Posts Tagged ‘Pay per click’

A recent study by Ryan C. McDevitt of Duke University lays claim that plumbers who bid on Google’s PPC ads have a high likelihood of being poor quality plumbers.

The article makes a comparison of PPC ads to the former yellow pages. The argument begins with the home based services whose names begin with the letter ‘A’ or a number. They found plumbers with ‘A’ or numeric names charge a 8.4% price premium. They used a study from 2005 based on the Chicago yellow pages which documents ‘A’ names and number names by percentage of total listings in each category to point out plumber’s beat the average 9.3% of business with ‘A’ names. This study they used is pretty eye opening.

Rank Yellow Page Headings by Percentage of “A” or # Names

1
 Locks & Locksmiths 65.90%
2
 Towing-Automotive 28.90%
3
 Taxi & Limousine Service 21.20%
4
 Convenience Stores 21.20%
5
 Plumbing Contractors 21.00%
6
 Associations 20.80%
7
 Insurance 19.90%
8
 Roofing Contractors 15.20%
9
 Cellular Telephone Services 14.90%
10
 Art Galleries & Dealers 14.90%
11
 Employment Agencies 14.80%
12
 Automobile Repairing & Service 14.50%
13
 Electric Contractors 14.10%
14
 Travel Agencies & Bureaus 13.50%
15
 Painters 13.30%

Source: American Business Disc,2005

Does it correlate that yesterday’s Yellow Page spammers are today’s internet spammers?

The fact that Locksmith’s tops the list reminds me of the notorious Locksmith spammers in today’s SEO world. Albeit it may not be entirely fair to suppose an ‘Automobile’ category is gaming the system by using ‘A’ names as the category itself begins with ‘A’.  It is also insightful that roughly 6.2% of competitive categories use ‘A’ or numeric names. If name selection for a business were unbiased we would likely see an average closer to 3.9% ‘A’ names, which is where Lawyers and Attorneys fall due to regulations requiring firms use names that match the lead attorney. Pizza companies actually fall below that mark with a 3.4% ‘A’ name ratio.

My Thoughts

The idea that plumbing spammers are more likely to bid on google PPC ads is intriguing. However I found that the study by McDevitt of Duke makes a lot of assumptions. Further, it used Yelp as a primary source for counting reviews and comparing complaint averages. I highly doubt that the data included Yelp’s obnoxious filtered reviews. Plus, as Larry Kim added, 25% of Yelp’s reviews are suspected as fake.

And if the conclusion has some merit among the plumbing industry, I find it hard to believe it is applicable to all home service industries. Granted I am a bit biased to the pest control industry, but even still, I find it hard to imagine a business model that could afford the current cost per ‘pest control’ click and not retain customers.

The study does have some tenable findings in the yellow pages with regards to A and numeric names associated with quality. I believe the choice to take the AAA name for phone book ranking is an indication of choosing short term gains over long term strategy. A well developed quality service takes more careful aim with long term strategies in the crosshairs.

But… “Hey, I am just the pest control guy.

for further discussion on this study visit HBR : http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/11/beware-the-plumbing-firm-that-advertises-a-lot/

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I was doing a little check up on my local maps section for Houston Pest Control, and I came across an ad space that I have never seen before. Google now places ads under a businesses name. Very interesting.

Residential Pest Contol Service in Houston

I wonder how effective this ad is. It does have the benefit of finding an audience that is searching for relevant businesses. Those that buy from Orkin would be potential consumers for Bulwark Exterminating. This could indeed be a great ad space. On the other hand, those that are looking for Bulwark will most likely not be interested in a competitors ad, so long as Bulwark is taking care of it’s customers. In which case this ad will perform poorly. I guess the only way to know is to test. If you are going to test these ads then you may want to consider long and hard about what you will use to differentiate yourself from your competitor. If Google would allow me to create a unique ad for each of my competitors then I could see this as being even that much more effective.

“Have you considered buying from a Family Owned Pest Control company?”

“We offer a guaranteed scorpion control service in writing, do they?”

“Does your service suck? Tired of Corporate pest control?”

“We are the only Houston Pest Control Service with an Angie’s Award.”

As always, test, review, improve.

And if you need Houston Residential Pest Control Service:

Bulwark Exterminating‎
10900 Brittmoore Park Drive
Houston, TX 77041
(281) 668-4930
http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/houstonpestcontrol.php

Email:

Hello from Google!

For a limited time, Yellowbook will set up a new AdWords account just for you and build your online advertising campaigns at no charge.* And even better, you get a $100 Google AdWords credit to get started. This is a great opportunity for you to have Yellowbook professionally manage your AdWords campaigns….

Sincerely, Your Google AdWords Team

Did Google team up with a Yellow Page directory?

Per a rep from yellowbook, these emails were only going to people that had adwords programs and that had stopped. If these people picked up a 3rd party and began a new and different account then yes, they could be receiving a solicitation from Google endorsing YellowBook as an Adwords Partner. This is indeed a rare occasion that Google would actually email out and name a 3rd party partner. This also means that other adwords certified companies could have clients receiving this email from Google. And this potentially means that these other 3rd parties will loose clients to Yellowbook because of Google’s mention of YellowBook and seeming endorsement.

I imagine that Google’s position will be the same as when the in-house Adwords team solicited me, “I am sorry we can’t do business with you if you are an existing adwords advertiser with one of our partners.” But disenfranchised adwords clients may simply say, “I no longer do business with that 3rd party”, as they cut ties and move to the endorsed party. Further, the reps from YellowBook.com will have every monetary incentive to take clients even if policy states that they should not.

What Happened to Google’s Internal Adwords Team?

It is interesting to note that Google has revamped their internal adwords out reach team. Apparently that team has been dismantled. The rep from yellowbook seems to believe that Google is now trusting Yellow Book to be “their feet on the ground.” YellowBook is also offering SEO services. They guarantee a first page placement and then maintenance there after. Part of that strategy includes pages such as this: http://www.san-antonio-pest-control.net/ This Yellow Page Company wants to provide every marketing service a small business could desire, from phonebook to mailers.

Funny that Google seems to endorse a yellow pages company. Last time I checked Google…

Screen Shot from Google

Advice to Internet Marketers

My advice to internet marketers, keep your customers happy. Know how to communicate with them. Stay current with them and keep working for them. If you stop performing and reporting then you will loose clients to Google’s email. Because, yes, the field of internet marketing is getting tighter.

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