Mark Chapman – Are Google Ads for You?
We’ve had many discussions about social ads and other marketing, but I’ve never had anyone on to talk about Google Ads. So, I asked my friend Mark Chapman, from The I Do Society, to come on and school us on what we should know about Google Ads (and SEO and lots more). Listen to this new episode and get a better understanding, and perspective on how and where you can look for a better ROI (Return on Investment).
Mark Chapman is the founder of The I Do Society and wedding industry’s leader in paid advertising. He established the most effective advertising strategies – based on data gathered from thousands of campaigns and millions of dollars spent. He delivers high quality leads for all types of wedding businesses using Google Ads, Facebook Ads and TikTok Ads.
For more information visit: http://theidosociety.com/
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– Are Google ads worth your time? Listen to this episode and find out. Hey, it’s, Alan Berg, welcome back to another edition of the Wedding Business Solutions podcast. I am so happy to have Mark Chapman on to talk with us today about Google ads. Mark, how you doing today?
– I’m great. Thanks for having me, Alan.
– Well, thanks for coming on, because this is something that I know you hear about a lot, and I hear about a lot. We know that, you know, SEO, which we can talk about a little bit after, we know that just fighting against every other, fill in the blank: photographer, venue, caterer, or whatever, in your market, for the same keywords is just a losing battle, and that advertising is paying to get to that audience. But I think people don’t really understand as much, they’re like, oh yeah, Google ads. They show up when I do a search, but, you know, give us the 101 on Google ads.
– Yeah, for sure. So, when someone is searching on Google, they intend to find a solution to their problem. If they’re looking for a wedding venue, they intend to find a wedding venue. If they’re looking for a photographer or a DJ, they want to find a DJ. And that’s the first place that they start if they don’t know about you. And so, the power of Google ads is that, yes, you do have to pay a little bit, but you get immediately in front of people who are absolutely looking for your business, and that is the foundation of why Google ads can be so powerful.
– Right, so this is more active advertising versus passive, which is like, if you’re on The Knot, you’re waiting for The Knot to get somebody to come to the site, to go to your market, to go to your category, to find your thumbnail, right, you’re waiting, right? You’re just sitting there passively waiting for that.
– Right. Right.
– This is saying, I want to push my ad in front of people, and if you didn’t hear what Mark said, who are already looking for your particular market, your particular service, they’re actively doing that. So, these are motivated people and we’d like to call them buyers, right?
– That’s what they are. So, how does Google decide? And I know we’re talking Google, not Bing, because, well, yeah, we’re talking Google, so–
– Most people use Google, it’s okay.
– Right. Right.
– But how does Google decide who shows up when somebody does a search for a wedding officiant in Cleveland, Ohio?
– Great question. So there’s a lot of variables that go into this, but the basics and the foundation of Google Search is keywords. And when you place ads on Google, you get to choose the keywords that you want to advertise, you want someone to… You want your ad to show up for, when someone searches. One quick example would be like: outdoor wedding venue, right? It’s something very specific, and you get to choose that specific search term. And one thing, really quick, because you did mention The Knot and WeddingWire, too, is that you actually can adjust your campaigns based on demographics on Google. So if you don’t want people who are a certain demographic, finding your ads and showing to them, you can actually exclude those, or if you do want more of those people. Say, they’re in their early 20s, you can actually bid higher for those people in their early 20s. So, there’s a little bit of a demographic component too, that I did want to throw in there, because you had mentioned those other platforms. But, you know, it’s keyword-based at the foundation of Google.
– Okay, now, that’s similar to Facebook and Instagram, where you can go with demographics, and what people listening to the podcast have heard me say before is, when I talk to my customers about advertising there’s three things I tell them to think about. Geographics. What is the trade area?
– Demographics, which are measurable things. Age, income, education, et cetera.
– Right. Sexual orientation, things like that. Those are measurable things or identifiable things. And the third is a little harder, which is psychographics. And psychographics is, what are they thinking about? Because again, “wedding venue in X city” is different than “outdoor wedding venue in X city”. Psychographically, now there’s that. There’s also somebody who’s got a horse farm that they do weddings on, looking for people that have interest in horses, because they follow Equestrian Magazine. I don’t know if they’re such a thing, but whatever it is.
– We have the idea.
