Aug 13, 2023
Prefer to listen? Here you go! And be sure to subscribe and leave a review on Apple here.
We’re welcoming Vi Wickam back this week, this time to talk all about Google Ads.
How do they work? Where should you be showing up?
A little secret… The first 3 results in each section of a Google search result are paid ads. You are not going to get those spots if someone else is willing to pay and you aren’t.
Vi breaks down the landing page of a search result into two types of ads: Standard Text Ads (which are text based ads strongly related to key words) and Display Ads (which are visual ads including images, gifs, and YouTube videos).
Are you a local brick and mortar or a nationwide e-commerce retailer? How you market online matters. For these two differing structures, your keywords and target audience will be a lot different.
Google values three factors when it comes to pushing your ads: Direction (where in the world are you?), Reviews (get those happy customers to leave raving reviews), and Key words (how dialed in are you in what your customers are searching for?).
And if this is all starting to sound complicated or hard to understand, you don’t have to do it alone. Vi shares some red flags to look out for so you can hire a strong and trustworthy ad company. [TIP #1 OWN ALL YOUR OWN ASSETS].
If you’re ready to get started and want to get control of your assets, be sure to visit Vi Wickam for a digital audit.
Don’t miss out on the rest of those red flags and more; listen to the full episode.
I’m rooting for your success.
- What types of Google Ads are there, and where are you showing up?
- Red Flags for hiring ad companies.
- Converting web traffic to foot traffic for brick and mortar retailers.
- Why are reviews SO important?
- The three factors in Google Ads.
- How to get started with online ads.
- The real problem with Amazon.
- What should your ad budget be?
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Vi Wickam
- Cover Your Assets – Vi Wickam
- Leveraging Yelp with Emily Washcovick the Yelp Small Business Expert – Crystal Media
- Get Listed Now – Crystal Media
- Social Media Hooks and Hacks – Crystal Media
- EVOLVE 2024 in Denver, CO – Crystal Media
- Crystal Media Insiders
- Crystal Media
- Crystal on Instagram
- Crystal Media on Instagram
- Crystal Media Co – YouTube
Crystal: If you’re tired of your social media creating little to no results, or you
feel like your content has just gotten stale or maybe even boring, I have a brand
new free training for you. It’s called The Social Media Hooks and Hacks; how to
Save Time and Stand Out. This training is going to help you capture your
customer’s attention from the very beginning.
Get them to stop the scroll, engage and act. You’re going to stand out from the
competition with branded unique content. It’s time to save time and connect
with customers like never before. With this 80-minute training. You can get
[email protected] slash hooks, H O O K s. Hooks. Don’t delay. Watch this
It’s going to transform your content. You’re going to love it. Enjoy. If you have
ever wondered what Google ad words or now it’s called Google Ads, what it is,
if you should be using it, if you have been looking at hiring a company and
want to know red flags to watch out for, if you want to really understand how to
drive foot traffic using Google Ads, how to drive website traffic, and all the
different features that are available to you through Google Ads, and you’re
going to want to listen to this episode.
And I will tell you, Vy and I talk about more than just Google ads. We also kind
of go off a little bit of a rant on selling on Amazon and some of the challenges
there, as well as the importance of getting reviews. It’s so important for you to
get reviews and so we, we talk about that in this episode as well.
If you did not listen to the previous episode, that is part one with VI, where we
talk about SS e o search engine optimization, more of the organic marketing.
You’re not paying for SS E O. Be sure to listen to that first. You’ll also get to
meet VI a little bit more. The resilience round is happening in that episode.
Part two. We’re getting really focused and we’re just talking about AdWords and
man, it’s just like a crash course in AdWords. We cover so much in this episode.
You can learn more, from VI and about [email protected], which is vi. W
c k.com. We’ll also link to it in the show, show notes, and let’s dive into this
Welcome to Rooted in Retail, the show that’s dedicated to helping independent
retailers thrive in today’s ever evolving retail landscape. I’m your host, crystal
Vitis, and I’m thrilled to have you join me weekly as we explore topics that are
vital to the success of your store. From marketing to mindset, money to
merchandising, sales to leadership will cover it all.
Each episode features interviews with industry experts and accomplish retailers
who share their real life insights and actionable advice. Get ready for a great
conversation on how to build your dream business with rooted in retail. Vi.
Welcome back to part two of our SS e o and AdWords conversation.
Wickam: Thank you Crystal. I am so excited to be back here on your podcast.
Crystal: Yeah. Alright, so today we’re going to be focusing on the paid aspect
of Google. Yes. And I get a lot of questions around this topic that I don’t know
exactly how to answer, so I’m really glad that you are here. I know. I feel like
that’s kind of this mystery world of AdWords.
I feel like a lot of retailers feel that way. Lots of magic. It’s all magic. Exactly.
So you’re going to walk us through this magic. Let’s kick it off and let’s first talk
about what, what is Google AdWords and how can retailers use it?
Wickam: So Google Ads, which Google changed the name recently because
Google really likes changing names.
Everybody still calls it AdWords, but Google doesn’t call it AdWords anymore,
so, okay. Google Ads is really a combination of a number of different
platforms or a number of different offerings. So the standard Google Ads is
text-based ads that show up when you search for a specific keyword. So one of
the things a lot of people don’t realize is that when you do a Google search,
those first one to three results are always paid.
So somebody paid to be in that spot. And so if anybody calls you and says
they’re going to get you on the front page of Google, paying for that spot is the
only way you can actually guarantee it. Interesting. So that’s regular Google
Ads, as I call it, or you know what used to be called AdWords? And then
there are Google display ads on the display network, which display ads would
be things like video ads, which can be on YouTube or they can be, you
know, displayed to other places.
but generally speaking, when you think about video ads, YouTube is the
Google property of choice. you can have tech, image ads in the display
network, so, you know, you can have an image that has text already on it, or
you can have an image that doesn’t have text, and then you can type in the text
to overlay on that image.
