Unlike most of you who may use Google Adwords, I have recently become the recipient of the money you spend! We have a mission to help strengthen marriages. To that end, when we have high ranking premarital counseling pages, and not enough therapists to fulfill the need, the best solution is to set up Adwords on OUR website! The ads will be location based, so it doesn’t matter where you search, it will show local ads. (Sort of silly when I’m testing another state and I see local ads, but I know it’s because they know my IP address and where I live.) But the idea is we want ANY couple who finds us to get premarital help. So if we don’t have a therapist near them, the Google Ads will be a great place to find a local person.
This is precisely why some websites will let you join for FREE. The more traffic they can generate, the more they can “promise you gold” by listing for free, the more their own website will gain in popularity and the more clicks they will get on the ads that generate money for them. In the wedding world it’s especially common that “free” comes with the cost of having to link back to that website. This enhances the main websites Google rank (more websites pointing to them) which helps them get more traffic, and more money from Ads (either formal banner ads, ads with companies, or Google Ads.)
When we had our Google ads up for the Marriage Friendly Therapy website, we definitely got traffic, but in retrospect we made some big mistakes. When you set up your ads you can decide if you want to just be on search results or if you’re OK being inside content of another website. I always found it odd that a therapy directory would list COMPETITORS, in Google Ads. That is, until I realized they don’t really care who the therapist is. The business model is for-profit. If they can get profit from stable therapy revenue, great. If they can get it through Google ads, great. Obviously they need real therapists so it’s not just one big Google Ad, but I know some of these websites make a lot more in Google ads than therapy ads.
Back to my $2.38. This is how much someone gave me today because their ad was inside my website. Google I believe gets another 30 cents or so. (I found out in Googling that the ratio varies year to year how much a percentage Google will take. I don’t know this years rates.) What surprises me about $2.38 is that is on the higher end. I’ve had as low as 60 cents (rare) and usually closer to $1.10 per click. What this tells me is the phrase used by the searcher was competitive, so the bidding wars made that therapist have to spend more to get clicks. I haven’t gone into my Google Analytics to see if I can trace that exact ad down to the page it was on, but it must be a coveted area.
I know there is a “cost of doing business.” I just hope that therapist got a client out of that $2.38! Or at least gets enough clients to pay for those individual clicks from someone who may just be browsing counselors.