What’s your best day of the week for PPC conversions

What’s your best day of the week for PPC conversions?

It’s a simple question really.  It’s also one that you should be able to answer if you are running ANY kind of Pay Per Click program.  This question is also one that you will never know the answer to if you use Dex, Reach Local, or Hibu to manage your pay per click programs.

Why does it matter?  

I think the easiest way to answer this question is to give you a real world example.  I have a client (that was a former Dex customer) that I am running a ppc campaign for.  This particular client happens to do Septic work.  They have been converting fairly high (from a percentage standpoint), but they are not seeing enough jobs from their monthly budget.  The issue is that they can’t just keep dumping more money into the campaigns (and they shouldn’t have to).  So – my challenge is to get them more clicks that are more likely to convert, at a lower cost per click.  Where do you start?

The first place I went was the dimensions tab in Google AdWords.  This tab allows you to see when your conversions are happening (and more importantly, when they are not).  You can get a lot of GREAT info in this tab.

Here’s a screen shot of the report I used to make my decisions:

day of the week

Does anything stand out in that report?

To make it easier to spot – I sorted the table by the Cost per Conversion Column. Our Cost per conversion (which in this case a conversion is a phone call) on Fridays is 5 times the cost on Monday! Saturday and Sunday don’t look much better either!

So with this campaign – I paused Fri, Sat, and Sunday which will free money up to be spent on the days that convert better! I should be able to get them more clicks Monday – Thursday because I just freed up $600 on low performing days!

If you are using Dex, Hibu, or Reach Local – you will never see this report and you will have ZERO control over your campaigns.

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Calling all Hibu Pay Per Click Customers!

This a call out to all Hibu Pay Per Click customers. If you are a current Hibu customer, I would like to speak with you. It does not matter to me if you are happy with them, mad at them, or if you just want to know more about your PPC campaign. I want to talk to you.

I want to analyze a Hibu PPC report and see exactly what they are giving their clients access to. I have seen some reports, and have accessed others, but I would like to see a current report. The last time I logged in to a Hibu customer account was almost a year ago, and I would like to see if they have made changes.

If you give me access to your reports, I will take screen shots and write a post about them. I will keep all of your information confidential. Your account numbers and any other identifiable information will be blacked out from any screen shots that I share on the web.

If you are not pleased with the performance of your Hibu “Webreach” program, and are thinking of cancelling, you are the person I want to talk to.

If you are not sure if you are getting an R.O.I. from your Hibu PPC program, then I want to talk to you.

I am offering up a FREE Website / SEO analysis (a $149 value) to anyone who grants me the access. My SEO / website analysis is VERY thorough. It is not done by a software program. You will get a personalized summary of what I have found, complete with a list of what needs to be done. All of my website analyses include a quote for me to do the work, or you can take my analysis to your current webmaster and have them implement the suggestions.

Please use my contact form if you are interested.

Kicking Hibu’s A**, and my clients are loving it!

2 months after taking over a PPC campaign from HIBU, the numbers are even better than they were the 1st month!  If you missed it, check out my last post “What was Hibu spending my clients money on?“.  In that post, I took a look at the #’s after the first month and they were already phenomenal.  That was with the clicks being directed at the exact same website.  Now that I have completed the new website (with better SEO on it), I wanted to look at the single, broad matched keyword “Dentist” and compare the results.  I also took a look at the overall campaign average cost per click (cpc).  As you would expect, with better SEO, the cpc went down even further.  I suspect the reason for this is because the landing pages are even more relevant to the ads.

As you can see – the average cost per click dropped in 100% of the campaigns.  When you narrow it down even further – the CPC dropped for the keyword “dentist” in all but 2 of those campaigns.

The best part is – I’m only getting started.  As I optimize these campaigns over the next few months, the avg cpc will drop even further.

Here are the #’s for the second month:

Campaign Keyword Oct cpc Nov cpc hibu cpc Nov CPC Difference (vs. Hibu)
1 $4.20 $4.00 $6.58 -39.21%
  Dentist $5.09 $5.26 $7.01 -24.96%
2 $3.67 $3.50 $8.19 -57.26%
  Dentist $4.35 $4.27 $6.90 -38.12%
3 $2.91 $2.62 $9.87 -73.45%
  Dentist $3.51 $3.07 $10.76 -71.47%
4 $3.83 $3.40 $5.59 -39.18%
  Dentist $4.35 $3.91 $5.37 -27.19%
5 $4.47 $4.32 $3.96 9.09%
  Dentist $5.34 $5.57 $8.96 -37.83%
6 $3.63 $3.47 $6.31 -45.01%
  Dentist $5.16 $4.13 $7.03 -41.25%
7 $3.86 $3.00 $7.59 -60.47%
  Dentist $4.84 $3.87 $7.05 -45.11%
8 $3.67 $3.27 $4.44 -26.35%
  Dentist $5.41 $3.87 $6.19 -37.48%
9 $3.98 $3.42 $3.58 -4.47%
  Dentist $4.79 $4.22 $5.02 -15.94%
10 $3.95 $3.23 $4.76 -32.14%
  Dentist $5.68 $4.63 $5.86 -20.99%
11 $4.20 $3.59 $6.39 -43.82%
  Dentist $5.27 $3.77 $6.97 -45.91%
12 $4.85 $4.17 $8.14 -48.77%
  Dentist $6.01 $4.99 $7.95 -37.23%
13 $4.87 $4.13 $6.66 -37.99%
  Dentist $6.00 $5.14 $7.14 -28.01%

If you are paying Hibu – you may want to seriously consider shopping around.  These programs are incredibly overpriced, and you can definitely do better elsewhere.

 

What was HIBU spending my clients money on?

Hibu Pay Per Click – where does the money go?

Approximately 1 month ago I took over a large (to me) Pay Per Click account that was being ran by Hibu.  I won’t divulge my clients name, but I will say it is a dentist on the East Coast.

The campaigns have been running for one month and the results are amazing so far.  The great news for my client is that the results will get even better when their new website is launched as the new website is better optimized and I will be able to target the AdWords ads to more relevant landing pages.  This will increase quality score, and decrease cost per click even more!   When you see the results below – keep in mind that I have achieved these results directing clicks from my clients Google AdWords campaigns to their old website (the same one Hibu was directing clicks to).  I am also only sending clicks to the home page.  Also keep in mind that my results include the notoriously over priced, broad match, single keywords.  Because of this – I compared the results of both the overall campaigns (which in this case are the cities my client has offices in) and the results of the #1 keyword they were paying for with HIBU.  That single, broad matched keyword is “Dentist”.

If you are new to AdWords – broad matched, one word, keywords are typically the most expensive but a necessary evil at the beginning of the campaign.  Broad matched, one word keywords are also the area I see amateurs failing to optimize the most, but that’s an entirely different post so I won’t get into it here.

Anyways – back to the point of this post.  After 1 month, and using broad matched, one word keywords – the average cost per click has plummeted in all but 2 of the 13 campaigns I am running!  The average position (when adjusted for 2 statistical anomalies) stayed virtually the same.  I expected all of these things as my experience with Hibu campaigns is that they broad match a lot of keywords and bid high.  They do NOT use negative keywords well, and from what I can tell they do not appear to research the search query reports to find hidden gem of keywords.  In other words – they do a horrible job running Google Adwords campaigns for their customers.

Before I post the results – I also want to point out that my budget is 30% less than this client was spending with Hibu.

Hibu Pay Per Click vs Chad – the results:

Summary: (all data I used for this post is at the bottom of this post)

  • Average CPC Savings (Campaign level) – 30.53%
  • Average CPC Savings for “Dentist” as a broad match – 25.7%
  • Average position increase (meaning my positions were lower) – .2% (that’s a decimal point in front of the “2”)
  • Average Hibu Bid for “Dentist” as a broad matched kewyord – $18.25
  • My average bid for “Dentist” as a broad matched keyword – $7.55

The thing that really stood out to me the most was the average bid for the keyword “Dentist”.  While my sample size is fairly small, the massive difference in their bids and mine was confirmation to me of my suspicion that Hibu enters in High Bid Amounts for Broad Matched keywords in an effort to ensure they spend the clients budget every month.  I suspect that if I dug deeper into other similar keywords that Hibu and I bid on – I would see the same pattern because every keyword on the Hibu reports had bid amounts in the high teens to $20 each!

Hibu does not reveal their markup publicly (even though required to do so by Google) but these reports also confirm the rumors of Hibu’s markup being over 40%.  How do these numbers confirm this?  Because the average cpc on my reports is the real cost per click from Google vs. Hibu’s reports having the markup added into the cost per click the customer sees.  (I charge my management fee on separate invoices and do not hide it in the cpc reports like Hibu does).  With this in mind, if you look at the numbers and calculate the percentage of increase (vs. the percentage of decrease that I calculated) – the average increase in CPC was 44.77% – in keeping with the rumors I’ve heard of a markup by Hibu of between 40 & 50%.