– Right, but the idea of psychographics is, well, if I’m looking for people who like horses, where else do people go when they like horses? So again, I know Facebook, you can do that, Instagram, you can do stuff like that. So, these keywords, a mistake I’ve seen a lot of people making is they try to go for keywords that they think are the right keywords, but there’s got to be a better way to do that, right?
– Yeah, you know, one example that pops to mind is for bridal shows or bridal show producers, when they’re running an ad campaign on Google, they’re thinking like, I’m going to put in a wedding dress, and an engagement ring, all that sort of stuff. But actually, if someone’s searching for a wedding dress, like, they don’t want to see a bridal show ad, because they want to find a wedding dress. They’re on their phone, and they’re like, I just want to look at pictures of wedding dresses. And so, it’s kind of a dramatic example, and there’s probably better, smaller ones for different venues, or photographers, or DJs, or whatever. But you’re right, like, choosing the right keywords is really important. And sometimes it actually just takes the perspective of someone who’s not in your business, because you want to reach everyone, and tell everyone in the world that you exist. But the truth is that there’s a slice of the pie that’s perfect for you at Google ads, that maybe you don’t want the whole pie.
– And so, what you’re talking about there is knowing your ideal customer, knowing the avatar of your ideal customers. So, going back to demographics, my ideal customer is this age range, is maybe men, maybe women, maybe another orientation, right? It’s, who am I going after? Because, reality is, I don’t think anybody that you or I know is looking for everybody.
– They’re not, no. So true. And when you combine those demographic targeting with the power of people who are actually searching for what you have to offer very specifically, if it’s an outdoor wedding venue, or if it is a DJ in York, Pennsylvania, you know, like, it’s really, really powerful, because you’re able to reach the right audience in the moment that they’re looking for you.
– Did you know I was in York, PA last week. That’s funny–
– Were you? I didn’t.
– I was.
– That literally just–
– Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– Subliminally. There you go. Now, would this be “the long tail” that we’re about.
– You know, in the world of Google today, actually, there’s a lot of algorithmic learning and algorithmic work, and that sounds like a high level, big marketing word, but long tail keywords don’t actually really exist anymore with Google ads. It’s more about concepts, and it’s really difficult to communicate that, like, not sharing a screen and showing you the concepts. But, in a nutshell, you can think of, and I’ll probably just go back to that, the idea of outdoor wedding venue, someone might type in like, get married outside, or outdoor wedding venue, and their concept and their intent is the same, and so, the words themselves could be ordered differently, or don’t matter as much, but the specific concept of it being outdoors is how you build out that Google Ads campaign.
– Okay, and if anybody who doesn’t know what the long tail is, there was a book called “The Long Tail”. And what it means is, there are certain words and phrases that are used a lot, and then there are certain that are used more specifically, like outdoor wedding venue, or bilingual wedding officiant, right, or something like that.
– And, they’re not searched as much, but because they’re a very specific term, you could get less traffic, but actually do more business, because it’s so specific.
– That’s great.
– So, that’s what the long tail is, and the reason they say this, you imagine an animal, the meat of the animal, that’s the big search terms, and then that tail goes out, and out, and out, and out. If you think about the songs on Apple Music that get downloaded one and two times, there’s probably millions of them, but the ones that get downloaded, you know, Taylor Swift’s new song, and Nas’ new song, or whatever, are going to get downloaded so much more so. Okay, so–
– If you’re really into banjos, right, or really specific songs like, that song’s for you, and that’s awesome, and it’s not going to be downloaded as much, but it’s not Taylor Swift, is what you like.
– Right, but your audience, it’s very much like, a friend of mine said to me recently that he did a wedding expo, and this was, I think, last fall. So, you know, not that we’re not out of COVID, we’re not out of COVID, but the idea of it was still a little bit more intense at the time, the feeling, especially here in New Jersey, and he had half the attendance that he was expecting, but he did just as much business.
– Right. Right.
– So, that’s the same–
– Could do less business and you’d make more money.
– Right, but because you’re doing business with the right people, you know.
– That’s right.
– Everybody, I know I’ve spoken this about on another episode, but everybody has an inventory. The inventory might be time, just that you just don’t have time to handle more people. So, you think about an invitation company, is not encumbered by that Saturday, the way that a photographer would be, but, you physically only have so much time, so you can only handle so many people. So, everybody’s got an inventory issue. We want to fill your inventory with the right people, paying you the right money, because it’s the right fit.
