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Thursday, January 12, 2012

 

Google’s algorithm changes over the past 2-3 years are making it harder to directly influence search engine rankings.  Factors such as the Google ‘trust’ factor (which gives preference to older domain names) are impossible to influence, leaving many businesses with sub-optimal organic rankings.

With many businesses being disgruntled with SEO results there is an ever-increasing trend (as Google had hoped) towards paying for search positions.

Yes, with pay-per-click advertising you need to continually spend to get a result.  However, these 7 key reasons may have you reconsidering your marketing mix to include pay-per-click advertising.



1. Paid Clicks are from Hungry Customers

Common sense suggests that people clicking organically are early in the buying cycle, whereas those clicking on paid ads are more ready to make a purchase.  Paid ads often contain special offers, discounts, pricing examples, and are directly targeted towards what the searcher is looking for.  E.g. see the compelling offers that appear when ‘carpet cleaning’ is searched on Google – '3 Rooms for $65', '10% off' etc. Compare this to the first 4 organic listings which have minimal marketing appeal.

 
 Click to Enlarge


2. Search Engines have Shareholders

Organic results are being bumped down the list in favour of paid ads, in an attempt to maintain share prices of the search engines.  Ads can now include a business location and links to other pages within the website (see examples below).  As a result, the paid ads are getting clicked on more than ever before because searchers don’t like having to scroll.


   
 Click to Enlarge  Click to Enlarge


3. Organic = Watching Grass Grow

It can be frustrating watching and waiting for your website to improve organically.  No one knows how high it will reach and how fast it will get there.

Pay-per-click advertising gives immediate visibility.  Ads can be shown to a searcher in a specific location for a specific keyword, within as little as 10 minutes.  This sure beats sitting around hoping/praying for your website to improve organically.



4. Pay-per-Click Covers 1,000’s of keywords

It is difficult to get a website ranking organically in the top 3 for 100’s of popular keywords without the website having literally hundreds or thousands of pages.  Many older websites will rank well under a select few popular keywords but they could be missing out on customers who search for variations of these keywords.  Pay-per-click lets you actively pursue all keyword variations, without having to write additional content!


5. Greater Control

The description used in organic search results will be the meta description of the relevant page, or in some instances, an extract of text from the page.  Whilst you can alter the meta description, it isn’t guaranteed that this will be displayed, and any changes that you make won’t be reflected until the search engine re-crawls your website (which could be hours or months – no one knows exactly). By comparison pay-per-click ads can be changed almost instantly and are reflected generally within 10 minutes online.


6. Make use of Landing Pages

1-page websites, also known as ‘Landing Pages’ or ‘Squeeze Pages’, are renowned for having higher conversion rates than full websites.  Landing pages work well for businesses whose customers are making a time-sensitive decision (e.g. pest control), the customer can get the same or a similar service elsewhere (e.g. mortgage broking), and credibility can be quickly conveyed in a few key bullet points.

1-Page websites generally don’t rank well organically in competitive areas due to the website having insufficient content.  However, pay-per-click advertising can have these pages ranking high in any keyword category, and driving quality targeted traffic that converts into leads.  It is not uncommon for a good landing page and pay-per-click campaign to convert 25% of visitors into leads.

These statistics are from a test comparing the conversion rate of a full website (SEO Landing Page) with a 1-Page PPC Landing page –


  Conversion Rate 
SEO Landing Page  15.1% 
PPC Landing Page 26.9%


7. You Control your Rankings

By bidding on keywords you can control your rankings with pay-per-click advertising.  Note however that your bid is only one of a number of factors search engines look at when determining how much you pay per click.  A good quality landing page with relevant keywords will help keep your click costs to a minimum.
Friday, October 07, 2011

The Truth about Google AdWords

AdWords is a phenomenal marketing tool if used correctly. Our clients have generated millions of dollars worth of sales and achieved a positive return on investment where their campaigns have been correctly architected and managed.

Google AdWords is designed in a way that encourages businesses to spend money using campaign settings they think are beneficial, but can actually be detrimental to the performance of a campaign.


A typical day in the life of an Australian small business owner...

So you’ve just received a Google AdWords voucher in the mail for $75 worth of free advertising credit – how exciting!

