Creating business websites & Google advertising to boost your sales

Google Ads bring Six-Fold Increase To Amy

Dec 10th, 2010 | By | Category: News

Amy Gottesman, owner of Smash Party Entertainment, was having little luck with local newspaper advertising and mailing coupons. Then she tried Google AdWords and really brought in the business. David Freeman of the NYTimes profiled Amy in the Small Business Blog “You’re The Boss.” Her home-based business, Smash Party Entertainment, does not offer party planning and table rentals. Amy specializes in entertainment like cigarette girls and body-painted mermaids. Amy’s first efforts advertised on keywords like “party” and generated a lot of clicks but not much business. When she refined her keywords to the sorts of offbeat entertainers she ended up with fewer clicks but higher sales. Media buyers call this improvement “improving efficiency.” According to the New York Times:

After about six months, Ms. Gottesman said, Smash Party was spending as much as $3,000 a month on pay-per-click advertising and getting back about six times as much in revenue.

A reader of the Small Business Blog pointed out that Amy could taper off her AdWords expenditures by converting her Flash site to HTML and other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. He suggested that she shoot some videos and post them on YouTube so potential customers could see her mermaids in action. This will work in combination with the increased traffic to her website to give her an excellent position at the top of the organic (free) listings.

Many advertisers find that spending on Google AdWords is a way to gain organic (free) page rank by building traffic. When it is done well, eventually the advertiser can throttle back the advertising, or shift dollars to advertise new products and services only. The popularity of the website will translate to excellent organic (free) position in the search engine listings.

In a followup article a few days later, David Freedman expanded on the pitfalls to avoid when advertising on Google. He recommends:

  1. Don’t give up before you have collected enough data to make an educated guess about what is working for you and what isn’t
  2. Don’t get hung up on Click Through Rates (CTR). It can be misleading. More clicks just means you spend more. What you really want is more revenue!
  3. Do take the time to set up conversion metrics. Half of your advertising dollars are wasted. Metrics will help you find out which half.
  4. Set the right budget. It is both an art and a skill. Sometime you need to cut back when all your competitors are pouring dollars in (like December) and sometimes you can take advantage of slack times (January).
  5. Tweak relentlessly. Write new ads using your most active keywords and see how they perform. Change the copy on your landing pages. Use Google free optimization tool to compare between two versions of landing pages.
  6. Don’t succumb to magical thinking. If you have a limited budget, don’t try to break into a competitive field with well financed players that will require expensive keywords like “discount electronics” or “budget travel.”
  7. Be nimble. The competitive landscape changes when a new player enters, or a new product launches. You will have to notice the changes in your pricing if someone starts outbidding you, or if your potential customers start searching for your competitors product rather than yours.

Google advertising can be a very powerful tool in the right hands. It does not work for every business, and there are a million ways to do it wrong and only a few ways to do it right. But when you do it right, it changes everything. Just look at Amy!

Have you tried Google AdWords? What was your experience?

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