Home Forums Tech talk Is Google Advertising Worth It?

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  • #1183104
    Aidan
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    • Total posts: 1,125
    getcontented.com.au, post: 224846, member: 72814 wrote:
    The major problem which begets questions such as “Is adwords worth it?” is that there’s not enough data for business owners to find out this stuff on their own and make the decisions without becoming an expert themselves.

    Does this not apply to every question every business owner faces? I’d argue there is not ‘enough data’ to tell me whether my next decision is a good one on anything really!

    Is having a website ‘worth it’? Do I need to be a web design expert to know?

    Is having a PR agency worth it? Do I need to be a PR expert to know?

    What about a bookkeeper? Do I need to be a bookkeeping expert to know?

    Forget business, are my brakes good enough? Do I need to become a mechanic to know?

    Can you give me some data that shows any of those things will work for me?…

    The original question is an open one. The answer will vary depending on the individual circumstances. Hence my answer to it.

    #1183105
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    getcontented.com.au, post: 224846, member: 72814 wrote:
    The major problem which begets questions such as “Is adwords worth it?” is that there’s not enough data for business owners to find out this stuff on their own and make the decisions without becoming an expert themselves. .

    Julian I am a little confused (yes again) about what you are looking for. Are you after hard and fast stats that says yes google advertising is the best, or that google advertising is a total waste. There are so many variables when it comes to advertising, that there is no one size fits all.

    Just thinking back many years when I started in this business. I got to a point where I was farming business off to one of my competitors, but the strange thing was we were both doing the same advertising strategies, and when we both looked at what we were doing the 2 approaches were almost the same. Yet I was getting a high response rate to my flyers where as he was getting zip, and I was getting zip from the local paper but he was getting a reasonable call rate. Our offerings were very similar. So why the difference. So if someone was to post a question ”do flyers work” my answer would be YES, but charlies answer would be a resounding NO. Does that make either answer right or wrong.

    Without out going to each individual client and saying why did you select me over Charlie, we will never know. There is no hard and fast data which will tell you.

    But I think the evidence from what posters on this thread are saying is that it works for some.

    #1183106
    getcontented.com.au
    Member
    • Total posts: 136
    Aidan, post: 224852, member: 2298 wrote:
    Does this not apply to every question every business owner faces? I’d argue there is not ‘enough data’ to tell me whether my next decision is a good one on anything really!

    Is having a website ‘worth it’? Do I need to be a web design expert to know?

    Is having a PR agency worth it? Do I need to be a PR expert to know?

    What about a bookkeeper? Do I need to be a bookkeeping expert to know?

    Forget business, are my brakes good enough? Do I need to become a mechanic to know?

    Can you give me some data that shows any of those things will work for me?…

    The original question is an open one. The answer will vary depending on the individual circumstances. Hence my answer to it.

    This seems like a strawman argument to me.

    I’m advocating that people test things themselves and therefore, self-reliance. That means finding out answers yourself and not blindly following anything.

    Yes, you can give people data to show that some of those things work or don’t work in various contexts.

    For example, our website has Google analytics on it. From that, I can tell actual data that my website is getting a certain number of visitors. This is real data. I can tell that whatever plans we have for getting traffic to our site currently are yielding the amount of visitors we have.

    If we didn’t have these analytics, I couldn’t tell this.

    When one runs a Google adwords campaign, it will either work for your criteria and context, or it won’t. I can’t tell anyone else what their criteria is… unless we have the same criteria… (and this is the rub)… small experiments (such as A/B testing) will allow you to improve this with constant repetition.

    If people want to find out if something works, they can find someone else with very similar circumstances, and see what works for them. Trying THIS thing will be more likely to yield results than trying some other random thing, but there are no guarantees. However, if you’re testing things for yourself, you don’t need guarantees.

    It’s the “drawing conclusions” part that seems to cause confusion for people. Drawing conclusions is difficult, and should not be done lightly, I’d wager. (How many times have we seen “this is the golden miracle! just do these 3 magic steps and you’ll win the world” type of assertions!)

    This seems to be what you’re saying, too… is that people will often dismiss Google adwords as ineffective when it’s not necessarily the case… but maybe rather their *use* of them. All good! We agree. This is the problem with partial knowledge. One doesn’t need to be an *expert* to find this stuff out, though.

    If someone wants their car fixed, they can go to a couple of mechanics and compare and contrast and draw some conclusions based on their experiences, and they’ll likely be reasonably accurate. This doesn’t mean they’re experts, it just means they’re taking responsiblilty a little more. This is what I’m advocating.

