Warning Labels for Google Adwords – And Why Some Aviation Companies Should Use them Anyway

Whenever we consult with a client that is using Google Ads, we often end up talking them into reducing their budget for and/or dependence on this convenient and popular advertising medium.


And why are we reversing this position in three notable exceptions?

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Transcript – Warnings for Google Ads and Three Reasons Some Aviation Companies Should Be Using Them Anyway.

Google Adwords for Aviation, Brought to you By our Aviation Digital Marketing ProductPaula Williams: Welcome to this week’s episode. So this is the longest title we have ever had on one of our podcast episodes. So this is The Perils of Google AdWords for Aviation (And Three Reasons Why, Just Maybe, You Should Be Using Them Anyway!)

John Williams:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula Williams: Okay. In the past, we have done entire episodes about why you shouldn’t be doing Google Ads, and we’re going to do an update of that, and we’re also going to do an update of a couple of circumstances, actually three, in which you might want to consider it. Okay?

Paula Williams: So this episode is being brought to you by our Digital Marketing program, and this is where we manage your Google Ads and talk you out of using Google AdWords and using something more appropriate whenever we can for the reasons that we are about to discuss. Right?

John Williams:  Yeah.

Our Traditional Stance – Don’t Touch Google Adwords!

Our Previous Advice - Never Touch Google Adwords! Paula Williams: Okay, cool. So, our previous advice, “Don’t touch Google AdWords, except under very limited circumstances,” and we’ve actually expanded our view of limited circumstances in the last, I would say, two years.

John Williams:  It’s still limited, but there are more of them.

Paula Williams: Exactly. But we’ve seen a couple more use cases where Google Ads actually are a good solution, but it is certainly not universally the best thing to do under any circumstance. Right?

John Williams:  Yeah. And it depends on, of course, what part of the industry you’re in, because those dang things can destroy your budget.

Why an Addiction to Adwords is Dangerous

The Dangers of Google Adwords for Aviation CompaniesPaula Williams: Exactly. We have called Google AdWords kind of the heroin, and I know this is methamphetamine. It’s not heroin. This is a screenshot from Breaking Bad. If you’ve seen it, it’s pretty hysterical. They have a math teacher that is in the direst of circumstances and ends up building a meth lab, and anyway, the point being, it is something that is dangerous to get into, and it’s hard to get out of, and it is expensive, and it has some downsides.

John Williams:  Yes, it does.

Paula Williams: So we compare it to the methamphetamines, or the cocaine, or the heroin, or whatever. Pick your drug of choice, I suppose.

John Williams:  Yeah, it’s like coke. They said, “Oh, I’m just going to use it once.”

Warning Labels They Should Put on Google Adwords

Paula Williams: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And under the right circumstances, there are some medically indicated situations. I did not know this, but it is actually the only local anesthetic that they use for some types of eye surgery, is liquid cocaine.

John Williams:  Liquid?

Google Adwords Should Come with Warning LabelsPaula Williams: Yeah. Who knew? But the point is, mostly this should be in the hands of a trained professional, and you shouldn’t be used to buying this on street corners. Right?

John Williams:  Yeah.

Paula Williams: Okay, cool. So let’s talk about some of the warning labels that should be on Google AdWords. One, it’s addicting. You like watching those graphs go up, and it is really, really hard to cut the budget, or cut the-

John Williams:  Yeah, because then you have nothing to fall back on.

Paula Williams: Exactly. Because all of that traffic to your website, all those potential customers go away, and it stops the instant you stop paying for it. Okay?

Unsustainable Advertising

Paula Williams: Number two, it is unsustainable, just as I said. Any other type of advertising that you do has a curve. It goes up, and then comes back down, and it has a lifecycle. The longest lifecycle, of course, is your website, which can go up and stay up for ten years. It does start coming down after about three if you haven’t updated the technology, and actually, there are some things where you’ll get a little bit of a downward curve if you don’t keep up with the plugins and all the other stuff and have technology that updates itself.

John Williams:  Right.

Paula Williams: But, anyway, any form of advertising has a curve. AdWords has a cliff. Right? Okay.

Your Competitors Will Start Using Adwords

Paula Williams: Number three, your competitors will start using it. If you’re using it, they will see it, and they will start doing it, and then, to keep up with the Jones’s, you’ve got to keep up. Right?

John Williams:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula Williams: And you don’t want to be the one to start it.

The ROI is Hard to Calculate

John Williams:  No. And the fourth bullet up there, let’s talk about costs for a minute. About three, four years ago, we had a client. We were doing research on cost per click, and as I was paging through this, saw one for $200.00 a click. I said, “Holy cow,” and then I saw one for $2,670.00 per click.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams:  I mean, you got to really make a lot of money on this stuff to be able to support that.

Paula Williams: Exactly. Well, and most keywords are in the neighborhood of, especially the competitive keywords, are in the neighborhood of $1.00 to $10.00 a click, which you may not think is a big deal, but if your competitor is clicking that ad every day, just to upset you, and just to use up your ad budget-

John Williams:  Costs you money.

