How to Lose Money on Paid Search AdvertisingPosted by Click Finders in google adwords, Marketing, organic search engine optimization, Paid Search, ppc, SEO | 14 comments
I have wanted to write this article for quite some time. It just seems there’s not enough time in the day to get to all the little “want to do’s” lists that I have. However, I finally have a minute to sit down and bang this one out, so here it goes. It’s an important topic and one that is all too often overlooked by Internet Marketing professionals (both in-house marketers and agencies). It’s a serious problem that most often results in finger pointing once found. The in-house manager says the agency should have caught it and the agency will most likely state that the company reviewed and approved all keywords before launching a campaign. In the end, no matter how it happens, it’s still a BIG, expensive problem in some cases and one of my biggest pet peeves in the search engine marketing world. The truth is, they both (in-house management and professional SEO Services agency), have an obligation to prevent things like this from happening, even more so if it’s done entirely in-house! The issue is having Paid results come back for the same term that already ranks #1 organically, when results come back like this:
Note the results. The search term was “Zappos”. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a whole lot of respect for Tony Hsieh and his team over there at Zappos. They have truly built a wonderful thing with an innovative, unique and truly effective customer service business model. But to be honest, with all the brain power over there how was this missed? Look at the results again. The search term “Zappos” returned the “Top Organic” result and then the “Paid Search Box” also shows Zappos. Call me silly, but I’ll bet you anything this oversight is costing Zappos a pretty penny every month on their Google Adwords account. In fact, let’s look at a quick analysis from SPYFU.com on the term search term “Zappos”. SPYFU is a well-known and search industry recognized resource for internet marketers for SEO and Paid Search marketing data. Note the estimated daily clicks and cost for this term:
Now if we are to believe these numbers, and trust me when I say they can be deadly accurate, then the total monthly cost for this little over sight could be costing Zappos as much as $99,300.00 each month! Maybe Zappos can afford that considering annual revenues at just over a billion dollars at this point and further, some might say that having the top two spots on Google (i.e. more page one real estate) is worth the cost. Some people would also argue that certain users will ONLY click on paid search results for various reasons (trust, ignorance of the search results page, etc.). All of these might be viable arguments for a smaller company, but how many people that actually search for the term “Zappos” are not going to click on the top organic result just because a paid result is not shown? I’m guessing very little, if any, loss in traffic if this one term was dropped from the PPC campaign, yet the monies saved by this simple move could then be spent on other more effective terms that don’t show up as the first organic result and yield even more buying visitors to the site. I hope at some point, internet marketers wake up and realize that top paid and organic search results are not needed at the same time for MOST instances.
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