The 5 reasons your competition is killing you on Google
Competition for leads through Google is a critical part of most businesses customer acquisition strategy today. Most CEO’s have at least one person on staff and usually a contract firm working to improve their presence and bring them more leads. They are bombarded with solicitations for SEO services, web design, and new and varied forms of paid advertising including Google AdWords, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, retargeting programs, etc. In the past, a business owner could afford to delegate these processes as part of “marketing” and trust that someone on staff was handling the process as well as it could be done. Today, smart CEO’s know that understanding how to compete online is a core part of their job and they need to understand how to be successful at acquiring leads through the largest source of business in the world – Google.
In order to understand how to win you have to understand how the game is played and why your competitors are edging you out. Grow Team has analyzed thousands of online campaigns in the last two years and has found a core set of principles that are widely misunderstood or ignored by most executives. Here are the 5 most common reasons your competition is killing you on google.
1) They’re getting discounts you aren't.
Most business owners don’t understand how Google charges for ads on its network, or the fact that not everyone pays the same rate. Google scores your ads and your campaigns on a scale of 1-to-10 based on how the ad copy is written, how relevant it is to the content on the pages you are directing traffic to, and several other factors. The impact of these scores on the cost of your ads is HUGE. The table below was created by an analytics group to highlight the importance of these scores on your ad cost.
As you can see, if your quality score on an ad group is a 5 for example, and your competitor’s ads are scoring an 8, you’re paying 50% more for the same click – 50%! To find out what your current scores are go here https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2454010?hl=en.
2) Their ads are converting at a higher rate because their ad copy is better.
Ad copy matters. Effective ads highlight calls to action and contain trackable phone numbers. If you have price specials or discounts to offer – put them in the ads. Look at your best competitors ads and compare them to yours – how would a prospective client view you ad against theirs?
3) They’re not spending their money on bad ads.
We often find Google AdWords campaigns that have been set up by people that don’t fully understand how Google creates matching for your keywords. There are three types of phrase matching in Google, Broad match, phrase match, and exact match. If you don’t know what these are you can read more here https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2497828?hl=en. The important things to know about this are:
- If you don’t specify otherwise, Google automatically broad matches your terms and will create an endless number of related or unrelated terms that will automatically start spending your money to acquire.
- When you find a set of terms that Google is matching you on that you don’t want to be included for you have to specifically tell Google not to do this. This is called negative keywording. https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2453972?hl=en
- You need to have someone monitoring your campaigns to weed out low converting ads and keywords and reallocate that money to higher converting ads.
- You need to make sure that if your daily budget is being spent too quickly on good ads and running out at noon every day to increase that budget and reduce budget on lower performing ads.
4) They turn website visitors into leads more frequently than you do.
Once you are effectively competing with your ads and SEO strategy it’s all about conversion. Once someone does find your site, how are you engaging them to contact you? Is your contact form prominent on the website? Your phone number? Are you offering them enough information for them to be interested and understand your offering? Are you offering a special discount, free trial or other service to entice them to communicate with you? Lowering the barrier to contact and testing different landing pages can create huge improvements in your conversion rates and lower your overall cost of acquisition.
5) They understand and measure their ROI from both their organic and paid search campaigns.
Many CEO’s see search engine optimization (SEO) as an effort that is very hard to quantify and gauge performance on relative to paid campaigns. This isn’t true. Smart CEO’s know that the value of a lead acquired organically is directly related to the value of a lead acquired through paid advertising. For most companies, a strong SEO strategy can yield much higher ROI over time than paid ads alone and can reduce their dependency on an increasingly expensive lead generation strategy. The key lies in taking a longer term view on online advertising and how your cost of acquisition varies with organic over paid. For example, a typical ROI curve for SEO vs. pay-per-click would look something like this:
Pay-per-click campaigns provide fast, reliable and consistent lead flow but tend to bottom out at a certain cost of acquisition. SEO on the other hand, takes longer to work but provides significantly lower cost of acquisition over time and can easily surpass paid ads as the primary lead strategy. A combination of paid and organic traffic acquisition is the winning strategy for most businesses but be careful how you evaluate results.David Moses and Max Helmer are seasoned executives who can help you grow your business. Please contact us to setup an evaluation with them.