Recently Google reduced the number of ad slots it was allowing in its desktop search environment. Gone are all the slots on the right hand side. What remains are those at the top – with an extra slot for some queries – and some at the bottom.    

That means fewer ad slots are now available for the same number of advertisers. And that means click costs are sure to head upwards. Here’s my take on how the typical Kiwi business owner can navigate through this change.

#1 Become a price setter not a price taker.

You are currently one or the other. Most people are “price takers” who take the price they are given with a gulp. They have no idea how many phone calls they get from those clicks. Nor do they track actual closed customer sales based on the click that started the sales process.

In their situation, $4.00 per click “sounds” super expensive and they grudgingly see their credit card charges from Google in their statements each month.

Compare those people to those who smile with glee when each click occurs. These people are the “price setters”.

They know exactly how many clicks they need to create a lead and how many of these go onto become customers. For every dollar they invest with Google advertising, they see ten, twenty or a hundred dollars in profit. They actively seek ways to divert funds from poor performing marketing channels into their Google advertising.  

Forget about $4 per click; they could pay $8 per click and still be making lots of money. They will bid up their clicks to put financial pressure on the rest, who struggle to make their advertising work at $4. In most cases they live at the top of the search results, and the recent change has only positive effects for them. They rub their hands with glee as they see their competition being all but obliterated from view, leaving searchers to focus their attention on what is left – the price setters and their super sized ads.  

#2 Focus on the “profit” – ie, conversions – of your clicks

As a business owner, think of clicks vs conversions as the equivalent of revenue vs profit. Your clicks are revenue – they drive the volume of traffic through your website. And seeing yourself at the top of the search results is nice, just as looking at a fat figure at the top of your P&L report is nice.  

But we all know that’s not the real goal. Phone calls, submitted quote requests and contact forms are a lot closer to the bottom line of profit. These are the website actions that fuel the growth of a company.  

Price setters always have above-industry-standard website conversion rates. Their website is a “conversion engine” that magically turns clicks into calls and form submissions. A good result for the week is not ranking well for their chosen keywords; it’s learning that the recent change to their website landing pages have increased Quote Request completion by 30%. Same traffic, same cost – and 30% extra results.

#3 Know that 1 is the most dangerous number for business owners.

Dan Kennedy talks about this a lot. Here are some examples of where the danger lurks:

– One person in your company can only do one particular kind of work.

– One customer accounts for the majority of your sales.

– One supplier manages all of your IT and telecommunications needs.

– One marketing channel – think Google AdWords! – delivers more than half your leads.

For some people the recent Google AdWords change is merely a problem – but for others it could be dire. Let’s imagine your business is built on the sole marketing tactic of paying for clicks at the lowest possible amount on the right hand side of the desktop search area.  

Now these ad places are gone.  

Your business growth is stalled, at best. Maybe even ended.   

So don’t rely on Google paid advertising to deliver all your leads. There are many effective online marketing strategies that don’t have Google as their focus. Spread your love and minimise your risks!

And remember that Ark Advance can help you achieve this goal. Since 2002 we’ve supported all kinds of Kiwi and Australian businesses to effectively manage the marketing of their website. Contact us today to see if our services fit your situation.