Google advertising is a great way to generate traffic to your website and your products. AdWords and product ads get served based on the settings you choose and the amount of money you are willing to pay to acquire a click. This is great for bringing shoppers in to an ecommerce store but you really have to pay attention to performance because if you don’t you’ll spend a ton of money and not generate the orders you need to cover the expense.
MysteryPotato.com is a gag gift company, sending your personalized and anonymous message to anyone on a potato. This is a niche of a niche kind of business and it is so much fun to run. You get so see so many messages and stories and situations unfold in front of you when you’re writing on potatoes. This niche is so small that one of the key challenges is making people aware of its existence. That means advertising.
So, with the business I do a variety of different types of advertising. Everything from print to paid online spots to search results and product advertisements which are Pay-Per-Click. To make this work I have to watch performance very closely and make adjustments when the cost to acquire an order gets too high and my profitability gets threatened. Like any business I have a lifetime customer value which is higher than the initial order but on an average order of $15 we’re not talking about big numbers here. So, my cost to acquire target means that I will make money on every ad-sourced order.
Now, the world isn’t quite so straightforward because the likes of Facebook and Google and other PPC advertisers don’t yet manage your cost-to-acquire… they only manage your cost per click. Sometimes this can be surprising.
You might have a campaign setup that is performing great and then you come back and look and those shoppers stopped converting. Ouch.
You might have trouble finding a campaign target or language that works. If you’re not paying attention, this can cost a lot. Ouch
I recently had to learn this the hard way with Google and MysteryPotato. A campaign that had been performing great in October and November took a big turn in December as shopping behavior changed and I wasn’t converting those shoppers like earlier in the year.
The campaign had boon so solid that I wasn’t watching as closely as I needed to and when I started doing my end-of-month accounting I had a much bigger bill from Google than I expected. Ouch.
So, what is my message? Make sure that as part of your daily or weekly process that you are reviewing your advertising, particularly your PPC advertising, to make sure you’re getting the results you want from it.