Throwing Adwords Budget Away

A client of mine was contacted by Google directly regarding his Adwords account.

Like many business owners, he just doesn’t have time to follow up on unsolicited mails and was initially skeptical, so he sent it over to me to take a look at.

Here’s the mail:

Letter

WOW! A google account manager (or in this case a strategist has been assigned to us). I’d heard of these mythical creatures and thought they only dealt with large businesses and agencies who spent big on Adwords.

Also isn’t funny how Google haven’t updated their email signature since 2012?

We had been chosen!

Pick-Me

Hang on, we only spend around $50 a day..

Why are we getting our very own account manager?, someone we can call and email and actually expect an answer from.

Never mind, don’t over think it. Just get on a call with them and listen to what they have to say.

Whilst we’d long been taking care of our client’s SEO strategy, we had only recently taken over the Adwords campaign from another agency and really that was by accident. For a long time, we’ve concentrated on the free organic search, you know the kind google likes to sit below the Adverts at the top, and the map underneath.

It’s almost like they want you to pay for adverts instead of getting natural free, traffic. Almost as if it was Google’s business model or something….

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The client was seeing rises in the Organic search column in Google Analytics with a low bounce rate, but the Adwords traffic had double the bounce rate. Why was that?

We looked into the adverts and keywords they were bidding on and found the reason, they were using the client’s budget to bid on keywords, that weren’t even relevant to their business. I don’t believe it was done maliciously, just they took all of the default options Google gives you. They make it soooo easy to get started with Adwords, but in most cases the default options only benefit 1 business.

I’ll give you a clue, it’s not your client.

Taking all of the default options in Adwords is throwing money down the drain.

via GIPHY

No wonder the traffic Adwords generated was junk.

We quickly arranged to speak to the Google strategist (GS) and was excited to speak to them a couple of hours later.

Whilst they did give some great tips and confirmed that our use of Ad Extensions is very important, if you are not using them. You really should start.

We’ve had some really good results for the client.

In the first month

  • Cost per click were down 13%
  • Click through rate was up 19%
  • Conversion up by 40%

Funny they didn’t seem interested in that, the client certainly was but our Google strategist, not so much.

meh

What came as surprise, but really shouldn’t have was there next advice.

‘You need to increase your budget as you are potentially losing clicks that may lead to more business, you’re leaving money on the table’

We’d be in charge of the account a month, Cost Per Click was down, Click through rate was up, conversions had gone through the roof.

And their advice?

increase your budget.

How about we collect more data.?

Increase your budget.

Tweak the Ad copy?

Increase your budget.

Improve the landing page to get a better quality score?

Increase your budget.

You should have heard his voice when I suggested, about cutting the Adwords budget and moving that into a re-marketing campaign.

No, we don’t want to do that, the client will understand they need to increase the budget.

Now i’m all for increasing the budget, when the data and business results prove this is the correct thing to do.

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But the default answer of ‘increase your budget’ just angered me. Throwing money at the wall isn’t normally the best solution to things, and this certainly wasn’t one of those moments.

Who gains in increasing the budget?

The Client?, sometimes

Google?, definitely

Agencies who charge a percentage fee of spend?, definitely

Maybe we won’t have our own Google strategist for very long, which is a shame as I like having a contact at Google. I’ve even heard if you spend enough money, they show you a lot of love with trips to HQ in the states. Maybe even my own personal self driving car, a foosball table maybe even some Google M&M’s.

I like the sound of that, but i’d rather concentrate on getting results, even if we don’t spend enough to get our own Google strategist.

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