Adwords Has Been Very Good To Me – by guest writer Shep HykenDecember 16, 2006
Shep Hyken, CSP is a professional speaker and author who works with companies that want to develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.
Many of my colleagues have felt that the use of Google Adwords has not been an effective use of their marketing dollars. I’m not sure what their expectation, but my experience is different. I don’t expect Adwords to take the place of my sales people. Adwords is just another part of the mix. The more strategies in the mix, the more sales we make. While I can’t guarantee success for everyone, at least you can make some decisions based on my experience.In January 2005 I attended a seminar that included a short segment on Google Adwords. Further investigation of this topic led me to Fred Gleeck, who seems to know what he is talking about when it comes to marketing on the Internet. I happened to be in Las Vegas, where Fred lives, and met with him for several hours. Just a couple of weeks later I devoted an evening to opening an Adwords account and learning how to use it.First, it wasn’t hard. It took a couple of hours to grasp the concept and how the website worked. Then I brainstormed out some key words. I’m a professional speaker in the area of customer service. My keywords were obvious customer service speaker, customer service training, customer service video, customer service book, motivational speaker, etc. There are dozens of others that might be related, but I am focusing on the main ones.The nice thing about Google is that you can set a budget. I was willing to try a few dollars a day. The customer service training area has worked best for me. It is expensive to be in the top two or three. Some pretty big training companies seem to be able to hold and afford those coveted top positions. What I discovered is that being at the top is not important in that category. If a potential client is price sensitive, they will drill down to at least the second page of the sponsored searches. I usually float between positions 7 and 15.My average cost for Google Adwords in all of my categories totals around $150-200/month. My return has been excellent. My cost to bring in a new client off of Adwords has been about 1%. Interestingly, when I up my budget and bid for a higher place, it doesn’t yield more businesses.
Ideas from my experience:
- If budget is an issue, don’t be hung up on being at the very top. Settle for a few down, but try and stay on the first page of the sponsored searches (top ten).
- Your keywords should be that – very focused key words. I’m not saying don’t use other obscure phrases or words, but really focus on very descriptive key words.
- Make sure the short description Google allows you is descriptive enough to pull people in if they want what you sell. Conversely, the description should be clear enough to keep people away who you wouldn’t want clicking on your site – and costing you money.
- Focus on sponsored searches and not content matches. Content matches are ads that are placed along side content that people search out on the Internet. I want people to specifically search for my keywords. Content matches can quickly eat up your Adwords budget.
- Experiment for a day or two with a higher budget to see if moving higher in the sponsored (paid) search rankings makes a difference. It doesn’t make as big of a difference for my training business, but does make a difference for my speaking business.
- No matter how good Google Adwords is, it is still always better to be on top of the natural searches.
So there you have a half dozen ideas/strategies to help you decide if Adwords is right for you. Good luck and may you always be high in Google search rankings!