– That’s right.
– So, How would somebody go about doing this with Google Ads?
– Yeah, well, one thing that I want to bring up as a pitfall to avoid, is something that we kind of are touching on, is that you can put all those keywords in there, and you can create what are called, Smart campaigns Google Ads, and let Google make all these decisions for you. But there’s a little button called, Switch to Expert Mode in Google Ads. And that button allows you to choose your keywords and write your ads, instead of Google just pulling all that data from your website and throwing a bunch of keywords in there. And so, you want to create a campaign that really is structured based on, like, we were talking about the demographics and the words that are most important to the people who are your best customer, you know. Yeah, so, there’s a process of looking at your marketing plan, identifying who your best customer is, and thinking about like, what are they actually searching for? What are they really into? Does that make sense?
– It does, but you also said something I don’t want to let go, which is, the one mode is Google’s going to look at your website, look at the words that are on there, and try to pick keywords based upon that.
– But there’s a caveat there. Does your website have the right text? Does it have the right keywords on there? And so often, I’m looking at someone’s site, and I am not an SEO expert, I don’t purport to be, I don’t play one on TV, and, but I go to people’s websites, and they’ll be talking of about the “event” instead of the “wedding”.
– Which is now the wrong keyword over there, or they won’t mention the other types of events that they do specifically, such as quinceanera, or corporate events, or specific types of corporate events, so, someone’s planning X type. If those words aren’t there, whether it’s SEO, which is the free stuff, search engine optimization for free, but Google is also using those words to determine whether or not you’re a good fit, even if you buy an ad, right?
– Yep. I wish we had five hours to talk about this, because Google Ads is a platform that is created for enterprise level businesses like, Target, and Starbucks, and these huge companies that have dedicated people to make sure their website is just tickety-boo, or like, just how it should be. But we’re small businesses in the wedding industry, and let’s be honest, it just doesn’t happen like that. And so, when you ask Google to automate things, you’re literally asking them to do the wrong thing. And it isn’t that Google has the wrong intention, necessarily, it’s just that it’s not a platform for small businesses. And so, one thing that I actually really love, and what I love about what I do, is being able to shape that, and help build those campaigns for small businesses, and say no to the things that we don’t want from Google, and yes to the things we do want from Google Ads.
– So, you’re playing the part of that what Target has inside, which is the department that’s taking care of all of this. So if you’re helping somebody with a ads, now, your company is The I Do Society.
– Okay. We’ll talk more about that in a little bit, and we’ll put, in the show notes, all contact information and all. So, when you’re working with someone on Google ads, are you also then looking at their website to make sure that it’s got those keywords?
– Absolutely, right.
– Because we can actually see in Google Ads, when you start a campaign, Google does give you a lot of data. You can actually see what people typed into Google that triggered your ad to be shown and they clicked on it, with all their misspellings, and weird things, and stuff like that. But that data is really cool, because you get to see what’s in their minds and what they’re searching for. And you get to see… And you get to make a recommendation for the website, and say, hey, maybe we should change the language on your website to say this instead of that. One really quick, powerful example is with bridal stores. A lot of bridal stores want to use the word, boutique, in their name, because it’s cute and it’s beautiful, and it is what the store is. But so many places across the United States, women are searching for a “bridal store”, they’re not searching for a “bridal boutique”. And when you say, boutique, boutique, boutique, but they just want a store, it isn’t the same language and it sounds minor, but it can be powerful to speak their language on your website, using the data that you get from your Google Ads campaign.
– First rule of computers, and this was when I was in high school, so this was a long time ago. And the first rule of computers, the professor went to the board, and in big chalk, he wrote, G-I-G-O. Garbage in, garbage out.
– That’s right.
– If the keywords aren’t on your site, Google can’t find, whether you’re buying ads or not, you will not come up in a search, if you don’t list, and you can’t just list a whole bunch of cities and towns and stuff, but if you don’t organically talk about the geographic area that you’re in. And I did an episode. It was… People thought it was pretty funny. I said, “Stop Doing These Things Now!” That was the title of my episode.
– Because, I went to my mailing list at the end of last year, and I noticed I didn’t have cities, and states, or countries, and towns for some people. I didn’t have categories for some people. I said, “I’m going to clean this up.” It was December, I had a little bit of time. I’m going to clean it up. And I go through this, and I didn’t know where some people were. I actually still have the list here. First of all, 2300 people were still using a Gmail address, instead of one with the name of their website.
