A Brief Introduction To Pay Per Click Advertising
Around the turn of the century, the geeks who ran the then-fairly new Search Engine, Google, began to experiment with using small TEXT ads, a system that would soon mature to become Google Adwords. In 2015, the total ad spend for Digital Marketing was $170 billion and the advertising world has drastically changed. Newspapers, Magazines and Television have greatly reduced budgets with a resultant scaling down of their quality services, particularly edgier, controversial or in-depth pieces. Increasingly, Media is being dumbed down, content to parrot Corporate Press Releases and utterances from highly prejudicial “think-tanks” as fact. Social Media, fueled by Pay per click advertising is segmenting the world into “people like us” and “people like them” and we, as a society, are far, far worse off.
Nevertheless, Pay Per Click advertising is here to stay and for the foreseeable future – it works. You go to Google to find stuff.
You want answers.
You get solutions.
The mindset for using Google is, as Search Engine Land so aptly describes it, “I want to know, I want to go, I want to do and I want to buy.”
Increasingly, what searchers are presented with, particularly on mobile, are results that contain rather a lot of Google Adwords (and the equivalent on Bing etc.). So, the message is very clear, on mobile, “if you wanna play you gotta pay!”
Why I Use An Adwords Campaign Manager
As a small business, using Google Adwords is not for the fainthearted – you can burn through a bundle of cash in just a few days, if you don’t know what you’re doing – trust me, I speak from the pain of experience. I’m not saying that winning with Google Adwords is rocket science but I find it more cost-efficient to outsource all my Adwords campaigns to a friend of mine in the USA, who has lived and breathed Pay Per Click Advertising for over 10 years! He’s not cheap but he’s not expensive and most importantly, he has considerably reduced the average cost of my clicks and we’ve worked out a deal for any of my customers, too.
An acquaintance of mine is a rather successful local businessman, who, in my opinion is a bit of a smarty-pants. His services generally clock in at about $20,000 – $30,000 per client gained and while chatting, a few years ago, he proudly let out that he was spending about $1,000 a month on Google Adwords and picking up a new client about every six weeks, or so. So, in his mind, leads were converting to customers at a cost of $1,500, which he considered a bargain!
Fair enough but when I checked his ads, I was fairly confident in saying that my Adwords guy would probably have soon halved his cost per click and then through rigorous A/B testing, probably got them down to about 40%, i.e. about $400 per month. So, on my – admittedly unsubstantiated – figures, my acquaintance could have been converting leads for $600, instead of $1,500. Spread over a year, that would have been a saving of over $7,000 – minus my Adwords guy’s costs, of course.
Monetarily, throwing 7 big ones away might seem like folly (good for Google, though) but to my acquaintance, it probably wasn’t really that much, plus, he lived with the thrill of thinking that by spending $12,000, he was personally generating close to $200,000 worth of business a year and outsmarting Google! To be honest, thinking that way probably made him a cockier businessman, giving him something to “quietly” boast about at dinner parties. I don’t share this story to demean him – instead, to point out that having the most efficient Adwords campaign isn’t everything. In Life, it’s sometimes better to let sleeping dogs lie and the truth is, we’ve never mentioned Adwords again.
Other Pay Per Click Advertisers
NOTE 1: In 2015, Bing’s pay per click bids were about 2/3 the price of Adwords and occasionally, even converting better. I would seriously consider using them as an option for American clients but here in Australia, Bing represents only 5% of Search Engine traffic, so the chances of success are limited, particularly on a local level.
NOTE 2: Similarly, Social Media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest, Yelp all have similar pay-per-click advertising systems to Adwords, each with their own idiosyncrasies and tricks. Facebook, in particular, is booming but I have yet to connect with experts that I’d trust my clients’ money with. As such, we don’t presently offer advertising programs for any of them, Bing included.