You probably heard business owners talk trash about Google AdWords, as an expensive, complicated and ineffective tool. Let them talk : this means there will be less competition for you!
AdWords does have a bad reputation in many sectors. While clicks are expensive for most people and the interface complex, generally, when advertisers get bad results, the only to blame are themselves (or those they have hired to manage their campaign).
Here are the four main reasons why local businesses fail with Google AdWords. Let’s take a look at them so you know what you are in for.
1. No landing page or an awful landing page.
The landing page is the first page where a visitor lands after clicking on your Google ad. This page is a crucial part of your AdWords campaign. A good landing page may double your leads from AdWords (without spending a penny more on clicks).
Recently, our team was making research for a client, and clicked on an ad for a family law attorney. You must think this would lead us to a website about family law. Instead, this home page (which we will not mention) was all about personal injury law. That was clearly not what we were looking for. In addition, it was an outdated, ugly-looking site that made it difficult for us to find any kind of information. When we finally found the page about family law, it showed us a two-paragraph little blurb with no relevant info whatsoever.
Not having a high-coverting, dedicated landing page can have disatrous impact on your business. Based on experience, we estimate that the standard local business website can convert around 5%. On the other hand, when having a better designed landing page with recent and relevant info, you can easily hope for a conversion rate of 10% to 20%.
Even if the conversion rate may seem low, around 10%, versus the 5% for a typical website, you can double the amount of leads you get for the same amount of money. It means that for every $1,000 you put, instead of getting 10 new leads, you can get 20. That simple difference can either make or break your monthly and annual profits.
2. Terrible ads with low clickthrough rates.
Let’s face it : most Google ads all look the same and say the same thing, and quite honestly, they are not compelling in the way they do it.
Like landing page, a high-converting Google ad with an even higher clickthrough rate (CTR) may also double your leads. The best part in this is that Google tends to rewards you for having high-converting ads. Then, not only doubling your CTR gets you twice as many potential leads, but you can also end up paying a lot less money per click.
This is because Google runs an algorithm that is known as Quality Score that determines how much you pay per click. In AdWords, a high bid on a keyword does not guarantee your ad will up in top position. Google rewards relevancy and quality. So, if you can show Google that your ad is more interesting and relevant than those of your competitors (and CTR is the first factor used to determine relevancy), you will end up ranking higher than the competitors, and pay less per click than they do.
3. No conversion or call tracking.
We know that 60 % to 70% of the leads for local businesses come from phone calls. Moreover, phone calls leads tend to be higher-quality leads because someone who is a hot lead is most likely to give you a phone call rather than filling a form through your website.
If you are not currently tracking call conversion, not only are you missing about 60 to 70% of your leads, but you are missing the hottest leads. Also, if you do not track your call conversions properly, you will not be able to optimize your AdWords campaign well. You are most likely to throw a lot of money away on bad clicks, if you are not tracking any phone calls and have the data that shows you which keywords and ads are making your phone rings and which ones are not.
4. Poor campaign structure.
With all the AdWords articles, books and training courses available, it is very suprising that we have to mention this. We are still seeing AdWords, on a weekly basis, that are set up poorly (many times by agencies that should know better). Some AdWords campaigns do not even adhere to basic best practice.
A good example of a poor campaign structure is a single campaign that runs on Search and Display Networks. Search and Display are two completely different things; and must never be combined in a single campaign. We strongly advise you never use Display Network to advertise your local business, until you have developed sufficient AdWords skills and search for additional training. Other examples include only having one ad group, having too many keywords, or, going too large with the keywords on your campaign.
Even with the best intentions, AdWords does not work all the time for every local business. There are some situations where because of high click costs, budgets, internal sale problems, or any other issues that even a well-made and structured AdWords will not generate a high enough ROI. However, in our experience, that’s the exception much more often than the rule.