Now it seems obvious to those of us experienced in online marketing and dealing with Google, but it has to be said clearly GOOGLE WILL NOT RING YOU ABOUT ADVERTISING ON THEIR WEBSITE.
A few years back, just after Google set up their European operations in Dublin, a prospective client told me that Google had contacted her and were going to help her manage a Google AdWords campaign. I assumed it was legitimate. I didn’t look into it further at the time, they weren’t clients and were choosing to do this rather than use my SEO services so I didn’t think much about it.
Earlier this year our receptionist said that Google had contacted her husband about setting up an AdWords campaign for his very small website. As I’ve gained a lot more experience in dealing with Google and using AdWords, it was obvious to me then that it wouldn’t be the case. Shortly after this, Twitter friend @whatswhat_sian (Sian Phillips), started posting about a company that was contacting businesses listed on her online directory WhatsWhat.ie offering a similar deal. Then they contacted her, not realising she had copped on to them. Read her post about it. She was really adamant about getting the word out on this and there was a piece in the Sunday Business Post by Adrian Weckler Rogue ‘Google’ firm targets Irish SMEs.
I didn’t take too much notice again, but then today they rang a client of mine, who had the sense to tell them they needed to ring me. Again, she thought they were calling from Google. I rang them back myself and it was indeed the company that Sian was talking about, UK based Matchmaker Marketing. You can Google the name if you want to see their site and also notice on Google a long list of sites with posts by people concerned about them, like:
When I rang the number given to my client, he did answer the phone “Matchmaker Marketing” and said that he did not claim to my client that he was from Google, but that he was a reseller for Google. He also claimed that they were the only company licensed to use the Google logo, but very little of what he said rang true with me. As he saw that I was not going to avail of their services he said that I was wasting his time – rich for someone that does cold call sales for a living.
My fear is that this sort of ‘marketing’ will turn people off of Google AdWords and other online advertising that has potential to increase sales. A lot of companies set up and manage Google AdWords and other pay per click online advertising campaigns, some successfully and others not so successfully, but a potential customer has the right to be dealt with in an honest and straight forward manner.
You may have to pay a good amount for a successful campaign, especially if you are hiring an experienced professional, but it may bring you more sales to justify the cost. Because of this you should do a bit of research before you select a company to manage your online marketing campaign. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
– Get references from the company and talk to their customers about the results that were actually gained from the campaign.
* What was the return on the amount spent?
* Did the company communicate well what their objectives were?
* Where they comfortable dealing with the company?
– Do you want a company to manage the campaign for you completely or just set it up so that you can manage it yourself over the long term?
– Does the company have experience with PPC advertising in your specific industry or similar industries?
– Do you need a company that can do SEO as well as PPC – and perhaps changes to your site as well?
– Can you set up the campaign yourself? The AdWords system is made to be very user friendly and there is a lot of information available via Google and other sites on how to manage a successful campaign. It does take time and you may be better off spending to at least get the campaign set up by someone with experience.
The following are also important points to consider:
– Organic search listings are the ones that you do NOT pay for. To get good results with these you need to certain things on your website and boost your sites popularity through relevant links to do this. Pay per click advertising campaigns will not get you higher organic search results, though it can boost awareness of your site. If a company claims this, question everything they are saying.
– No one can guarantee that you will get on first page or top of organic or pay per click listings – especially not the organic listings. Some companies get away with guaranteeing that you’ll be top for pay per click advertising listings by 1) bidding very high for the the phrase to be certain to outbid all others (which isn’t financially sustainable over a long period of time) or 2) bidding on very uncompetitive and unpopular search phrases that no one else would be bidding on. This does not give you much potential for a good return on the amount spent. Most legitimate online marketing companies will not use the word “guarantee” because it has such a bad connotation in this area.
– Google does run a “Google Advertising Professional” Programme.
A person can become a “Qualified Individual” by doing the following:
“1. Sign up for the programme successfully and be in good standing. This means that you have accepted the Rules of Use and are not in violation of them.
2. Manage at least one AdWords account (yours or someone else’s) in My Client Centre for 90 days.
3. Build and maintain at least US$1000 (or your local currency equivalent) total spend for your or your team’s My Client Centre account during the 90-day period.
4. Pass the Google Advertising Professional Exam. We suggest that you take the exam after you meet the above requirements. However, you can take the exam at any time.”
A company can become a “Qualified Company” by doing the following:
“1. Have a billing and mailing address in a country where company qualification is available.
2. Employ at least two Qualified Individuals in the programme. Individuals must be qualified under the main company-registered My Client Centre account and not their own account. See the requirements for becoming a Qualified Individual.
3. Build and maintain the minimum 90-day required total client spend (spend requirements vary by country) for the company’s My Client Centre account.”
See more in Google’s section on AdWords Professionals.
It is not that difficult to achieve qualification as long as you have clients with the budget to do AdWords and know the basics on how to run an account to pass the exam. Qualification has nothing to do with bringing good results for your customers in these campaigns.
If you feel that you do need to work with an “AdWords Qualified Professional” you can confirm that they are indeed qualified by checking that they have a Professional Status page, which they would normally link to from the Google AdWords Professional logo on their own site.
– Some web development companies push AdWords over optimizing your site for better organic search results. Why?
* Google used to give commissions for AdWords spend, but they no longer do so. This was a big incentive for developers to push the AdWords in the past.
* It is a way to give a quick boost of traffic to your site when optimization for organic results (SEO) may take months.
* They don’t have the skills/time/desire to do optimization for organic search results. I actually saw this stated on a web development company site yesterday and thought the honesty was refreshing.
I agree that AdWords can be a good way to get started while waiting for organic results. I also feel that AdWords can be a good part of an overall online marketing campaign, as part of the “big picture”. But you don’t need to hire a Qualified Professional. A local online marketing professional may be able to get you just a good results as well as being someone that you trust better than someone “up the country”. I am not a Qualified AdWords professional. This is just because I have not reached that spending requirement in the required time period. This is because most of my clients are smaller businesses with smaller online marketing budgets and we’ve chosen to concentrate on getting better organic results.
So you may choose to work with Matchmaker Marketing, they have a lot of customers and maybe some of them are getting results, but you then have to keep in mind the type of company you are dealing with and make your own mind up.
Unfortunately Google will NOT set up your AdWords campaign themselves. Online marketing is just not that easy, but I am giving a workshop “Hands On: Your Own Pay Per Click Advertising Campaign” on the 2nd of October. In the half day workshop I will take you step by step through setting up and managing your own Google AdWords campaign. Click here for more details.