Campaign Keyword avg cpc hibu cpc CPC Difference avg position hibu avg position Position Difference
1 $4.20 $6.58 -36.17%
  Dentist $5.09 $7.01 -27.39% 3.1 3.39 -8.55%
2 $3.67 $8.19 -55.19%
  Dentist $4.35 $6.90 -36.96% 2.5 2.37 5.49%
3 $2.91 $9.87 -70.52%
  Dentist $3.51 $10.76 -67.38% 2.8 1.3 115.38%
4 $3.83 $5.59 -31.48%
  Dentist $4.35 $5.37 -18.99% 2.9 2.83 2.47%
5 $4.47 $3.96 12.88%
  Dentist $5.34 $8.96 -40.40% 2.1 2.09 0.48%
6 $3.63 $6.31 -42.47%
  Dentist $5.16 $7.03 -26.60% 2.9 2.4 20.83%
7 $3.86 $7.59 -49.14%
  Dentist $4.84 $7.05 -31.35% 3 2.57 16.73%
8 $3.67 $4.44 -17.34%
  Dentist $5.41 $6.19 -12.60% 3.1 3.34 -7.19%
9 $3.98 $3.58 11.17%
  Dentist $4.79 $5.02 -4.58% 3 1.98 51.52%
10 $3.95 $4.76 -17.02%
  Dentist $5.68 $5.86 -3.07% 3.1 2.95 5.08%
11 $4.20 $6.39 -34.27%
  Dentist $5.27 $6.97 -24.39% 2.2 2.16 1.85%
12 $4.85 $8.14 -40.42%
  Dentist $6.01 $7.95 -24.40% 2.4 2.88 -16.67%
13 $4.87 $6.66 -26.88%
  Dentist $6.00 $7.14 -15.97% 2.5 3.06 -18.30%
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Hibu Pay Per Click – is it a scam?

Hibu’s Pay Per Click Scam

I believe Hibu’s pay per click programs (also known as Web Reach) to be a scam.  Hibu does not divulge their markups (even though Google requires them to do so) and they intentionally withhold important AdWords and Analytics data from their customers – EVEN WHEN THEIR CUSTOMERS REQUEST IT!  Since Hibu sets up an AdWords account for you, they could easily give you read only access to that AdWords account – but they won’t.  Instead, they will send you very vague monthly reports (if you request one) or give you online access to the same vague data.  These vague reports will not contain any data that makes it look like your program is not doing well.  If you want to know where your clicks are coming from, how much they really cost, or what the bounce rate for certain keywords are, you can forget it. Hibu’s monthly reports are one of the  reasons I call them an outright Pay Per Click Scam Company.  It’s not what’s in the report that makes Hibu one of the worst pay per click re-sellers out there, it what’s NOT in the reports.  The “conversion” reports they provide you give you very little information, and what they present as “conversions” are hardly that.   Sure you might get a report that says you have 40 phone calls, and 200 clicks.  Let’s say your budget is $800.  Hibu will present this as a “cost per call” of $20 and try to convince you to do your R.O.I. that way.  What if 35 of those 40 calls were from existing customers that Googled your name?  They will never share ACTUAL COST, QUALITY SCORE, BOUNCE RATE or other valuable metrics with you.

Hibu’s Pay Per Click Markup

Hibu has an alleged (and a minimum from what I hear) markup of 40% on their clicks!  40% of your budget is spent before you ever get a single click from Google!  Given that the bulk of their customers have an average monthly budget of $800 – you will pay Hibu, on average, $3,840 per year to plug in a bunch of broad matched keywords and send traffic to your home page (in most cases that I’ve seen, this is what they do).  You might want to think twice before you sign a contract with Hibu to run YOUR Pay Per Click program. Speaking of YOUR’s – that’s exactly what this is.  It’s YOUR AdWords Account – YOUR Data – YOUR Money.  Why on earth would you give someone your hard earned money to NOT HAVE ACCESS TO ALL INFORMATION AVAILABLE?

hibu94x40

Is Hibu intentionally defrauding customers with false phone call tracking data?

I have recently completed a thorough review of a Hibu “WebReach” campaing.  If you are not familiar with the term “WebReach” – it is Hibu’s term for the suite of internet marketing “services” (services is put in quotes because it is my belief that what they offer is anything but a “service”).  The primary product in Hibu’s “WebReach” program is Google AdWords.  Hibu is a large re-seller of Google AdWords.