But basically that’s a, an image display ad. And then you also have, you
know, like an animated GIF or something like that would also be a display ad.
So it’s like video. But it’s showing up in the sidebar on somebody else’s website.
It’s not showing on google.com, but Google’s the one that’s managing that.
It might be showing up on your local newspaper’s website, or it might be
showing up, you know, any number of blogs on the internet. This is one of the
main ways that people with blogs monetize their sites. Got it. So display ads,
you can choose your audience. So I can say I want to target women between the
ages of 45 and 60 who have, income that’s known to be in the top 50% who
live in this 60 mile radius or 30 mile radius or five mile radius.
And the only real limitation is there has to be at least a thousand people in the
audience. For Google to target it. So when you’re doing audience-based
targeting, now there are all, are also limitations, like, specific types of
advertising won’t let you target by zip code, because of like equal
opportunity, you know, federal regulations, re relating to things like real
estate or, you know, housing and employment are kind of the big ones on that.
Okay. But you can advertise your Portland candles to any specific niche or area
in Portland as long as there’s a thousand people.
Crystal: Got it. Now with, oh, go, go ahead. Go ahead, go ahead. Well, just a
clarifying question with Google Ads, does it have, it doesn’t have to be local,
right? So if you have a physical storefront in Portland, you don’t sell online, you
can totally target those people that are in your area.
But then if you do sell online and you’re trying to reach that broader audience
Yep. Then I would assume, is that Morgan, is that going to be more focused on
the keywords then versus Yes. Location?
Wickam: Yeah. Yeah. yeah, you would use keywords that don’t contain a
location or you’re targeting as nationwide or even, you know, you might say, I
want to target the US and Canada because Canada shipping is okay, but Europe
shipping is too expensive.
so I don’t want to ship to Europe. Or you could say, I want to do the US and
Canada and Mexico and Europe, but I don’t want to do South America and I
don’t want to do Asia. So any, any selection of. Towns, counties, states,
countries, you can choose it and you can choose, say, I want to do South
America except for Brazil, because Brazil has punitive import taxes and I don’t
want to ship to Brazil so I can target everything in South America except for
And that’s okay. That’s totally allowed on Google. in terms of audiences,
where I was going next is with display audiences. The most powerful kind of
display audience is called a remarketing audience. And this is especially
important, remarketing is when you show ads to people who have already been
to your website.
So it might be, you know, there’s a number of ways to target within
remarketing, but remarketing in general is somebody went to your website and
they may or may not have done a certain thing. So if I have a thousand people
who abandoned checkout, I could run a specific retargeting audience for people
who abandoned checkouts.
If, if I don’t have a thousand people who abandoned checkout, but I have a
thousand people who added items to the cart, I could market to the thousand
people who added an item to the cart. Or if I have a thousand people that visited
Lime sended can candles in the last 90 days, I could market to those people and
I could block out the people who actually completed a checkout and only
market to the people who visited the product but didn’t buy it.
Crystal: Awesome. Which I feel like that marketing’s probably just because I
do know Facebook and Instagram ads, we run those at Crystal Media. I know
our remarketing ads tend to perform really well. Yeah, these are high quality,
like hot leads, right? Hot, probably hot leads that warm to hot where they’ve
already been on the site, they already know you, but they didn’t, you know,
initiate that checkout and complete the checkout, I should say.
so that can be such a great to add. I mean, I feel like every e-comm should
probably be running something like that.
Wickam: Oh, absolutely. Even, even service businesses, local businesses should be
running remarketing, provided they have enough traffic to their website that
they have that thousand visitors minimum that they can remarket it to.
Got it. So a lot of times for smaller sites and smaller companies, you have to
remarket to everybody who’s been to your site. It’s just you don’t have enough
audience to break it down. But that by itself is really a powerful tool and tends
to perform as well, give or take as keyword based targeting. Okay, so generally
speaking, if you’re selling, if you’re doing e-commerce, keyword based
selling usually performs the best display ads you can think of as softening the
ground and, you know, getting in front of people to increase awareness, increase
your brand awareness on the internet.
You generally don’t expect to convert very well on display or video ads, you
know, they might convert a little bit. You know, say, you have a video ad
and you get one out of a thousand people to buy. That’s actually pretty good if
you get. You know, 30% of the people watch the video to 30 seconds and 10%
of the people, or 5% watch the whole thing.
And then 1% of those people actually buy, you know, that’s a, you know, it
sounds really low, but for display advertising, that’s kind par for the course, is
it? Okay. Whereas for, if you know, general conversion rates on the website,
once they’ve been to your website, I expect at least a one or 2% conversion rate.
Crystal: So if one’s less than one been to the site, they’ve been to the site already,
Wickam: Before or if they’re on the site. On the site. Okay. So either way, you know,
like if we’re remarketing, I, I expect that when somebody clicks back to the site,
there should be at least a 2% chance that they buy at that time.
And if they’re on our site in general, there should be at least a 1% chance that
Crystal: Okay. Those are great metrics for us to follow
Wickam:. And it really depends though, how expensive your product is,
how urgent of a need the product is. How you know whether this is a repeat
visitor who’s already bought from you in the past, or this is a new visitor.
So, you know, there’s always a hundred ways to slice and dice the data. And,
you know, if somebody’s a repeat customer and they’re happy with your service,
that’s your your client to lose. You know, like as long as they can get ahold of
you or they can get to your place, or they can buy easily, they’re going to buy from
you because they like you, they’ve already got that brand affinity.
They, you have that brand identity to them that you are their first and favorite. If
you’ve got that, you should be closing 75 to a hundred percent of those people.
Crystal: Okay? I think that Yeah, that makes, that makes sense.
Wickam: It may not close on every visit though. Right. You know,
because they may come and poke around and come back later.
Especially if you have a luxury good. You know, if you, I, I’ve got a client that
sells really nice high-end fishing rods. You know, they have a lot of people that
close on the first visit, and then like, there’s some that close on the second visit.
Some that close on the close on the third visit, some that close on the fourth
visit and like, then it drops off.
And then there’s some that close on like the eighth and ninth visit, you know,
like, and the eighth and ninth visit is not very far behind the first visit. So there
are a lot of people, when you have a 500 or a thousand dollars fancy fishing rod
or reel that, you know, they, they ogle over it. For for a month or two months
before they actually come back and buy.
Crystal: Yep, totally. Well, and that’s where those remarketing ads are so
important because then you remind them. Totally. Yeah.
Wickam: Yep. Yeah, so remarketing and you know, if you have big enough
audiences, you can do that specific remarketing. We’re only going to remarket to
people who visited a Shimano product and they’re going to get the Shimano
Or we’re only going to visit, you know, remarket to the G Looms audience with
a G Looms remarketing campaign that contains those products. You could do
the same thing with your candle store. You know, we know that this person has
cruised the fruity scents on the site and we’re going to show ’em Fruity Candles
for the next 60 days, and, you know, So, you know, that’s, that’s the general idea
of display and remarketing.
And one of the cool things that is a little harder to do now with the apple
privacy restrictions, but you can still kind of do is there are what’s called an inmarket audience. And so, some of these things might be this person is in
market for shopping for a car. And so Google has seen behavior that shows that
this person’s searching for a car right now, or this person searching for a, an air
conditioner or they’re searching for jewelry or, you know, whatever the thing is,
you know, there are in-market audiences.
And those can be really powerful for display ads as well because, you know,
Google will know if you search the keyword by jewelry in Portland. They know
that you’re looking for jewelry so they can just tag you with that tag that says,
this person’s looking to buy jewelry. And now you’ve been added to the jewelry
in market audience.
And from here on out for the next 30 to 60 days, maybe even 90 days,
depending on how aggressive the the retailer is, you’re going to be seeing
jewelry ads from multiple jewelers in your area, more than likely who or online
who are selling jewelry and you fit their target demographic. Mm-hmm.
Okay, love it. Now, vi, will you just take a couple minutes and talk about the
apple privacy and some of those issues there, because I’m sure some retailers
have questions or maybe don’t even know about it.
Wickam: Alright, well the bottom line is primarily Facebook, but also Google,
Amazon and Apple we’re abusing your privacy.
You know, really badly. You know, they’re, they’re tracking and they still are,
you know, bottom line, they still are. But Apple made some privacy changes
that were very positive that made it so people had to be more explicit about
opting into allow this stuff. So, you know, for instance, when you’re driving
down the road using Google Maps or Ways or Apple Maps, they are tracking
where you go, how fast you’re going, and you know, whether you stop which
way you turn.
All of those things are being tracked and they’re being used to inform, you
know, their directions, algorithms. And when you see you’re driving down the
highway and you see that patch of orange up ahead, the reason they know that is
because there are other people using that app that slowed down there and they,
you know, their algorithm said that that’s a place where people are slowing
down market orange.
Interesting. So these, these people are tracking you all the time. It’s kind of
creepy. Remarketing is kind of creepy, you know, especially if you’re doing
something that’s a sensitive product, you know, like, you know, there, there are
a number of products that you may not want to do remarketing on, and I’m not
going to go into details, but you can, you can follow, actually I had a divorce
lawyer who was a client that was very sensitive to the idea of remarketing.
Because if a spouse is searching for a divorce lawyer and he’s showing the ads,
he may tip off their spouse. That this person’s wanting a divorce. So, you know,
that’s, that’s an example of something where you gotta be careful, you know,
you don’t want to abuse your client’s data even if they’re not your client yet,
So, so the general story is if you’re not paying for the service, you are the
product. You’re not the customer. Yep. So, Facebook, Google, apple, Amazon
make most of their money. Even Amazon, and this is, I don’t know if it’s most,
but Amazon makes a huge amount of their money by selling advertising to
people, selling products on Amazon.
So this is also why Amazon’s search has gotten so bad, is because they’re
showing all the sponsored results before they show the products and the
sponsored results don’t necessarily match well, Right. And so they’re just
looking to get you to click on one of these sponsored results. So you, you pay
them a little, you know that person’s paying them a little extra money every time
it gets clicked on.
And, you know, that’s not even, that’s all on top of the commission that they
take off of every sale, where, you know, if you’re an Amazon merchant, you are
paying that free shipping. Amazon’s not paying it. So if you’re reselling things
through Amazon, You’re paying the free shipping, you are paying Amazon a
commission of like 17% on top, you know, so they’re taking 17% margin on all
your sales, which is more than a lot of people end up, you know, making after
all the expenses come out.
Amazon’s making more money off of other people’s sales than, yeah. They’re
making off their own sales. Boo boo.
Crystal: Amazon boo boo.
Wickam: And, and the funny thing is, is the way Amazon’s gotten away with it
was by making it a really, really easy service to use by making it, you know,
really seamless and painless and very customer centric.
And what’s happened lately is they’ve invested so much in their advertising
platform on Amazon that they’ve, they’re starting to abuse their customers and,
you know, they’ve been abusing their merchants for a long time. But now
they’re abusing their customers and that’s like, this could be the death noll of
Amazon, you know?
But interesting when you’ve got a business that big with that much moment
this is something you’re going to see 10 years from now. Because I. You erode
that customer trust by not having a good search. Because Amazon search used
to be excellent, but now you know, if you want to find something on Amazon, go
search it on Google and the Amazon result for the right product’s going to show
It’s not going to show up when you search for it on Amazon. Yeah. Well,
Crystal: and that’s the thing, you, you’re right, it’s so big. It might take a while
to see that, but something better is going to come. I want to come back real quick
to Sure. Privacy and so, and then we’ll, and we’ll move on and talk more about
our Google ads here, but with the, with the new privacy, that basically means
that there’s more protection of the customer so you don’t have Correct.
As much information as you used to. And as an advertiser, I understand it
correctly, the, the, the user, like you have to opt in to res to, to be tracked and to
receive some of these remarketing ads, right. Versus opting out.
Wickam: That’s correct. And okay. This has hurt people advertising on
Facebook more than people advertising on Google because Facebook was
abusing their customers worse than Google was.
I mean, that’s Got it. You know, like the Cambridge Analytica stuff really
brought that to a head and, you know, there was just, and, and it wasn’t just
Facebook, let’s, let’s be clear like everybody was doing it and it was really bad
for public trust. Exactly. And so Apple took that, that move to make it harder
for those big platforms to take all of the data when somebody’s using an Apple
Got it. And the, the customer, the Apple customer, has to opt into sharing that
data now instead of having to opt out of sharing that data now. Got it. So that’s,
that’s the bottom line. okay.
Crystal: But that, well, that’s really helpful. Yeah, no, the, these are good things
for us to know, so we know kind of like what we have access to, what we can
do that in market.
I love the in market aspect for, for targeting those types of people. Let’s talk
about a brick and mortar. Who doesn’t sell online? What would be, some of
your advice to, I’m sure there’s a lot of different strategies, but maybe a couple
of ways that they could be using Google ads to drive foot traffic.
Wickam: Absolutely. So the maps extension or the, the address extension and
the phone extension are kind of your first go-tos for, you know, a local business.
So you want to be showing when they search those keywords in a localized
way. So that’s a keyword add, but you also want to show up in the maps area
because that’s where local businesses generally show up, and the first result in
the maps area is paid.
Correct. So as long as somebody’s willing to pay for that spot, that first spot in
the maps is a paid spot. So, generally speaking, that’s also something that’s
really important to run an add in is with the address extensions or the maps
extensions, as some people call ’em. But that, that address extension shows your
Google business profile.
When they click on it, it doesn’t go to your website. So Google loves that, you
know, they’d much rather keep ’em on Google than take ’em offsite to your
website. So the Google business is, is really a key. And you know, like, like we
mentioned yesterday, if it’s a local service business and there’s a whole list of
which ones Google allows, but you know, things like lawyers and
photographers, specific types of photographers, I think home service businesses
like electricians, you know, plumbers, HVAC companies, lawn services, pre
tremors, those kind of businesses can all get the Google guaranteed vocal
and if you can do local service ads, that’s another really efficient local
business strategy for getting leads.
Crystal: Okay. So if any retailer that’s listening to this right now does also offer
some sort of service, I’m thinking like our pet stores that have grooming, oh
yeah, for sure. Yeah.
Wickam: Awesome. And, and, and you’ve gotta just go to the Google.
There’s a page on Google that says, here’s the types of businesses that qualify
for running local service ads. it, I don’t know the exhaustive list ’cause
there’s like 30 types of businesses who are allowed to, to run those ads. But
when Google, when you do that, Google actually ensures that transaction and
you have to verify that you have insurance and that you’ve had background
checks done on your technicians or whoever it is that’s doing the work.
And you know, da da da da da. You have a license with the state if licensing is
required and all those kind of things.
Crystal: Interesting. Okay. So that could be good for some of our people
listening as well. Yeah. So it’s really about the maps. so maps is key. Super
important. Key. Yeah.
Wickam: And, and you know, like your Google business profile goes right
along with that because you need to have a really strong Google business listing
to show up when people search for you.
So, you know, optimizing that with a service, which isn’t an ad, but. You know,
using something like get listed to, to optimize your Google My Business profile
is really important. And I think it’s also important to look at, that there are
other sites that do pay-per-click advertising beyond Google. So Google is the
It covers 80 to 90%, you know, depending on when you look at it, of the search
traffic happening. YouTube is number two, which is a Google property.
And if you want to run video ads, and I, I suggest if you’re running video ads,
running pre-roll ads and either targeting them by site, by location, or by
channel, and that, you know, YouTube ads, video ads can be a very
effective form of Google ads.
but we need to also look at things like binging. And Yelp and I mean, if
you’re a service business, something like Angie’s List, you know, as options
for connecting with your customers that are also pay per click or pay per
acquisition. methods of advertising.
Crystal: Yeah. Okay, perfect. That could really connect to that local audience.
Yeah. Now I have a quick question about tracking. yeah, because yeah,
with specifically for our brick and mortars with our local, ’cause e-comm is a lot
easier to track. but you know, it’s harder to track when people come into
the store from an ad. I know you can track, like if they clicked on the ad on the
website, went to the website, if they click the phone number to call, correct.
But it, there is an element of not being able to track. Right Vy, like what, what
do you recommend on how they can track
Wickam: it? There’s some stuff you can’t track. So, you know, if you’re a local
retail business, you can track how many people clicked on your Google
business profile and you can see if, if your advertising drove that.
