In my previous life, I was a social worker who helped mentally ill and chemically addicted adults on their road to recovery. I see many of the same symptoms of addictive behavior in too many pay-per-click (PPC) advertisers today. After all, there's something terribly seductive about the simplicity of creating a PPC (define) ad; within moments your ad shows up and gets you clicks. As the high continues, you crave more, adding more keywords and new campaigns to keep increasing your dosage. However, sooner or later you realize that you have to put more and more into it to keep getting the same effects. Like every other addiction, it eventually catches up with you. The return becomes more limited; you need lots more to keep up your addiction, often times at the risk of pain.
As in all addictions, the first step to recovery is recognizing you have a problem. I often find most advertisers I speak with have a feeling something isn't right, but they aren't really sure what the issue is. Since the beginning of the year, we've performed PPC audits for clients to show them where things were failing. Nevertheless, to help people get over this addiction required us to find some simpler and faster ways to give advertisers the intervention they need to get help and recover. So, next week I'll be offering a new workshop, PPC Addiction: The Road to Recovery, in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City.
To make sure the content would jolt attendees into recovery mode, I've been testing it on some former clients and friends. Let me share with you the letter one of my friends and former clients sent his agency (I changed the names to protect the guilty) after our 30 minute conversation:I just had a long conversation with Bryan Eisenberg about some PPC audits they've been doing for clients. He said that a few months ago, Google really changed the game, and it's all about Quality score, and it's no longer just about bids. [Author note: If you don't understand this relationship, you should watch Google Chief Economist Hal Varian explain it.] And clients are contacting him to look at their accounts because they find themselves paying MUCH more for MUCH less.
The first step to recovery is recognizing and admitting you have a problem. I think my friend has certainly done that. If you recognize you have a problem, you'll be on your path to focus on improving relevance and quality and focused less on reach. Over $10 billion dollars were spent on PPC advertising last year. A portion of that came out of your pocket.
Are you satisfied you're getting the maximum return on investment from it? Do you find it more and more challenging to continually increase your PPC effectiveness?
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Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT