How do you determine an adword bid price?

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by XC skier, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. XC skier

    XC skier LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    I am working on my Google adwords campaign for this spring and I would like to be a little more scientific about my bids. I have been studying the Google keyword planner but, it doesn't really answer my questions. For instance, take the keyword "mowing" at the national level the competition rating is low and the average bid price is $2.05. At the New York state level the competition is also low but, the bid price is $.54, and at my local level it is low as well but, there is not enough data to provide a price.
    Here's another confusing example: the keyword "grass cutting" nationally it is high and a bid price of $2.04. The states' numbers are medium and a bid price of $3.44, while at the local level once again I see that the competition rating is low but, no price. Other keywords show similar results. So my question is: how do I figure out a competitive price without throwing my money away.
  2. curtislawncare

    curtislawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    You have to experiment and potentially throw money away to find out what your optimal bid price will be. Start with what the planner suggests and keep an eye on it and manipulate your budget accordingly.

    Location and other targeting options can be thought of as a part of the keyword phrase. "Grass cutting" will then have its own unique bid price and "location: grass cutting" will have its own bid price.
  3. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,578

    You need to drill down your location. You can set specific cities.

    No point in even looking for national numbers for grass cutting
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    Follow Whiffy's advice on this one. Is there any reason you're spending so much time looking at national keyword pricing? If you're trying to refine and learn, you're better off doing so by limiting your field of vision. As you're finding, for a variety of reasons, one ad trigger parameter has very little to do with another.

    Re:how to figure out a competitive bid, without throwing your money away, curtis is correct in that it's all about controlled experimentation and refinement.

    Beyond using Exact Match, my general campaign is advice:

    1. run a ton of keyword+city searches and understand what is ranking, both organically and with the ads (remember, adwords "rank" via algorithm, as well). First and foremost, think like a customer. This goes for Adwords ads, as well as writing content for your own web site. Do customers even search "grass cutting poughkeepsie"? What about "lawn care service poughkeepsie", etc. If you rank #1 for "grass mowing poughkeepsie", it doesn't do you, your site, or your adwords campaign any good if it never actually appears on a searcher's screen. This is where the tedious, keyword searching comes in to play.

    One Google tip is to pay attention to, and understanding, when/why the 7 Pack of local results gets triggered. Search "grass cutting poughkeepsie" and "lawn care poughkeepsie" and understand what the results are telling you.

    2. Use the Search Network only (i don't use the search partners). Using Display Network option is less fun than setting your money on fire. For this reason, I advise just setting your money on fire. Looks way cooler, too. :)

    3. Target a granular audience. city/county/zips +radius are strong options for this.

    4. Bid Strategy: You really should experiment, A/B split test, etc.

    5. Budget: Only you can answer that but, again, it's also going to take experimentation. What are your dollars doing for you? what is the ROI you begin to see? if $5 day is getting you clicks, are they contacting you to do business? it doesn't matter if your budget is $5/day or $250. What matters is what do those dollars convert to? Customer acquisition costs are customer acquisition costs, regardless of advertising vehicle. Understand that and you're on your way.

    6. You can set time of day/night for ads to turn on and off. I'd be tracking clicks at this level of detail. If you're getting 3am clicks, are they doing your business any good?

    7. Write the copy of your ad to cater to the keyword. If I search "landscape designer lancaster pa", this is an ad I just received:

    Lawn Care Lancaster‎‎
    1 (717) 925 0611
    Free Yard of Mulch! Minimum 10 Yrds
    Ends 9/30/13. Call Experts Today.​

    Raise your hand if you can tell me why this ad sucks.

    (Answer: It has nothing to do with me searching for a landscape designer and, well, the promo from the "experts" ended 4 months ago.)

    8. For the love of all that is holy, please don't send your clickers to your home page. If I had to guess, of the dozens of Adwords campaigns I've checked out for Lawnsite users, I can only think of 1 that wasn't dumping the traffic on to their home page. Send the searcher to either the page that ties to the keyword they were searching for or an incentivized ad tailored to their search.

    If I click on your ad for lawn aeration and you send me to your home page, making me click around and search for what I'm looking for, you stand a very good chance of losing me.

    9. Be using Analytics to tell you what your traffic is doing.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  5. XC skier

    XC skier LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    Thanks for the help/ support guys. There is a lot to figure out with all this internet stuff. Sometimes I think that I'm wearing one too many hats. I know that national numbers have little relevance at the local level but, I was hoping to determine trends. Apparently there aren't any, which leads me to wonder if any of you has designed a spreadsheet to study your own experiences? If you suggest that I need to experiment then I need to quantify every action and I'll need to set up a way to analyze the data and make decisions from it.
  6. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,578

    Google provides every tool you need for research. I pay $5 for one keyword. Another is .$75. So it depends

    Google has everything in their Adwords software you need. Focus ONLY on your service area. And follow Tonys advice
    Posted via Mobile Device

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