Some context: I run a seminar with Small Business BC called “Reach More Customers with Google Adwords”. It’s a three hour intensive seminar that goes through in great detail how to build and develop your own Google Adwords account. After running this seminar a few times, I’ve received similar questions from attendees and I thought it would be helpful to summarize answers to these questions for anyone who may be interested. In general, they may provide clarity on the results you can expect from your Google Adwords account.
PS: The next seminar is coming up soon – check the SBBC website for specific dates and times HERE.
Questions I am asked most frequently after the seminar:
What ROI can I expect?
- For starters, a positive one. Which may sound straight-forward but I have seen small businesses tolerate accounts with negative ROI’s for months before realizing something was wrong. If your Google Adwords account is being managed properly your account will be at the very least be covering its costs.
- In terms of an actual % of ROI that depends on your business and your Average Revenue per User. I have clients where the value of 1 converted customer is $3000. Therefore, a $1500 ad spend per month is quickly earned back. If your ARPU is $100 – it may take longer to recoup your investment. An industry standard rate of return is roughly 30%.
How do you actually track phone calls and leads?
Google Call Tracking tracks two different kinds of phone calls and each of them has a different tracking mechanism:
- Ad Phone Calls: A user clicks on the phone number shown alongside your ad in the search results. These are fully tracked by Google. All you have to do is indicate that you’d like them tracked in your account settings. There is tracking pixel or setup.
- Phone calls on website: These use a google call forwarding tracking pixel to track phone calls to the phone number displayed on your website. Simplified, Google swaps out your business phone number for a similar number that is only used to track the movements of paid traffic.
I’m a small business or start-up business – Do I invest in PPC or SEO?
- If you want immediate leads: invest in a PPC campaign on Google Adwords (not Facebook or other ad platform).
- If you want ‘awareness’, ‘reach’, ‘to build an audience’ invest in SEO. Just don’t expect immediate and huge sales volume from your efforts.
Why would I invest in advertising when SEO brings ‘free’ traffic through to my website?
- Organic traffic is not free traffic. SEO is not free either. Bringing consistent, organic traffic through to your website is a delicate, expensive and long-term process. You will either have to invest your time into developing this traffic or you will have to pay someone else to invest their time into it. Advertising can be setup immediately and delivers results immediately. That’s not to downplay the use of SEO – it is an incredibly valuable and necessary service but I usually recommend it to businesses that are already bringing through and converting leads regularly.
I don’t have time for this. How do I outsource the management of my Google Adwords account and still stay in control?
- Sometimes I encounter businesses that are ashamed that they either don’t understand Google Adwords or are not interested in learning how to manage their own accounts. Most of my private clients are doctors – they are interested in their field and have no interest in learning online marketing including Google Adwords. There’s nothing wrong with that and in fact it makes a lot of sense.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking to outsource your advertising:
- Contracts – someone who’s confident in their services should offer month-to-month service terms. Long term contracts are very often ‘traps’.
- Pricing – The typical pricing model involves: Direct ad spend which goes straight to Google and a ‘management free’ that goes to the account manager for their services.
- Double check extras aren’t being shaved off the top of your advertising budget. Have a clear understanding of how much is being spent on your ads and how much is being spent on the management of your ads.
- Too much focus on Branding / Creative
- Indirect Goals:
- Main focus should be directly trackable ROI whether your budget is $500 or $250,000.
- Speak directly with the person who will be managing your account. Don’t go through a sales-rep.
- Regularly review your account. A standard month-to-month contract should include a ‘bi-weekly’ or ‘monthly’ account review call.
- Look for a certified Google Partner – not “agency certified”. The individual managing your account should be directly Google certified.
- Use Google Partner Search to find a partner.