So that’s something you can track, within your ad extensions, which ad
extensions is what they called them for the last 15 years and just in the last
couple months they changed them to call ’em assets. So, you know, just like
Google isn’t AdWord anymore, it’s ads, ad extensions is now assets. Okay.
But the, the asset for your address does allow some tracking of. Did people
click on it? Did people click for directions? Did they click to call once they
went there? So those are things you can check. so that, you know,
especially the directions, if you’re looking to drive foot traffic, the directions can
be indicative, but it’s not going to be a hundred percent, it’s not even going to be
close to a hundred percent because you know, a lot of people will see the
address and then they’re like, I know how to get there.
They don’t have to click for directions, you know? Yeah. If I see that
something’s on fourth Street here in Loveland, I’m like, okay, I know where that
is, so, yep,
Crystal: exactly. That’s a good point. Okay,
Wickam: so, but if people clicked on your Google business, on your address,
Asset Uhhuh and, and go to your Google business profile.
Formerly Google My Business, formerly Google Maps, formerly.
Crystal: They’re nuts.
Wickam: Oh, they’re nuts. They gotta change the names as often as possible.
Crystal: Okay. So that’s really helpful. and, you know, as you’re in store
retailers asking what brought people in Yeah. We always want to ask and have
And the consumer doesn’t always remember for sure, or doesn’t always know,
but we really want to, especially when we’re investing money, if you’re paying
for these ads, right? We want to know what’s bringing people in. Let’s talk about
money, let’s talk about budgets. Yeah. How that is one of the biggest questions
we get from a Facebook and Instagram ads perspective is what should my
So Vy, how would you answer that question? One? Yeah. How, how do you,
work with your clients, from a budget perspective? How does
Wickam: that work? So what I generally look at is, if we have things we
can measure, we look at what are those things worth. You know, ID, the most
ideal situation is we have a client that has, e-commerce, or they have an
integrated c r m that allows tracking of clicks all the way through to scheduled
appointments if it’s a service business or something like that, where we have
really, you know, very good, clear metrics.
And I can say this campaign cost us $1,200 last month and it generated $18,000
in sales. That’s a 15, 1 15 to one return on investment. That’s fantastic. You
know, a return on ad spend is, is very often how we’ll measure something like
that. So, I, I look at a return on ad spend for branded keywords. So those
would be keywords who.
I searched for Sally Sue’s Portland Candle shop, and I found that her ad was the
first thing that showed up and I clicked on the ad. I expect that is going to
convert at 75%. She’s coming into the store or she’s buying something, but if
she just searched for Portland Candle Company, it’s going to depend on the
competition in the market and how far she is away from you and those kind of
things on what the odds are that she’s coming into your store.
So, you know, Google business profiles are optimized based on distance, is one
of the factors. So distance and keywords and the number of reviews are three
very important factors. So if somebody’s really close to you, You are more
likely to show up. If you have more reviews than any of your competitors, you
are more likely to show up, and if you use the keyword that they searched for in
your description or in your services listed or on your website that is linked in
that profile, you are more likely to show up.
So those are the kind of the biggest factors when it comes to showing up in your
go Google business profile. And those are the things that we’re looking to
optimize for. If, if I’m doing marketing for a company and they want me to
optimize their Google business profile
Crystal: retailers, it is time to step out of the day-to-day of running your store
and step in to a new perspective.
I would like to invite you to join me in Denver, Colorado at my conference,
evolve. This is built for independent retailers looking to transform their
business. Retail is changing faster than we have ever seen before. So is
marketing and so are the tools to help us. Build our business. This conference is
one of the best places for you to stay up to date and stay relevant.
And it’s super, super early bird pricing right now. So you can get a ticket for as
low as $197. Go to crystal media co.com/evolve to secure your ticket. And I
can’t wait to see you in Denver and help transform and grow your store. Now, in
each of those things, obviously the cost can vary. Prop, there’s so many
Do you have like a recommended starting budget as far as percentage of
revenue or, you know, you were saying like it does depend on what these things
are worth. Yeah. But how does that kind of start, you know, how do you start
that budget conversation?
Wickam: So there are always a lot of factors involved. Yeah.
And it, it’s going to Ben, depend on the size of your business and the
opportunity. And what you’re looking to drive. So I generally expect that
branded keywords should give me at least a 10 x return on spend. You know, so
very often it’s 20 or 30 or 50 x return on spend, you know, so I have one client
who their cost to revenue ratio on their branded keywords one month was
0.25%, which means it was 400 to one return.
Crystal: Wow. Meaning somebody searched for by name. Yeah. Okay. Yeah.
You put $1 into the Google machine and you give 400 back you back. I like
Wickam: Now, average for, non-branded keywords, I usually find like a
six to 10 x return on ad spend. That’s kind of the ballpark that I, I think is
acceptable. You know, if it’s less than six x return on ad spend, we gotta fix
Something’s not working right. Okay. then competitor keywords is the next
bucket, which is one of those things people have strong opinions about. I don’t
have strong opinions, but I totally understand the people who are offended by it
and find it to be reprehensible. but it’s where you bid on your competitors’,
And, from my perspective, the close rates on those are dramatically lower
than either of the other two buckets. Okay. So say, you know, I’m Sally
Sue’s candle shop, and, and Betty Lou has a candle shop too, and I bid on Betty
Lou. The person who searches for Betty Lou is Betty Lou’s customer to lose,
She’s, we’re expecting Betty Lou is converting 75 to a hundred percent of those
customers. So I already have a 75% less chance of getting that person then if it
was a generic keyword. So, so if you take that six to 10 X and you get rid of
75% of that right off the bat, you know, you’re talking about like one and a half
to three x or you know, one to three x.
