I’ve advertised Online for numerous years with Google Adwords both for my Websites as well as for various clients Websites and businesses (I’m a WordPress Website specialist). I’ve typically been extremely happy with the results received through Google Adwords advertising. Recently however I decided to run Ads on Microsoft Bing/Yahoo, Google and Linkedin to see which Online advertising provided the best results (in my case the measure was sales per $50 Online advertising spend). The results were not what I was expecting as described below.
My Measurement of Online Advertising Effectiveness
I provide WordPress (WP) services including WP Website Design, WP Support and WP Training. My ‘shopfront’ is my Website and, although customers can’t order my services Online, I rely on customers contacting me from my Website and then I interact with customers from there (I have many repeat and referral customers which contact me directly but for the terms of Online advertising my Website is what a potential client first sees). With the three Online advertising Services I tried in this experiment, it is simple enough to see how many clicks on Adverts I had and then I asked people that contacted me during the experiment if they found my Website through an Online ad and, if so, where they saw the advert (e.g. on Linkedin).
How the Advertising Experiment was conducted
For the three services, Google Adwords, Linkedin Ads and Microsoft adCenter (Bing and Yahoo) I invested $50 in each service for advertising. I ran the same two text adverts on all services and bid the same amount on a cost per click basis on each service. For adCenter and Google Adwords I used the same keywords and other criteria (e.g. only advertise in Australia and New Zealand) and, as far as possible, used the same criteria in Linkedin (see below for more about why I couldn’t specify to show ads to the same granularity as with Adwords and adCenter).
The Online Advertising Experiment Results
So, did my $50 spend with each service provide sales? If so, which of the three proved the most successful for me?
Before I begin with evaluating the Adwords results a disclaimer is in order … I am a massive fan of Google Adwords and have seen great results with this service. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way here are my findings:
Awesome Keyword Finder tool, excellent keyword targeting options (e.g. exact match, broad match etc), geographic targeting simple to use, integration with Google Analytics
GUI Needs an update (update coming soon)
Was the cost of advertising on Google beneficial? Yes – I go three new customers for $50
Microsoft adCenter (Bing/Yahoo!)
PC App available as well as Online service, excellent keyword targeting options
Similar click through rates as Adwords but not as many customers.
Was the cost of advertising on Microsoft adCenter beneficial? Kind-of – I got one new customer for $50 and a few potential future customers.
Can show logo with ad
$5 to join advertising program, no keyword parameters available, $50 advertising didn’t get me any sales
Was the cost of advertising on Linkedin Ads beneficial? No – one contact but no sales.
Linkedin is probably a good choice for image advertising where clickthroughs aren’t as important as just having the advert seen. If measuring Online advertising effectiveness by sales per click then Google wins with Bing/Yahoo! coming in second. Linkedin Advertising didn’t work for me!