Something I’d fought for for a while in one of the projects I was doing was to put some advertising out. I was working on a website that was competing against companies that had advertising budgets of several hundred thousands dollars and trying to get placed on a search result for “office space rental”. This is a tough one.
Just to clarify, this particular version of Google Ads I’m talking about are on Google, the paid for search result placements at the top. Not banner ads on webpages, not side menu things, nope, just some text on google.com when someone typed in office space rental.
My little website was page 14 of Google, and it was going to remain there because we couldn’t outspend WeWork and some of the people on the first couple of pages.
We even talked to an SEO guy who said best case with scrapping the website and doing a total redesign we might get to page 3 and that there was no amount of slacktive SEO that was going to get us a space at the table.
He suggested, and I echoed, that since we’re looking at Google, why not use AdWords and just put ourselves at the top for this space. I was given a budget and we were going pay per click, not pay per impression. That seemed to be a reasonable step forward.
The ad was placed, and a day or so in we’d spent over $100. We supposedly had 12 actions. Well, that was better than none. I checked the website logs and there were only 5 hits to the site from Google. Rrrr?
Day two was similar – actions listed were not in line with what the website was serving. I hit the website from every VPN I could just to verify there wasn’t something up with traffic routing.
We got our first contact by day 3. A man who was served an ad (which we’d targeted in a 30 mile radius) 70 miles away. I didn’t have access to him, so not sure if he was connected to a corporate VPN or something in our radius. But that was money blown.
By week 2 we’d long ago blown a $100 promo offer and were working on a balance of an additional $100 and didn’t have any results. Our pay per click was plummeting but it was still just throwing money out the window.
We had a total of 96 seconds of view time on the site according to to Google’s stats. Average duration it claimed was 3 seconds. I wasn’t seeing half the Google traffic still.
3 seconds was tapping by accident, hitting the back button.
We got our second contact through Google, and this one thought we were a nursing home and provided care, because that’s what “office space for rent” entails.
At somewhere around $280 we abandoned the experiment, posted on Craigslist, and moved on.