Home – New Forums Tech talk Is Google Advertising Worth It?

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  • #1183059
    Aidan
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    Hi Paul,

    You may be over-thinking the relationship between AdWords and organic listings, there really isn’t one.

    Google does not manipulate organic ranks with any eye (at all) on AdWords. They are two separate algorithm sets and there is a solid Chinese wall between the two sides of Google, at least in my experience.

    It’s why you can be successful in AdWords while penalized in organic or vice versa, banned from AdWords while killing it in the SERPs. I know several instances of that over the years AdWords has been in existence.

    They can see the SERP CTRs regardless of whether there is GA on a site or not but they can’t always see ToS or Bounce rate, nor can they tell algorithmically if its meant to be that way or not.

    Then there is the problem of search intent. For example the guy looking for an emergency dentist or a snake handler is likely to pick any old listing, grab the phone number and then he is finished, unlike the girl looking for new shoes, who might wander around a site for a very long time. (Source: I’m married and have a daughter).

    Tracking ‘pogo-sticking’ to a useful degree also presents a problem in that some folk just do that kind of thing, or open multiple tabs or just quickly glance at several listings for comparison purposes or… or… (I think Mueller touches on that if you find that bit of the video).

    Corporates typically want to have both Ads and organic listings because Google has shown the effect of two presences is more than twice either one. Just search something like ‘mobile phone plans’ to see that in action.

    #1183060
    GuestMember
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    Imagine someone is looking for something complex Cesar. Someone has depression. Their cognitions are slow. They’re seeking a psychologist privately. Slowly, and with negative thoughts of suicide to contend with and tears to battle through, they are finding out whether the psych works with their condition, their experience, therapeutic modality (CBT, hypnotherapy, etc), location, fees, whether they can claim a rebate, etc. They’re not bouncing around all over the place mate.

    #1183061
    GuestMember
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    I view organic and ads as separate as the moon and ocean Aiden, so that isn’t the problem. But to continue the analogy, the moon does affect the sea inadvertently and causes tidal patterns.

    Perhaps an example will help:
    Company A uses Google Ads. Many people are clicking these. They don’t need to now go and click organic results as well when it’s the same company. That would be pointless (some will but many won’t). Therefore, those organic SERs are starved of clicks. Meanwhile, Company B does not use Google ads, so ALL of their clicks are on the organic results.

    Relatively
    company B does better than Company A in organic clicks in this scenario, all other things being equal. It’s only conjecture but that still seems rational to me. Google cannot solve it unless they add up clicks cumulatively across both systems to remove the bias (which neither of us suspects), whilst still maintaining that clicks are a sign of relevance (unless we’re going to reject that).

    It’s doesn’t add up in my mind and I look forward to further views on it.

    #1183062
    Aidan
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    I think you’re guessing too much into CTR and click volumes effect on ranking when those effects are relatively small indeed. Remember your CTR is largely dependant on page position and the wording of the title and meta description IF Google has chosen to use them. (You are probably well aware that Google can and does change what appears in the listing text if it feels it appropriate).

    A well crafted listing will attract more clicks than a random one but may still lead to a less relevant page for the user. A highly ranked page will tend to have a higher CTR but again may still lead to a less relevant page for that user. Google therefore is not likely to place a lot of weight, if any, on that, particularly when it might manipulate the content of the listings that appear.

    The study from Google actually shows that having two listings reinforce each other so that both get slightly higher CTR than if they had appeared on their own. there is also an issue of domain blindness, many don’t notice it at all.

    #1183063
    MatthewKeath
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    A button that refreshes the page?

    #1183064
    MD Clean
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    Paul, I think you are trying to solve the un-solvable. Aiden has read research that indicate 2 presences are better than one and that Google does not use bounce rate for SERPs.

    I have a high ranking site and have used PPC in concert and my experience tends to bear out what Aiden has said and that Google assert. Obviously my data set is far to small to draw any conclusions by themselves.

    IMHO, it is an interesting discussion full of incomplete information and sometimes it is more fun to swim in the murky ocean than in a clear pond.

    #1183065
    16k_zx81
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    I couldnt trade without it

    it brings in a significant proportion of my business, (and I have great page rank organically for my services in the city I am in)… the thing is you can have some really good rank, but you cant get all the keywords, and also, some people just like clicking on Ads :)

    The thing about getting an expert is good advice though. Unless you are pretty tech savvy, or have a lot of time to invest to experiment and do all the learning involved, Adwords is a very complex system, and jumping in without doing the research and testing can be akin to throwing money into a fire (speaking from experience)..

    Best of luck w it

    J

    #1183066
    Gizmo
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    Great info on this thread.

    To answer the post title: Maybe.
    In essence you don’t know until you try.

    Most of you mentioned its all about metrics, and indeed thats the answer.
    i.e do not gamble!

    But I feel most people still are gambling.

    Ask yourself this, how many times have you gone to a website and then opted to pick up the phone can call, especially when you are close to the buying part of the procees?

    I bring this up as I learnt something very important 3 years ago. Back then I was advertising my Cloud PBX service across several channels, one of which was google adwords.

    I was about to dump more money into adwords. I based this decision along the the web metrics, i.e google was it was sending me the most amount of web traffic. Lucky before I did I stopped and considered…
    where were the additional phone calls we were getting coming from?