– 445 Yahoo, 181 AOL. Still.
– Yeah. And I said, you know what AOL stands for? It’s Greek letters, it roughly translates to, “I am old”. That’s what it is at.
– AT&T, Comcast, Cox, whatever. But it was 40% of my list. And what that meant is, I didn’t know your website, because you were using Gmail, or AOL, or whatever, so to find out your city and state, I had to then try to find you. And then if that email address wasn’t on your website, it wouldn’t link to… Right. It was all these crazy things. And I couldn’t find so much of this data, and then I’d go to websites, and there’s no address. Now, I’m okay, if you’re working from home, you don’t want your street at dress on there.
– Sure. Yeah.
– But tell me you’re in Cleveland, or tell me you’re in Peoria, or me tell… Right. Or a venue that doesn’t have a street address, like on the homepage.
– I don’t… Anyway, all right. So I’ll get off my soapbox here. So, the different pieces of Google ads, it’s not just, and I think this is where a lot of people make a mistake, they go and just start buying ads on Google blind, because they don’t know what they’re doing, and the website doesn’t have the right keywords. What are some other things that people need to think about when it comes to Google ads?
– Well, one thing we’re actually talking about now is quality, the quality of your website. And there actually is a measurement of quality in your ads campaign, of how your website looks and the quality. because here’s the deal, is that Google is a business, and despite the fact that Google has 99% of the market share, they do want their users to have a good experience. And so, you can pay for ads, and you can like, pay as much as you want for a keyword, or whatever, but if you have a crappy website, it actually penalizes you, because Google doesn’t want people to find crappy websites. Google wants the people to find helpful, relevant answers to their questions, and that happens after they click on the ad and go to a website. So that’s another pitfall to avoid, or another recommendation, which is really like, it’s a whole can of worms, and that’s a whole different conversation. But it is real, and it is important to talk about that, is that the quality of your website can impact the performances your ad campaigns.
– Now, is it just the performance, or will Google not even send people there if it doesn’t think that your website has the information that–
– Yeah. Great question. So, I did say performance, but what I mean is like, overall performance, like, is your ad going to show to people or not?
– Is Google going to charge you $6 a click or $1 a click? Like, all the things that go into like, making this campaign work, and, you know, all the things that go into ultimately, giving you the most leads at the lowest cost per lead from your ad campaign. Your website is a huge variable and factor in that.
– Right. And again, there’s a lot of factors that you said there, so, you know, whether they charge you this much or that, are they charging different based upon the quality of your website, or just based upon the keywords and stuff that you want to show up?
– So, the quality of your website is a variable in how much you’ll pay for your clicks, yep. And they will literally say nothing else beyond that. They won’t tell you to change pictures, or words, or things. So it’s very undercover, but it is what they say.
– Right, and as we’ve been talking here, their algorithm has probably changed three times already. So…
– Probably, yeah. Who knows?
– This is why I leave it to Mark to speak about this stuff and not me, because, I remember, I have a friend who used to speak about, years ago, used to speak about social media, and right before he’d go on stage, he’d go on his computer and check to make sure what he was about to say hadn’t changed.
– Oh, hilarious. That’s hilarious. It’s real.
– It is real. The struggle is real folks.
– [Both] The struggle is real.
– So, where would somebody get started here? There’s a couple of ways. So, let’s do a little pause here. So, tell us about your business. Your business, The I Do Society. What is it? What do you do?
– Yeah. Thank you for asking. So, we’re an agency that’s focused on advertising for businesses in the wedding industry specifically. So, just paid ads. That comes in the form of Google ads like we’re talking about, as well as Facebook, and Instagram ads, and TikTok ads too. So, any place where you’re basically paying to advertise your business. And we don’t do website development, or SEO, or anything, we just kind of stay in our lane and focus on advertising, so that we can do a really, really good job at that.
– Okay. Big businesses, small businesses, doesn’t matter.
– Yeah. It doesn’t matter. Whether you’re a solopreneur, or you’re a giant enterprise level business, when it comes to what we’re doing, repairing our knowledge of the advertising platforms with our knowledge of the wedding industry, and our knowledge of couples, and how they shop, and how they search and things like that. So, the scale of the business doesn’t matter, it’s the foundational knowledge of the industry, as well as the ad platforms.
