Lately the more I speak with new prospects the more frustrated I become. 90% of the people I do an analysis with on their account are still using ancient strategies that are driving their online business head long into an almighty crash. It’s as if the very people employed to create sales are in fact Sales Prevention Managers!

AdWords has become a much bigger and more complicated advertising platform than ever with major introductions to the AdWords armoury such as Search and Dynamic Remarketing, Product Listing ads making it very complex to succeed.

Now the frustrating part for me is that people are still using the same basic principles that I built our business on over four years ago. When I began, AdWords was much simpler; we only had to deal with text ads. The major strategies back then were dealt with Negative Keywords, Positioning, Match Types and Ad Copy.  I developed strategies such as Skylining and Dimension Mining. It created a whole AdWords industry in Cheshire and supplied a highly skilled set of AdWords managers to local agencies as staff flowed through our expanding doors.  My approach was very effective and made my clients some fantastic cost savings some as high as 60-70% of their AdWords spend. However Google changed and these sorts of savings are becoming less and less frequent the focus is now not on what you spend but how AdWords contributes to the sales process and ultimately sales volume.

As time passes everything changes and moves forward, technologies change and so do strategies. It is quite clear customers shop over a number of different channels, and the more channels you have, the more they will spend with you. I think it’s all joined up and will remain so. The problem comes when you don’t move with the times I have already mentioned the majority of the potential clients I speak with are still concentrating on the old basic principles I was teaching 4 years ago and what makes it worse is that a lot of them have been advised by their “AdWords/SEO “Specialists” that these things are still current! If I see a single current/advanced AdWords account during a review in a month I am surprised.

Ask yourself this if Google is changing constantly then why has the way I’m using Google to advertise not changed? There is a saying “do what you have always done and you will get what you’ve always got”, however online that’s not 100% true, it should read “do what you have always done and you get a smaller and smaller return”. Now that’s no way to run a business is it? If you’re not moving forward you’re going backwards.

Another thing I have noticed recently is the number of Businesses who are only using one element of AdWords such as Product Listing Ads (PLA’s) or Text Ads Only, now in some cases if you sell a service rather than a product then obviously you can’t use PLA’s. On the other hand many people who are selling products refuse to do Text Ads and won’t even consider remarketing because they think everyone is like them and get annoyed if you show your advert to someone who has shown an initial interest in your business? Remarketing is here to stay. In fact Google has introduced the facility to grade your customer’s on a scale of 1 to 10 by spend, frequency of spend and customer value within remarketing.

I think a part of this problem is that some businesses don’t understand the online Buying Process and how the different online marketing strategies fill in these parts of the buying process.

Below is an awareness – consideration – conversion illustration detailing the different marketing channels that affect customer purchasing decisions?



 Step 1. Awareness.

This is the first step for all buyers and this where the awareness of a product or brand is created.  Offline television, radio and print media would have traditionally created a desire or awareness. Online awareness the channel which stands out amongst the crowd here is display advertising. Effectively advertisers are attempting to distract prospects from their activity which maybe reading a blog or viewing a friend’s Facebook page to instead view the ads and hopefully visit the advertisers site or social media channel.  Traditionally display advertising has been expensive in terms of direct conversions, but low cost when building awareness is the primary objective.

Brands spend billions creating awareness so that when your ready to consider a product or service their name has already been planted in your mind with positive associations.  Increasingly you will see brands using AdWords for awareness. Google has been testing across the page banner ads for awareness in the States, so it’s only a matter of time before we see it here as well.


Step 2. Consideration.

This step is when the potential buyer now knows what it is they want but are unsure of where to get it? This is where most ecommerce sites enter the scene.  Let’s say our prospect has decided they want a Samsung TV but are unsure which model they want or where is best and/or cheapest to get it from. At this point we want the customer to know a bit more about their potential purchase about what we are offering and also find the best place to purchase.

You note from the next illustration that display clicks are rated at a ratio of 4.2 whereas email and social channels are rated a 1.5. As a guide a ratio of more than 1 means the channel acts more towards awareness, whereas a ratio of less than 1 means the channel acts more as the last interaction point before a purchase. You observe that paid search sits at 1 evenly balanced between intent and decision.

This is where AdWords begins to work its magic, most people (over 60%) don’t realise that the listings at the top of the Google listings are adverts. Most don’t realise that the price comparison feature on Google is no longer shopping but is Product Listing ads.

It’s interesting that organic searches have a ratio of 0.8 weighting it towards decision making. However, with the increasing determination of Google to continually shake up SEO agencies and organic listings obtaining consistent reliable results is very expensive and difficult.

Therefore it’s increasingly important to maximise all site visitors and not let them drift off.  Most prospects will consider purchases carefully. They may not buy immediately but will flit back and two. This is where remarketing really comes into play. Remarketing ranks equally with SEO with a ratio of 0.8. Sites are numerous so you need to ensure you keep your offer in front of the prospect. Remarketing ads ensure you stay in the picture whilst prospects move between consideration and conversion. Maybe the prospect has been moved away from intent to purchase and totally forgotten about the products.  Consider how many times you where about to purchase, but the phone rings or a problem came up or simply your dinner was ready and you forgot all about the idea. Remarketing moves your product back into view, keeping it within consideration / intent to purchase.

However, I hate to do this but recent changes to remarketing have thrown another grenade into the mix. It’s search remarketing – nearly every agency doesn’t understand the explosive potential of this or more likely has no idea what it is. But, just pause and think for a moment – how much do you wish to pay for that first click that get the prospect to your site? Should you pay less once they are aware of you? Search remarketing now enables us to pay different amounts for new and existing customers who may have different levels of intent.



Step 3. Conversion

This is the most important Stage to every business who is selling online. If you disagree then you must be a non profit organisation and there are a lot of retailers in this category.  At the end of the day we are all in business to make money. However far too many online sellers want to jump straight to decision / conversion and completely forget about the other stages, in short that doesn’t work! Why not? There are prospects who will decide to buy and will either visit their favourite store or merchant centre such as EBay or Amazon, but the awareness building has already taken place.

Most purchases will involve a mix of the channels illustrated and the idea that a single channel now can act in isolation is no longer the case. Prospects review products, compare model prices and options, short list suppliers and check their rating using sites such as TrustPilot. This all takes place instinctively for prospects.

In the UK for retail products 37% of purchase revenue takes place in one step, leaving 68% to buy within 30 steps. By steps I mean viewing other sites etc. If your not remarketing to prospects and keeping your brand in front of them someone else will.  The highest average order value occurs at day 20. Think about this for a moment your prospects are looking for days. If you’re early in the process, remarketing ensures you remain a contender, without it you’re just another site.

All these aspects are needed to make the most of your conversions as I’ve said there are too many people who don’t consider these steps because they are unaware of them or they don’t know how to maximise all the different parts of the AdWords tool and that’s where Click Convert can help. This is why we are The AdWords Experts we aren’t looking at this in simple Google terms as most other agencies do using archaic strategies that are putting all your eggs in one basket we are helping you understand this from your business marketing point of view and making the most of your earning potential.

Call us now and see how we can help you make the most of AdWords and bring success to your business.

John Langley

John Langley


I am the founder of Click Convert, an Award Winning agency, here to deliver great marketing for Small and Medium Businesses. We’ve created over $1.1 billion in sales for clients. We’re one of the top digital marketing companies in America and the UK for small and medium businesses digital marketing. We’re a Google Premier Partner, a Google Top 50 agency and our work was recommended by Google’s CEO in 2020. Outside of family and Click Convert, Cars, Adventure and Pizza are my passion. Our vision is to Inform, Empower and Deliver to help both clients and readers.

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