    I’m also making the observation that with *some* things it’s very hard for the average person to know whether something is good or bad at any point in the process. I often notice that people wanting (computer) programming work done have this problem, for example. Understandably! The more variables present in the work being done, the more difficult it is for a “layperson” to determine the quality of the work (and programming has many many variables).

    At the end of the day, all we can do is look at the results we get and work out if “this” is right for us. Advice from others is obviously quite helpful here, too… :)

    #1183107
    getcontented.com.au
    Member
    • Total posts: 136
    bb1, post: 224853, member: 53375 wrote:
    Julian I am a little confused (yes again) about what you are looking for. Are you after hard and fast stats that says yes google advertising is the best, or that google advertising is a total waste. There are so many variables when it comes to advertising, that there is no one size fits all.

    Just thinking back many years when I started in this business. I got to a point where I was farming business off to one of my competitors, but the strange thing was we were both doing the same advertising strategies, and when we both looked at what we were doing the 2 approaches were almost the same. Yet I was getting a high response rate to my flyers where as he was getting zip, and I was getting zip from the local paper but he was getting a reasonable call rate. Our offerings were very similar. So why the difference. So if someone was to post a question ”do flyers work” my answer would be YES, but charlies answer would be a resounding NO. Does that make either answer right or wrong.

    Without out going to each individual client and saying why did you select me over Charlie, we will never know. There is no hard and fast data which will tell you.

    But I think the evidence from what posters on this thread are saying is that it works for some.

    Hi Bert :)

    Asking a few of your clients why they chose you *is* the data I’m suggesting we gather if we want to know why things work or don’t. Not to jump to conclusions, but as a way of making a more informed decision about things.

    I think tiny experiments is a good way to work out what works for “each of us”. Of course, if one is going to do an experiment and one has little money to spend, that precludes experimenting on things that cost a lot of money (like, say, PPC advertising on keywords that cost $100 each click).

    But, we’re all free to do whatever we like :)

    Hope to help,
    Julian

    #1183108
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    Julian, if you’re advocating self-reliance in everything – does that also apply to website design? Anyone reading this should go to Wix or something?

    Maybe car safety too? Do your own servicing and brakes?

    By the way if you were paying $100 per click for AdWords you were doing something very very wrong indeed!

    I’d wager nobody here in this forum needs to be anywhere near that and many are under a dollar.

    On another thread someone in the commercial cleaning industry was happy with their own performance with click prices in the double digits even though it should be just a few dollars. I guess their customer value is potentially tens of thousands so they were happy either way.

    I really don’t know why you are taking the stand you are and trying to turn the original question into a bigger issue because of all the ‘implicit connotations’ you see, perhaps we should have a discussion about the merits of using a web designer… or not… in another thread… ;)

    #1183109
    MD Clean
    Participant
    • Total posts: 308

    “On another thread someone in the commercial cleaning industry was happy with their own performance with click prices in the double digits even though it should be just a few dollars.”

    Are you talking about me Aiden?

    #1183110
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    It may have been you Paul, I don’t recall who it was to be honest…

    #1183111
    MD Clean
    Participant
    • Total posts: 308

    I have paid between $10 and $12 per click and yes the right enquiry can make me thousands per year over many years so I have been very happy with the ROI.

    My Q score on each page is around 7 and my ad position was 1 or 2 all the time AND 95% of the calls I received were an exact match to my offerings so I did not have very much ad spend wastage.

    I don’t think in my market I could ever spend just $1 or $2 per click though.

    I am writing in the past tense because my organic SERPS are providing enough calls to keep me at capacity right now but I will happily enable the campaign again if I need to.

    As a business owner that relies on the internet as my most important sales funnel, my recommendation for anybody who wants to grow sales and has a budget to do so is to get expert help like Aiden offers in PPC because you will save money and get more sales sooner and that combination will increase your profitability – after all, isn’t that what this thread is really about?

    #1183112
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    Yup that sounds like it might be the scenario I was thinking about Paul. If I remember correctly I mentioned how in the Sydney market we’d been seeing that kind of performance at about the $7 to $8 mark for well optimised campaigns.

    Totally agree you would have Buckley’s chance at just a dollar or two, traffic and leads would be few and far between indeed!

    #1183113
    MD Clean
    Participant
    • Total posts: 308

    $7 or $8 is impressive. That would be a huge saving on a big campaign.