– Right, and the idea of using an agency, for people that don’t know, there’s a cost for the expertise that is made up almost every time, by the performance of the ads, because you’re not just shotgunning and throwing stuff against the wall, and looking to see what’s going to stick. You have people that are doing this every day and they know what they’re doing. And I think that’s… There’s a tendency in our industry, you know, I shouldn’t say, there’s with small businesses to try to do things themselves around the cheap, to see if it works, to decide if they’re going to spend more, which is backwards, because if you’re not doing it right, and it doesn’t work, you’re saying it doesn’t work, but you didn’t do it right.
– And you don’t know the questions to ask.
– This is actually where I got started, Alan. I was a wedding photographer in 2006 and 2007, and Google ads was like, very new to small businesses, and I was that person. And it actually led to where I’m at now, which is the whole story, but like, I was that person who was wasting my money, but I just kept at it, but I wasted thousands of dollars. And if I could go pay someone to have done it back then, I would’ve done it. But that was my journey too, and so, there’s no shame in that. But the reality is like, you hire someone to do your taxes because that’s what they do, sort of thing, yeah.
– Right. Yeah. That’s a really good point. I’m the son of an accountant. My dad’s 91, he’s retired now. And for years, my dad did my taxes.
– Then he was retired, he still did them. But then after a while, it’s like, you know what? He’s just not up on what’s going on as much. He’s he’s not up on it. So, I’ve been using another accountant for years. And my older son, his taxes were simple, and now, all of a sudden, they got more complicated. And I was like, you know what? I live in New Jersey, I got a guy. Right. I got a guy for it. So, he’s got a guy now, because, you know, you get to a certain point, you’re like, okay, this is above my pay grade. I need to go onto something else. So, if somebody was going to get started, obviously, they could come to you. We’ll put your contact information into the show notes and all.
– Thank you so much.
– But, if somebody wanted to get started, and wanted to start dipping their toe in, or thinking about this, where do you suggest people go? Where do they start?
– Yeah. I think like, one of the things that everyone’s probably thinking right now is like, budget, and how much do I spend? And there’s a, sorry to jump to this, but it’s the reality of it, right, because it’s paid advertising. What we know is that we want to make sure that people find you on Google, and then also find you in other places, like Facebook, and Instagram, or maybe TikTok. And one thing that we do is put these ad platforms together. We run ads on Google, we run ads on Facebook, Instagram, or maybe TikTok. The reason we do this, and I’m like, totally doing a long answer to your question, is because people need to see you in multiple places, multiple times. And we talk about Google ads and how people are searching on Google, and that’s the perfect place for them to discover you the first time. But to earn their trust, they need to see you in multiple places, multiple times. And so, to circle back to the answer of your question, we really don’t recommend that anyone run an ad campaign, without a budget of about $1,000 a month, to spread across Google, Facebook, and Instagram, so that people can see you in those multiple places, multiple times. And that’s your advertising budget, and it can be a lot for some people. For some folks it’s not a lot, and that’s okay. And if it is a lot of money for you, what I recommend is, save that money up so you have about three months worth of budget to spend. Don’t just go in there and say, I’m going to spend $200. I’m going to let Google make these decisions for me, because you’re going to throw your $200 away, when you can do it right, if you just plan and save up for it.
– Right. That’s a really good point. So, you mentioned the different platforms there. I have a lot of people that have come to me and said, so, TikTok. Should I be on TikTok? Should I be on TikTok? And, my answer is always very simple. If your audience is on looking for people like you, then it’s a good place to be.
– Your audience might be on TikTok, but are they looking for their wedding band, right? And that could be either kind of band, that could be the gold band, or the music band, right? Either one of them. But are they looking for you? Is that right, or even if they’re there not looking for you, we’re still pushing an ad in front of them and it’s okay?
– Yeah, you know, it’s similar to Facebook and Instagram, because no one’s looking for a wedding band on Facebook and Instagram, right? But your ads can still work really well. Like, no one’s searching on Facebook like, wedding band in York, Pennsylvania. But the reality of it is, is because it’s so visual and interactive, that it can be powerful to make people understand that you exist, make people understand that you’re a great wedding band. And so, with TikTok we’re seeing really, really similar results, where like, no one’s searching TikTok for you, but because it’s an interactive platform, it is a really great way to get a lot of low cost traffic to your website, a lot of exposure, that down the road will lead to phone calls, and form fills, and leads on your website.