You login to Google’s website, setup your campaigns, enter your credit card and voucher details, then wait for the phone to ring.

But somehow nothing happens. This brilliant advertising service that everyone talks about just spent $75 of Google’s money with no result. 

Speculating, you spend a little more of your own money, tweak some keywords, re-write your ads, and then your receive a call from someone claiming to be looking at your website.

It must be working! You spend some more, this time increasing your bids because you notice your ads are too far down the list. Your cost of clicks increases and you’re now sitting in the top 3. The phone rings a little more!

A few days later you check your ads and you’re sitting 5th of the list for your #1 keyword – how dare your competitors outrank you! You then start to wonder if they’re clicking on you.

So you increase your bids a bit more but notice your ads are receiving less clicks, and you start wondering ifAdWords is all it’s cracked up to be.

Then...you read your credit card statement and nearly faint at the charges from Google!


Case Study – 82% of a budget wasted!

When we added the keyword ‘advertising perth’ to a trial campaign it triggered visits for keywords including ‘how to study advertising in perth’, ‘personals adverts perth’, ‘quokka advertising perth’, ‘transperth advertising’.Of the $162 spent in 7 days, $134 was spent on clicks that were totally irrelevant!

Click on the thumbnail below to see the full list –

This click wastage is prevalent in almost all AdWords campaigns and is a moving target.

This is only one of over 10 different ways Google encourages businesses to spend more on AdWords than they need to (last quarter they generated $9.03 billion in revenue from this service). It pays to have any AdWords campaign professionally managed to obtain the best possible result!


Are You Bronze, Silver or Gold?

If you are running Google AdWords or are considering launching a campaign to promote your business, PositionMEonline provides three levels of Google AdWords management to ensure your campaigns are run most effectively. 

Starting from $130+GST/month for the Bronze service we will review your campaigns every month and provide you with an update on your campaign performance. This small investment often pays for itself as a result of substantially reduced click wastage and a higher return on investment.


Find Out How Much You’re Wasting - FREE

If you have a Google AdWords account that is currently not managed by us and would like to know how much you have spent on unwanted clicks, we provide a complimentary campaign review and will reveal the finite dollar value of your wasted click costs. This offer is valid until 31 October 2011.


Not Running AdWords Yet?

You could be missing out on an excellent source of high quality traffic to your website. All new campaigns are created by PositionMEonline’s AdWords Qualified Consultants and are highly refined to ensure minimal click wastage.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

We're pleased to announce the launch of a new free guide for businesses looking for a web marketing service provider. 

Our industry is littered with one-man operations, fly-by-nights, and companies that give our industry a bad name.  This guide has been developed by our team to assist you in filtering out the wheat from the chaff.  Best of all it's 100% free, and could save you thousands in fees and lost business!

Click the icon below to download your free copy now!





Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How Much Money is Google Making?

Any business who has ever run a Google AdWords campaign to drive traffic to their website for a minimum of 3-6 months will have experienced a rise in the cost of traffic at a rate greater than inflation.

We have experienced this first hand - in June 2009 some of our Google Ads were costing around $5.25 per click. Nine months later these same keywords are bordering on $18 per click - not per enquiry, but per click! However, in this article we share with you some useful strategies for keeping your click costs to a minimum with Google's powerful advertising tool.

Why such a sharp increase in click costs?

With Google AdWords being a real-time bidding machine the click costs are largely driven by supply and demand. There is a limited supply of top or first page positions on Google, therefore those that want to be there have to pay a premium.

Click costs in certain industries have plateaued due to profit margins being eroded - e.g. the average cost per click in the florist industry is unlikely to go beyond $5 because if it takes an average of 10 clicks to get a sale, it is costing $50 to obtain the customer - on tight margins this is prohibitively expensive.

Does this mean my website is correspondingly more valuable?
Yes! If you have a website that generates organic/free search engine traffic, this traffic has a worth that can be equated to what you would otherwise have to pay Google in click costs.

Example:
If your website was generating just 20 'free' visitors a day as a result of its organic search engine rankings and your industry average cost per click is say $3, your website could be valued at - 20 visits x $3 per click x 365 days = $21,900 per year!

This is what a competitor new to the industry might have to pay direct to Google to generate the same amount of traffic. With this in mind you can see that apart from the business a website can generate, the potential worth of a well optimised website in considerable for any business.

