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How to Spend Lots of Money on Google Ads and Get No Clients

Google AdWords and the advertising programs of other search engines can be immediately effective tools to drive potential customers to your web site. (If you’re not familiar with AdWords, it is Google’s program that lets web site owners put ads next to the results Google displays in response to searches. You bid for your ad to appear when searches are made for specific keywords. The higher you bid, the higher up on the page your ad will appear… more or less. You pay only when people click on your ad and visit your web site, an approach called Pay Per Click, or PPC. More information is on Google, and other search engines have similar programs.)

AdWords should be a low-risk venture:

  • You’d think it’d be difficult to waste a lot of money on Pay-Per-Click ads since, well…, you’re paying Google (or Bing or whomever) only when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website.
  • You’d think that people who see your ad would only click if they thought that your product or service would be valuable to them.
  • Therefore, you’d pay Google only when a genuine potential client clicked to your site after seeing your ad.

But, I recently fixed the AdWords campaign that had been racking up hundreds of dollars a month, getting visitors, and no clients.

How did my client waste his money?

  • He did not limit where his ads appeared
  • He bid on keywords without including his location in the phrase.
  • His ad text didn’t give his location.

Let’s say he was a San Francisco accountant (the profession and the keyword have been changed for this example!)  He bid on terms like “income tax preparation”.  His ad text was “Tax Preparation by Professional Accountants.”

Because there was no geographic limitation, Google users throughout the United States and Canada were seeing his ad, clicking on it, and visiting his site.  We could tell where people were coming from by the hit tracking report we used.  Very few came from within 100 miles of his business.  Some visitors had actually searched for terms like “Income tax preparation in Corpus Christi”.  My client’s ads had come up offering tax help, the the poor user in Texas was taken to the site of a San Francisco accountant.  And, my client was paying over a dollar for each of these misdirected souls.

What to do?

  1. AdWords Map

    Google AdWords Map Limiting Where the Ads will Appear to the Area in Blue

    Allow your ads to be displayed only by users who are browsing from specific geographic areas. Google lets you specify countries, geographic areas (San Francisco – San Jose Bay Area), and even lets you draw the boundaries for your ads on a map.

    Limit all your general keyword ads to the area you serve.

  2. Start a second campaign that you allow to run country- or world-wide.  Use the same keywords you use for the geographically targeted ads above, but include the geography as part of the keyword you bid on.  In the example case, you’d bid on “income tax preparation San Francisco”.

    By specifying that a user has to include your location in his search, you can get business from people who may not be in your area now but who specifically want service in that area.  In the case of the CPA, maybe a businessperson is on trip to Boston and they want to find an accountant back home in San Francisco to set up an appointment next week.

Specifying a location for your ads works.

My client is now able to bid more per click, and is showing up higher on the ad lists.  His ads are truly being clicked on by potential clients. And, he seen results walk in his door.

By |2011-02-22T12:52:11+00:00February 22nd, 2011|Google, Marketing|0 Comments

Where to Find a Top San Francisco Hairstylist?

Len has trained in top hair salons and has over 20 years experience with precision hair cutting, hair coloring, highlights and lowlights, and other facets of hairstyling.

A few years ago he had a spiffy-looking web site created for him by a team with a graphics design background. He loves the site’s look… and he should! But, he’s been concerned that over time he has gained no clients from the site. In fact, when he searched Google for his site using any terms potential clients might use, his site didn’t came up. Len wants clients in Sonoma and San Francisco — he works in two studios — but anyone searching for a “top stylist” or other related term wouldn’t be told of his site.

Search Engine Optimization has helped Len’s site show up in the top 10 Google results within one week. He’s #4 in Google for “top stylist in Sonoma” one of his chosen keyword phrases. Eleven other of Len’s selected phrases now show up in the top 100 Google results. We don’t know when Google crawled his site for the updated pages, and we’ll be watching for additional result improvements in the coming weeks as all of the site’s changes are noticed by Google. And, his site improved in a similar way in Bing and Yahoo! results (the site is #1 in Yahoo! for “Precision Haircutting in San Francisco”).

The original, graphics-designer-published site had no page titles that focused on Len’s keywords. The pages had no descriptions, no text headings, and no ALT tags for the images. These HTML codes are all keys to Search Engine Optimization. Overall, the site was very pretty, but it didn’t tell Google and other search engines much about its content.

I went through Len’s site and featured one of the keyword phrases Len had picked on each page. Then I put in meaningful <title>s, headings, text, and ALT tags on every image. I also fixed a gross HTML coding error that wrongly told Google and other search engines that one of the pages ended in the middle.  See his top San Francisco and Sonoma hair stylist site — and if you’re a techie person, view the source code to see what I did.

Frankly, I was surprised to see any improvement in Len’s rankings in just a week.  When I first started optimizing web pages, it would take weeks for Google to revisit an established site, index it, and change the search results.

I wouldn’t want to guarantee results in a week, either. But, if you or someone you know need help with your search engine rankings, let’s talk about what can be done! I’m at 415.347.6479.

By |2011-01-23T09:55:29+00:00January 23rd, 2011|Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments