Posted in Notes from the Field

Day 20: Google Ads Don’t Make Sense

July 28, 2018

It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted a journal about the ministry.  That’s crazy.  They say time speeds by faster as you get older.  They sure weren’t whistling Dixie.


I heard today on an ACT 8 YouTube video that 70% of the online advertising clicks are not from potential customers but from bots.  That has to mess up any numbers used to determine the effectiveness of any advertising campaign.  Say you spend enough to reach 100 people and you get 70 clicks.  That sounds to me like a good click-through rate and would get me really excited.  If it wasn’t for the fact that nothing was getting bought because bots don’t buy.  At this point, I would be thinking the advertising campaign was effective, but there was a problem farther down the road because there were no sales.  Was it my webpage? My prices?  Etc?  I’d be doing all of this when the real problem was with the ad because no humans clicked on it.  What I should be looking at was the ad itself, the demographics I’m trying to reach, etc.  Diverting manpower and money chasing down false trails could really mess me up my ministry.

To do! Find out if you can tell whether it’s a bot or human clicking on your ads.

Another problem is I might not have budgeted enough for advertising.  If I’m trying to reach 100 people and pay for 100 clicks, then I’m going to have to triple my advertising budget just to reach 90 people.  So, if my original budget was $100 I would have to adjust it up to $300.   I don’t think it costs $1 per click for doing those ads, but it does highlight the problem: the amount budgeted doesn’t have the reach I think it does and budgets will have to be adjusted accordingly.

And the stalking!!!  I never would have thought I would be stalked by a chair, but it happened online one day.  I went to a website and clicked on a chair.  Every website I visited after that was an ad for the chair.  I hate to break it to them, but If I was going to buy the chair I would have bought it at the time.  If I didn’t have the money, then I would have bought it later.   Showing me the chair ad nauseum only made me hate it.  Seriously, the only time I should have seen that chair again was something letting me know it was on sale.  If I hadn’t been stalked by the chair I may have kept it mind for a later purchase, but it’s never going to happen now.  And if I didn’t like it enough to buy it, then seeing it over and over again isn’t going to make me like it anymore.  That’s crazy!

To do! Consider adopting absence makes the heart grow fonder as an advertising rule-of-thumb.

The flip side of this is you rarely get to see new products.  I wanted to check out a website I wouldn’t normally visit because I heard they did a great job on Instagram branding. It was aimed at a different demographic and I decided while I was there I would see what type of products were being advertised.  Guess what?  The same products advertised on the all of the other websites I had been to that day.  That makes no sense.

Technically, since I was on the site then and I was looking at that product, then you could say that product matches that demographic.  But I was a definite outlier, so I should have seen products for the demographic the site was drawing in.  I don’t know if Google understands this (they don’t seem to), but I don’t mind seeing new products.  Matter of fact I like to see them.  Even if I won’t buy the product I still like to see what’s out there.  Google should change their algorithms and base them on the demographics of the actual site and not, necessarily, on where the individual has been that day.

I think I read somewhere advertising software exists which allows you to choose the ads which are displayed on your site.  Whether it was speaking of software like AdSense© I don’t know.  I’ll have to look into it further.

To do! Research advertising software.

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