Here at Sites n Stores, we thought it would be fun to give you a little experiment. Are you up for it? Good.
Jump onto your computer or mobile and enter a search into Google. For example: Beauty Salon Melbourne. You’ll notice a few difference types of results; Pay per Click (PPC) Ads followed by Organic Search Results, generated through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). More often than not, the most prominent and relevant results are featured in the top 1-4 positions on Google. These will have a little ‘Ad’ tag under the heading.
Now, for the experiment. After you made your search, ask yourself the following questions: did you look much further past these top four results? No? Did the top results correctly identify the products or services you searched for? In all likelihood, yes!
These top 4 results are the Business’s that steal 80% of the traffic and, as a result, pocket the rewards. You can almost be certain that if you type in Keywords related to any product or service, the very top search results will be generated through PPC Ads.
And this is why PPC is so effective when it comes to Marketing any Business Online. PPC’s purpose is to drive audiences to your site right away. It’s an immediate Search Engine Marketing Tool that means you don’t have to wait for Search Engines to Index your site’s pages, which can be a time-consuming endeavour.
PPC For All Businesses
If you assume that PPC is just for big Businesses, we’re here to tell you otherwise. Firstly, keep in mind that all Big Business, at some stage, started out as a Small Business. And secondly, just because larger Companies have the resources and budget to use PPC, doesn’t mean they always get it right.
That’s right! Remarkably, some stuff-up the chance to use this Digital Marketing Tool to its maximum potential. While this is bad news for them, it gives YOU, THE SAVY Small Business Owner, the chance to learn from their mistakes! Now, this isn’t a blog intended to scare you off using PPC, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. By learning through other Business’s mistakes, you’ll be better able to fully utilise this Digital Marketing Powerhouse to the greatest of its capabilities! So, let’s look at a big Business that got it all wrong and what you can learn from it.
You know them as the dominant Online Shopping Giant that used person-to-person trading to build an entire community of consumers on the Internet. But, just as eBay was starting to receive traction worldwide and harbour success, it risked it all with a poorly planned Digital Marketing Strategy.
Their downfall? Incorrect use of Google AdWords. It might seem unlikely that a bad PPC Campaign worked so unfavourably for them, but this really does just go to show the incredible power of PPC. The important thing here to note is this: run a lousy PPC Campaign and run the risk of damaging your Business. Run an effective one however, and you can expect your Business to thrive!
So, What Did eBay Do Wrong?
Back in the day, when eBay was just starting to play with Digital Marketing, it inadvertently became known as the world’s biggest abuser of an underhanded Ad writing tactic in AdWords. The Company knew that PPC was huge and realised it needed to utilise the power of this strategy to achieve Online success.
This saw eBay jump straight into using PPC without any research or planning. It channelled all of its resources into its PPC Campaign, with no prior experience or knowledge to back it up. And, unsurprisingly, it failed miserably.
Why? Because they didn’t use it correctly. They used cheap tactics, rather than sound PPC principles, and had no determined strategy or goal in mind – except to get more leads at whatever cost.
This inevitably led to disaster and many PPC failures, some of which you may have even come across yourself while Online! If you used Google 5 to 10 years ago, you could have seen an array of bizarre eBay Ads that made absolutely no sense and, quite frankly, made the Business a laughing stock. You could have searched ‘Loneliness’ and Google Ads would have shown a PPC results from eBay stating, ‘Looking for Loneliness? Find Exactly What You Want Today on eBay’.
While quite comical, this was not ideal for the Business. Customers were either clicking on these pointless Ads, wasting eBay’s AdWords budget, or they were getting irritated that eBay were pestering them with unrelated results. eBay was struggling. They could see other big Business flourish using PPC, able to build their brands and reap the rewards, while it floundered.
eBay was investing everything in PPC, but due to its lack of expertise, planning and the belief that it could ‘beat the system’, it wasn’t generating any Return on Investment. It was receiving substandard results and falling behind the competition. And all because it wasn’t utilising PPC to its full potential.
Poor Research Equals Poor Choices
eBay made uneducated decisions regarding the audience to target its PPC Ad towards, making choices based on little to no research. They determined that targeting existing customers would generate less ROI than targeting new customers. This saw it exclude all existing customers from their PPC targets, eliminating a huge chunk of their market based on nothing more than a guess.
To make matters worse, instead of trying to learn from their failures and make adjustments, eBay simply decided AdWords wasn’t worth its time. This has gone down as one of the biggest mistakes in Digital Marketing history.
Learn from These Mistakes
Ultimately, eBay’s initial struggle has shown us just how important it is to really understand how Google AdWords really works. PPC is a hugely effective strategy when implemented correctly, but it’s necessary to test, optimise, and then test again. It requires knowing your audience, your competitors and your industry. You need to invest the time in learning what works for your brand before you start investing your money.
Understanding where eBay went wrong ultimately helps your Small Business, as you can begin to understand just how important it is to do your research, establish your goals and implement a solid, sound strategy.
If you’re time poor and can’t imagine dedicating the time to researching what works, then consider hiring PPC experts who can take care of the work for you. This will not only give you a successful, well-managed PPC Campaign, but will mean you can spend more time in your Business and less time on your Marketing.
Here at Sites n Stores, our team of PPC experts undertake thorough research specific to your industry and target audience. This allows us to create a completely customised strategy perfectly tailored to your Small Business goals, needs and market. As certified Google Partners, we understand the ins and outs of AdWords and how to apply them to every industry. If you want to increase traffic, build your brand and start generating serious revenue, give us a call.