As I started this blog eight years ago, I wanted to discuss my fear of online advertising. Why the fear:
- It would be addictive … my success would depend on others, and thus
- I would give away the power of my own website … my content (my product info) would be used by others for profit and control.
I’ve been able to cut-back or eliminate some advertising sources over the years, but the very obvious power of AdWords had me under its control.
Would I ever be able to shake AdWords? Was I paying for traffic and conversions I would get otherwise? Thankfully, my boss never asked these questions. But I always wondered.
Turn OFF AdWords?
This fall, faced with a very strong sales forecast and production capacity issues (what recession?!), I knew I could turn off AdWords. Sweaty palms when I did it.
That was three months ago. Today I turned AdWords back on.
I got my answers!
I just finished looking at website traffic and sales quote activity during that AdWord-less period (on a week-by-week basis), compared to the previous period. There were two key questions in my mind that were answered:
Did I lose prospects, or did they find us anyway?
- My conversions dropped by almost exactly the same amount as AdWords had delivered previously. So the prospects whose clicks I didn’t pay for did not ‘find my site’ anyway. Other data confirmed this conclusion.
Did AdWords generate additional traffic?
- AdWords appeared to generate two quotes for every one conversion. Now sometimes we make two different quotes for prospects, but not at this ratio. I attribute the extra to call-ins or direct emails to reps by these premium prospects. (i.e. the real-world total conversion rate of AdWords clicks is double what your Analytics says it is.)
I hope you appreciate these real-life statistics. I don’t think I’m giving away any real secrets. The one advantage of starting with AdWords so early is that I am used to paying the premium this additional traffic costs. And now I know I’m not an addicted fool, but a smart Marketing Manager!