– So, you just mentioned, going to the website, so what about the Facebook pixel? Does that play into this at all?
– Yeah, so, if you’re running ads on Facebook and Instagram, you want to have the Facebook pixel tracking on your website, because it can tell you if people have called you, or filled out a form, or, you know, all those things, you can actually measure those conversions. And you just picked my interest, I’m going to go on this for one second. For all these ads platforms, you can track conversions, you can track the number of leads that these ads are delivering to your business, and you can put a price to those leads, so that you know, if you spent that $1,000, you got this number of leads at this cost per lead, and you can make your bookkeeper, or your CFO very happy, by telling them, hey, this is my cost per lead, this is what I’m spending, should I increase that budget, or do something with it?
– So, talking about, you’re spending $1,000 a month, one thing that people typically complain about is, they’re getting bots clicking on things, or bad leads, or stuff like that, whatever, you know.
– There’s leads that are good leads, people call bad leads for different reasons. But, years ago we used to talk about click fraud. Right?
– If you’re spending this $1,000, should you expect that you have to kiss a few frogs along the way to get some princes?
– In terms of click fraud, no. Like, Google has been fighting that, and does a really good job at that, to know if it’s a human or a bot.
– And Facebook as well. And they actually identify that sometimes, and will refund your account, give you credit in your account if that has happened. So, in terms of like, fraudulent clicks, don’t even worry about that, it’s all good. In terms of kissing frogs, and the right people versus the wrong people, you know what? In the beginning, maybe there’s refinement you need to learn and do with different testing of demographics in your campaign. So, yeah. It’s a real part of it.
– Right, which with any ad campaign, there’s going to be some testing, and do you find that, something that works on Facebook might not work as well on Instagram, if you use the same images and same wording.
– Oh, great question. Yeah, definitely. Like, I mean, the visualization of a Facebook ad versus an Instagram ad is very different. Instagram, you’ve got like no text at all. Facebook, you’ve got this big, bold headline that you can put in there. And so, shaping your ads to the platform to look good on each platform is really, really important. If anyone doesn’t know, Facebook owns Instagram, and you create Instagram ads inside the Facebook ads platform. If it doesn’t make sense, go back in the podcast and listen to that again, if you need to. But it’s important when you’re creating that ad campaign that you do shape the ads for both platforms uniquely, so that it looks great and communicates what you want it to on each one.
– So, speaking of who owns whom, Google owns YouTube.
– Right? So, what about YouTube ads?
– Great question. You know, we’ve done a lot of testing, and I want video to work better than it does, but at the end of the day, a great ad that has a really powerful, single, static image, that entices people to click through to your website, gets the most leads at the lowest cost per lead. A lot of times what happens with video, whether it’s YouTube, or even a video ad like on Facebook, people watch the video and then they move on, and they keep scrolling. But we want people to actually leave that ad platform and go to your website. And so, in our testing, video doesn’t perform as well. Even though, I love video, I know video is important. It’s a requirement on TikTok, so it has to be a video there. But, you get the idea.
– Now, the TikTok video, that could be a series of still images running through it. It doesn’t have to be moving. It just has to be a moving thing.
– Something moving over there. So again, the $1,000 a month for… If you think about, you know, what is your ROI that you’re looking for? And this is where a lot of people don’t look down the road enough. You know, what am I trying to accomplish? So, I have some clients, venues, $1,000 a month for a venue, if you have openings in your account calendar, should not be a lot of money, because you should be able to make that back pretty easily. If you’re an officiant, it’s going to be harder. And $1,000 a month may not be the right budget for you, because you’re trying to do 30 weddings a year and it just doesn’t make any sense. So, when you think about, not just the budget, but, should I do this at all? Right? Is this the right platform? If I can’t put enough money towards it, maybe this isn’t the right place for me, for that. And that’s, either because your sale is too low, or you don’t have any openings in your calendar. Like, don’t start asking for more leads that you can’t fulfill.