What I found in this review was shocking.   I expected the standard limited information in the reports.  I expected withholding info like Bounce Rate, Match Type, Search Query etc.  Hibu did not disappoint in those areas.  I did NOT expect to find evidence of fraud! (Alleged)

I discovered Hibu reporting phone calls received from Organic Visitors and Direct Visitors as if they were from a Paid Click.  Yes – you read that right…. I did a search for the company name and found the organic listing. Clear as day – in the “Title tag” is the customers main phone number, but when I clicked the ORGANIC link, the phone number on the page was replaced with the tracking number.  The same tracking number being used for the Pay Per Click Campaign Reports!

Is Hibu deceiving it’s customers intentionally?

I don’t know, but I don’t see any way that this could be an accident.  I took a look at the java script code that is used to dynamically change the numbers and the code says “look for # (xxx) xxx-xxxx and replace it with # (yyy) yyy-yyyy”.  Most of the times I see call tracking numbers for Google AdWords campaigns, the code is a bit more complex.  Normal AdWords Call Tracking (or call tracking for any purpose) would look for the source of the visitor and IF the source of the website visitor matches the predefined parameters, it would then replace the phone number on the page with a tracking number.  You can use this code to insert 1 tracking number for visits from Campaign A, and a different tracking number for visits from Campaign B.  You could even use this type of code to track phone calls from Google Organic Visitors vs. Yahoo Organic Visitors.

Why have Hibu’s “Google AdWords Experts” not discovered this problem?

This was a major red flag on an account that is spending between $12,000 & $15,000 per month on Pay Per Click advertising.  When the customer forwarded me the report (very vague report) that Hibu provides them, the first thing that popped out was the insanely high (and utterly useless) “Click to Call Ratio”.  The numbers reported by Hibu to this customer were:  (please note – campaign names have been changed to maintain the privacy of my client)

Campaign Clicks Impressions CTR Avg CPC Spend Total Phone Calls Cost Per Call Click to Call Ratio
City A 74 4,999 1.48% $6.62 $489.89 46 $10.65 62.16%
City B 235 12,000 1.96% $8.15 $1,914.09 106 $18.06 45.11%
City C 80 1,800 4.44% $4.05 $324.39 89 $3.64 111.25%
City D 176 7,552 2.33% $6.30 $1,108.39 55 $20.15 31.25%
City E 3 260 1.15% $4.79 $14.37 7 $2.05 233.33%
City F 116 7,222 1.61% $7.51 $871.44 25 $34.86 21.55%
City G 155 5,039 3.08% $4.73 $733.07 55 $13.33 35.48%
City H 161 8,196 1.96% $6.36 $1,024.53 88 $11.64 54.66%
City I 35 1,340 2.61% $4.21 $147.25 33 $4.46 94.29%
City J 263 24,738 1.06% $8.08 $2,125.33 59 $36.02 22.43%
City K 186 12,881 1.44% $6.74 $1,253.91 53 $23.66 28.49%
City L 70 2,974 2.35% $5.53 $387.21 38 $10.19 54.29%
City M 58 1,011 5.74% $3.66 $212.47 34 $6.25 58.62%
City N 300 17,895 1.68% $9.91 $2,973.72 75 $39.65 25.00%
Total 1,912 107,907 1.77% $7.10 $13,580.06 772 $17.59 40.38%

THOSE CLICK TO CALL RATIO’S ARE INSANELY HIGH!

If it is intentional, then Hibu is more than scamming people, they are intentionally defrauding its customers in an effort to keep them paying money into campaigns that aren’t delivering the results that Hibu claims they are.  If this is the case – Hibu should be held accountable.

In conclusion – do not rely on (phony) phone call tracking data provided by Hibu.  You need to dig a little deeper and see what these reports to know if you are close to getting a return on your investment.  When you factor in their alleged 40% markup…..well – I’ll let you decide if you want to keep flushing money down the toilet ….errrrr I mean investing, with Hibu.

Red Flag

Is Hibu Defrauding it’s customers?

I have recently completed a thorough review of a Hibu “WebReach” campaign.  If you are not familiar with the term “WebReach” – it is Hibu’s term for the suite of internet marketing “services” (services is put in quotes because it is my belief that what they provide is anything but a “service”) they offer.   The primary product in Hibu’s “WebReach” program is Google AdWords.  Hibu is a large re-seller of Google AdWords.

What I found in this review was shocking.   I expected the standard limited information in the reports provided by Hibu.  I expected withholding info like Bounce Rate, Match Type, Search Query etc.  Hibu did not disappoint in those areas.  I did NOT expect to find evidence of fraud (alleged).

