We’ve written on the topic of online pay per click advertising options. We’re not convinced they are a worthwhile investment for technology businesses. If a customer’s decision to buy a product can be categorized as a “considered purchase”, there are certainly better ways an ISV can find to invest cash in online promotion.
A useful tool to collect the information your specific business will need to evaluate, to make a correct decision on the true value of pay per click advertising for your product line, is an anonymous website visitor service. VisualVisitor is one of the businesses providing these services.
One of our clients has been using VisualVisitor to track visitor activity on several product pages on his website. We also use the same service to collect information about anonymous visitors to our website, and to blogs we write for clients, for example, Talking-SharePoint.com.
This client is also a customer of Google’s Adwords pay-per-click advertising service. With VisualVisitor, we can identify businesses visiting our client’s website from the client’s online advertising campaign. This access provides us with
- a method of verifying the accuracy of billing for the client’s click advertising campaign, and
- a glimpse into the website behavior of prospects produced by the pay per click advertising campaign
We’ve noted no conversions from our client’s click advertising campaign to actual customers for the client’s corporate product offers. So we’ve advised the client to, at a minimum, discontinue the pay per click advertising campaign and, for now, sink the same investment into Google’s online brand awareness campaign. For those readers unfamiliar with how the brand awareness online advertising campaign works, our client will not be charged for actual clicks on ads. Rather, the cost for the client is calculated on the number of impressions of the client’s ads on Google’s Display advertising network and its search engine.
Over the longer term we are working with this client to identify a reputable search engine optimization service. We think investing the same budget in a reputable search engine optimization campaign is still a much more promising investment for our client.
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