How To Double Your Ad Budget

Todays post is packed full of actionable items.  Grab a coffee and pull up a chair, and let’s jump right in!

I’ve written before about the importance of advertising goals, so I won’t dwell on them again too much, suffice it to say, every ad campaign you run should have a specific goal you can measure its performance against.

This activity is most often referred to as conversion tracking.  In the simplest terms a conversion can be thought of as a sale, but can also be more abstract, such as a website visitor, PDF download, or even calling a number from (yes you can even track calls on a number from a specific ad campaign….).

OK, so it’s pretty obvious how important conversion tracking is to ALL advertisers.  If you don’t know what your ads are doing, how do you know you’re not wasting your money?  So the next few stats might come as a surprise to you.

  1. Research conducted across 2,000 google advertisers last year revealed that 42% weren’t tracking what their ads were doing at all. The (so if your know what your ads are doing, you’re already ahead of 40% of your competitors)
     
  2. Worse still, of the remaining 58% that had conversion tracking, more than 50% had broken or faulty tracking on their campaigns (might want to quickly check if the pat on the back you just gave yourself was justified)
     
  3. Of the remaining ads with tracking that worked, less than 40% of ads reported a single conversion. (Yes that’s right, 60% of their ad spend was wasted)

Now the 3 steps needed to double your ad budget? 

  1. First you need to go on a quick journey.  Click on your ads and follow the path they lead you down.  Then review the conversion tracking to make sure it’s all working as it should.
    (this should be all accessible in your google analytics).  
     
  2. Next you need to review your campaigns for the last 180 days.  Stop running the ads which show low or no conversions. (on average this will be 60%+ of your spend over the last 6 months)
     
  3. Take that spare (more than double) advertising budget and apply it to the ad campaigns that have shown conversions over the same 180 day period (most campaigns are capped by budget rather than results)

So in summary…..

At the very least this email will have confirmed you deserve an A+ for conversion tracking! 

Hopefully for everyone else, I’ve helped you identify a big fat saving which you can now apply to the ads which are working.  Not only does this mean you stop wasting money, it means you can actually increase the return youre getting from your good campaigns  That’s much more than just doubling your ad budget.  Its doubling your profitable ad budget!

As always if you’d like to discuss any of your PPC or Email marketing campaigns over a Zoom call, you can book some time with us via the following link.

Remember Google?

This week I came across some fascinating google stats (no really….) which I thought I’d share.  It’s often easy to forget the value of a brand when it so integral to our everyday lives.  

I still remember when we moved our business over to using gmail and people thought we were taking a massive risk with such a new tech company. When I checked the dates  I was shocked to find we made that switch 14 years ago!  Safe to say, Google isn’t a baby anymore.

Before we jump into the numbers it’s worth clarifying a couple of terms that pop up (SEO = using content to rank highly in google search results without paying google directly.  Not to be confused with SEM = which is using paid ads to get visitors from search engines).

 Google Stats (2021)

  • There are 4.7 billion Google searches every day. (the year they launched (1998) it was 10,000 per day).  This one really made me feel old.  I launched my first internet business serchen.com in September 1997…..😳
     
  • Google properties control 88% of the search market (This includes youtube which is now the worlds second biggest search engine)
     
  • 15% of daily searches have never been searched before 🤯 (are you bidding on the same terms over and over against the same competitors?)
     
  • 55% of teenagers use voice search on a daily basis (voice searches now account for 10% of all searches) A big percentage of these searches are via smart speakers at home.
     
  • 90% of all websites never see a single organic “FREE” visitor from google (Google is becoming more and more a pay to play marketing channel) In case you wondered, (and I did) there are roughly 2 Billion websites, of which around 400 million are considered active.  
     
  • Google made $147 billion (£106B) last year from advertising (helps explain why SEO is less and less effective). They’re estimated to have around 6M customers, which still leaves them with 394M that aren’t paying them yet…..
     
  • 92% of people never go past page one of google search results (testament to the quality of google search)
     
  • Top 3 results of google get 75% of the clicks (generally speaking the top 4 slots on google are paid ads)
     

These numbers serve as a great reminder to anyone growing an online business. Always be aware of shiny object syndrome and the power of FOMO (fear of missing out), when it comes to marketing strategy.  Just as video may have injured the radio star,  its demise was greatly exaggerated. (who listens to a podcast today…..)  

Largely due to the total dominance of Google in the search industry and  lack of new competitors, the FOMO bandwagon has turned its attention to new toys like Snap & Tiktok.  Of course these newer marketing channels present exciting opportunities.  Just be mindful if history has taught us anything, it’s that new mediums rarely replace existing ones.  Social and Search are no different. (Oh and Email is thriving as well!)

I started buying ads on google almost 21 years ago. Today (ignoring email) Google still represents the largest percentage of my ad budget and most importantly the biggest contributor to not only my own revenue, but also that of my clients. 

Why?

Because Google still owns the largest audience with most “INTENT”.  As such you often pay a higher price.  But as a way of connecting with consumers looking to make a purchase (outside amazon’s walled garden) nothing comes close.

Consumers engage with ads on google because to a large extent they’re helping them solve a problem, rather than interrupting their day. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for other marketing channels of course, but their goals need to be very different.  A topic for another day.

The bad news is I’ve yet to find a marketing channel that lets you run your business on autopilot, and Google is no exception.  (Worse news is my instagram feed is full of people telling me I’m wrong about that.  I just need to buy their course….) The good news is Google ads work (the stats above illustrate why).  Like most things worthwhile, the the strategy is simple (if not always easy). 

Profitable Online Advertising Checklist!