I discovered Hibu reporting phone calls received from Organic Visitors as if they were from a Paid Click.  Yes – you read that right.  Hibu is reporting (at least in this case) all website phone calls as if they came from the Pay Per Click Campaign!

How I discovered this:

It was originally an accident.  This customer paid me to also do an SEO review of their Hibu created website.  To get to the website, I did a Google search for the company name in one of the cities they are located.  I found their organic listing.  In the Title of the organic listing, you can clearly see the customers phone number (which is in the title tag on the page that showed up in the organic listing).  When I clicked the ORGANIC link, the phone number on the page was replaced with the tracking number.  The same tracking number that is being used for the Pay Per Click Campaign Reports!

Is Hibu intentionally misleading customers?   

I don’t know, but I don’t see any way that this could be an accident.  I took a look at the java script code that is used to dynamically change the numbers and the code says “look for (xxx) xxx-xxxx and replace it with (yyy) yyy-yyyy”.  Call tracking scripts for Google AdWords campaigns are usually a bit more complex.  Normal AdWords Call Tracking (or call tracking for any purpose) would look for the source of the website visitor and IF the source of the visitor matches the predefined parameters, it would then replace the phone number on the page with a tracking number.  That’s why it’s called DYNAMIC CALL TRACKING.  Dynamic Call Tracking can be used to insert a tracking number for any reason.  You can use this code to insert a tracking number for visits from Campaign A, and a different tracking number for visits from Campaign B.  You could track visitors from Yahoo vs. visitors from Bing.  The possiblities are endless.  What you should never do is just arbitrarily replace phone numbers on websites!

Why have Hibu’s Google AdWords “Expert”s not discovered this problem?

This was a major red flag on an account that is spending between $12,000 & $15,000 per month on Pay Per Click advertising with Hibu.  I would expect a lot more attention to detail on an account spending this much money. The first thing I noticed when looking at the, very vague, Hibu campaign report was the insanely high (and utterly useless) “Click to Call Ratio”.  The “Click to Call Ratio” percentages reported by Hibu to this customer were:

  1. Campaign A – 62%
  2. Campaign B – 45%
  3. Campaign C – 111%
  4. Campaign D – 31%
  5. Campaign E – 233%
  6. Campaign F – 21%
  7. Campaign G – 35%
  8. Campaign H – 54%
  9. Campaign I – 94%
  10. Campaign J – 22%
  11. Campaign K – 28%
  12. Campaign L – 54%
  13. Campaign M – 58%
  14. Campaign N – 25%

I am not making these numbers up!  There is NO WAY IN HELL that a pay per click campaign is driving that many phone calls to a customers business!

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I then took a look at the call detail report.  When I removed duplicate phone calls and calls under 1 min 30 seconds – the total calls reported by Hibu for the month dropped from 763 down to 225!  Keep in mind – this is the number of ALL CALLS for the month – not just the paid ones.  However – even if you assumed that all 225 of the calls that were left on this report were from paid clicks – you have no way of knowing how many are from existing customers and how many are from potential new customers.  Based on that fact alone, this data is almost useless in telling you how a campaign is performing.  But – forgetting that for a minute – let’s use 225 calls as our number.  Is that worth over $12,000 that the customer spent?  Maybe, maybe not – but doesnt’ Hibu owe it to it’s cusotmers to report ACCURATE #’s and let the custoemr decide?  Even if EVERY one of the phone calls was from a paid click visitor – the real “Cost Per Call” reported by Hibu would be over $53 (and that’s giving them credit for EVERY SINGLE CALL).  The reality is, I doubt even 30% of those calls are from paid visitors and an even smaller percentage of those calls are from potential new clients that were also from a paid source.

Conclusion: 

I realize that this is only one example from one Hibu customer.  It may be jumping the gun a bit but I can’t see how this is an accident.  It is my opinion that Hibu is intentionally misleading customers with these monthly reports in an effort to make customers believe that they are getting great results from these poorly run campaigns.  Do you have a Hibu Pay Per Click Campaign?  What are the click to call ratio’s?

The bottom line is this – if you are paying Hibu to run a pay per click campaign you should seriously consider cancelling your contract as soon as possible.

Disclaimer:  if you are wondering – yes I offer PPC services to my clients.  No I didn’t write this just to get business.  I wrote this so that you will have the information necessary to make good decisions about how you spend your hard earned money – whether you do business with me or not.  That said – if you are interested in how it is that I crush Hibu Pay Per Click campaigns (in both price & performance) – feel free to reach out to me.  I’d love to talk more.  

Chad Musgrove