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Bridget Holland answered a question

Is Google AdWords giving you a good return on investment?

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.



Bridget Holland

Bridget Holland, Director at Learnings for Success

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?

Jayson Rodda

Jayson Rodda , Head of Digital Marketing at Find Your Ideal Customers

Very comprehensive list Bridget, well done. Only thing I would add is, make sure that the numbers add up for your business. The 2 most important numbers are:
1. Conversion rate from visitor into lead is = cost per lead
2. Conversion rate from lead into sale = cost per sale
The businesses that have a proper handle on these numbers excel in online marketing, the rest flounder and say it just doen't work.
Bridget Holland

Bridget Holland , Director at Learnings for Success

Jayson you and I are on the same wavelength! Cost of acquisition and lifetime value are the two essential measures in marketing. If COA is more than LTV, every new customer just sends you broke quicker - but so many businesses have no handle on either...
View all replies
Stephen Pearson

Stephen Pearson, Director at AV Creative


Didn't work for me. What happened was:

Job requests

'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.





Justin Dry answered a question

Justin Dry

Justin Dry, Owner at Vinomofo

Vinomofo wasn’t the first business we had in the tech wine space so it actually happened in the years leading up to the launch.Qwoff was the first one in 2007 and was actually a really cool idea but to be honest had a shit business model. It was like a facebook for wine. Too early for the space and the market was too niche for the business model.We then pivoted the business 4 times over the next few years before launching Vinomofo in early 2011.Each one was better than the last but more importantly, we were building great relationships within the industry and a large tribe of wine lovers along the way who followed us into Vinomofo.
Charlene Sampilo

Charlene Sampilo , Customer Service at Nervana Chiropractic

Thanks for sharing this Justin. It simply means that we need to adjust -- our system/ideas/business model (I guess even our attitude) until we get it right.

Jenny Spring answered a question

Are you getting value from your email list?

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?

Jenny Spring

Jenny Spring, Managing Director at Spring Into Sales

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?

David Bradbury

David Bradbury, Founder & CEO at Selector

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.


Maria Harutyunyan answered a question

How much do CPAs cost per hour on average?

What's the cost per hour or fixed packages for common services that a small business typically needs from a CPA?

Maria Harutyunyan

Maria Harutyunyan, SEO Editor at SavvySME

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. 


Melanie Gray answered a question

Does Anyone Have A Good Final Letter Of Demand Template?

I have some debts that need collecting.

Melanie Gray

Melanie Gray, Managing Owner at MyCL (My Computer Lab)

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.

Sputnik Sputnik

Sputnik Sputnik,

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!

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Great answer. It never hurts to be tactful. If you get too aggressive in the letter chances are high that you'll have to actually go to court. Weigh the outcomes for sure.

John Eustace answered a question

Can I use the same ABN to register multiple websites?

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.

John Eustace

John Eustace, Principal / Communications and Media Strategist at Bells and Whistles Marketing Pty Ltd

You can register as many as you like (or can). Remember to register misspellings too as often people will enter a business search frenetically,

Scott Burton

Scott Burton, Manager at Abbertons Human Resources

You can have multiple websites so long as if it is a '.com.au' domain, you must be able to show a link between what your company does and the domain you are requesting.   For full details see http://www.auda.org.au/policies/auda-2012-04/


Ananda Raj Pandey

Ananda Raj Pandey , Developer at SavvySME

Great thanks for your answer. thank you .

Don Gregg answered a question

How should SMEs identify and treat risks associated with their business?

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

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.


Richard Schembri answered a question

What was the one thing responsible for catapulting your business growth?

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

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.

Leo Eliades

Leo Eliades , Owner at INSPIRENOW PTY LTD

Hi Richard thank you for sharing your experience with me. You are definitely right there is such a distinct difference in hearing and listening for both sides, thank you again Leo
Felicity Law

Felicity Law, HR Executive at Felicity Law

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.

Leo Eliades

Leo Eliades , Owner at INSPIRENOW PTY LTD

thank you for your kind comment Felicity, I agree your drive needs to be maintained at a very healthy level. Trusting self is sometimes forgotten, a nice reminder.

Marcus Tjen answered a question

What else can I do to get clients to use my service?

I am starting a mobile self-storage business model and don't have a budget for advertising,

  • I have done SEO.
  • I have a Facebook page set up.
  • Joined community groups
  • Posted an ad on a platform like gumtree.
  • I have also done a few letterbox drops around my area.

My question is, what else can I do to get clients to use my service?

Marcus Tjen

Marcus Tjen, Owner at Rugged Computing

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

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Hey Jamie,

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.


Aishah Mustapha answered a question

How to source products from AliBaba to sell in Australia?

For first-timers and newbies, how do you source products and select the best manufacturer to work with? 

Aishah Mustapha

Aishah Mustapha, Community Manager at SavvySME

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.