Stop Wasting Your Money on Google. It’s the Modern Day Billboard.

The premium to be on the first page of Google has never been higher and less effective than it is today making it the modern day billboard.

Whether you want to use an ad on the front page of New York Times (or Globe and Mail for my Canadian friends), or a commercial on television, or a big ol’ billboard as an analogy, Google is the modern day version of that. It’s a waste.

The most expensive types of advertising, ironically, are on all forms of media that are declining in numbers in terms of “people’s attention” . This includes, television, newspaper, magazines. All the traditional mediums if you will.

But if everyone (and I mean younger and older generations) is on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, then who’s seeing these ads on the tube? And why are they so expensive?

I guess history hasn’t shaken itself off or the perception of these traditionally dominant forms of media are still in the mindset of many big company marketing departments which have become so irrelevant it’s not wonder there are more startup success stories than ever.

I’m not sure, and that’s now what I’m writing about here.

What I want to talk about is the just how much the price to be on the front page of Google, via Google Adwords, has increased over the years, specifically in the past 5 years.

We were getting 30 leads per day at $4 per lead.

This is no joke, and this was only five years ago! It was as easy as choosing thinking up a couple sentences for your Adwords copy, choosing a location, setting your budget, and boom, you’re done.

Leads pouring in everyday. No problem. Competition for certain keywords were definitely lower five years ago, but nonetheless, competition was still there.

Now, the fight for getting your Adword on Google’s first page is an auction for wealthy companies. How much are you willing to pay per click and for how long? Google’s first page goes out to the highest bidder on any particular keyword.

I hear from many businesses that are paying over $40 per lead on certain keywords that don’t even have that much competition.

And you know what? In my experience, the quality of Google’s leads have decreased significantly over the years.

With people clicking Adwords, not thinking they are ads (rather than organic search results), and people referring to Google for just about everything (like they used to with the newspaper and television), the ROI on Google Adwords sucks, even if you’ve got the big bucks.

Sound familiar?

Google has become the billboard everyone sees and now you need pay a premium for it’s theoretical ROI.

Traffic doesn’t equal leads, nevermind conversions. So just because people are on Google searching everything, doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest to be there.

Here’s why.

People already know what they are searching for.

Even though people know the what website they want to visit, or even know the exact UR, they rather Google it, and click the link. They just think it’s “faster” and easier. That’s what they tell me anyway.

What does this mean for you if you have an Adword you’ve paid lots of green stamps for?

  1. They don’t click on your Adword because no matter how strong your copy is, they weren’t looking for you anyway, so they won’t click on your link.
  2. They were looking for you, your Adword pops up, and they click on your paid link and now you’ve just paid for a visit that would have cost you nothing had only your organic search result appeared on the screen rather than both your paid and organic ones. Paying for otherwise free traffic basically.

You are paying for a click. That’s it.

It’s not Facebook. It’s not Instagram. It’s not Snapchat. You are paying for click and nothing more.

There is no sharing of your link, or like, or reaction, and nobody is really email links to one another. You are paying a premium for a click on Google, because it’s on Google. That’s it.

I’ll say it again. Sound familiar? You pay a premium to be on TV, because it’s television! You pay a premium to be on a billboard, because it’s a big billboard on a busy intersection!

It’s about perception NOT results with these forms of advertising, and Google is becoming the same.

Google doesn’t have a feed.

This final reason why spending all of your marketing budget on Google isn’t in your best interest is pretty self explanatory.

People are spending their time on apps and platforms with feeds. Facebook’s News Feed, Instagram’s Feed and Stories, Snapchat’s Stories, Twitter’s Feed. Google doesn’t have a feed (and Google+ doesn’t count).

As Gary Vaynerchuk would put it, people’s attention are in their feeds, and you want to be where their attention is most of the time.

Look at anyone in a coffee shop, on the bus, or simply walking on the sidewalk or in the store. Are they spending hours Googling? No. They are swiping up through their feeds. That’s where their attention is, and that’s where you want to be.

Facebook leads are cheaper and way more effective… for now.

So hurry up! Facebook leads aren’t as cheap as Instagram or Snapchat, but they are by far (IMO) the MOST effective platform for lead generation and online ads.

The targeting on Facebook is better, the content you can create for your ad can be way more influential and eye catching, and people engage with ads on Facebook like on no other platform.

On average, my clients are paying around $5–$10 per lead on Facebook… quality leads.

With around 1.71 billion users on Facebook, it’s safe to say that the prices will go up and Facebook Ads will probably become what Google Adwords are now unless they change something up, so hurry and launch some video ads on Facebook (way more effective than images, but you already knew that right?).

I don’t even talk Google Adwords with clients unless they’ve got the budget for it.

Put it this way. If clients are coming to me saying they gotta get on Google , then that alone tells me Google Adwords is oversaturated, and overrated.

So if you’re just starting a business, or thinking of opening up your pockets to dive into some online ads, get started on Facebook. It’s cheaper and better, but won’t stay like that, so hop on the gravy train now. I’d suggest looking at Snapchat and Instagram (owned by Facebook anyway), as well.

Don’t be fooled by the big billboard. The perception isn’t worth the price.

Stop thinking. Start doing.

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One comment

  1. Kieran says:

    “They are swiping up through their feeds. That’s where their attention is, and that’s where you want to be.” – yeah sure, but it might not be where your customers go to buy from. Every business will have a different set of possible customers, there is value in being top of mind and impression and engagement will help with that. But there is also value in being present when they are in “buy now” mode like on Google for a known purchase intent keyword. The two are not mutually exclusive.

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