Google Ad Words

We started using Google Ad Words about a month ago. Our sales are up about 30% in that time. I wish I could say with certainty why sales are up but that is the nature of advertising.

We do have a pretty good website and online ordering to direct customers to. I would not suggest using ad words if you do not have a good place for the customer to land when they click.

I set the budget at $20 per day. So far we are paying about $1.30 per click and getting enough clicks to spend the $20 several days week. Over all our click rate is a bit over 4%.

Anyone else using these? Costs? Impact?

Another four weeks has gone by:

Sales are still very solid. I have added some conversion tracking, variable bidding, limited the ads to running while we are open and changed the settings to run through my daily budget ASAP rather than evenly through the day. I have also gone in and changed the daily budget, bumping it up for big days like the holiday weekend and adjusted the bids on various search terms as well as up bidding for placement. It has been pretty interesting to see what search terms people actually use and which ones produce a customer that clicks on our ad.

Our click through rate has more than doubled to nearly 9% overall. Cost per click is down to about 90 cents. Our average position is 1.3 which means we are mostly appearing #1 and occasionally #2. I now know which of my competitors are marketing in this way and what ad words they are using. (Funny, in one case, I am finding that “pizza delivery near me” is expensive to bid on as another shop is bidding it up but that I can bid on their store name and get a lot of clicks from people that were actually looking for them!)

We have some search terms that generate 15-20% click rates and cost per click in the area of 20-30 cents. My near term goal is to get our overall click rate up to 15% and cost per click down to 50 cents.

Right now, I am running at $150-200 per week on this. I suspect that this is a great tool for reaching visitors in our resort town as they are more likely to be searching and are not familiar with any of the local options. I plan to reduce or eliminate the search costs during our off season. We will see.

This has been a year of changes for marketing for us with this project and the addition of text blasts.

Change or die.

How much does this differ from simply having your metadata for your website occupying those words? I think I have our metadata setup pretty well, but I just don’t have stats like google can collect. It’s interesting to hear your success with it!

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Your metadata helps to determine where you come up in organic search results. Ad words puts you at the top of the page regardless of your organic search results. The two are not directly related.

Run a google search on anything and look for the results at the top that say “ad”… those are the ones that someone paid to have up top.

Most likely, all of our pages should put us near the top of the list when someone searches our name… but what happens when they search “pizza delivery near me”?

My son has a Pizza shop but I do carpet cleaning. Signed three month contract with Yelp to see how many new jobs I could get just to try them. Just looked and it cost $6.40 per click, think I need a shower from getting raped by Yelp.
Soon as the three months are over I’ll try AdWords.

Things I have learned:

Be sure to limit the geographical reach of your ad to places you want to advertise or you will generate useless clicks from customers who are too far away. Also, probably choose the setting for customers IN your defined area not interested in your area.

After you start, the data on how many searches for a given term tells you which terms are the most often used but that must be combined with which ones work for you. The click through percentage tells you how many of the people using that search choose to look at your ad.

If other competitors are using the same search term you will be bidding against each other. Track average search result placement and cost per click to see how this is going. It may be better to bid on terms that get less traffic but nobody else is bidding on where you end up #1 if that gets you enough clicks to use up your budget.

You MUST have a useful destination for the ad where the customer can take action otherwise you are just drawing clicks into a dead-end alley. Also, that website needs to be optimised for mobile as that is by far the largest user group using search.

I strongly suggest turning on the phone link so people can simply touch the number to call.

Thank you

Yelp might feel like a peck on the cheek when you see what Google charges cleaning companies per click for the best key phrases.

There is an alternative to Adwords and Yelp…

I provide bespoke marketing solutions for business owners in Australia. One of my clients owns a Pizza shop and a mobile pizza catering company. I manage his SEO campaigns and he is dominating his competition in all the areas he services. Ranking at the top of page one in the organic listings will show you a far higher ROI than pay per click. You can only go so far with Adwords but SEO can provide your company with a lot of additional value such as your site ranking on page one in the map listings, your media content appearing at the top of the Google image and video results pages, increasing your online presence through a variety of web publications and social platforms, and developing brand awareness in general.

It’s equally effective for carpet cleaning companies. I have consulted for many cleaning companies offering every type of cleaning service so i know your industry well. Whether you are in the UK, Australia or the U.S, Google is still Google.

I’m always happy to offer any help and advice especially to small business owners.

James, welcome to the tank.

I am sure you have much information to give.

As a general thing here in our community, we welcome new people who contribute to our discussions… but can be bit touchy about folks whose first post is a sales pitch.

The most important metric to focus on is CPA - Cost Per Acquisition. Clicks hurt your business if they do not convert efficiently into transactions. For example, a $1 click might equal a $20 CPA – which means you would lose money on each ticket. Be sure to determine what percentage of clicks generate sales to further optimize your Adwords campaign.

