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  • Writer's picture Scott Fitzgibbon

Experimenting with online Paid Adverts

Google Ads and Adwords - My experiment

I’ve written this following post really as more a blog or ramblings, so please excuse the distractions and segues (not segways). But for those of you that dabble in online adverts or have that 'fear' when Facebook says “boost this post”, these ramblings might be for you.

30 days ago... I decided to play with Google Adwords to see what the effect would be if I started to more heavily invest in Google rather than other options such as Facebook/Instagram or traditional magazines, leaflets etc…

Firstly, it’s worth explaining my situation…

  1. I’m looking for more customers outside of my normal circle of social media connections

  2. My referral “pipeline” of customers (aka people I’ve met) is growing slowly but steadily

  3. I’ve completed many of the projects I have with my existing clients and partners…who are ticking along nicely.

So when you have no shop front or no significant online presence, how do you go about getting seen? If you are a local service provider like a plumber or cake-maker the temptation will be to use Facebook ads and use the power of your network of friends and groups to recommend or highlight your business. However if you have a service (like mine) - where many individuals are sometimes reluctant to let the world know that they have had support, it can be difficult to use online support examples that help grow a reputation.

£20 —> £100 So putting it into context I used to spend £20 on FB adverts and £20 on Google Adverts per month. To be honest I’ve seen little return. I spoke to a number of SEO/Search experts who have all kind of stated the same thing in various guises…

“You need to spend the amount you would receive from winning your customers on your paid search”

… I had to ask that question that no-one like to ask

“what does that mean?”

So basically if winning a new client to me meant £500 a month then I should be looking to spend £500 on paid adverts. As this would typically mean that I will at least get enough opportunities to secure 1 or more clients due to the weight of my ads (as long as they are targeted correctly). This was followed up by the comment that if you get that 1 or 2 new clients in month 1, you should invest double in the next month £1,000!!

Well, I’m impressionable but not that impressionable. So I dwelled on it a day or two before upping my Google ad words to £100. I thought this was reasonable and worth the risk.

So onto setting up my ad…

I have to put my hand up and say that I’ve always thought I 90% understood the ad structures. But my gosh, they do like to make it as confusing as possible. However, I hovered over the button that read “display on google partner sites”. My instinct was to say “no”, as I want it on Google right? But again the recommendation from “experts” was leave this on.

Fast forward a month The month has passed and being a little geeky - my site tells me when someone is actively on the site. Typically, I get 30-50 people on my site a month that aren’t just bouncing off straight away. But I was suddenly getting about 5 or 6 people more a day on my site, working their way around it. With 10 active enquiries, leading to the gaining of 1 new client so far.

So I dived a little deeper into the stats around the “success” of the advert.

My ad appeared nearly 9,000 times and was clicked into 60 times.

However 97% of the impressions (times shown) came from partner sites and ninety percent of the click throughs (to my site) came from Partner sites. Although half my budget was spent on Google search. I did subsequently find out that my new client did find me through a Partner site.

£65.47 So interestingly, even though I set a budget of £100, Google only took £65.47. So whether this is because I had the incorrect key words or that the ad didn’t resonate. Who knows. But what can be shown that a new £500+ a month client was obtained directly by this experiment into Google adverts.

I’m not sure that I’ll be upping my budget considerably at this stage, but I’ll be definitely looking to keep it up for another month to see what happens.

If you've read this far you to have probably had experiences of paid advertising. Let me know your thoughts or experiences using Google Adverts or other platforms as I would love to hear more.

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