How does Google establish the cost per click?

Interestingly, the bid or click price is not necessarily the most important factor in Google's AdWords ranking algorithm.

Other factors aside from 'price' which can have a major effect on the click costs include -

  1. Age of your Google AdWords Account - Google gives preference to businesses that have been advertising for a longer period of time. Like most businesses, they look after their long term customers and are wary of doing business with new customers with whom they have no trading history. We have seen some click costs drop by 50% in the 2nd and 3rd month of being active yet top positions were maintained.
  2. Your Keyword Quality Score - in every AdWords account next to each keyword is a tool that provides an arbitrary 'quality score' out of 10. This is measured by calculating the correlation between the chosen keyword, the ad that gets displayed when a searcher looks for that keyword, and the landing page of the website the visitor is taken to. If there is a good correlation (e.g. the keyword, the ad and the landing page all mention 'discount widgets') Google will assign that keyword a higher quality score and give it a corresponding increase in its ranking position.
  3. Click Thru Rate (CTR) - this is a measure of the percentage of searchers that click on the ad when the given keyword is searched for. E.g. a CTR of 3% means 3 in every 100 searchers click on your ad. A high click through rate is good news - searchers like clicking on your ad. Correspondingly, Google gives your ad a boost in the rankings because it may be making more money from your ad than your competitors because it is worded more attractively.

How do I combat rising click costs?

Many businesses lack the knowledge of Google's ranking algorithm for AdWords and as a result continuously increase their keyword bids in order to maintain their top positions. This is great for Google, but not for your hip pocket.

Here are 5 quick and easy ways to ensure you aren't paying a premium for your clicks:

  1. Link to the most relevant page on your website - this will improve your Quality Score for the given keyword
  2. Split your keywords into logical campaign groupings rather than one large campaign - this will also improve your Quality Score due to increased relevancy
  3. Ensure your ad is attractively worded - use digits in your ad, give pricing indications, and even include your telephone number - the digits will attract searchers eyes and result in more clicks
  4. Create ad variations that include the keywords you are targeting - if 'eco rainforest tours' is a keyword ensure 'eco rainforest tours' is mentioned in your ad
  5. Build a website specific to the campaign you have created - we did this for our websites that target specific strategic locations and noticed a 20-40% reduction in click costs!
PositionMEonline is a Google AdWords Qualified Company and has managed millions of dollars worth of spend with Google. We have an intricate understanding of how to get the best out of pay-per-click advertising based on our own experience and that of our clients.

For a free 30 minute analysis of your Google AdWords campaign contact our office on (08) 9313 2699 and we will schedule a video/web conference to review your account in more detail - obligation free.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Last time you did a search on Google there is a 94% chance that you clicked on the 'organic' search results (the left hand side of the search results page), according to a US Study*.  This means 6% or thereabouts of searchers are clicking on the 'Sponsored Links' or the 'paid' section of search engines.

This same study revealed that despite the large volumes of traffic clicking on the organic search results, businesses were still likely to spend at least 3 times as must on their paid positions as opposed to optimising their website to rank high in the organic search results.

Madness?  Well not quite.

Paid search programs such as Google AdWords offer business owners an immediate traffic solution - within 30 minutes of activating your campaigns, your ads are visible in the 'Sponsored Links' section of search results.  Search Engine Optimisation does not offer you quite the same immediacy or control, but once done correctly, the traffic is free.

Consider these benefits of having your website optimised effectively:

  • Clicks are free
  • No fighting the ever increasing click costs (our clients have seen an average increase of around 20% in click costs in 2008)
  • Increased brand recognition - higher ranking websites achieve greater brand awareness
  • You aren't limited to a defined number of keywords - your website has the potential to be found for hundreds of derivatives (we have a client in Melbourne with an optimised 14 page website that had their website found for over 850 keyword variations in a standard 30 day period)

Paid search programs such as Google AdWords offer you the immediacy you may require to test-market or get those crucial sales through the door.  However, if you are looking for a long-term cost-effective solution that delivers a strong return on investment, it is hard to ignore the need of having your website ranking high in the organic search results.

» Call or email one of our consultants today about for an analysis of the potential costs and cost savings that are available through our search engine optimisation services.








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