When Is It Worthwhile to Use Google Advertising?

December 26th, 2017

Bill in Portland asks:

I would like to see a discussion on Google advertising. When I do a Google search, there are always a few new ads at the top of the list; some last quite a while and others go away soon. Maybe I’m just cheap, although the wife would argue. But is there that much benefit? I have always (for everything) dropped below the ad to start looking for whatever I am looking for. But I may just be the odd one.

Here is my analysis of your situation:

  • Getting traffic to your website from Google search is all about getting on the first page of Google search results for the search term that clients are likely to use to find your website. Usually, higher up on the page is better.
  • I would claim that the search term people are going to look for your services is: “Portland real estate photographer
  • And if I use that search term in Google, your website is the first site listed below the paid ads. This is excellent! This placement is hard to beat! If you pay for Google advertising, you are only going to be slightly higher on the page.

In conclusion, I doubt that a paid ad would bring you much more traffic than you are already getting. If you were not already on the first page for this search term, that would be very different; then a paid ad would make a difference.

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10 Responses to “When Is It Worthwhile to Use Google Advertising?”

  • Larry’s right, you have a GREAT organic position on a popular search. Now just tune in your site. Simple is best, there’s only 3 things that matter on your landing page: #1 – What do you offer? #2 – Can (why can) you be trusted? And #3 – a call to action; what do you want your visitor to do? Anything else will dilute what it is you’re trying to do (presumably getting them to hit the contact button).

    If you are in the #1 organic spot and get the above tightened up you’ll be golden!

    Google ads are one of many solid strategies to get the ranking you’ve already got – don’t bother now πŸ™‚

  • Just face it, the “Web Guru’s” those that claim to be able to push your site to the top, are going to claim that they can make your site “King of the Hill”. BS…. Snake Oil

    The conservative way to gauge your investment is to set up a system to graph your investment vs the response. That could be achieved many ways via a simple hook saying “get a 10% off by mentioning this add” or some of the other methods. Response rates vary 1% to 6% depending on the media…Telephone, direct mail, etc.

    Bottom line, this type of advertising does not pay, you would be better to go door to door with the agents….. and that is not what I would suggest.

    Hone your skills, get your existing clients to rave about your product and build on your skill set….

  • I can guarantee any website “first page” search results – as long as I get to specify the search term.
    It’s pure snake oil, as Jerry said. Any SEO service that claims they can get your site on the first page of Google Searches is a scam.

  • @snake oil
    It’s not ‘snake oil’ to get a site in Bill’s particular industry, in a geographic location like Bill’s, on page 1 Google, organically. There *are* methods that will get you there, I’ve placed a half-dozen there starting about 10 years ago and the last being about a year ago. What it does take is time (and that, of course, usually *is* a problem if someone’s paying).

    Seasoned, transparent domain (relevance not important) relevant content (super important), clean code, super-fast delivery and *properly acquired* high quality back links will do the trick for smaller industry. Google AdSense can and probably should be a part of that strategy… But Bill in Portland is already sitting at the Holy Grail. If he’s not happy with the results he’s getting (Page #1 in Portland?!) than there’s definitely some other issues he should consider…

  • I appreciate the comments, when the carrot is constantly dangled it’s hard to not keep asking “what if”

  • Dave is correct. Other than website optimization, it is very important to be on google local. Complete that google plus page and that’s most of the work. If you only do real estate photography its easy. When you do media or other types of photography, it gets challenging. Most will recommend a micro site to help separate your services if you offer more than just one but that’s a lot of websites to create sometimes πŸ™‚

  • Keeping your content fresh should keep your ranking the best that it can be. I’m putting more work into cycling photos and putting up the odd blog post yet I still wind up on page 3 underneath RE office pages, Redfin, etc. I checked last night and the only photographer that is above me IS cheaper but his site is slanted more towards weddings and portraits. His real estate section is just a tiny corner of web site. He is half my price and I can’t see how he can make it worth his time to photograph RE unless he is using other business to pay the bills and RE just to fill in the holes in his schedule. His “trip charge” is steep so anything out of his neighborhood starts getting to be on par with what I charge but he’s in the area I get most of my work from.

    Look for opportunities to meet agents. The association in my area has a “lunch and learn” program. The presenter brings the lunch and has a semi-captive audience for 45-60 minutes. This gets you in front of your potential customers where you can showcase your work, exchange business cards and, most importantly, answer questions about what you do that makes your service a great value for money. I am presenting at one in March and expect it will cost me around $70-$80. If I get one job out of it, I’ve covered my cost. What would a Google ad cost? Is it fixed or by the click?

  • @Bill Jones – sorry, last comment πŸ™‚

    With all due respect; your site, now that I can see it, is too wordy – imo.

    It’s a sad state of affairs but it unfortunately reality: Two or 3 lines of text is all you can expect attention span-wise from your clients and all that should be displayed on your landing page (at least above the fold). I love the phone number front & center but can’t for the life of me (after 2 glasses of wine) see a contact button. It’s pretty confusing (and Realtors do drink wine!) You are obviously passionate about your product & services, reading the verbiage, but from my view it’s a bit like putting the cart before the horse….

    Someone enters Portland Real Estate Photography in Google Search – Your site pops up. Make no mistake, only 3 things matter and everything else is a negative- (see above) and that’s *it*. If you doubt that pull up some biggies whose site budgets are practically unlimited; fedex, gm, allstate etc etc etc… They can buy anything but are *simple* well defined and have a call to action. Period, nothing else πŸ™‚

  • It must have been timing and the call to action button appeared right after your visits. Dave, interesting on the wordy, the Yoast SEO plugin I use says I’m not wordy enough. Go figure, your both probably right.

  • I do use an SEO and have gone from 75 percent real estate shoots to 40 percent real estate shoots and 60 percent commercial. 99% of my commercial work is coming from people visiting my website. I cycle my photos at least quarterly. Spent $5,000 on original website and will probably change it completely this year. Google also loves reviews, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter constant use, and blogs which I am terrible at. I was averaging $75,000 gross a year and now average $140,000 a year with much less work due to the commercial coming in. I did 80 shoots for one realtor last year and did 5 for a commercial company and they came out at the same gross revenue.

    My SEO sends a monthly report that shows me where people are coming from, how long they stay on certain pages and the bounce rate. Also which devices are used to find me. She gives me good ideas for continuing to get more work monthly.

    I have not done a Google ad yet, I have considered it but I am one that will not even look at those and will talk to someone usually on the first page but not someone that has paid for an ad.

    I am not trying to sound like I am boasting by giving numbers. I am just trying to show the difference about spending time working with the sites that will get you more traffic and hopefully more work.

    Happy New Year everyone!

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