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Adwords not worth it.

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# 1
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I've decided to abandon adwords for a year.  Here's why.

 

In doing a comparison between 2014 and 2013, Adwords cost be about $900 and accounted for 12% of the traffic to my site.  My ads had mediocre performance -- about 1%.  But then I constantly lowballed the bidding, never bidding over 25 cents.  (Very restricted location marketing)

 

IF everyone came to me through google, then I could ascribe 1/8 of my cashflow to adwords.  With a cash flow of about 40K (startup tree farm) that would be 5k.  Ok.  That would be  worth it.  Marginal, considering the time it takes to write good ads, but worth it.

 

But in terms of calls, only about 1/4 of my customers find me directly through google.  Most of the rest find me through kijiji.  So now that $900 has barely paid for itself.  And consdiering the time it takes, not paid for itself.

 

So, I'm going to concentrate on writing better kijiji ads, and working on my web page.

 

 

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Sherwood B
September 2015

Re: Adwords not worth it.

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# 6
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Hey Sherwood B,

Just wanted to share my thoughts about your comments.

I think it is great that you have defined the most important conversion factor for your business which you mentioned "getting people to your farm to feel and touch" the products you offer Smiley Happy

Thought of some users behavior factor that may have affected your Adwords performance, maybe a larger number of users at your targeted location prefer using Kijiji more than Google when it comes to online shopping or finding product.

I am assuming your business is located in Canada ? Smiley Happy If so, it makes much more sense as Kijiji is extremely popular in Canada.

Good luck with optimizing your website / web pages as well Smiley Happy

View solution in original post

Re: Adwords not worth it.

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner
Sherwood B.

First of all Good luck with your endavors and business.

The one thing that was alarming was your quote of "Low Balling the Bidding".

What was your Ad Rank over this period of time?

if your ads were consistently below in fold in the 5-10 range one would expect fewer phone calls, and more of the comparison shoppers rather then those ready to buy.

But then again not every business has a Unique Selling Proposition which can distinguish themselves from the competition and offer a competitive advantage that will drive traffic into paying customers.

Good luck with your business and I hope the "classified ads" continue to be successful for you.

Re: Adwords not worth it.

[ Edited ]
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# 3
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Thanks for your good wishes.

Typically 3.5. More significantly, miss opportunites were fairly small.
If I doubled my bid I'd only get about 15% more clicks.

***

The problem wasn't enough clicks. The problem was that the clicks don't
make a difference.


I admit at this point I don't have a good way to tell the difference
bertween a customer who first found me on adwords vs organic search vs
kijiji vs word of mouth.

(Not accurate: I can distinguish between organic search and paid
adversting, but not between google and kijiji)

In one sense this may mean that my web page isn't good enough. But I
don't think so. I think that the selection process for buying a tree isn't
very rational. My focus needs to be on getting people to the farm to feel
and touch.




Respectfully,

Sherwood of Sherwood's Forests

<edited by a Community Manager as noted below>
 
Note: this post has been edited by a Community Manager, per our posting guidelines, in order to remomve personal and contact information. This is done to protect privacy and account security.

Re: Adwords not worth it.

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# 4
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one suggestion for you "increase your ad rank with quality score, good landing page, site navigation etc.

Re: Adwords not worth it.

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# 5
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I suspect that you are pasting general advice trying to build karma.

Let me try again:
Last year 3/4 of my ad budget was spent on Adwords to get an increase of 12% over organic search.

In addition to the cost, ads are time consuming to write, monitoring the account is a distraction.

Adwords are not effective for my market.

So this year I am concentrating on writing better web pages.
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Sherwood B
September 2015

Re: Adwords not worth it.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hey Sherwood B,

Just wanted to share my thoughts about your comments.

I think it is great that you have defined the most important conversion factor for your business which you mentioned "getting people to your farm to feel and touch" the products you offer Smiley Happy

Thought of some users behavior factor that may have affected your Adwords performance, maybe a larger number of users at your targeted location prefer using Kijiji more than Google when it comes to online shopping or finding product.

I am assuming your business is located in Canada ? Smiley Happy If so, it makes much more sense as Kijiji is extremely popular in Canada.

Good luck with optimizing your website / web pages as well Smiley Happy

Re: Adwords not worth it.

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# 7
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Canada generally is split between Craigslist and Kijiji. In a given region one dominates to the point that the other is hardly there: In Edmonton, Alberta, Kijiji will have 2000 postings in its home and garden section while Craigslist has 60. Vancouver is a Craigslist city. Backpage and Used are even smaller.

There are a bunch of factors, and I have trouble putting numbers on any of them.

 

1. My local population appears to favour organic results over ads. This is consistent with my own behaviour. I will generally search 2-4 times with keywords before clicking on an ad. My reason: An ad can be triggered by a single keyword, but search results have to have all the words either in the page, or in a page that links to it. Thus ads are several times as likely to contain irrelevant results.  Google would do well to implement an "All search terms must be present on the landing page for their ads.  

 

2.  People are reluctant to buy unfamiliar stuff online.   This is especially true of an item where the quality can be variable.  Buying a Nikon online is easy.  You read reviews.  You handle your friends.  

 

3.  This is so dominant, that the horticultural trade as a whole is one of the least internet savvy industries around.  A while ago I managed to put together a list of some thousand garden centres, landscape contractors, and reclamation contractors.  Of the thousand, only 600 had email addresses, only 150 had web sites, and of those 150, many were just single page sites.

 

Our business has been growing at about 40% per year, which is right in line with web site use.  I suspect most of our growth is the general rise in comfort levels with finding stuff by internet shopping.