid and still rank in first place.  This is because with each search query there is a bidding auction where your rank is decided based on the quality score of your Ads and your maximum bid compared to competitors.

6. Writing click enticing Ads

As well as managing our keywords Adwords Editor also allows us to write Ads specific to each Ad Group and review these ideas before making them live on the campaign.  The editor will also indicate for us if we have entered too many characters.

Ad text

The headline should say exactly what the product or service is so that potential customers can easily identify that it meets their search criteria.  Compelling text Ads show what sets you apart from your competitors and should include a firm call to action,  for example “Order By Midnight Today For Free Delivery” or “Buy now for 20% Discount: Limited Offer”.

The above is just an outline to get you started, otherwise we could be here all day! Next week we’ll look more closely at choosing your keywords.   Alternatively if it all seems a bit too much get in touch with us at Navajo Talk.

 

 

How to quickly make more of mobile visitors using apps

29 May

By Jonny Cameron

Most new clients we work with still aren’t making the most of visitors from mobile devices. There are more of these visitors, yet they are buying less.

Look at your website analytics. For most ecommerce businesses we have worked with in the past six months, mobile traffic exceeds desktop and even tablet traffic. But look at the conversion rate. The pattern is clear, unless the site is responsive to mobile devices, mobile traffic will have a higher bounce rate, spend less time on the site and visit fewer pages than desktop traffic. So, it’s either time to design your site specifically for mobile or look at new ways for mobile visitors to interact with your brand.

Smart phone usage

The Appoggiatura

In recent years the heading to this section would have been “get appy”, “be appy” or “shiny appy people”. But look at me, like a smart arse I’ve been on dictionary.com and found a big word starting with “app”.

Anyway… get an app version of your site made! 

People are downloading apps like never before. As mobile internet usage continues to dramatically increase, having an app makes sense if you’re an ecommerce business.

Earlier this year Apple announced that nearly 60 billion apps have now been downloaded in total and there are over a million in the Apple app store, with an average of 25,000 to 30,000 added every month. There’s big competition to get your app noticed, but there are loads of people to market your app to.

For businesses selling online, the message is clear! Get an app, and do it soon. Then market it properly, here’s how.

Promote your app with paid search advertising

The more downloads your app gets, the more visibility it is likely to receive in the Apple store and Google Play store. In order to get more downloads you’ll need to promote it.

One of the quickest ways is paid search advertising and with Google’s recent changes they’re making it easier than ever to target the right customers, including:

  • Advertising your app within other apps. If people have already downloaded a fashion app, the chances are that they’ll be interested in yours.
  • Promote it in search results for mobile devices only. This is a great way to serve an ad that links to your download page when a potential customer searches for something relevant to your product or services.
  • Use app-promotion ads to link directly to the Google play store or the Apple store. These only show on mobile devices and give you the option to include a title, description and price.  This represents a real opportunity to show reviews and persuade people to download.
  • Measure! You can of course track download performance, see which ad types, channels and networks are leading to more downloads.

There is also a value in serving ads  to people that have already downloaded your app. This could be to request a review or remind them that they’ve downloaded! Recent studies indicate that only 16% of people use an app more than once. Usefulness is obviously a big factor here, ecommerce apps in the fashion industry are always more likely to be used than the farmyard animal noises app.  The more reviews you get, the more visibility you are likely to have in the app stores, not to mention the more likely you are to persuade others to download.

Good old fashioned online PR

Use your existing network to spread the message, review the app and take up any offer of a free trial you might have. If you’re a company with an existing email database, let them know. If you have an engaged social media community, offer them a trial or a period for free if they review it. If nothing else you’ll get some valuable feedback.

Find journalists, online experts and social media influencers that have reviewed similar  apps. They might be more likely to review yours and let people know about it.

Show people how it works

Demonstrate how your app works using a video demonstration. This can then be promoted on video channels, but it also gives the app greater credibility and removes more barriers to people downloading it. Visuals of what the app looks like will also work.

Creating an app may seem like a luxury, especially if you’ve only just revamped your website. But if your mobile traffic isn’t converting, it’s time to invest in the future.

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

Are you paying seven times too much for online business listings?

14 Nov

By Jonny Cameron

There’s an even more cost-effective way of attracting customers online. So start thinking outside the business-listing box.

Remember Yellow Pages? Online business listings are like an online version of that. A list of local businesses who’ve paid to have their company on the list. The way people buy online has changed and there’s a more cost-effective way to generate sales and target customers.

I spent 40 minutes on the phone the other day with a salesman from a well known online business listing site. To protect their identity, let’s call them hell.com (not to be confused with the actual hell.com). And let’s call the salesman Mr. Hell.

The salesman seemed like a nice fellow purporting to be “in marketing”, but sadly he didn’t check what we did prior to the cold call and seemed a bit sheepish when I told him that we were also “in marketing”.

Anyway on to the main event, he wanted to get our website “in front of people” searching for services similar to our business. It’s a blanket term isn’t it? “get in front of people”.

The size of the audience

Together, we agreed that our potential customers might use Google and enter the search term “digital marketing Northern Ireland”.

Mr. Hell was aware that I can access the Google keyword planner to determine how many monthly searches there are via Google. For that specific term there were, on average,  less than ten searches per month over the past year:

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Would you believe that on Mr. Hell’s site there were seven times that amount? That’s seven times the number of people who actively visited hell.com and then entered the term “digital marketing Northern Ireland” as opposed to using Google, the search engine that accounted for 90% of UK-based desktop searches and 92% of mobile searches in June this year. But there’s no reason to believe Mr. Hell is telling porkies, so we continued.

Mr. Hell’s Pitch

Mr. Hell asked the following questions, keen to persuade me that a listing on Hell.com was better than investing in paid search advertising via Google:

  • Have you used paid search marketing before (yes I have)
  • How much did you spend (I gave him the modest sum of £200 for this campaign)
  • How many enquiries did this give you (It gave us 10 for this campaign, that’s a cost per conversion / enquiry of £20 and if Mr. Hell could get me more conversions for less money then of course I’d be interested)

I could hear the cogs in Mr. Hell’s brain working through the phone as he presented me with the following solution:

  • £14 per month to get in front of the 70 people that had searched for this term on hell.com (our website would appear on hell.com on a listing alongside competitors)

Surely this is a better proposition than £200 for 10 enquiries?

No Mr. Hell, it isn’t and here’s why:

User intent

Mr. Hell is assuming that everyone searching for “digital marketing Northern Ireland” is looking for the products and services of an agency. They aren’t. People are looking for jobs, local competition and educational courses to name but a few. For the £14 per month there is no way of filtering the quality of the visitors.

“Getting in front of people” 

There’s always a value in getting your brand “in front of people” or as we call it, impressions (the total number of people who may have seen your advert online). And of course in order for people to click on your listing, they need to have seen it. The question is for £14 invested elsewhere, how many people can I “get in front of”

For the £14 pound per month I can get a listing in front of 70 people searching for one specific term on hell.com, however for an investment of £204.84 using Google adwords, I got in front of 8,138 people in one month (this campaign involved bidding on various terms as opposed to one). 100 people clicked on these ads on the Google search network, giving us a click through rate of 1.23%. If we apply the same click-through rate using Mr. Hell’s figures, we can make the following monthly comparison:

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Our cost per click for hell.com is going to be massive because not all of those 70 people who we are “in front of” are going to click. This means that using the click through rate of 1.23% as a guideline, the average amount you are spending per click on hell.com would be over £16 versus £2.05 on Google Adwords for this example. As a rough guide, this means that if we spent the same £14 on Google ads we would get nearly seven clicks, vs the nearly one using hell.com.

But wait, are these 70 people going to be more inclined to click?

No, they aren’t because on hell.com there is a list of competing agencies with no more detail than the company name, address, telephone number and a list of services they provide. Where’s the attention-grabbing, the unique selling point, the special offer or the call to action? They’re all non-existent, so unless you’ve paid hell.com to be top of that list, your chances of being clicked are significantly reduced at each stage of the user journey.

With a Google paid search ad you have the opportunity to be creative, meaning that even if you aren’t in the top three paid positions, you can still attract more clicks, at a lower cost, if you write a compelling ad.

The user journey

Mr. Hell was keen to point out the organic / non-paid search value on having a hell.com listing. Many local searches will bring up hell.com on the first page of Google.

However this is not comparing like-for -like as there is an extra click that is not there when using Google paid search ads:

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Not only are there two extra stages before the user enquires, your option to persuade visitors to take the desired action and contact you is much reduced by the additional clicks and lack of versatility on the listing that is hosted on the hell.com website.

Which is more likely to help visitors convert: a custom landing page on your own site versus a ubiquitous listing on a business listing site?

And the quality?

Hell.com seemed to give the most prominence to the highest bidder. The beauty about Google advertising is the quality score system that ensures that whilst you may have outbid all of your competitors on a specific term, if your ad, landing page, products and services are not as relevant to the search term as they could be, you may still not appear top of the list.

I raised this issue with Mr. Hell, how does he know we are reputable? We could be charlatans and you’d still be prepared to promote our services to visitors to your website. “No,” he said “I can tell from talking to you that you know what you’re doing.”

So maybe Mr. Hell wasn’t so bad after all.