Recently, we learned of a local business who received - and accepted - bad advice from a television sales representative who must have given the pitch of his lifetime.
Here's the deal:
Local television station is selling banner ads on their news website for $8,000 for one month. I am certain the sales pitch was way too good to be true, but the local business fell for the scam (yes, it's a scam). The ROI is poor; the impressions were inflated and the click numbers didn't match up to Google Analytics' numbers, and a specific landing page or strong call to action wasn't set up for the campaign.
Here's why banner ads on television websites don't usually work:
- What is the intent behind the search?
- Are visitors coming to the local television website to look for local services and to click on a banner ad? Probably not. Instead, visitors are coming to the site for local news, sports and weather.
- The banner ad is nothing more than an interruption to the visitor looking for news, weather and sports.
- The television website visitor may not necessarily be the same visitor the local business is targeting. Is this website presenting the right audience for the local business? Probably not.
- At $8,000, this was not a good investment for the local business.
If the local business spent the $8,000 budget on Google Adwords, the result could have been different. Here's how:
- The ad appears only when someone is actually searching for specific products and services matching the business' targeted keyword list.
- The visitor isn't using Google to search for news and finding local services. They are using a search engine to search for someone to solve their problem (fix their furnace; repair their car, etc.).
- The cost per click (CPC) is much cheaper on Google than on a television website. (Although I am not sure how many clicks the business was able to gain on an $8,000 budget, but in a local PPC campaign, that should result in a ton of impressions and quality clicks on specific keywords).
- With Google PPC, the local business can set up a special landing page for the campaign (the local television station could have done the same thing with the banner ad). This helps the campaign become better optimized and allows for special offers for the visitor. It also helps the local business track conversions (sales), clicks, impressions and Click Through Rates (CTR).
- The $8,000 spent in one month with a local television station could have been divided into several months of advertising efforts through effective local PPC campaigns in Google, Bing and/or other search engines. The local business could easily have tweaked, tested and changed campaigns from week-to-week and month-to-month with PPC campaigns.
So, what's the moral of the story? Before writing a fat check for a one-shot, banner campaign, consider other online advertising options available. Find out where you're going to receive more bang for your buck.