I am often told by clients that they search for their Google Cost Per Click ads on a regular (almost daily) basis. In fact, a client recently told me she searches multiple times a day, just to make sure she is seeing her ads! I advised that although it is very enticing, as well as reasonable to want to see where her ads are appearing, it is definitely not recommended. Here is why…
Searching for your Google ads can lead to a low click through rate (CTR). Click Through Rate is defined in Wikipedia as “a way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign. A CTR is obtained by dividing the number of users who clicked on an ad on a web page by the number of times the ad was delivered (impressions).” An impression is when your ad is displayed on a search results page. In laymen’s terms, if your number of impressions continues to increase, however, your clicks do not increase, your click through rate will be poor. This is exactly what occurs when you search for your ads on a regular basis. You are pretty much telling Google that your ad is not enticing enough to warrant a click, and your positions on the page will be lowered as a result. In actuality, not only does it lower your positions, it can also lead to higher click costs, because Google can actually state that a particular keyword is not performing well, forcing a higher mininum bid to even keep your ads running.
If you are pushing your marketing dollar to the limit, you will be glad to know that there are sources of free traffic on the internet. For example, you could become an editor for Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a user edited online encyclopedia that often lists reputable companies that offer a product along with its description. As an editor, you could add information to the listing as well as adding yourself to that list of providers. If you need to reach a local audience, you can post your product or service for free on Craig’s List, which is one of the most popular sites on the internet. Google Product Search, previously known as Froogle, offers free product listings similar to an e-bay listing, and even allows you to direct searchers to your website. Perhaps you could try giving expert answers to questions asked in a forum or message board. This will give you an opportunity to drop your business name along with your expert advice.
No matter how much technology and society may change, one basic principle of business will always hold:
Make it easy for your customers to find you.
1. Put up a sign.
2. Place an advertisement where your customers will see it.
3. List your business in a directory like, for example, the telephone book.
Of these three suggestions, the last one is probably the most important in that it reaches your customers at the moment when they are looking for you and customers who are looking for you are most likely to buy. But, what if this option isn’t available or worse, what if you come to depend on it and suddenly, it isn’t there?
This is what happened to a friend of mine in the mid-90s. She and her husband had a crystals shop and float center called Crystal Seas. Then, one year, the Yellow Pages forgot to list them in the phone book. It was a disaster. They ran around town putting up flyers, ran extra advertisements in places where their potential clients might be but, even with a loyal customer following, their business suffered badly.
Nowadays, the Yellow Pages are still important but showing up in search engine results pages (SERPs) has become increasingly critical and you can vanish from the SERPs at any time for any number of reasons. How can you protect yourself? Well, the solution is more visibility and inbound links are the answer, but not necessarily in the way you might think.