DCKAP has been an early adopter and user of Google Adwords. We have got great customers using adwords. Thanks Google. However, it looks like distant past today. Our spending with google has doubled(or even tripled), however the lead inflow has reduced by half. I see a few problems.
Competition: Most of your competition is on Ad-words. Around mid 2007,there were not a lot of companies bidding for key-words. It was fun as the return on investment was great. It is concerning today as the response rate is bad.
Expensive bid rates: The bid rates are expensive. A few targeted keywords which used to cost $3 is costing $30 or more now.
Evil Clicks: Considering the high spending and low lead flow, this cannot be ruled out. Your competition clicking on your ads and you pay for it.
Extraneous Clicks: A fine example. You advertise for game developers, a school kid uses his mobile device (ipad) searches for one of your advertised keywords and clicks on your ad.
Is Google Adwords now like playing a slot machine in a casino? You keep throwing quarters, wait for the winning combination. You keep paying for clicks, and pray a qualified lead will react to your ad and does your preferred action. (Call / Click Request Quote button)
Few Adwords tips
Negative Keywords: Make sure you use negative keywords. Track the clicks on a daily/ weekly basis and make sure you add the negative keywords to each campaign. You can do this globally and apply to all campaigns under the shared library tab.
Keyword Match: Differentiate between Broad, Phrase and Exact match, use them efficiently. If you are getting high extraneous clicks, try using Phrase / Exact match and watch the campaign.
Location: Set your locations on where you want your campaigns to run. If you are targeting customers in US, you do not want folks from Indonesia to click on your ad. You can do this under the Settings tab.
Search Terms: Find out what search terms triggered your ad . This will help in analytics and also choosing your keywords. You can do this by choosing Details – Search Terms (All) under the keywords tab.
Conversion Tracking: This is basic, however often times people miss it. Make sure you have the google conversion tracking code in the page the customers see after they complete a conversion (e.g Thank you page) to track the lead conversions.
With the advent of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN) and low response to adwords, you also have to explore new avenues for advertising/marketing all the time. Spread your marketing budget, experiment and invest more on areas you have maximum returns. Always remember, content is king.