Countering the Rising Costs of Google AdWords for Transmission Repair

To Transmission Shop Owner,

Today we will talk about ways to counter the rising costs of Google AdWords when marketing transmission repair.

If you have been using AdWords to drive customers for the last couple years you will already know: The cost-per-click has went UP for transmission keywords.

• In 2006 it averaged 30 cents per click.

• In most areas, it is now over $2 per click.

• In some areas, it is as high as $4 per click.

If it takes an average 20 clicks to generate 1 good lead (5% average conversion from a click to a lead), you can see how expensive it is getting.

The bad part? As the Google cost rises, the results do not improve. You are still going to get the same quality of leads, no mater how much you pay for them.

Why Did This Happen?

One reason? Google sent free $100 AdWords coupons to every business in the US. Since their pay-per-click system is based on an auction, the more shops, scammers and marketing companies they could get to bid on keywords like “transmission” and “transmission repair” caused the price to continue going higher.

As everyone battles for top position, the price continues to go up. Ultimately, this makes Google more money for delivering the exact same results.

Ways to Counter Rising Costs

Here are some simple ways to counter the rising cost of AdWords and get more from your budget:

Put your phone number in your ad. This is a simple trick that can increase your phone leads. You can get some additional calls without people clicking on your ad and costing you money.

Negative keywords. Very important. Make sure you are not bidding on wasteful keywords by using negative keywords in your campaign. For example, most shops bid on the keyword “transmission”. But, if you do not deal with used transmissions, you may be surprised that the phrase “used transmission” can STILL make your ad come up in searches, because the phrase “used transmission” still contains the word “transmission”! I have a whole list of negatives I used in each client campaign, including “used”, “motorcycle”, “semi”, “lawnmower”, etc. All of these words spend $2-$4 for a click, and Google loves it.

If you hired an outside pay-per-click management company to handle your online advertising, be sure they understand the transmission industry. Some do. But many of these companies have no clue about the transmission business, and their keyword lists may include lots of things you do not want–and NO negative keywords. The reason there are so many complaints about marketing companies? Most of them have a “we service all industries, nationally” shotgun approach. They throw together an ad, some keywords, start the campaign, and no results.

Marketing companies who specialize in the transmission industry have a laser-guided missile approach. They already know what worked before, what is working now, and what will not work.

Write an ad that sets your shop apart from your competition. Look at competitor ads and make sure yours is different.

Use MSN Adcenter to advertise on Bing and Yahoo. Clicks here are generally cheaper due to less competition. You can now advertise on both in one system.

The process to set up an account is the same as AdWords. Being on Bing is more important than you think: Many computer users use Bing because it is their default start page. You are missing this large group of people entirely if you only use Google AdWords.

Work leads after-hours and on weekends. Many people work 2nd/3rd shift and go online outside normal business hours, but they still need transmission service. If you do not have time to do it, give your manager an incentive to do it. First and best gets the job, especially after hours and weekends. If you cannot work leads after-hours and weekends, you will probably want to shut off your advertising during those times if you are currently running your ads 24/7. Only run AdWords during your business hours to save money.

If you cannot always get to the phone at the shop and miss calls, have your Internet leads go to a dedicated cell-phone that always gets answered. If you miss a call on the shop phone that came from your AdWords campaign, you may have just spent $50 for a dropped lead. Another method is to use a service that rings to multiple people if the first is busy, like a hunt group.

Geographical settings should be realistic. If you cannot service a 50 mile radius of your entire metro area, adjust your campaign for just the area you typically service.

Other Ideas

In the end, the whole point of advertising online is generating leads, then working those leads as best you can.

If people who need your services click your ad–but do not call or do not fill out your contact form, that bill from AdWords on your credit card statement is just you helping pay for a Google executive’s corporate jet.

In Summary

To sum all of this up:

• MSN Adcenter is generally cheaper clicks than AdWords. Set up an account to advertising on Bing and Yahoo.

• Work leads after-hours and weekends to get more jobs.

• Turn off leads after-hours and weekends to save $$ if you cannot work them.

• Use a dedicated cell phone for hot Internet leads so that no leads are dropped.

• Use realistic geographical targeting.

• Negative keywords are important to add to your campaign to save $$.