Paula Williams: … there is nothing to prevent them from doing that. And there is some software that claims to prevent that, but it’s just one more thing you’ve got to worry about.

John Williams:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula Williams: It’s how much of this is real and how much of this is fake.

John Williams:  And if you have a low revenue month and you don’t want to pay it, then you lost everything for a month.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams:  Then you have to try to get it back. Whereas, if you do it organically, you’re going to coast.

Paula Williams: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right. And we don’t go over this in this episode a whole lot, but you want to think of every marketing activity that you do as an asset in your company, and the more permanent assets you have, or the more longterm assets you have, like maybe a brochure that you can use for a year or more, or your website, which you can go for multiple years, or maybe a sale’s letter that you can use over and over and over again, those are permanent assets, and this is a very temporary one.

Paula Williams: Okay, last bullet. Unless your funnel is perfect, it’s hard to determine your return on investment. So, unless you track every single person that clicks through to your website from that-

John Williams:  AdWords.

Paula Williams: … AdWords, or that Google ad, then if you’re using something like Leadfeeder or SharpSpring, or something like that, then you can identify what company it came from, but you may not know what person it came from.

John Williams:  Right.

Paula Williams: So, once again, you don’t necessarily have all the data from the people that are clicking your ad, so it’s hard to determine your precise return on investment. Google does a very good job of making your statistics look really good, even if they’re not. So it can take months to figure out, “You know what? All of these clicks were not really as fabulous as we thought they were.”

John Williams:  Exactly.

Should I Quit Ads Cold Turkey?

Should I quit Google Adwords Cold Turkey?Paula Williams: So those are all the warning signs, warning labels on your Google AdWords. The worst one is this, that cold turkey if you stop paying for AdWords. It is so hard to stop using AdWords once you’ve started, so don’t be the one to start it, if you can. Okay.

Paula Williams: So here’s how to fail at AdWords. Set and forget. So if you are not someone that fusses with your advertising every day or every week, you just want to set something up and keep it running and let it go, this is not the venue for you.

John Williams:  No.

Paula Williams: And number two is guessing without testing. So if you’re just going to try something, you want to make sure that you’re testing all of your results, and making sure that all of those things are looked at. This is what happens if you get your AdWords bill at the end of the month. This has happened to us and we are on top of it every day. Sometimes it will be more than we expected, because of a number of anomalies and a number of complexities in the way that they put together their system.

Adwords Can Easily Lead to Sticker Shock

How to Fail at Google AdwordsJohn Williams:  Well, when you’re expecting $50.00 to $100.00 and you get $600.00-

Paula Williams: Yeah, oof. And it’s easy to do just by having a setting wrong or something like that. So, okay.

Paula Williams: So this is a graphic that I really liked, organic versus non-organic SEO. So organic means that you wrote an article, or you created a video, or you did something that people are clicking on because they want the content. That’s organic. Inorganic is things like Pay-per-click or Google AdWords, which is the other thing that we’re talking about. So it uses paid or automated tactics to manipulate the results. If anything is against Google’s terms and conditions, then you’re up a creek. Right? So, “All of this is dependent on a third party that has an agenda that may not be perfectly aligned with your own,” to quote from Thomas Crown Affair.

John Williams:  Probably will not be. Yeah.

Paula Williams: Okay, yeah. What was the line? It’s from the Thomas Crown Affair. He’s talking to his shrink, saying, “Can a woman trust you?” And he says, “A woman can trust me insofar as her agenda is aligned with my own.”

John Williams:  That’s right.

Paula Williams: Right. Okay. You can trust Google insofar as your agenda is aligned with its own, because it’s investing a lot more money than you are.

John Williams:  That’s right, and it’s there to make money.

Paula Williams: Exactly, okay. And not necessarily to make you sales, but to make money from you. So in a lot of cases, when you ask Google to optimize your campaign, you are giving it some leeway to maximize its profits and maximize the number of clicks that it gets paid for, and not necessarily the number of sales that you make, because it doesn’t know, and doesn’t honestly care how many sales you make. It cares how much money it makes. Okay.

Three Reasons to Use Adwords (Now That We’ve Talked You Out of It!

Three Reasons to Ignore Our Advice and Use Adwords AnywayPaula Williams: So, given all that, and we’ve gone through like 12 slides talking about why not to use Google AdWords, right, and so now we’re going to go through three slides for reasons that you should potentially. Right?

Paula Williams: One is advertising an event or an empty leg. Two is to test very specific keywords with a very specific budget. And number three is in response to competitors under a limited set of circumstances.

John Williams:  Very limited.

Advertising an Event, Empty Leg or Other Time-Sensitive Item

Paula Williams: Okay. So the first one is, if you have, for example, Tech Center Guam has a fabulous 10 gig fiber optic internet connected to office space, and this is a very rare commodity on the island of Guam, which is east or west of Hawaii, so way out there. Right?

Use Google Adwords to Advertise an Event, Empty Leg, or Vacant Office.