And so, you know, my experience is it’s more like a half a percent to 3% is your
range for competitor keywords. So a lot of people lose money bidding on
competitive keywords, and I generally recommend against it unless we’ve.
Exhausted all other possibilities. Got it. Or the, or the customers just dead set
that they really want to do this.
And I’m like, I don’t recommend it for you right now, but if it’s your money, like
Right. You know, it’s not my money I’m spending, it’s theirs. So they ultimately
drive the ship and I just try to steer it in the direction that’s going to make ’em the
most money, give them the most efficient spend that I can.
Crystal: That’s really good to know about the competitor because I bet that we
have that desire to reach some of the big boxes or the, the, the candle store
down the street, you know, but I, it does not sound like that’s the best place to
start. You could probably
Wickam: really it is not where you start. Yeah. It’s like, you know, step five or
six down the road once you’ve got.
You’ve got your keywords all locked in on your good keywords. You’ve got
your maps or l ss a, you’ve got your generic, you know, generic keywords, and
you start with the ones that are, you know, the, the ones that you think are going
to close the best, your services or products that you have the best margin on.
So, you know, like look at those things that you know, if ads management is
what’s your best margin service, then ads management is the first thing we’re
going to run ads for. Right. You know, whatever it is. You know, like if the
thing is the thing that works the best for me, it’s the thing that drives my
That’s the first thing we want to advertise. Once you reach the bottom of that list,
then we’re doing display ads and remarketing ads, you know, so, No. All the
way at the end is bidding on competitors’ names and a lot of people are offended
by it. And I, you know, I don’t ever push for that.
Crystal: Yeah. Okay. I could see, using consumer-known brands that you
sell, you know?
Sure. There might be like Vera Bradley, Pandora Yeti. Yeah. Yankee Candle,
you know, those things Totally could be great because if they’re searching for
the brand and you sell it and you’re close to them since Google’s looking at that
Yeah. And you have a lot of reviews. I just want to echo that and say it again.
If anybody’s multitasking, get those reviews because that’s going to help you show
- Yeah. Reviews matter up. Yeah, they really matter. So we really want to
work at getting those reviews. and we did an episode with Yelp and we
talked about how to get those reviews. Yeah, it’s a Yelp perspective. You want to
focus on Google Yeah.
As well. But we’ll link to that episode
Wickam:. And Yelp doesn’t want you to ask for reviews, right. They
really discourage everybody from asking for reviews. What I can tell you is a
lot of people still do it and they do it effectively. Yep. I’m not going to tell you to
do it, but people do it, you know? Yeah. Yelp discourages you, you know, if
you want to follow Yelp’s rules and make sure they don’t smack you down, but
they might smack you down anyway.
you don’t do that, you know, don’t. Yep. Totally. Don’t ask for reviews on
Yelp. But do ask for reviews on Google and Facebook, and I would recommend
using a review service. where you send them an email, grade Us is one that
I’ve used. but there’s a bunch of ’em out there. A lot of CRMs have
something like this built into them, where it sends them an email that says,
how did we do?
And gives ’em a star rating from one to five, and if they choose four or five, it
says, that’s awesome. We’re so glad you enjoyed your experience with us today.
would you please share this on Google or Facebook? And just gives them a
link to write the review on Google or Facebook. And if you give them three
stars or less, it says, I’m, we’re so sorry.
We disappointed you. What can we do to make things right? Cool. And that’s it,
you know? Yeah. So it only gives them the option to share a review if they’re
happy. Okay. And I strongly recommend if you’re soliciting reviews to use a
service like that, generally speaking, they start at, you know, 50 to a hundred
bucks a month and go up from there.
okay. But I, you want to use one that has that kind of a system in place and
don’t use one where the review lives on the system’s website. Use one where the
reviews go directly to Facebook and Google, because those, those companies
and Trustpilot and user something, there’s, there’s a few of ’em out there that
they really focus on getting the reviews to live on their site.
And then when you decide that you don’t like them anymore and you fire them,
then they, like all those reviews basically go away.
Crystal: Hmm. That’s terrible. That’s a great tip of it. It totally terrible. By you
said, you said Grade Us is one that you use?
Wickam: Yeah, grade is one. Grade Us. It’s Grade Us is one that I’ve used
a number of times.
and it’s, it’s a solid service. I think it’s like one 50 a month if I recall
Crystal: Okay. Yeah. And I know, podium partners at Podium also.
Wickam: Yeah. Podium’s another one. Podium’s good. Yeah.
Crystal: Yep, they’re a great one.
Wickam: So to close out this, this budget, just make sure when you set up
podium that you set it up to post directly because podium has an option that you
can let ’em post reviews on podiwhich those reviews on podium really are
not that valuable to you.
Exactly. Okay. That’s a really great, you the tip, you want reviews on Facebook
and Google and Yelp. Those are really the ones that matter.
Crystal: Okay, awesome. Love it man. There’s so much we’re talking about in
here to close out the budget. Yeah, it’s really going to come down, like if I had a
monthly budget, it’s going to come down to the size of my business, what my
advertising budget is.
Wickam: You asked about percentage of revenue. Yeah. I generally look at your entire digital spend, including management should be around 5% of revenue. Okay,
great. And you know, depending on your size, you may or may not be able to do
that right now, but that’s a good starting point.
Crystal: Okay, awesome. Love having a starting point.
Now let’s talk about some red flags. We talked about red flags with hiring an SS
e o company. What would be some red flags if you can kind of fire these off,
if somebody is looking to hire an A company? ’cause really yeah, to, for you
to set this up. I just feel like it’s better. It’s more worth your time and money to
have somebody do this for you that knows what they’re doing, that can be
tracking it and testing.