– Amen. Yeah. And you bring up a good point. Let’s use the officiant as the example. Like, you advertising, you’re always advertising to a cold audience. So people don’t know you, and it takes time to earn their trust, and that’s okay. You want to advertise when you’ve exhausted your options for referrals, from other places, the people that know you, and love you, and like you. And that was actually me, when I started out in my wedding photography business was like. I was going to the chamber of commerce, I was going to a BNI meeting, I was doing all those things to meet everyone that I could possibly meet. And I was still really poor. I was still not me. You know, and so for me, I realized the only way to get to this next level for my business was to start reaching people who didn’t know about me, and using tools like ads that would work while I was sleeping. But, of you’re that officiant and you haven’t exhausted your referral sources yet, maybe it’s not for you just yet, and that’s okay.
– Right, and when I’m talking to my clients, I would always asking them is, so what are we trying to accomplish here, right? How many more are we trying to get? I have one venue client, she only does 15 weddings a year. Right. That that’s what she does. I have another one that’s looking at 250 for a single venue, that they only do one wedding at a time. That’s pumping out a lot.
– Yeah, yeah.
– Way different need. Way, way different need. And so, thinking about what is a good return on my investment for any advertising, and this is, again, Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WeddingWire, The Knot, go down the line, is, what am I trying to accomplish? And does this money make sense? Because the easiest thing, you know this and I know, the easiest thing for people to do is – nothing. Right, just do what you’re doing. The next easiest thing is, look for everything free that’s out there. So people go to SEO, and they say, I’m going to optimize my website for all these keywords, and that’s going to be the answer to my problems. Why is SEO not the answer to most people’s issues?
– Yeah. So, SEO is a long game, you know. One thing we actually get into is, if someone wants to do SEO, we take that data we’ve learned from the Google Ads campaign, because, like we talked about a little while ago, Google tells you exactly what someone typed in to trigger your ad, to click on your ad, to visit your website, and if you’re measuring conversions you know exactly what people’s searches were that led to leads and conversions. So, take that data, if you’re going to do SEO, and do SEO after you do the paid ads, because you’re using real data instead of just guessing, and thinking like, oh, maybe outdoor wedding venue is the keyword that we should focus on for the next 12 months. Well, guess what, if it ain’t, and you don’t have any data to prove it, you just wasted 12 months of SEO. And so, like, I’m a fan of SEO, but I’m a fan of SEO at the right time, in the right context.
– Right, and again, search engine optimization, free, which is optimizing your website, so if somebody does a search, that you may come up in a search without paying for it.
– I say to people, if you’re not getting enough leads from those other sources, and that’s referrals, that’s networking, that’s paid advertising, and so forth, then SEO could be good, but if you’re not trying to get it, because here’s the thing, Mark, that I always tell people. SEO is someone looking for someone, who does something, that resembles what you do.
– It’s not looking for you. It’s looking for someone who does something that is like what you do.
– Otherwise they’d type your business name into Google. They would already have known about you.
– Right, which, you know, years ago, they went to the yellow pages to do that, and there’s no yellow pages… Well, I guess there’s yellowpages.com or something, but nobody goes to Yellow pages, they go to Google. And the thing is, if someone’s searching for you by name in Google, that’s not SEO, except, there are people that haven’t optimized their websites for their own name.
– Like their name is in their logo, which is a picture, it’s not there. The file name is, companylogo.jpeg, right? It’s just all done wrong. I had somebody go through my website, my friend, Brian Lawrence. So, I had him and Matt Campbell, they went through my website, they did the SEO. But I don’t have them doing this every month, because it doesn’t change, right? For me, it doesn’t change.
– And I really… I don’t do well on leads of people that are looking someone to come and speak, or someone to do sales training, because if they don’t know me already, my chances of closing that lead at my price point are slim and none, okay. But, if they’re looking for me, my chances of closing that lead are really, really good. Sure, sure. You actually brought up, really quick, a good point that I want to make sure we get in here. A lot of folks when they do their own ad campaigns they actually put their own business name as a keyword into their Google ads campaign. But here’s the deal, fundamentally, if someone typed in your business name exactly, or your name, they know you already, and if your website is even remotely set up decently with SEO, your website’s going to come up organically, so don’t pay Google for people who already know about you. And I literal really clean up this hundreds of times a year, and save people thousands of dollars, by simply just taking their name out of the keywords list.
– All right. So, what about putting a competitor’s name? Is that legal, not legal?
