Hi Everybody, I have a number of clients who are using Google AdWords, so I wanted to get an understanding of people's experience. The feedback from my clients is that some business sectors it works very well but in others it performs quite badly, to the extent that clients have had little or no return on their investment. So I'm keen on getting an understanding of which business sectors it works for or which it does not.
I do have a follow up question which asks.. Do prospective clients go for the AdWords listing first or do they click the Organic listing first? Looking forward to your answers.
My experience is not as wide as Jayson's, but I would agree with his basic point as I understand it - most Adwords accounts do not deliver ROI because they are not set up and managed properly.
One of my clients had Adwords set up by another agency. The goal of their site is to generate leads. There are 4 lead generation mechanisms on the site - only one of these had a goal set up, and it was incorrectly configured. There was an Adwords campaign targeted specifically at mobile devices, yet the site was not optimised for mobile, and 80% plus of mobile visitors bounced right off again without clicking on anything. I could go on but I won't...
I do not claim to be an Adwords expert but these are my 'from experience' pointers:
1. Are you offering something people would search for? Can you make a good guess what they might enter in the search engine? If yes, give it a go - on a small budget so you don't blow a fortune.
2. Do you have a decent page for when people click through? Include a 'half-way house' option like a newsletter or download to get contact details if they’re not ready to jump right in.
3. Make sure you have goals set up which you can track. Install Google Analytics. Have a 'thank you' page when people submit a form and track the number of times that page is viewed.
4. Make sure you understand match types. (https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2497836?hl=en-AU). Try 2-3 word keywords on phrase match as a good starting point. Alternatively, if the order of words might switch around ('candle making' vs 'making candles') try broad modified match.
5. Make sure you consider some basic negative match keywords - ie you don't want your ad to show when someone's search includes this term. Common examples are here http://www.whitespark.ca/blog/post/5-must-have-negative-keywords-for-small-business-local-adwords-campaigns
6. Track your bounce rates – ie when someone clicks on your ad, looks at your site and leaves. If it’s high, then you need to fix a) the keyword or b) the ad or c) the page people land on.
7. Take any info and advice from Google with a pinch of salt. They make money every time someone clicks, not every time you get a lead / sale. (Why do you think they suggest you start off with 'broad match' keywords???)
8. In Google Analytics, you get reports on what people actually typed in when they were searching, both paid and organic search. Use these. Look for high bounce rates – what can you add as a negative keyword? Look for high conversion rates - is there a new keyword you should add? Or a keyword you should give extra budget to?
Didn't work for me. What happened was:
'Column fodder' - Companies wanting quotes but already decided on their chosen supplier and often quite unethical
Cost driven - never a happy place to play in
No issue with the service provider - worked hard and professional but they all confuse ranking in Google with sales. For some businesses this is the case but not for mine - corporate video production.
A business needs to assess its fundamentals. I always have a personal relationship with my buyers and this means impersonal IT searches are not the best way to start that relationship. For other businesses eg Winnings with white goods the Google ranking is critical to their competitive position.
The internet is not the answer to all questions.
I've been reading up about email lists, and I've personally not gotten much click throughs in my emails. What are your experiences with your email list and what worked?
If you know that the customer is King, then the content must be Queen?
If you want to turn your email subscribers into long term customers, then you need to feed them what they want. Why not ask them first?
Nick hi, sure content is important but if your list quality is sub standard you are always going to be fighting a losing battle. I'd initially focus on your approaches to acquiring list members, where quality trumps quantity, so look to recruit based on a sound proposition which your content will honour across the future relationship. In the seo arena think about developing quality white papers which are available on sign up to your newsletters. Finally on the subject of newsletters, they can become a liability, as one feels compelled to issue the monthly communication. My thoughts would be only publish when you have quality content, not when the newsletter publication date comes around.
What's the cost per hour or fixed packages for common services that a small business typically needs from a CPA?
An accountant with a CPA would have years of experience under their belt to get to where they are. You can bet that they won’t be fresh eyed graduates or junior accountants. To be a CPA, an accountant would need to complete the CPA program, have professional working experience for a number of years and maintain their qualification every year. There’s another well-respected certification called Chartered Accountant or CA. Generally, both will be good at growing or turning around businesses and handling complex cases. Naturally, their cost will range in the hundreds per hour. You should expect upwards of $200 per hour if you are consulting. Make sure you understand whether your business needs an accountant with a CPA or CA and who best to hire and engage with.
I have some debts that need collecting.
Have you download the CollectMore app on your mobile phone?
Has some great ideas on how to most effectually get money from people that owe you.
Not a lawyer, but having written them quite a few times before, and given the circumstances, I wouldn't sweat the quality of your prose. They just need to do a few things so however you word them is fine - with one small ethical warning.Practically, as long as you state specifically what the claim is for (reference to original task and/or invoice), and when specifically you need it paid (day & time Friday at 5pm is always a good one) and give them a reasonable amount of time to make payment (2 weeks would usually be more than enough) you're pretty much there. That covers the actual 'demand' part.Two things you may want to consider:1. You may also like to say pay it by this date OR if you have a query regarding the charge, enquire by the date (assuming they haven't already).2. You will also need to decide on the tone of your letter. If it's all out war, you have nothing to lose, just be short, sharp and shiny. If there is ANY chance at all of getting payment through negotiation, don't be afraid to soften it a little and write like you'd speak to someone you actually like. ie "I know this has gone on a while now and is not ideal for either of us, but I really need to do something to bring it to a close. I'd really appreciate you contacting me to resolve this or if you don't have any queries about the charge, paying by time and date below so i don't have to look at alternative ways of getting it resolved... "Good luck!
i have one abn but want to create multiple websites will different range of products, from IT related products to consumer luxury items. Is that possible having just one company abn or do we need different abn for different websites. thanks.
