Home Forums Tech talk Is Google Advertising Worth It?

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  • #1183044
    Colin-S
    Member
    • Total posts: 31

    I agree, it is – the harder part is creating a sensible campaign to begin with, one that has a chance of giving an ROI.

    Put another way, anyone can put money into the pokies. Many people can look back and quickly calculate it wasn’t profitable. The skilled ones are those that work out how to do it and make money before they’ve spent too much!

    #1183045
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    Depending on the traffic flow it might take a couple of weeks or a few months to get a real handle on how a campaign is working. Time is not the issue, traffic data is! Stats are meaningless without volume.

    #1183046
    John Romaine
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,104

    Most people don’t track anything.

    I’ve worked with a large number of clients that simply “assume” Adwords is working. Crazy. You need to know exactly what is going on.

    You can easily track everything very accurately using Google Analytics.

    I’d highly recommend site owners that are running any form of paid traffic to spend the time to learn how to setup custom dashboards (for reporting) within Google Analytics. It makes running your campaigns so much easier because you can see what’s going on at a glance.

    It also makes interpreting the data much easier, which assists with purposeful decision making.

    #1183047
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    GSanders, I’ve had success with Google advertising as reported by the clients themselves at conversion. I was selling a high value product so ROI was great, even if a few of them weren’t referred in the manner they claimed.

    Interestingly, though, I stopped as an experiment because I was in a competitive bidding scenario with someone else. I wanted them to drop their bid.

    What happened was my organic rank did better, possibly because more people were clicking this rather than the advert and also because more people were hanging around onsite rather than thinking, “Seen this before” and browsing straight back to search.

    So I abandoned adverts and built a hugely successful business just on organic search. We then stayed top of search on the important keywords until I ended the business (due to other factors as well, of course). Risky policy to be that reliant (we didn’t try other marketing), but it worked well in my case. So I’ve had success both with and without.

    Search ads are good for people struggling to get noticed in search if that’s the main way of getting found and they prove to be good ROI.

    #1183048
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    That’s interesting Paul.

    Personally, I’ve not seen any difference of significance in ToS or Bounce behaviours between commercial keyword visitors via organic and those via ads (assuming we are not using LP’s for the ads). Not that bounce rate is a ranking signal anyway but for education value, are you able to tell us what niche this was in? I’m definitely interested to know if any particular niches see this kind of behaviour difference.

    #1183049
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    Yes Aidan, the business I had in mind here was hypnotherapy training, a highly competitive and lucrative niche area.

    Bounce isn’t a ranking signal? Do you have any hard evidence from Google, or at least scientific research (preferably independent and university-led, controlled trials)? I’d be really interested to read if so.

    If it’s the usual speculation and rationale… If I ran a search engine, my business would be founded on providing the best possible results to my customers (searchers). People typically leave bad sites quickly. For one reason or another, the result is not pleasing my customers. I don’t want to serve that site with high priority. It looks bad on me. Taken over many instances, I would be very interested if people left Site A fast, while they hung around a long time on Site B before returning back to my search engine to look at others. The problem, of course, is that people also leave sites that they’ve already seen in Google Ads. I do it all the time. We don’t need to read it all again. What do you think?

    #1183050
    John Romaine
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,104
    Paul Peace, post: 221808, member: 54653 wrote:
    People typically leave bad sites quickly.

    People leaving a site quickly may also indicate an extremely efficient website, too.

    “I got the information I needed right away and left”.

    For eg. Concert times, bus/train time tables, holiday room pricing.

    #1183051
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    I agree people want info fast on some sites but not normally within a couple seconds though John. That would be even more true of areas that are quite wordy like training. Also, on a bus timetable website, a customer may well look at Journey Planners, places to visit, service interruption announcements as well. A stickier site (measured by other measures as well, of course) may be capable of providing more value. These get-info-fast sites could possibly be excluded from weighting on this as they are quite distinctive in organisation and content.

    I’d like to see some hard research on this because I’m guessing and really interested in the relationship between ads and organic.

    #1183052
    John Romaine
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,104

    This has been tested a few times by Rand Fishkin and the team at Moz. Google has demonstrated that they will shuffle search results based on user click through behaviour.

    For eg…

    Pos #4 gets high bounce back rates (I think the guys call it “Pogo-sticking”) ….that is, users click through, then as soon as the page loads they bounce right back to the SERPS, then click on another listing, say, the result in pos #8.