– Oh, great question. I love it. What a meaty, delicious question. If the competitor’s business name is trademarked in any way, you will probably run into trouble, and you don’t want to do that. If it’s not, and it’s a similar business, it is technically legal, and technically doable. Fundamentally, if someone is typing in that business name, and they want to find that business, they might be looking for directions to that business, because they already have appointment at that bridal store, or they want to call about something they heard about that business. It is never going to produce the leads in quantity, and the low cost leads that you want, but if you’re really hell-bent on your competitor, it’s not illegal, it’s a little bit gray, I guess you could say.
– Yeah. I would suggest, before you go and pay for that, then do Google alerts, and a Google alert is free, put in the competitor’s name. And then anytime that name is searched, or shows, actually, not searched. Anytime it shows up in the news or something, you’ll see, is that out there? And then maybe you can decide to do that. So, it’s definitely a gray area. We’re going with that.
– Definitely. And it’s definitely not a place to start. Like, we never, ever would say like, oh, let’s do this, rather than start here. Like, go for people who are searching on Google, who don’t know yet which bridal store or venue they want to go to, and invite them into your world, and it’ll work so much better.
– So, if somebody wanted to just do a little bit of research, like, what are the keywords? What are the phrases? Is there a place they can start? Google has a tool for that?
– It does. Yes. Inside every Google Ads account, there’s a keyword research tool, and you can see the data on specific phrases that have been searched in any geographic area you want to type in. So you put in your city, you put in your county, or whatever, and you put in the keyword, and say, tell me the data over the last year on this keyword, and it tells you historic data.
– Which I find, is cool you can do that, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t tell you the data in the future of what’s going to happen. And I think, one thing we have to say about the pandemic, is it really screwed up all that data, because it just wasn’t as real as what’s going to happen in the future. So, it’s a cool tool that does exist. A better place is really just kind of like, listening to what your customers are saying on the phone, and the phrases that they’re using, and starting with those.
– Which is a good thing in sales, anyway, just listen to your customers, because they’re going to tell you what they want. They’re going to talk about results. I recorded an episode which hasn’t come out when we’re doing this, it might be out before, which is in, you know, customers are asking for what they know is possible, but they’re not asking for what is possible but they don’t know.
– So, you know, Apple, I’m surrounded by Apple devices, and a lot of them are things that I wouldn’t have known to ask for, until I was like, oh, that’s a thing?
– Yeah. Yeah.
– Literally, I was away from my phone yesterday, and the phone rang, and I was talking on my watch, and I felt like Dick Tracy, you know.
– Yeah, yeah.
– I didn’t know what to do. I was like, should I put it by my mouth, or what is it? I didn’t have my AirPods. I was like…
– That’s awesome.
– It was just, it was very… And I know my watch does it. I know that it does that, but I wouldn’t think, let me make a call on my watch, you know, there you go. But what a cool feature that my phone was 30 feet away and I could answer the phone, and there you go, so…
– That’s so wild.
– Yeah. Crazy, crazy. So, we could literally do this all day, I know that we could, so–
– I know.
– All right. If somebody wanted to find out more about you, we’ll put it into the show notes, but where would they go? Or what are the services that you offer to listeners like mine?
– Yeah. Thank you so much for asking. So, we just focus on advertising. So, if you’re a business in the wedding industry, and you want to advertise on Google when people are searching for you, or you want to advertise on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, we would love to help you. Our focus of our service is advertising, getting people to learn that you exist, remarketing to them, building their trust with ads, and getting them to visit your website, and book an appointment or call you, and that’s what we do.
– Okay, and if they need their website to be reviewed, that’s what I do, so there you go.
– That’s right. That’s right.
– And if we need somebody to re-do your website, we have a guy also, so there you go. My friend, Brian, can do that. So, theidosociety.com.
– That’s correct, theidosociety.com
– Okay, no spaces, no dashes, no nothing, theidosociety.com We will put that in the show notes. Mark, I’m going to cut us off, because we could literally do this all day. Thank you so much. If anybody has any questions for Mark his contact information will all be into the show notes over there. I will definitely have you back on to talk about some other things, but thanks. I haven’t had anybody on talking about Google ads, and I think this is a really great topic. So, thanks so much for joining me.
– Thanks, Alan.
I’m Alan Berg. Thanks for listening. If you have any questions about this or if you’d like to suggest other topics for “The Wedding Business Solutions Podcast” please let me know. My email is [email protected]. Look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Thanks.
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