  • Goals
    Start with the end in mind.  What is the goal of the advertising campaign?  Generate leads, downloads, purchases?  Make sure you have a specific action that you want the visitors from your ad campaign to take.

  • Measurable
    It makes sense if you can’t measure it then you can’t manage it.  So ensure that you have your google analytics accounts set up to track “goal conversions”

  • Tracking Links
    Each ad campaign should have a unique tracking link (Google “UTM links”).  Combined with Google Analytics this should enable you to measure at least two things.  Visitors and Goals from each source.

  • Target Audience
    Clearly define who you are targeting and their specific interests.  Outline the pleasure or pain your product or service is addressing. You should have a clear picture of your ideal customer before moving onto the next step.

  • Ad Headline & Copy
    Don’t waste time talking about yourself. No one wants to know about you.  It’s all about pleasure or pain.  Specifically what pleasure you provide or what pain can you take away?  Make sure your Ad headline reinforces what’s in it for them!

  • Call to action
    Ensure all ads (and landing pages) contain a single clear CTA (call to action).  What you want people to do at each step in your “sales funnel” should be crystal clear.

  • Display URLs
    Google, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter all allow you to display a different URL than the page you’re actually sending your visitors to.  Make sure the URL you display reinforces the message in your ads and your landing pages. E.g if you’re selling “red shoes” then  http://www.shoeshop.com/redshoes  would be perfect.

  • Landing Pages
    Whether you use a service like Unbounce, Leadpages or simply send traffic to your own website.  Ensure the “landing page” you send your visitors to reinforces the message conveyed in your ads.  These pages should have a single goal (tracked) and clear CTAs linked to that goal!  The less distraction the better.  People are increasingly short of time and the quicker you can help navigate them to taking the desired action the better.

  • Test, Test and Test Again
    Before you spend any money, make sure each step in your “sales funnel” is working.  Click your tracking links, view the visit in Google Analytics.  Perform the action that you defined as a goal (buy something if needed) and ensure its all reporting as expected in Google Analytics.  This isn’t very exciting but until it’s working correctly you will be flying blind

  • Optimise
    Once your ads are up and running, you can start viewing the results in Analytics and use that information to improve elements of the campaign.  Improve the response rate by changing your ad headlines and copy.  Improve the conversion rates on your landing pages by improving the offer and calls to action. 

Book a FREE 30 min Call and discover how we can help improve your marketing profitability.

How much should I spend on google & facebook ads each month?

This is a marketing question I get asked A LOT.  I always respond with a question of my own. 

Are you treating marketing as an expense or an investment? 

Business owners generally fall into one of those two camps when it comes to marketing.  If they say expense, then I’m confident they don’t know where their sales are coming from and are struggling to scale their business.  Those that treat marketing as an investment understand which marketing channels are providing profitable returns, and increase or reduce investment accordingly.  

I just want to be clear.  This isn’t a reflection on the business acumen of the person asking the question. Its normally just a lack of experience in digital marketing and understanding of the subject.

With that in mind I want to cover a topic which is often misunderstood when attempting to budget for online advertising.  Unlike traditional media buying, online advertising prices are rarely set by the publisher.  In fact the vast majority of online ads today are purchased in a realtime advertising auction.  
GoogleFacebookTwitter,Linkedin & Amazon all operate using the same basic model.  Advertisers bid against one another for the price they’re willing to pay for a click on their ad (visits to their website).  Which begs the question.  How do you know the price you should be paying per visitor, and can you afford it?

You need to understand two critical dimensions of your online business before you can confidently answer those questions..  

  1. What is your website conversion rate? (how many visitors (clicks) it takes to generate a purchase / enquiry from a given ad campaign)
     
  2. What is the lifetime value of your average customer? (the true value of a customer, not just the first purchase)

Clearly if you don’t know how many website visitors to make a sale or the true value of that sale, its really NOT advisable to attend an auction to bid on advertising. 


Fortunately for Google and Facebook the advertising market is still very lightly regulated when it comes to ad sales.  Unfortunately for you, this means auctions are filled with participants that not only don’t know the answer to the above questions, they often rely on software to automate their bidding.  Unlike a regular auction the number of participants is so large (Facebook has over 10M advertisers bidding on ads right now)  that having a strategy to just wait until the idiots run out of money rarely proves effective.  

I should also clarify this is a real time auction that runs 24/7.  So what you bid for a click today will not be the same tomorrow or in fact potentially a minute from now.  This obviously makes budgeting for advertising more complex as the goal posts are perpetually shifting in line with the market sentiment. 

If you’re starting to see some parallels with the financial markets then you’re not alone. Google made $147B from advertising auctions in 2020.  Worldwide the market is estimated to be worth $378B. Thats a lot of clicks being 

The good news is armed with the right knowledge you can develop a profitable bidding strategy and participate in online advertising successfully. 

3 Reasons Why an Outside Eye Could Help Your Marketing

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As increasing numbers of corporations and institutions move to internalize their marketing efforts, they risk losing a pair of key benefits agencies provide.

The first is that they no longer profit from these marketers’ experience with other clients. Work done for other organizations could provide valuable insights into the problem your organization faces.

The bigger issue, however, is that an internal team is too close to the brand and the people building it.

Here are three reasons why your proximity to your brand could be hurting your marketing – Read

Seven examples of hotel content marketing campaigns

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When it comes to planning a holiday – it’s no longer enough to flick through a brochure or browse a hotel website.

Now, with so many people heading online to search and discover travel inspiration (long before they even think about booking), it’s up to hospitality brands to stand out from the crowd.

Content marketing remains a key way for hotels to do this, typically being used to grab attention and engage users throughout their online journey. Here are some good examples and the reasons why they work. – Read