    This over time, can result in number 8 moving up the page, and number 4 dropping lower. They may even swap completely (I’ve seen it)

    Of course this doesn’t happen without a significant amount of traffic, accumulated across numerous devices from unique IP addresses. They want collective data that shows behavioral patterns.

    A test like this is possible if you have a large Twitter following. “Go here, search for this, click the 3rd spot, bounce back, go to 7th spot, stay on the page …etc etc.”

    I’ve seen it done, and it’s proven.

    However in saying that….high bounce rates are something you’ll want to avoid. I’ve worked on countless sites, and the ones that perform well are usually all around the 30-40% range. Anything higher than 60-70% is getting a bit high.

    BTW – There is no direct relationship between PPC and organic. Two different things completely. Of course, your cost goes up when your quality score is low, which (as I understand it) comes about due to a number of factors with bounce back being one of them. I could be wrong, I’m not a PPC guy.

    #1183053
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    Interesting thoughts.

    #1183054
    Byron Trzeciak
    Member
    • Total posts: 422

    Just heading back to the original question about a potential cost per conversion or comparison between Organic and Adwords I thought I’d just compare two of my clients in completely different industries and see what difference there was.

    Comparison just between the last three months here. Client A have a significantly larger budget than client B.

    Client A – Cost per conversion $91.00 ($51 for last month due to incremental improvements over the past three months)
    Client B – Cost per conversion $81.00 ($52 for last month due to incremental improvements)

    Average session duration
    A) Organic – 2.39 B) 2.00
    A ) Adwords – 2.36 B) 0.45

    Conversion Rate
    A) Organic – 5.22% B) 3%
    A) Adwords – 10.14% B) 4.66%

    Bounce Rate
    A) Organic – 55% B) 52%
    A) Adwords – 66% B) 75%

    Average Cost per Click
    Client A – 10.23
    Client B – 4.81

    Both Adwords and SEO still have their place it’s just a matter of whether you can do it or you need someone else to assist you. If it’s the latter then is the return still worth it. If you’re doing Adwords however and you’re not tracking the data then like John says you’re not advertising, you’re gambling.

    #1183055
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    Hi Paul and all,

    I got it straight from a Googler at one of the big conferences. There had been some talk about it but I challenged how it could possibly be used given the best possible web pages to rank would have exactly what the visitor wanted on the landing page so he does not have to go looking around the site for it.

    The answer was a quick “that’s one of the reasons why we don’t use it”.

    BTW – Google also hates the idea of site owners deliberately structuring their sites so that a user has to click an extra click just to satisfy the site owners desire for a low bounce rate.

    Here’s an old example from Matt Cutts:
    [MEDIA=youtube]CgBw9tbAQhU[/MEDIA]

    I’m sure john Mueller says it plain and simple about half an hour into this more recent chat too: [MEDIA=youtube]z8QKIweOzH4[/MEDIA]

    Unfortunately the point about people leaving bad websites quickly was dispelled soon after that notion started, when people started building sites with confusing navigation (I’m talking even before the rise of mobile traffic!). Those sites are a curse and I hope their operators suffer something horrible. They are great for generating pageviews and ad revenue – and they all have seriously tiny bounce rates – but are they actually liked by anybody?

    As for trying to compare organic traffic and AdWords traffic – you have to do that at the search query level and ensure both are brought to the same page to be able to draw any conclusions. I’ve tried it using some bulk data and can’t see much evidence of any real distinction between the two.

    If you try this for yourself there are a few things to watch out for such as curiosity clicks if some brand has a novel ad in a high spot. You also have to try to pick SERPs pages that are consistently presented in the same format as mixing up universal SERPs pages with plain ones makes a difference!

    #1183056
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    Should have mentioned, another reason they said, was that they have no way to know the bounce rate of all those sites that don’t use GA! Apparently there are lots, many of the worlds largest web properties use other systems.

    #1183057
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    Interesting Aidan. If Google doesn’t place any cookies of it own, I guess it would be tricky. Another thought against the bounce-back hypothesis is that it wouldn’t be in Google’s interests to undermine their own ads. However, by the same thinking, this would also mean they cannot watch click rates on SER. Clearly, fewer people will click an organic result when they’ve clicked an ad. Many people look at the URL. So that penalises advertisers. It’s still not quite piecing together. Have you got the missing link?

    #1183058
    Cesar
    Member
    • Total posts: 591

    I love websites that give you what your are looking for straight away, no need to navigate. High Bounce Rates are great!

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