There’s just so many variables and so many things you can do. So what kind of
red flags would you watch out for when hiring an ads company for Google?
Wickam: Well, the first red flag would be if they want to control the ads
account and don’t want to let you have your own ads account that they have
If they want to control your ads account and you fire them, you are going to have
one to three months of pain when you fire them, no matter what you do. And
that’s just you’re setting yourself up to fail from the get go. If you do that, I
strongly, strongly recommend that you keep control of your ads account.
So you want your own Google Ads account that you share a manager role with
whoever’s managing your ads. And this is how Google has it set up. It’s that,
like this is Google’s best practices way to do it, but there are a ton of big
marketing agencies that say, we don’t do it that way. We have to manage it from
within, within our own account.
And if they say that run and run fast. if you don’t have management,
administration, control of your ads account, you are going to get screwed.
Crystal: And I just want, for all the lister listeners, VA’s making a big point out
of this because he’s seen it happen and over and over again. And it’s painful. It
And this actually just happened with one of our insiders. Dustin went to go try
to help her. she’s a local business and this happened to her from a
Facebook, Facebook perspective where they did everything on their side. So it’s,
you know, really hammer at home.
Wickam: Yeah, same thing can happen with Facebook or any of the other
If you don’t have control of your own account, you will get taken advantage of.
Guaranteed. Yep. So the second thing is what I mentioned about ss e o
transparency. Yeah. So you’ve gotta have full transparency to the data.
which if you’ve got your own ads account, you can always log in and look at it.
Yeah. If you don’t have your own ads account, you can’t look at it. so the
third thing would be reporting. You’ve gotta have reporting at least on a
monthly basis. I generally think for most companies, monthly basis reporting is
perfect. You don’t need more often than that. If you get too stuck in the weeds
of looking at it every day, you’re just going to cause headaches and pain for
yourself because that’s not how it works.
You don’t have enough data on a daily basis to make any decisions. Okay. So
unless you’re doing $250 million in, in revenue, you’re not going to have
anything useful more than once a week. Okay. You know, e even if you’re doing
30 or $40 million in revenue, this is like a twice a month review kind of
Okay, perfect. So, you know, so that’s once a month is, is the minimum and
it’s also the maximum for most, most businesses. Once a month is a good
frequency of reporting and review, and you should actually be having some sort
of a contact with them to go along with that reporting because a lot of
companies, you know, send you the report and there’s no, no interaction and,
You know, so that would be number four.
Number five would be negative keywords. So they should be sending you a list
of negative keywords of here are the keywords that we recommend, you should
blog. and either the way I do it is, you know, the things that I
obviously think should be blocked we block. if there are things that are
questionable, I’ll ask the customer, is this something you want us to block?
And, you know, I may give them a list of 10 or 20 or 50 keywords depending
on, you know, where we’re at in the process. here’s the things I’m not sure
about. Do you want us to block these or let ’em run? And. You know, let it be
up to the customer. And as the customer, you need to be responsive because not
all customers ever respond to those emails.
And if you’re not responding, you’re missing out on half the value of those
negative keywords. And what negative keywords are, is those are the keywords
that I choose to not show up for. So say I sell white tennis shoes and I want
every other color. I don’t sell any color but white. But if somebody searches for
black tennis shoes, red tennis shoes, green tennis shoes, I want a list of all those
other colors that I don’t sell to make sure that my ad doesn’t show when
somebody searches for tennis shoes of all those other colors.
Crystal: Mm-hmm. ’cause if it shows, that’s a, you’ll be charged money and we
don’t want to waste that money. Yes. Yeah.
Wickam: And and even if you show and don’t get the click. ’cause you only pay
when you click. You are decreasing Google’s opinion of your ad because click
through rate on your ad is one of the measurement metrics that Google uses to
decide how much you have to pay for that click.
So we haven’t gotten into any of the details of things like quality score, cost per
click, cost per acquisition, you know, return on ad spend bidding, but
basically on the bidding side, you need to be asking them how are they bidding?
Because Google, you know, the default setup for Google for a long, long time
was just cost per click.
So you would pay this many dollars per click. Then, you know, and you’d pay
whatever you bid, then your bid, the, there were services that would adjust your
bid up and down based on the competition. And Google was like, well, we
could do that. We can put those guys out of business. And so they made it, so if
I bid 50 cents and the next closest bit is 40 cents, I only have to pay 41 cents.
And so that’s how the regular cost per click model works. but then Google
changed to an enhanced cost per click model where you would, it would do
some adjusting of this keyword, costs less than this keyword, even if the bid
on the whole. Campaign was this, you know, so some keywords would get
adjusted up, some keywords would get adjusted down, but it was kinda like
mini adjustments that Google would make for you.
And just in the last couple years, Google has introduced machine learning
algorithms that allow you to bid on target cost per acquisition or return on ad
spend. And those are, those can be far more efficient bidding models than, than
just using a regular cost per click. Because Google’s ai, they’re machine learning
algorithms, can target the keywords that end up making you more money.
Interesting. So Google will automatically funnel the money to the clicks and the
keywords that it finds to be more productive for you. And what I can say is
when they first came out, they were terrible. And now, running a Google
Performance Max campaign, which is a specific type of AdWords campaign,
Google Ads campaign that has, machine learning algorithm stuff going on,
that’ll, that allows you to put in multiple, multiple titles, multiple descriptions,
some images, a video or two, and it like jumbles it all together and then it shows
these things to people that it thinks they’re going to buy.
You know? So it’s kind of one of those things that we always are doing in
addition to the other things we’ve talked about, because it tends to be a pretty
low cost per lead, option. For, for most of our customers.