John Williams:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula Williams: Okay. If you need an office space at the airport in Guam, now’s your chance to get this office space, and they want to get it rented as soon as possible, and they have a very limited number of people who are interested in that office space, so people that obviously are on Guam.

John Williams:  And, actually it’s working, because they’ve already leased out some of that space.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Well, that actually came from one of their print ads, but their Google ads are getting some really good results, and we can target them specifically only to people who are on Guam.

John Williams:  Right.

Paula Williams: So very short term, very quick to implement, very effective to limit the scope geographically. Those are three good reasons to advertise an event, or an empty leg, or a very short-term objective. Right? Okay. And then, once again, all of those caveats, make sure you’ve got limits on your budget, make sure you’ve got the right keywords, make sure you’ve got the geographic limitations. All that stuff needs to be set up properly or you could crash. Right?

John Williams:  Well, you’ll write a bigger check than you want anyway.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly. Okay, so that’s thing number one.

Use Adwords to Test Very Specific Keywords

Paula Williams: Thing number two is very specific keywords that you already have good keyword relevance for on your web site. So these are some advertisements that we ran to determine what would be the best title for a tip sheet that we put together. Aviation Webmaster’s Guide was one option, or Five Easy Ways to Boost SEO was another. So we ran two similar Google ads to see which one people would click on.

Use Google Adwords to Test Very Specific Keywords or Ads

John Williams:  That’s what you call split testing?

Paula Williams: This is what we call testing, yeah. Split testing would be where we changed one word.

John Williams:  Got you.

Paula Williams: So there’s ways of doing this, and we probably should have split tested, but we only wanted to spend about $10.00 to figure out the answer to this question, and we did. You can spend a very limited amount of money on search engine advertising to answer a very specific question. In fact, Tim Ferris did this with his book, The 4-Hour Workweek. That’s how he came up with the title, is he split tested, well, tested, a whole bunch of different titles to see which one people would be the most likely to click on, and that’s how he came up with The 4-Hour Workweek title, and it ended up being a New York Times best seller, and in its second edition or third edition by now, and we run it in our book club, and done all kinds of things. Because potentially, I mean, you could argue that that’s part of the reason it was so successful, is because he did split testing or comparison testing using Google AdWords. Okay.

Using Adword to Counter a Competitor

Paula Williams: Third one is in response to competitors. So you’ll notice this does not say flight training. Right? This is very specific. A320 Type Rating plus line training. So if someone is looking for that, we know somebody who is perfect for that scenario, and that is AeroStar Type ratings. Unfortunately, there are a lot of other people who are looking for that very specific set of people, and if AeroStar Type Ratings was not paying for AdWords, they’d be weighed on the page like 10 deep in this list of flight schools that offer this very specific specialty.

Use Google Adwords to Counter a Competitor

John Williams:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula Williams: So what’s the saying? “Never start a fight, but if one is started-

John Williams:  End it.

Paula Williams: … end it.” And you end it by winning, and the way that you win is, you make sure that you have a quality score for your web site or mobile app, and this is one thing that Google AdWords does. Your quality score basically indicates the amount that you pay for a click. So if your site is more relevant to the specific set of keywords than your competitors, then you’re going to pay less for those clicks than your competitors are, and you’re also going to get a better ranking than your competitors are, even within the paid ads.

Paula Williams: So chances are AeroStar Type Ratings is paying less for the clicks that they get from this ad than a lot of their competitors, and they’re also ranked number one, even among the people who are paying for this. So if you’re going to do it, get the best results you absolutely can.

John Williams:  Isn’t she smart?

Paula Williams: Isn’t who smart?

John Williams:  You.

Paula Williams: Oh, no, that’s AeroStar.

John Williams:  No, no, no. No, it’s you. You can talk about all these things, explain it in nauseating detail.

Paula Williams: Nauseating. Are you nauseated yet? Well, honestly, Google-

John Williams:  So if you need questions answered, give her a call. She can answer them or anything.

Paula Williams: I’m married to him, so he has to say this.

John Williams:  No, I don’t.

Use the Right Tool for the Job.  Rarely, But Sometimes,  That Will be Google Adwords.

Paula Williams: Anyway, Google AdWords is not my favorite. You can probably tell, not my favorite advertising venue, but there are situations where you use the right tool for the job. Just like pilots may not enjoy flying certain types of aircraft, but they use the right tool for the job. Right?

John Williams:  Right.

Aviation Digital MarketingPaula Williams: Okay. Mission, it’s all about the mission. Okay. So, once again, this episode was brought to you by our Digital Marketing product or service, and if you would like to talk to about a hairy AdWord situation, or a hairy situation at all regarding advertising or competitive situations, or an empty leg, or an unrented office, or whatever it is that you need to solve, give us a call. (702) 987-1679, or click the consultation button on the website, and we’ll just get to sit down and talk about it.

John Williams:  Absolutely.

Paula Williams: All right.

John Williams:  She is smart.

Paula Williams: Thank you. You’re so nice. Have a great week and we’ll see you next week.

John Williams:  See you next time.