You can register as many as you like (or can). Remember to register misspellings too as often people will enter a business search frenetically,
Business is riddled with risks. Surely we don’t just ignore them, but I assume different people deal with risks very differently. What has been your experience?
Don Gregg, Director at Advice 4 Growth
The best way to manage risks is to brainstorm the range of potential risks, then assess how likely each is to happen and what would be the impact on the business if the risk materialised. Finally have a look at what actions can be taken to reduce the likelihood and/or the impact and assess which are most appropriate to put in place such as procedures or insurance.
Businesses that have a solid business strategy are by definition less risky. The right strategy focuses the organisation on building sustainable profitable relationships with right clients. This is the best way to manage competitive and market risks.
Looking back in hindsight, What was the one thing that helped you go from great to incredible?
What do you feel was the one thing that made you reach that turning point?
Richard Schembri, Entrepreneur - Team Coach and Mentor in Network Marketing at Team Berrygood
For me it would be plain and simple - Listen to your customers!
Once I started to not just hear my customers, but sit down and listen, help them and find a solution, my business catapulted. I find joy in helping people, this is the greatest reward, however in doing this, my business grows as well.
The one single thing responsible for catapulting my business growth was beating cancer (well, I am in remission but that still counts!). Once you get though something like that, you have less fear, more positivity, and trust yourself more.
In business, it is so easy for 'drive' to be dampened by others - but not anymore.
I am starting a mobile self-storage business model and don't have a budget for advertising,
My question is, what else can I do to get clients to use my service?
Get a testimony from your previous customers, if you have done a great job, it shouldn't be hard to get some customer testimonies. If you can get a video testimony that is gold.
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown
Try thinking about how your customers would think about your service.
What are they thinking about when they need your solution? I would guess that they would be stressed due to cost, timing, hassle of finding the right solution, etc.
Try to position your business as the solution to their pain (and frustrations).
Example: Hate having to hire vans? We get it. That's why we bring our storage to you.
Ask clients for reviews (on social media) or testimonials that you can put on your website or advertisements. Also ask if you can take pictures during the process so you can show other prospects real people using your service.
For first-timers and newbies, how do you source products and select the best manufacturer to work with?
I've actually used AliBaba to find products. Firstly, to save you a lot of headache, make sure you do a thorough research on your product before you source for suppliers on AliBaba. This goes beyond knowing your target customer and product spec. Do research on the standards and regulations governing the product or parts of the product that you want to sell in Australia. For example, clothing has regulations on labelling, baby and kids’ products have more stringent regulations, as do organic items, etc. If you don’t get this right, your stock will be useless and unsellable in Australia. When you’re ready to source for suppliers, you’ll find that AliBaba is not difficult to use. It’s free for buyers to sign up. You can search for products and shortlist a number of suppliers to contact. All items on AliBaba have a price range and a minimum order quantity (MOQ). The final price depends on the order quantity, customisation and other arrangements. Or you can fill up an RFQ or request for quote form with your requirements, business and product details, price and MOQ. Interested suppliers will submit their quotes and you can check them out. There are several things you need to know about the sellers on AliBaba. There are manufacturers and resellers on the platform, depending on what you need, whether a ready-made product which just needs labelling and branding, or a product made to your specification. AliBaba have done a lot of work to vet the suppliers on their platform. Currently, they have two different type of suppliers, gold and verified supplier on AliBaba. Depending on the type of membership, they do onsite checks to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate business, check their certifications, business license and other credentials for you. They’ll also use independent third parties to check QC, production capability, etc. Check the supplier page thoroughly, looking at their ratings, history, photos and other details. Most suppliers will have a trade assurance capability. A Trade Assurance means your order will be protected by AliBaba in case there is a delay in shipment, issues with product’s quality, mismatch in order and final goods, etc. When you’re dealing with a “Trade Assurance” supplier, you can easily raise a dispute if you are not happy with the final goods, quality, and production time if it differs from the contract, and AliBaba will refund your money if you are on the right side. Furthermore, when you place a Trade Assurance order, the money won’t be deposited straight to any of the supplier’s account, but the supplier’s designated bank account as required by AliBaba, to prevent employee fraud. I’d suggest getting a sample first. Do several iterations of samples if needed before placing your order. Document everything and share pictures with your supplier. Always communicate with your supplier to establish a working relationship and trust. Skype if you can so you get a feel of what they are like to work with. It’s better to be dealing with one trade manager. If your contact person keeps changing, that will be difficult and may raise some red flags. Once you’ve found the right supplier for you, make sure your contract is as detailed as possible. It should be made through AliBaba, and not offline through emails or phone calls because any offline transactions will not be protected by AliBaba in case of a dispute. And finally, you can pay extra to request for an inspection by an independent third party once the goods have been manufactured to give you a piece of mind before shipment.