    I have heard of plumbers in Sydney and Melbourne routinely paying $20 and a lot of their work would be one-off jobs for a few hundred $ or less.

    Where that sum makes much more sense to me is eg, a Renderer whose average job is $5K+

    #1183114
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    Yes the plumbers in the metro areas are incredibly competitive, they want to outdo each other on position a lot even against advice from folks like me!

    I think many are hoping their jobs turn into larger jobs. I’m aware of one where a call out to a blocked drain turned into a very large second contract (over $100,000) as the customer turned out to be a property investor/developer who was impressed with the drain service he got at home!

    I guess if you can hit on that kind of luck you are not going to care too much about the smaller dollars… I still however tend to advise on other ways of doing things for the plumbers.

    #1183115
    getcontented.com.au
    Member
    • Total posts: 136
    Aidan, post: 224864, member: 2298 wrote:
    Julian, if you’re advocating self-reliance in everything – does that also apply to website design? Anyone reading this should go to Wix or something?

    Maybe car safety too? Do your own servicing and brakes?

    By the way if you were paying $100 per click for AdWords you were doing something very very wrong indeed!

    I’d wager nobody here in this forum needs to be anywhere near that and many are under a dollar.

    On another thread someone in the commercial cleaning industry was happy with their own performance with click prices in the double digits even though it should be just a few dollars. I guess their customer value is potentially tens of thousands so they were happy either way.

    I really don’t know why you are taking the stand you are and trying to turn the original question into a bigger issue because of all the ‘implicit connotations’ you see, perhaps we should have a discussion about the merits of using a web designer… or not… in another thread… ;)

    We’re not talking about web designers. We’re talking about Google advertising. I’m not turning this into a bigger issue, just using analogies that fit what I’m saying. If someone needs a web designer, they need to know what’s important to them (as a client) so they can measure whether they get that from their designer. They don’t need to necessarily build their site themselves – (though that is up to them). I wasn’t paying $100 per click for ads. It was an example of something that might not be worth it for someone with a small budget. :)

    We’re not disagreeing here. I’m not sure why you seem to think we are.

    I’m just answering the question that the original poster had, which was how can they tell where their (Google) advertising dollars are best spent – is it even worth it at all. If they’re going to pay an expert to determine that, obviously this will include the question about how can they tell if *those* dollars are spent wisely, too.

    I realise this is probably a sore spot because it’s not an easy question to answer, particularly in the Google Adwords & SEO domain, but I think by and large we’ve answered it here.

    To determine if google adwords are worth it, they should work out what they mean by “worth it”, and set up metrics around that if necessary so they can measure how worth it it is for them when they try out various things. They should also not be hasty to draw conclusions too quickly, but try out a few different things and see what works for them.

    #1183116
    MD Clean
    Participant
    • Total posts: 308

    Sorry Julian but I fundamentally disagree with you in that trying out a few things and setting up the parameters (which for the VAST MAJORITY of DIYers turn out to be wrong ) in Adwords is easy to do and costly – it can and does lead to wrong conclusions about the effectiveness of Adwords.

    If the inputs are incorrect, the outputs will be too.

    The book Moneyball by Michael Lewis is a great example of huge businesses (MLB) having fundamentally the wrong metrics in place which subsequently led to the wrong conclusions being drawn for over 100 years!

    #1183117
    Gizmo
    Member
    • Total posts: 731

    [USER=58759]@MD Clean[/USER]
    Thats 100% correct, its all about collecting the right metrics!

    #1183118
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125
    getcontented.com.au, post: 224874, member: 72814 wrote:
    I’m just answering the question that the original poster had, which was how can they tell where their (Google) advertising dollars are best spent – is it even worth it at all. If they’re going to pay an expert to determine that, obviously this will include the question about how can they tell if *those* dollars are spent wisely, too.

    Perhaps that’s where the discussion started to go astray because the original question is not as you say… it’s a much simpler one – Is Google Advertising Worth It?

    My answer was as it was because of my experience in the field, so I qualified my answer to say it works if done correctly and its not suitable for everyone.

    It won’t work if its not done correctly. Just like other advertising channels.

    Advertisers measure success or failure by whether it is bringing business in economically, they may well want to see the metrics in Analytics too which of course they can with AdWords. There really should not be any difficulty in deciding if it is working for you as long as you test with enough traffic data, just like any other form of advertising.

    Lets not make this any more complicated or drawn out, the thread has surely had its run and it’s beer o clock, enjoy the rest of the weekend :)

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