This month I kicked off our first “Thursday” by presenting on “Growing your business through Google without buying them a new plane”. Customers who couldn’t make it will receive a pre-recorded version of this presentation. Here’s a brief synopsis.

First, I reviewed how many small businesses in New Zealand have staff (approx 97,000), and then surmised that they could also afford to advertise at approx $300 per month with Google. And allowing for 50% of this spend being wasted through poor advertising choices led to a calculation – 97,000 x $150 per month – which comes to $174 million. With a new Airbus A320a costing a piddling $123 million, I had to allow for a few “modifications” to soak up the remaining $51m. Airforce One, anybody?

Now if you design your advertising to help Google achieve the ideal user experience, you are heading along the right track and probably not helping Google fund that new Airbus. The question is, what is this supposed ideal experience? Think back to when you’ve been googling something and Google, bless its heart, did exactly the right job for you. You found just what you were after, spent a happy few minutes or more splashing about the website Google pointed you to, and didn’t go back to Google until you were ready to search for something else.

And when it fails? That’s when you search, click onto a site, realise it’s not what you’re looking for, quickly click back for another look at the search results, and then click away. Think of it as bouncing between the search results and the sites you find – hunting for that elusive prey.

Advertising that is costly and ineffective will have all the attributes of this scenario – attracting few clicks for the number of times it is shown. What’s more, those who do click bounce off the site in droves – most likely to head back to Google to continue their quest. There’s an Airbus armrest paid for, right there.

Applying poor measurement practices is another armrest – with maybe a seat belt thrown in too. Although you can’t manage what you can’t measure, it’s still common to see people buying Google Advertising with no way to determine what value they gained from it.

It’s easy to see why. Setting up a Google Adwords account is easy peasy – all you need is 20 minutes and a credit card. Just follow the prompts Google provides and your ads will be online, with money being sucked from your account, in mere moments.

Now compare that with the effort required to set up and configure your Google Analytics account. Yes you can get the code in minutes – then someone needs to add it to EVERY page of your website. What’s more, the account needs configuring to track the actions (think sales or contact form requests) that you want your advertising to drive. All going well, and with someone who knows exactly what they need, this work can done in under an hour. But ask the business owner to take on the task and it could be weeks before a web developer has done their job, leaving the marketing assistant to figure out exactly what part of Google Analytics needs customising for the goals to work properly.

So think yourself lucky if your goal tracking is working as it should, allowing you to see exactly how much each lead from your paid advertising channels is costing you. You may also notice that each month the per lead cost moves gradually northwards.

Why is that? Well, Google is the place to be for you AND your competitors. And that drives the bid price up – and with it your cost per lead. Which leaves me with the last part of this presentation summary – nurturing your leads with the care and attention they deserve.

Let’s think about the polar opposite way this could work: Aging sticky notes on computer screens containing the details of prospects who called in for help last week and still haven’t been called back yet.

Then, when they are called back, it’s from salespeople who treat them depending on how they feel that particular day. No method to track who has said what to whom. Appointments get set and people fail to turn up. Quotes are given but never followed up. And so on, and so on.

I know this happens because – as I’m sure you have – I’ve been on the receiving end of nearly all these behaviours. And while businesses can survive in the short term with systems like this, I predict they will soon find themselves priced out of online advertising because their effective cost per sale from online leads will be too high. The smart people who see selling as a “system” will bid up their advertising to grab as much traffic as they can.

Customers will have received a recording of this full presentation. If you are interested in working with us then give us a call or complete a contact request here and let’s start.