Today is a special day. Not only is it Social Media Day, but also our fellow comrade Luke is experiencing his first day as a daddy! Luke is one of our Google AdWords Certified Professionals. His newborn son arrived safe and well on June 29, 2010 at 8:30pm. His name is Max, and weighs in at 8lbs 2oz and 22in. long! Feel free to congratulate him via twitter@lukealley. He’ll need all the support he can get for what lies ahead…late, late nights or early, early mornings, and lots of diaper changing!
You’re probably thinking that the heading is an oxymoron and that it’s impossible to get free clicks from the paid search results, but it’s not! Google just introduced seller rating extensions that will allow you to get free clicks. The ratings will be shown by golden stars and will show up next to your PPC ad on Google (just like the one shown below), and the best part is when somebody clicks on the reviews, it DOES NOT cost you anything.
However, there are some caveats that we should all be aware of. Those catches are that not all merchants qualify. There are certain criteria that must be met before those beloved golden stars will show up. Google explains in their post Introducing seller rating extensions on Google.com.
“If your online store is rated in Google Product Search, you have 4 or more stars, and you have at least 30 reviews, you’ll automatically get seller ratings with your ads…At this time, seller rating extensions will show to English-language users searching on Google.com.”
So now you might be asking where these ratings come from and how to improve them. Google has said that they include Reseller Ratings, Bizrate, ReviewCentre.com and Viewpoints. However, in their answer to that question, it only said includes, so it would probably be good to assume there are more out there and not to just focus on those ones alone.
All in all, the merchant rankings will probably improve click-through-rate for those merchant’s with high rankings, but does not mean that all the clicks will be free. Google has done a great job at making the link rather small and the headline stands out much more than the reviews link.
So, still focus on maintaining good customer relationships and delivering exceptional customer service because those ratings will help, but don’t count on all the clicks being free!
Yes! This logo was officially provided to us after we officially passed the tests, met the other criteria regarding amount of spend managed and amount of time managing accounts, and now
Get Found First is a Google Adwords Certified Partner!
Google used to have a Google Adwords Qualified Individual Status, and a Google Adwords Qualified Company, and for a few more months companies can rest on those laurels.
Rather than wait around, and to be a leader in the industry, we went ahead and became one of the first Google Adwords Certified Partners. Here are the criteria to become a Google Certified Partner:
“Google AdWords Certified Partners are not Google employees, but rather are online marketing professionals, agencies, and other individuals such as search engine marketers (SEMs), search engine optimizers (SEOs), and marketing consultants. They have been certified by Google to manage AdWords accounts. To become qualified, professionals must demonstrate an in-depth understanding of AdWords by passing exams, and they must meet all our qualification guidelines, Different professionals have different areas of expertise, so you should talk to them or look at their profile page to get a better understanding of their service levels and specializations.”
To elaborate, the Google exams are timed for 120 minutes and there are 120 multiple choice questions. The first is a Fundamentals exam, and the second is an Advanced exam. Each company must have 2 individuals connected to the account that pass with an 85% or higher score on each test. Having taken the tests, I can assure you that they make the test hard enough that not just any Joe Schmoe can sign up, pay the $50 to take the test, and pass. Questions relate to language targeting, trademark laws, bidding, adrank, quality score, and much more.
So what does all this mean to you? Get Found First has all of the tools to be your PPC management outsource solution.
Have you ever set up a campaign for a client and got the question, “How much will I be paying each click?” How do you respond? Many times you might turn to Google’s Keyword Tool and look at CPC’s. But how accurate is Google’s Keyword Tool CPC estimator? We’ve taken a look at actual CPC’s from our clients and matched them up with what Google’s estimates.
Before we look at the stats it’s important to note a few things about Google’s CPC Estimator. In Google’s words:
“If you don’t supply a Max CPC and Daily Budget for these estimates, AdWords will estimate your performance using a CPC that is predicted to always place your ad in positions 1-3 with an unlimited budget to capture all available impressions.”
Based off of that, we made sure that the words that we looked at were all in the 1-3 spot. Here are the stats for just 6 of our words:
Between them all there was a 44% difference between actual CPC and Google’s estimated CPC! It’s obvious that there are other factors in the difference in numbers. The AdWordsPro(a Google employee) clarified this on the Adwords help forum:
“Please know that it is simply an estimate - and in no way intended to be a guarantee. Your actual cost per click will literally vary from one click to the next, and depend on many factors that the tool can not know – such as how well targeted your ads are to the keyword, how well written the ads are, how many competitors you have in the moment the ad appears, etc.”
We can conclude from this that YOU CAN’T TRUST GOOGLE’S NUMBERS! Next time you’re looking for estimates on average CPC you might be out of luck. Although this can be a good place to start, you can only really know once you start your PPC campaign.
While I was logging in some web browsing miles the other day I came across Wayne A. Kurzen, a dental practice consultant out of Georgia. He had written a blog post that immediately caught my attention titled, “How Much Should Your Practice Invest in Marketing?” Great question I thought, one that many Dentists find themselves asking on a regular basis.
Wayne suggests, “Basing your marketing budget off of a range between lasts years collections, and this years projections at an estimated 5%. Therefore, if you are projecting to bring in $700k this year, then your marketing budget should be $35k.”
Now to make things interesting, two of our dental practice clients have been working with a $4k a year budget in online advertising and getting 14 – 18 new patients a month from it. At $4k a year, that’s only 11.3% of their originally projected budget of $35k. If a dentist really has that kind of a marketing budget, they need to go and get more advertising space online, and probably spend some money in the yellow pages where return on investment will be minimal, but probably still significant enough to go and get it.