Rick Jesse recently wrote the Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. This post is an excerpt from a recent interview I did with Rick.
Are you making money with your AdWords campaign?
Q: I recently met with a senior community that is spending about $2,000 per month on AdWords. The marketing director proudly showed me the month-by-month CTR (click-through rate), but when I asked if they were making money with these AdWords campaigns, she didn’t know. Is this common?
Rick: It is very common to “not know” if you are making money from online marketing, including AdWords. If you haven’t set-up the measurement metrics and scorecard, it is impossible to know if you have “won the game”. The bottom-line is conversions of clicks into sales.
It is important to have a static accounting starting point, do not change any existing marketing systems, and then run an AdWords Campaign for a month or two. Yes, there may be some increasing traffic and effects from the existing marketing campaigns you have in place before AdWords is launched, but you will be able to see at least a general trend if sales increase with the new AdWords Campaign in place. Of course, there are many tools and applications like Google Analytics that will provide you with very specific information on prospect and customer behavior in real time and how that translates into sales and profits.
What are the most common problems with AdWords account setup?
Q: In your ebook, you mention setting up an AdWords account. What are the most common issues you see with account setup?
I see a lot of business people setting up AdWords accounts because their competitor has an AdWords Campaign running. They did not ask the question, “Is AdWords a good way, or the best way, for me to market and promote my business?” Do not set up a Campaign until this question is answered.
If this is a good way to market your business, then look at the marketing budget you can afford with your selling price points, and research the average cost per click for your most relevant keywords. You will know if you are able to be successful with the current cost per click vs. budget.
There are certain industries right now like insurance and real estate, with costs per click so high, it is nearly impossible to attain a positive Return On Investment.
Briefly, the three next most important settings are your keyword choices, your daily budget, and the geographic area your ad serves. Most campaigns I see for rebuilding have irrelevant keywords, an improper daily keyword bid and daily budget amount, and an incorrect geographic setting. There are many more settings in an AdWords Campaign, but with these three initial settings incorrectly chosen, the Campaign will usually not be successful.
“Can AdWords help find seniors to fill our community?”
Q: Let me pose a hypothetical to you. Suppose I run a senior living community, and my occupancy is 88%, but I’m budgeted for 92%. Can AdWords help me find seniors to want to talk about moving in? I know we set our own budget in AdWords. . . what kind of spend should I be looking at to produce results? There are other senior living communities in the area that are my direct competitors. I don’t know if they are using AdWords or not.
Rick: The first question is: Are prospective customers (or, more importantly their adult children helping the parents) using the Internet search to find potential senior living housing? The way to determine this is to use the Google Traffic Estimator tool to determine traffic counts. It is not always accurate, but it will give you a general idea of relevant search and clicks. I can do a search for senior community related keywords, and see if any of my competitors are using AdWords. If yes, then I can determine how much I can afford to invest in marketing to raise my occupancy 4 points in this case.
Keep in mind, if you have a very competitive market, with many other advertisers, a low daily budget for your business will cause your ads that actually appear on a search results page, to be very sporadic.
If there is $500 of overall daily click search traffic in your geographic area, and you have a $25.00 daily budget, you will receive 5% of the clicks. This means that in a 24 hour period, Googles computers will automatically show your ads until a click is generated, then pause your ads for a period of time, then show your ads again until another click is generated. The pause period is determined by the average cost per click compared to your daily budget over a 24 hour period. If you do not receive enough click activity to meet your sales goals, most often the daily budget must be raised to achieve satisfactory results.
By the way, some companies use multiple vendors to run their PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns. This usually does not make sense. It can become quite confusing as to who is doing what, and in some cases, your online campaigns end up competing with yourself, raising your cost per click, while making it very difficult to track the results.
“Is AdWords making a difference for us?”
Q: What advice do you give your clients who are spending money on AdWords buy are not sure if it is making a difference in their sales?
Rick: There are several things to look at.
- Be very clear on your business sales objective and determine if your AdWords marketing is as relevant and specific as possible to the objective
- Quantify the sales objective to be achieved over a specific time period
- Set-up a score card to measure the results vs. objectives on a daily basis
- Establish, or re-establish a budget designed to meet the sales objective
- Decide if you are branding your services or providing solutions to searchers
- Contact an inbound marketing expert for an initial consultation. These are usually free of charge.
- If utilizing an expert, get clarity on exactly what will be provided, the objective to be achieved with a deadline, and the estimated cost. Check on references, understanding that each and every Adwords Campaign is different, and designed to your specific needs.
- Actively monitor the AdWords Dashboard on a regular basis, and if your specific goals and ROI are not being achieved, find out why not, and make necessary adjustments.
- Do not ignore your Campaign, because the AdWords “meter” runs 24/7 whether the clicks are effective for you or not.
- Enjoy the results of increased sales, and expand the Campaign utilizing the many tools that are available to advertisers to customize and optimize their online marketing.
Rick has created effective AdWords campaigns for over 1,200 companies in the US and Canada. Learn more about how to use AdWords effectively from Rick’s new eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, available below.