Posts Tagged AdWords

My response to your emails about Web Design & Development Costs


I recently turned our Google Adwords campaign on to get 2bscene out there and drum up some more business. It’s not that we’re not busy, but more the fact that I’d really like to see us grow this year after being too worried about consolidation last year. The more business I get in, the more staff I can employ and the feel good factor of that would be just amazing with all the doom and gloom that fills our lives because of the recession.

My Google advert states clearly “Professional Web design from just €1,499”. There are a number reasons we push that price. The main one is that it’s a very competitive price for a professionally designed, custom website and the other key reason is to stop people that aren’t serious about their web presence from contacting us.

I’ve outlined in detail many times before how we cost our websites and why they cost the price they do. But for some that message doesn’t seem to sink in.

Now, more than ever before, we get the “is that really how much it costs? You know we’re in a recession don’t you?” response when someone is presented with an estimate or proposal on the costs involved in developing a website.

The reason for this is simple. Most people just don’t fully understand what is involved in designing and developing a website. The work a professional company puts into designing a custom designed website is not comparable and cannot be compared to a website that costs €300. They are just two totally different things – it’s like comparing apples with oranges.

Some sad person is so ridiculously consumed by it all, feels it’s his duty to inform me that websites can be purchased for as little as €300.

Already he’s filled in the form on our website twice to let us know how he feels about our charges, the economy and how backward he thinks we are. Yet unfortunately, both times he has left non-existent email addresses, which means we can’t respond to him.

We’re pretty confident we know who this person is, I just hope he reads this… so I can let him know that I understand my business, the market place and that we don’t and don’t want to compete with those cheap and nasty web design firms.

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Are we becoming immune to Google’s Sponsored Ads?

It’s been over 15 years since the web saw it’s first banner. There’s much dispute over what the first web banner actually was and on what website it was displayed on. The majority of articles on the web suggest that the first banner ever was AT&T‘s which first appeared on HotWired wasy back in 1994. WikiPedia will disagree with this, but who cares really?

The fact is that when banner adverts first appeared on our computer screens they saw massive click-through rates. Within a few years though, the best performing banner ads were averaging 1.5% CTR. Nowadays, you’d be lucky to get 0.8% CTR on your average ad.

World's First Web Banner
World’s First Banner Ad

It’s not surprising that we became immune to these ads, they were generally blanket bombing TV like adverts that had no relevance to you or your daily life. We even quickly saw plugins for our browsers that eliminated the need to view these unsightly adverts. Though sometimes they are designed to bring us joy and festive mood, like happy holidays banner for Christmas.

Then along came Google Adwords – new, different, unique and they even showed adverts related to what we were searching for.  A lot of people who aren’t savvy with computers or the Internet, still don’t realise Google Adwords are paid adverts from companies chasing your business. Those that do realise they are ads openly admit to not clicking on them.

HitWise report today that in the the 4 weeks leading up to the 9th of May, click-through rates have dropped by 26% compared to the same time last year.

There are many factors that could of course have led to this. The most obvious one is the fact that we are in the midst of a recession, hence less money around to spend, so advertisers are reducing their spend.

The next reasons could be the fact that advertisers are more strategic than they have ever been with their Google Adwords campaigns. By understanding Google Adwords and how it works, it’s a lot easier to reduce your monthly spend by getting rid of extra wastage caused by badly constructed Adwords campaigns.

And then of course the not so obvious… Could we be becoming immune to Google’s Sponsored ads? Is everyone finally coping on that Google Adwords are in fact advertisements, just like we quickly did with banner ads?

I would imagine it’s a combination of all 3. I’ve said for quite sometime now that Google needs to quickly look at their Adwords model (which they constantly are) and see how they can improve it to make sure the general public doesn’t get bored with it.

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How Google Adwords works

On a daily basis, I would be asked to explain how Google Adwords work, whether that’s an existing client, potential client or just a friend. Most get the basics, “you pay per click” bit. Those that work know about Google Adwords, know that it’s just not as simple as that.

As soon as you try and explain the more intricate details of how Google Adwords work it starts getting a little messy. You begin to see dazed looks in peoples eyes as you try and explain quality score.

So if you are one of those people that just doesn’t understand how Google Adwords works but really wants to. Sit down and watch this video (Ideally you should also know what CTRs and landing pages are).

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Dear Google, please keep the search results as they are right now….

google-search-appliance
Image by jlori via Flickr

Just over 2 years ago, I took the brave decision to change our business domain name from 2bscene.net to 2bscene.ie

I did all the usual tricks from creating a 301 redirect from all the old pages, to changing as many backlinks to 2bscene.ie as I possibly could. But in reality, the change had a detrimental effect on our SERPs in Google.

I lost our top positions for “web design ireland“, “online marketing ireland” and “web designers ireland“.

I eventually got us back on page 1 for “online marketing ireland”, but could never budge past the 2nd or 3rd page for anything web design related.

I had nearly given up and even started a Google Adwords campaign to try and boost our exposure to web searchers.

The other night however, I noticed that there seemed to be some major shifts in the Google SERPS and that our site was doing pretty well. But, I didn’t want to count my chickens as it clearly looked like a Google Dance. I was right not to in  the end, as the very next day, the SERPs had reverted to their original positions.

But today, it’s back : 6th position in Google.ie – so I’m begging Google to keep it this way (although I doubt they will!)

So please please please Mr. Google – don’t change your SERPs for a while ! :)

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