Investing in AdWords is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
All too frequently I come across business owners who expect immediate and magnificent returns from their marketing strategies – in particular, AdWords. What they don’t yet understand however, is that despite best wishes, AdWords doesn’t work by casting a magical spell to convince the masses to purchase your product/service. Remember – you are entering into a marathon, not a sprint, and the end goal should be a strong, robust marketing foundation. Likewise, you want your brand represented to the highest standard while you remain on the cutting edge of change and adaptability.
Getting your AdWords account heading in the right direction – and achieving productive results – takes time, effort, know-how and patience. Essentially, it’s the risk you need to take in order to achieve better rewards for your business. Instead of looking at AdWords as a quick cash cow, see it for what it is: an investment that will plant the right seeds for future rewards.
So, once you’ve signed up with AdWords, what should your next plan of action be? Having worked with hundreds of clients, there are four main questions I believe are crucial for every business to ask themselves.
1. “What is a Conversion Worth to My Business?”
As the great Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.” What does a lead (converted into a sale) mean to your business in actual profit? How many of these “conversions” does your business need per week, month, quarter and year? Researching these important questions will put you on the right track toward identifying your daily Google spend.
For example, bearing in mind that your cost-per-click (CPC) is approximately $2, it’s likely to take around three to seven clicks to result in a conversion; which means that your best starting budget will be around $98 – $100 (over a seven day week). In other words, if you need a minimum of five conversions per week, each conversion is worth a net total of $100 to the business.
2. “What is My Annual Marketing Budget?”
Once you’ve identified how many conversions you need per week, month, quarter and year, you’ll then be in a good position to establish the details of what your annual marketing budget should be. When making decisions about this figure, always aim to be as informed as possible, as it can mean the difference between your marketing strategies surviving or thriving. This is an investment, and unless you are prepared to give it both the time and money it deserves, you will always be left chasing your proverbial tail.
3. “How Many Conversions Do I Need in Order to Survive Each Week?”
This is a crucial question, as it will help you determine the bare minimum result you are looking for, and what your AdWords account should be achieving. For example, let’s say you own a Yoga studio and that your marketing strategy is focused on gaining two new students each week. Estimating that your average cost-per-click is sitting around $2.50 (through a Google Search Campaign), and you’ve set a daily budget for $20, it’s safe to say that this would achieve a maximum of eight clicks per day; giving you a conversion roughly once every fortnight. Understandably, this doesn’t really meet your expectations. So from here, you and your Client Manager would need to work together to set a more realistic daily budget, and assess the best type of campaign, in order to raise your conversions.
In this particular instance, I would recommend you begin by further researching your target audience. You could do this by:
a) Looking at your location and its proximity to clients (eg. are you near their place of employment, schools, childcare etc?).
b) Pinpointing who your local competitors are.
c) Discovering your unique selling points. Eg. Do you offer hot yoga or an onsite nutritionist? Are you child friendly? These things may seem small, but they all add up!
d) Identifying the circle of influence for your clients (ie. yoga equipment, fitness gear, boot camps, clean eating etc). The trick is to understand your clients and their needs.
4. “How Many Do I Need to Begin Growing?”
Likewise, this is also a very important question for SMEs, because while it’s great to be able to pay the bills, you need to be looking toward your future – and that means growth! It also means you need to revisit your marketing strategies and see how they’re working for you. For example, where you once may have used a Search campaign, you might now recognise that this isn’t the best option. Maybe the best solution for your business is a Gmail campaign, or even a combination of Display and Remarketing ads that best represents your products and services? As I mentioned earlier, AdWords marketing is a constant and evolving journey.
Taking this viewpoint (that you are entering into an investment) will help you stay grounded, focused, and informed of the expectations. Even better, by having your account managed by a professional (who will analyse the data, help you make informed decisions and stay abreast of updates to the platform), you’ll have more free time to invest into your business. And after all, that’s where you are most valuable!