November 18, 2019

TIL you can pay Google Ads $20 for a single click

Viesturs Marnauza @viestursm

Decided to try Google Ads for the first time ever last week. I aimed to see how the system works and whether ads would be a viable driver for Gleebeam sign-ups.

I set up three ad groups based on three separate target audiences I wanted to target. These were

  1. General CRM automation searches
  2. Specific sales deal celebration searches
  3. Employee achievement recognition & celebration searches
    Each of these groups had two ad versions where I varied the copy to see what wording would convert better.

I set my daily spend limit to $10, but I didn't set a click cost limit because I had no frame of reference for how much a click costs. Altogether, I got 55 clicks from 2.5k impressions - some ad groups & keywords did better than others. In total, I spent $85.

I got exactly 0 sign-ups from ads from this.

I learned that

  1. Google Ads are expensive! I was surprised that some of the initial clicks cost around $2 per click. I have no other experience with CPC advertising though so this might as well be expensive only to me!
  2. Google Ads are fun! There's a lot to monitor and optimize in ads and a lot to experiment with. Some ad descriptions convert better than others (for me, it was the phrase 'create delightful moments in the office' that seemed to draw in more traffic based on the sample I got).
  3. Google Ads might not be the best channel for me now. I'll probably leave it on for the most targeted ad group and set a click cost limit to make the costs more controlled. I'll also try to do some minor optimizations for the ad content and then focus on other channels for now - so far all of Gleebeam's sign-ups have come from either organic searches or me reaching out to people directly.

Regarding the title of this post, yeah, right at the end of this experiment I paid $20 for a single click! And what is more, the search term the click came from was 100% irrelevant (it was "celebration garage sale 2019").

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    You’re very right - some of our clients are paying upwards of $40-60 per click. I’ve seen some industries with a top of page CPC of over $100.

    However there are a lot of ways to mitigate this. Even though Google Ads can be expensive, we have done hundreds of campaigns over the years and they do provide positive ROI for most scenarios. Some of our campaigns provide 10x ROI or more!

    That’s not to say Google will work for you. It may not. But if you are just starting and have a limited budget you need to make sure you’ve got negative keywords going, that you’re managing daily, that you start with manual bidding, and that you use exact match keywords rather than broad.

    We also usually recommend that new campaigns dedicate around 2-3 months and a minimum of a few thousand dollars as a test to make sure it works. It can take that long to tune it in.

    You may be interested in our beginner’s guide to PPC - it’s free and doesn’t require registration etc.

    For sure take a look before you spend more money, cause you don’t want to pay for no conversions!

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      Hey, thanks a lot for sharing your experience!

      The Discosloth guide you referenced has been on my reading list for quite some time already! I just haven't had the time to read through it yet. All I can say for now is that it looks nicely polished and I definitely want to read it.

      I have been adding negative keywords whenever I see an irrelevant search phrase generating traffic. I have also used Moz's keyword search tool, which gave me a lot of similar keywords to add as either positive or negative. I have been making use of exact matching as well.

      Not sure I understand what manual bidding is though. Will check online for how it works! Is there a part in your guide that discusses this?

      At this point, I'm not willing to spend thousands on ads. The product is at a very early stage and I still haven't validated it. So direct outreach to potential customers is probably what I have to spend most of my time on, which is, of course, great for understanding what keywords to eventually target with ads.

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        That makes absolute sense - and honestly it's one of the reasons I tell many indie developers to not even spend money on ads unless they've exhausted other options.

        For certain software it does work. Usually super high margins. One of our clients has a lifetime customer value that's over $200k. That's super high - so they can afford to pay $20k to get a single customer. Of course numbers like that are just unapproachable for the majority of solo developers. So if you can do it organically, by all means it might be easier!

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          Definitely! Not sure if easier but definitely less costly and more efficient at the start.

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      totally, and more than 100 $ CPC too

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      This comment was deleted a year ago.

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        That is awesome to hear! I'm really glad it's been useful.

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    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    It's interesting that Ads basically never worked for me, Facebook Ads, seems to be just bots tbh, they hit the website and bounce like less than a second.

    Google Ads works good but only to get leads on information or offline service business where customer have to leave a call back request, but for selling SaaS, it's just people signing up and barely verifying their emails. For, whenever I run Google Ads, I just find a noticeable drop in pageviews, without Ads I'd get much better signups that return and continue using the service, but anyone from the Ads are just bouncing quick and even if signup, they won't come back.

    I might be targeting wrong region or using wrong keywords, but after so many combination, I found it to be just wasting money and time fine tuning google/fb ads campaigns.

    I simply let them grow organically, even though it's pretty slow to grow, but so far it's fine and I get paying customers.

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      Hi, Alireza, thanks for sharing your experience!

      I'll see if I can optimize my ads and run them in the background with strict cost limits and narrow targeting. My primary focus, however, will be on reaching out to potential customers directly.

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      Glad you found it interesting!

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    Regarding the title of this post, yeah, right at the end of this experiment I paid $20 for a single click! And what is more, the search term the click came from was 100% irrelevant (it was "celebration garage sale 2019").

    You should definitely narrow your keywords. Google will show your ad to any keyword if you don't specify it. If my keyword is "phone", it will show ads for any search query with the word 'phone' in it.

    Also, make sure you add a Max. CPC to all of your campaigns.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the advice!

      Yeah, I already added a CPC limit and also have been adding 'negative' keywords based on some irrelevant searches that have generated clicks.

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    @viestursm have you tried retargeting ads on Facebook? Its a great compliment to Google ads and I see some great results for my clients.

    1. 1

      Hey, nope, I have not yet tried Facebook ads or retargeting. I'm most probably at a too early stage to be diving that deep into these things! Thanks for the recommendation though! I'll check out the product you referenced.

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    This comment was deleted a year ago.

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      Excellent advice!

      I hadn't thought of LinkedIn ads yet but it does make sense to try those. A few other people have recommended that I post in different groups there about Gleebeam.

      I will also look into targeting employee satisfaction managers, which I weren't aware of as a role. Thanks a lot for the ideas.

      I will also work on narrowing down my keywords. I agree that CRM automation is broad. I made it broad quite intentionally just to see what the numbers would be and what searches would generate traffic. There's a lot of optimization to do there!

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        This comment was deleted a year ago.

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          Yes, that's a useful way to think about it. So far I've been trying to get feedback from people working in sales teams as they seem to have a culture of celebrating closed deals with bells and gongs!