Crystal: Yeah. Now if anybody’s listening to this, you’re probably feeling like,
oh, this is very complex.
There are, it’s so many things. And, and you know, I mean, this, this just flew by
our time here today because I know there are so many things that go into this,
but it’s important to understand and it’s, it was my goal for vi to be here to really
kind of break it down so we understand the basics and how we can leverage and
how it works, and really get a taste for what is possible.
And I feel like we really covered that as well as those red flags to watch out for.
And I just,
Wickam: yeah. In, in terms of red flags, one more thing. Yeah. If they’re not
giving you any kind of metrics beyond. Like how much you spent and how
many clicks you got. You know, they’re not setting up the analytics right.
And they don’t have fully transparent data. Now it’s possible that that’s your
fault because you don’t have things to track. But it’s their responsibility to have
that conversation with you about what are the things we can track here.
Crystal: Mm-hmm. Okay. Good. Such good things for us to know. So we
are not getting taken advantage of and so we are taken our money work for us.
Yeah. And I just want to echo one thing before I ask my final question here.
Actually, I have two final questions for you. One’s very fast. all I is that
because we have an ads agency at Crystal Media, I’m always surprised by how
many people don’t. Open the emails, read the reports, or set up a meeting to go
over the reports.
Yep. I know that we are busy business owners and retailers are so busy, but I, I
just feel that it’s so incredibly important for you to understand how the money is
being spent and how it is building your business. Or if there are things to tweak.
Yeah, we really want, you know, don’t push that off. It’s not always the fun side
of it or the creative side of the business, but we are spending money and I want
you to really understand how it’s being spent and where those results are,
especially, you know, when with something like AdWords or Facebook.
So I just wanted to echo, you know,
Wickam: what you said there 100%. And, it’s not an urgent thing. So as a
business owner, it doesn’t feel like an urgent thing to go over those keywords
with your, whoever’s managing your Google ads, it doesn’t feel urgent to let
them know which of these keywords you should be blocking or not blocking
It absolutely can make a huge difference if, if we’re doing this actively. I have
found that within six months, we very often will increase your return on
investment by 30 or 40%. Now, if you think about increasing your return on
investment by 30 or 40% in the first six months of managing it, that doesn’t
happen unless you’re involved in the process.
Crystal: mm-hmm. Exactly. Okay, so good. So vi, we did kind of cover this,
but just to say it sort of again in very, very forward, if a T retailer wants to get
started with Google Ads, where is a good starting place for them?
Wickam: Well, I would recommend going to vie wickham.com/digital Weasel.
And it, it has a, you know, all of the things.
There’s, there’s a form on there that you can fill out to get control of your digital
assets and find out what things you do and don’t have control of. And that is the
biggest, most important thing. If you want to avoid being taken advantage of,
you know, get all of your assets under your roof, under your control, your
Facebook, your Google assets, which there’s like six or seven of them, they’re
all on by wickum.com on my website.
It’s all free. You can do this yourself if you don’t want to do it yourself. You can
hire us to do a digital audit and we will help walk you through that whole
process. And we’ll also do assessments of your website and, you know, a bunch
of other stuff. but get control of your stuff. You know, get it all under your
control and then you can decide, do I want to try to do this myself?
Google has a lot of resources where you can read up on it, but it is not easy.
You know, I, I’ve had a number of people that have asked me to train them on
Google Analytics or Google Ads, and I’m happy to do that. And what they
realize after two or three hours of doing this, you know, learning with me,
they’re like, you know, I, I think I’d rather pay you to do this.
Yeah, yeah. We don don’t want to work. It changes all the time too. Like, yes,
exactly. You, you know, with Facebook Yeah. That, you know, the metaverse
and all of the changes with just with the ads management platform. It’s
maddening. Like sometimes it just makes me want to like bang my head against
the wall because everything changes all the time.
There’s new types of ads, there’s new types of bidding. There’s, there’s, you
know, everything is always changing. And if you don’t like that and you aren’t
going to stay on top of it yourself, you need to hire a professional to manage it
for you. Exactly. Otherwise, it’s a good way to flush your money down the
Exactly. That’s just take out a thousand dollars, light it on fire, throw it up in the
air, you know, you might get the same result.
Crystal: Yeah, exactly. We don’t want to be doing that. This was so good by my
final question is because in part one and part two, we talked a lot about candles,
uhhand you specifically talked a lot about lime scented candles.
So what is your favorite candle scent?
Wickam: Oh, that’s a good question. I do really like the, like the fruit-scented
candles. Okay. But I also like the, like the cool water, kind of like, you
know, fresh Atlantic breeze, kind of scented candles.
Crystal: Okay. I love it. I, I, I was dying to know by where could people learn
I know you said by wickham.com/digital weasels, which we will link to.
go to by wickham.com and you can click, click on the link there,
Crystal: You know, Awesome.
Wickam: Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure. It’s been a pleasure to be
here with you, Crystal.
Crystal: So good. It’s like we did a little thank you so much.
Fresh Course Masterclass in SEO on part one and a Google Ads and part two.
Really appreciate your time and your knowledge and just sharing this really
means a lot. Thank you so much, VI.
Wickam: Oh, it’s my pleasure, Crystal. Anytime. I’m always happy to come
back on your podcast.
Crystal: Awesome. Oh, I will totally take you up on that.
And everyone listening, remember that I’m rooting for your success. Have a
great week ahead. Bye. Thank you so much for being here. It means the world
to me. Don’t forget to join the Rise and Shine newsletter, which is social media
news you need to know. Sent via email every Monday morning. Go to crystal
media co.com/rise to join and don’t miss the newest episode of Rooted in Retail,
which drops every Sunday morning.