I agree in principal, However in our world this value is useful for comparing one adword to another but not in the absolute. I can think of at least five different results of which only a couple produce a “conversion” that gets counted and measured by CPA:

  1. Click on the phone number counts as a conversion on adwords, but impossible to reliably link those calls to orders.
  2. Click on ad and end up on website. I can track that and I can track whether they further click through to online ordering. If they do it also counts as a conversion but it is not possible to reliably link the adword click to the actual order.
  3. Clicks on ad, sees phone number and calls by dialing rather than clicking. Does not count as a conversion even when one occurs.
  4. Clicks on ad and bookmarks page. Comes back later and orders either by calling or ordering online. Does not count as a conversion.
  5. Clicks on ad and does not call or order.

Our average order is about $40 now. If we get 20 clicks for $20 and only four of them turn into orders I expect to generate $160 in sales. Works for me especially if these are customers that are searching for something other than our name as I believe those potential orders are in the wind and represent genuinely incremental sales. Furthermore, I was paying $60 for a newspaper ad and I am sure I was not getting more than a handful of calls and virtually nobody clicked through to our website.

We use Google Ads also. Sure do get a lot of ‘Google’ calls thinking we’re 1 of the big guys…I truly wonder how people mistake it.

Do they still order? Or did they mean to call one of the big guys and hang up?

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Honestly, it’s usually really dumb people who end up hanging up & calling who knows where.

We also ran some words that tended to put our ad right above an organic search result for other stores and go mistaken calls. I think the reason it happens is that if you use a live link to your phone number it appears immediately above the other store’s info. My crew tells me that we were getting 4-5 calls a day from customers that thought they were calling someone else. Nearly all did not order. We have since stopped using those search terms as were paying $1 every time they called and getting very little from it.

Three months in… I have been fiddling with the settings and learning. For the last two weeks the changes have been small with respect to the settings and word choices and more in the budget assigned for each day and therefor the “spend”.

Our ads are set up so that the customer can either click directly on the phone number and place a call or click on the ad and land on our website which has info, a menu and a link to online ordering. We are tracking conversion by either clicking on the phone or, once they are in our website clicking on the online ordering button.

Here is what I am seeing for the last 14 days:

Most used search terms:
Pizza Steamboat Springs (By far the most used)
Pizza in Steamboat
Best Pizza in Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Pizza

Overall click rate: 8.17%
Ave CPC $1.42
Ave conversion rate 66.9%
Ave position 1.1

Highest click rate:
Pizza near me 18.46%
Pizza Delivery near me 13.79%

Highest conversion rate:
Pizza places near me 92.3%
Steamboat Springs pizza delivery 85.7%
Pizza delivery Steamboat Springs 85.0%

I have set up some variables in the bidding:

20% premium Thu- Sat
Auto increase in bidding when ave position is worse than 1.4

The auto bidding feature is kicking in on a couple of the search words each day.

In our markets the only competing bids I see coming up are from Dominos and Pizza Hut. (Nearest PH is 50 miles away!) and the clearly only bid on a couple of key search terms.

I have been spending at an average of about $40 per day. I boost to $50 or $60 on Fridays and Saturdays and drop to $30 during the week.

My plan is to run this through the season while we have tourists in town and either back it way down of simply pause the whole campaign during our really dead off-season.

Like you mentioned earlier, you aren’t really able to track how many of these clicks or conversions turn into orders, correct? Do you have any data to tell what you might be achieving/gaining with the $40 per day you are spending? Sales increase?

Sure, but I can’t correlate it. There are far too many other factors that impact sales. This $40 is being spent in place of other monies spent elsewhere in the past. Like nearly all advertising it is impossible to say what the exact impact is. Did it snow or were the chairlifts shut down for high wind? Did Trump say something stupid and cause the market to drop? What is the offset from stopping other marketing activity?

We are spending the same amount we used to but in different places and we had a record January, record February and flat March. We had great snow in Dec and Jan and the stock market was climbing. March was way up and we were tracking to a record for the first two weeks but then it got really warm and the snow started melting and the stock market slid for two weeks. Also, last year Easter was in late March which tends to extend the Spring Break business and this year it is in mid-April and not a factor.

So no, I can’t directly tie the expenditure to sales with this any more than you can with any other advertising. I know what it costs me to print menus and I know how many I print but I can’t tell you how many orders that generates. I know what I pay to be published in the local restaurant guide and how many are printed and where it it distributed but I can’t tell you how many orders that produces. I know what I paid for newspaper ads, radio ads, facebook ads etc but can not connect that directly to sales.

At least with these ads I know how many of them either called us or made it to our online order system. That is more than I know with any of the others. I can also tell you that the number of clicks correlates with our sales. More clicks on busy days and less clicks on slow days… but did the clicks drive the sales? I can see that even if I up the budget to $60 I will not spend that much when it is slow. We have had days where we got 25 clicks that my bidding could have produced 50. So the question is what would our sales have been without the 25 clicks? With our conversion rate of 65% that would indicate to me that maybe 15 people either called us on the phone or at least looked at our online site. If half those people ordered that would be worth about $300. If that is $300 I would not otherwise have had the decision is pretty easy!

Ad Words cost you money.

The biggest bang for your buck is getting in the Top3 of Google.

TOP Front page listing is the best.

Most pizzerias can achieve this with some work.

First off if your web designer doesn’t offer front page listing you need to find a different one.

I just get wrong numbers from google ads.