    So necessity become the mother of invention and I created Xnum, a technology to tell me this. Lucky that I did as it turned out for me google was one of the worst performing, yes lots of web hits BUT very low conversions and very poor quality leads.

    Some refinement improved google and with continual capturing of metrics it showed improvement but it was still it not as good as the other channels.

    So Xnum saved me lots of money and allowed me to focus it in channels that were working better.

    So yes back to the answer…
    Maybe
    But measure, measure, measure and compare and you will find a channel that works well.

    Also note that one channel costing more is not necessarily a bad thing as long as you know you are operating within your cost of customer acquisition boundaries.

    #1183067
    JohnW
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    I just wanted to endorse Aidan’s comments about ranking relationships between Adwords and generic results, CTRs/TOS and ranking results.

    Google has denied both of these many times over the years.

    Here are some other issues to consider about Adwords and generic SE referrals…

    • The complexity of the online journey
    • Who is the target customer?
    • Where are they in the purchase process?
    • What do you want them to do?

    1. The complexity of the online journey
    There is a bunch of research starting to emerge around this issue. In one survey it was reported that up to 47% of shopping involved at least 2 different devices. (Desktop, tablet, smartphone). We now need to consider the use of shopping apps in the process. The same study reported that conversion rates for apps were 2 times that of websites.

    2. Who is the target customer?
    One of the biggest issues is likely to be, are you in a B2B or B2C market?

    Adwords are often better suited to consumer markets. If you are only marketing to businesses, there are many situations where it is very difficult to set up an Adwords campaign that stops consumers accidentally clicking on your ads and wasting your budget.

    Last I looked, Adwords won’t let you target a search term that is so specific that there are less than 10 searches per month for it. For B2B marketers, that may force you to target irrelevant searchers with Adwords.

    3. Where are they in the purchase process?
    People don’t usually make one search then buy something or make an enquiry.

    The quick and easy purchasing decisions are likely made in a retail outlet not online.

    Some purchasing decisions can be quick and simple but many others may have a gestation time of years and involve large volumes of searching along the way.

    This should be a major factor in your online communications strategy. Ideally, you want your product/service to be in front of people’s eyes all though the journey.

    4. What do you want them to do?
    As an extremely broad generalisation, SEO is likely to be more cost effective in the earlier stages and the last of the process (awareness, interest, desire and reinforcement) and Adwords more effective in the “action” stage.

    I suggest Adwords displayed in the “action” stage of the process is where they are likely to generate the best ROI. This is where a skilled SEM may save you a very large percent of your Adwords budget.

    Business Owners,
    G generates $16 billion from Adword revenue per year. Its growth is around 10% per annum.

    If Adwords didn’t work, people wouldn’t buy it.

    That is not to say that a lot of money is not wasted on Adwords. Any time I’ve checked out a small business Adword campaign I’ve been able to find around 25%-33% in savings in irrelevant clicks or more efficient keyword targeting.

    PS. Don’t ask me to do your Adwords marketing. Go ask Aidan.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1183068
    Gizmo
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    Hello,

    Just to elaborate on the quote:

    If Adwords didn’t work, people wouldn’t buy it.

    Yes it works.
    But, is it as cost effective as other channels.

    Irrespective of your advertising budget be it $100 a month or more. You want to be spending it on what works best and generates the most.

    What works best is only found out via the cycle of:
    1) Try
    2) Measure
    3) Refine, goto 1.

    Just make sure you measure properly and capture the right data or you could be making a big mistake as I outlined in my previous post.

    #1183069
    JohnW
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    Hi Gizmo,
    We are talking to small business site owners here.

    I suggest there are not many folk on FS with an online marketing budget remotely close to $2k per month.

    Would you care to tailior your posts to their needs?
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1183070
    Gizmo
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    Hello John,

    Sure I’ll edit the post.

    The point is still the same regardless of budget, i.e. every dollar is important.
    In fact the less you have to spend the more prudent you have to be with it as you cannot afford to make mistakes or gamble.

    #1183071
    MD Clean
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    Negative Keywords are the soloists biggest tool for saving money on Adwords. They prevent your site for showing up on searches not relating to your product.

    Example: I provide commercial cleaning. It costs me roughly $12 per click. I do not want people searching for “House Cleaning” or “Bond Cleaning” or “Cleaning Jobs” clicking my ads so I use the Negative Keywords, “House”, “Bond”, “Job” and “Jobs” to prevent my site showing for as an advertisement when people perform those searches.

    #1183072
    Gizmo
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    Talking about negatve keywords.

    I see company adverts still coming up when you google their names.
    So much so it make me think is there a reason they are not setting their own business name as a negative keyword?

    I can understand it if you have a promo… maybe.

    But checks show thats not even the case.

    Anyone got insights on this?

    #1183073
    MD Clean
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    Gizmo, post: 223370, member: 43147 wrote:
    Talking about negatve keywords.

    I see company adverts still coming up when you google their names.
    So much so it make me think is there a reason they are not setting their own business name as a negative keyword?

    I can understand it if you have a promo… maybe.

    But checks show thats not even the case.

    Anyone got insights on this?

    No insights, only guesses. 1. The campaign is not properly optimised. 2. As Aiden has said, the more listings you have on Page 1, the higher the total click through rate.

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