I have been playing with Google AdWords with very little success in generating hits to our site. I suspect it is because I am not willing to pay enough for a click. If you would be willing to share your information, what amount have you had to pay for clicks? What amount in revenue does each click mean to your firm? I would love to figure this out, I am just a little slow!
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor O:
T just turned over managing my AdWords account to a group that is supposed to know the in's and out's of AdWords and give me more bang-for-the-buck. So far they are driving less traffic to my site. Iím still in first two weeks so things are still being tweaked and traffic should improve dramatically. I think you have to set up an analytics account, in conjunction with AdWords to help decipher how people are coming to your site and what they are looking at when they are there. I pretty much ignore the data from AdWords and just check analytics for feedback. You can set many parameters to pick up very specific traffic and Google does a good job of telling you how much search traffic exists for different searches.
I don't recall getting more than two or three calls total from that campaign, and since I track where my sales come from, I know I didn't get any sales. I do know I made the conclusion that anyone who used that method of search was simply looking for a cheaper (not more value, just cheaper) deal than what they got. I decided to let other people bash their heads against that wall, I can think of better ways to get (profitable) customers.
About $9,000 spent (30% of it for 100% bounced clicks-yes, they charge you for that even if a visitor doesn't stay on your site for one second). It's why I stopped using AdWords this year and spent a few months on my web-site instead. Now I have doubled the traffic to my site without paying them. I made the same conclusion as contributor I that people looking for better deals from paid advertisers and also being in sponsored links section of searches makes you look desperate.
AdWords is not the end-all, be-all, but I think it is worth being involved in. it can help drive traffic to new sites (longevity is a big factor in seo) and you can unplug it at anytime. Organic searches would be my preferred method of appearing on the web but you can spend far more upfront to have this set up (by others - I barely know what I'm doing in the shop) and the results can be just as mixed. For me, AdWords has been the best form of advertising (outside of direct sales calls/meetings). I'm not sure about being portrayed as desperate by participating in ppc. There are a lot of big-name companies that have ppc accounts.
While all the statistics are nice to know (how many clicks, how many hits on websites) all that tells you is how many people saw your ad. Where the rubber meets the road is what happened when they saw the ad/website etc. Did you message cause them to call/e-mail/ drop in to your shop? If not, all those type of stats are pretty much worthless.
What I teach in advertising and marketing seminars I've done across the country is in many woodworking businesses certain inquiries turn into bona fide sales leads, certain leads turn into appointments and certain appointments turn into sales. Everything that happens after an inquiry is made is not a function of advertising, but rather a sales function. So, unless you ask each inquiry "how did you hear about me?" and write it down and do the math, you will never have the tool to compare how one medium does compared to another.
I've yet to hear from anyone in this business how their cost per inquiry using AdWords compares to other media they used concurrently. I'd love to hear some numbers - not the cost per click type or how many hits stuff that's fairly easy to get, but how much each inquiry generated from AdWords costs along with how much each inquiry from other media costs. Understanding those numbers is key in making advertising buying decisions wisely, stretching your advertising/marketing dollars and gives you bench marks to compare anyone or any other advertising opportunity that may come your way to your proven, historical constants.
There are many other ways to analyze the data gleaned to get an even clearer picture of what is happening in each step (inquiry, lead, appointment, sale), but I'll save that for the seminar. Plus, what works for one business in one area may not work as well (or may work even better) for another business in another market. What I'd suggest is that you begin by asking every inquiry how they heard about you, then doing the math. Your own numbers will tell you what you need to know better than anyone can here.