Any experiences with adwords?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by n_carson, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. n_carson

    n_carson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I'm starting up a maintenance company and have been trying different advertising approaches. My hosting service for my website offered $100 credit for Adwords on Google.

    I've started it up and have been generating 'impressions' (when your ad is shown). At the time of writing, 600 impressions generated 3 clicks on the ads costing $5.00 dollars (not my money though :).

    Since they have to call a number on the website there is no real way knowing how productive this sort of advertising is. If it was a mail order tee-shirt shop where you plug your credit card in, I think it would be great.

    On the plus side, out of the 100's of landscapers in this city I only see 3 companies really active in ads that I am competing with. Web savvy clients probably have $$$ (As in no $25 dollar special to mow your big lawn and then drop me). Two of the companies are big companies True Green and Scotts Lawn which are multi-city big companies, and the other is local business that seems to be web savvy and well funded.

    The minus side is adwords works as an auction and big companies drive up prices. Being the last side bar ad is almost useless. I might have to spend up $5.00 dollars a click to get the top spot. And not really know if it generates business or not.

    Google keeps all these algorithms on how they figure out your 'quality' (which lowers your bid price to get the #1 spot) secret so you never really know if you going in the right direction.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  2. curtislawncare

    curtislawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    How are you doing with your campaigns? I have experience with AdWords but even still I have problems sometimes with finding the right terms to help with my quality score.

    If you can find the right combination with your ad, keywords, and landing page then you can often times beat the larger players in the market. I can guarantee you True Green and Scotts are paying too much for their clicks.

    Finding the right mix is often very subtle and takes patience to work out. Through trying to make ads relevant Google often makes the process harder than maybe it should be. I've been studying and using AdWords for years and I still get frustrated with it.
  3. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    Any update on your campaigns with adwords? I have just started, and I'm seeing that my bid is going to need to be $3.00 to be on top.
  4. Set Apart Lawn Care

    Set Apart Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    I dont like adwords, or any internet marketing. You end up getting all kinds of leads spread out all over town. To me my money and time is better spent marketing to the specific clientel I want in areas that are close to were I work. I dont have the time to drive all over for luke warm leads
  5. dieselfuel

    dieselfuel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 114

    I had the same deal when I started paying for hosting. Keep in mind i have a design/build firm but we will also do maintenance, I just don't market it that way.

    I have not had a single call from my Adwords campaigns.
    So far about 130k impressions and right at 130 clicks, so the click through rate is only 0.1%. I think I read somewhere that you should be 3%

    Granted it has only been online since about the middle of July, and we have had a drought so noone wants to do anything. I originally had an $8/day budget (halved between two ads). I recently brought it down to either $2 or 4/day just so I'm not spending as much money on it. My cost per click recently is about $1.20. I do get at least one click a day and had as many as 6 one day, all directed through the ads.

    I do monitor the other design/build firm's ads and frequently type in various keywords to see who else is popping up. My website is much more simple, clean, and professional than the other local competition. However, as I'm a new company, most of the photos are from my previous job and are projects I worked on and designed while there (used with permission). They were projects from a large city and green roofs. Where I moved to and started this company has a population of around 100k. I'm starting to think the high end projects pictured on my website are scaring people off or that they might think I just stole them off the internet and that I didn't actually work on them.

    I don't want to do door hangers, I have cards at one of the local nurseries, and the local paper is simply too expensive to advertise in. BUT the other design/build firms don't really advertise there so I might do it - but the commitment is minimum $1100 for an ad and I am keeping an eye on money with this being a side business for now.
  6. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,443

    Don't you have access to your websites statistics? Mine gives me an idea of where the hits have come from.

    I've used adwords and facebook and both of them bring in the clicks to my websites. Most people seem to be just looking around though. Bored people clicking for some-thing to do, or competition checking us out. The return on investment has been very small this year.
  7. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,280

    Ditto. I did set up a Google plus business page over the winter. Since then, my page has been showing up on various Google searches. If I had a larger business and service area I would mess around with internet marketing a little more. I get enough business from referrals and people approaching me while I am out working.
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  8. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,456

    I think this is a lot of it. Since I started my campaign, a year or so ago, I have seen so many different businesses use Adwords, I'm sure they are looking at others' businesses, I know I do. You can actually see exactly what keyword was typed in that triggered them clicking on your ad.

    I have spent hours on adwords, and speaking with reps from google to figure it out. There are a million things you can do with adwords.

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