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Beware of Google PPC Changes and 2 Popular Offerings

As some of you are aware, Google has shifted its focus to local search. Since this shift, which occurred back in October, the ‘Google Map’ representing ‘Google Places’ has been showing up on the top right hand corner of the search screen, and the map scrolls down the page with you.

This brings your eyes to the visual cue of the map, so you are more bound to notice the ads.  Also, because of this change, a huge amount of real estate on the 1st page of Google is monopolized by Google Place matches.

In this example below, a website that used to be #3 in the organic (SEO) listings, is now on page 2 of Google.

Google PPC Changes And Local SearchLet’s play this out a little more. Maybe you have a home based business (which is increasingly more popular today, due to price of gas, and improved communication technology), and you aren’t comfortable putting your home as a listing for your business for the public to drop by.

Now one of your definitely best choices to be on the 1st page of Google is through PPC (AdWords).

Good to know, right?

So what should you do to maximize the effectiveness of a Google AdWords PPC campaign?

First of all, be conscious of 2 prevalent offerings in the market that might not be best for you:

1. Automated platforms

There are some very good companies out there who use automated platforms but one drawback is that these platforms work better when your click budget is thousands of dollars a month.

At WSI we not only service clients with click budgets of thousands of dollars a month, but also businesses who have a budget of a few hundred dollars a month, targeting their local community.

This brings us to the age old question: who is smarter – a person or a computer? Our experience has shown us that human beings, using common sense, marketing & business sense, win over the computer.

In one case we were convinced the platform would provide better results for our client.

After the recommended 3 months for the platform to optimize the campaign, however, it cost the client double for the number of visitors, and they only got half the number of leads. Needless to say we put them back on the manual management process.

It was less work and more money in WSI’s pocket to use the automated platform - because there was very little management we could do since the platform was responsible for that, the client had direct access to reporting, and we got paid a commission from the platform company.

However, we would not recommend it to our clients. Our goal is for you to maintain an comfortable budget and still increase your results many fold – and/or decrease your Google budget!

2. Look out for: ‘Guarantee you in the top 3 on the left hand side – unlimited clicks’

Guaranteed Listings

First, don’t be fooled – it still means PPC and the shaded matches on the top left are still Ads.  Yes, they let you choose which 3 words you want to guarantee showing up for but these words must include the city name.  The key thing to know is that only 10-20% of people type in the city name, even when looking for local services. Interesting, huh?

Plus, for example, if you search for landscapers, Google knows where you are geographically according to your computer’s IP address and will serve up local results based on that anyway.

A recent example is a client who was confused by a fast talking salesman, who was charging $495/mo to have 6 words show up in the top 3 on the left.

In his Google campaign, in one month, ALL words using city names sent only 21 visitors to his website, for a click cost of only $4.59. For this case, WSI would recommend that the client put the extra $495/mo into Google clicks (or real SEO organic strategies).

With the internet always changing, it’s hard to know when a decision is best for your business.

But that’s what WSI does – we help you make the right decisions through our expertise in the field. Contact WSI Milton for help and we’ll keep up with the changes for you.

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