Monday Madness 9/15/14

This week’s Monday Madness AAA award winner was discovered because I own a domain name called “boulderhardwoodflooring.com” and I am looking for someone that might be interested in purchasing this domain name from me.

I began my search for the keywords “boulder hardwood flooring company” and received the following SERP (Search Engine Results Page) from Google:

Congratulations Floor Crafters (a Hardwood Flooring Company in Boulder, CO) – you are our Asinne AdWords Advertiser award winner!

There were many great candidates for the AAA award this week, but I decided to go with the ad in the #1 position.  I’m so glad I did as it turns out that this is a Pay Per Click ad being ran by YP.com and I have yet to review a campaign from them.  Will YP.com pay per click ads be better than the Dex, Reach Local, or Hibu PPC scams I’ve revealed on this blog?

YP.com Pay Per Click

As it turns out – NO.  YP.com pay per click is no better than Dex, Reach Local, or Hibu.   The issues that I discovered in this ad are inexcusable for any company that alleges to be a pay per click “expert”.  I can’t believe that Google Allows it’s “Premier SMB Parnters” to run such horrible campaigns.  Let’s jump right in and break down this campaign.

First Issue: 

Allowing YP.com to use the tracking number as a call extension.  I know the advertiser has no clue that YP.com is doing this.  No one ever does.  That’s why I point out this tactic for you now.  In my opinion, this tactic is incredibly deceptive and is used by companies to give the appearance that your PPC program is performing much better than it really is.

Lesson Learned: If you are paying a company to run your campaigns and track your phones calls from that campaign – make sure they are not putting the call tracking number in the call extension.

Second Issue:

Allowing YP.com to send clicks to a website other than your own website.  You spend (or at least should) a lot of time developing a website.  Why on earth would you let a company drive traffic to another website that is not your website?

Lesson Learned:  ALWAYS DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE.  If a company refuses to do this – don’t hire them!  They will tell you that they need to clone the website to replace the phone number with a tracking number – and this is true but here’s a little secret.  There are literally thousands of web developers out there that can place dynamic call tracking on your website without the need to clone your site or drive traffic to anywhere other than your website.  I do it for my clients all the time.

Third, and probably the worst, issue:

The Ad Extensions in this ad all lead to dead pages!  I seriously can’t believe this one.  Every single one of these ad extensions leads to a 404 error page.  The pages don’t exist.  When I looked a bit deeper into the reason behind this, I discovered that it appears the customer re-did their website.  The company that re-did the website used a WordPress template and  didn’t change the permalink structure so now all links that went to the old pages are now dead and useless.  If YP.com has experts managing this campaign – why have they not found the dead links?  This “mistake” is costing this customer a lot of money in bad clicks, high bounce rate, low quality score and ultimately a higher cost per click.  I put part of the blame for this on the developer of the new website, part of the blame on the managers of the PPC campaign, and part of the blame on the business owner (whom I usually make exceptions for because the fact is that most business owners don’t know much about the internet and large companies exploit this fact.)

Lesson Learned: Always keep an eye on your campaigns.   A little hint that you may not have known – Google Only charges you for 1 click per 24 hour period from the same I.P.   This means you can pull up your ad – and click on it 100 times in a day, and you will only be charged for the initial click.  Make sure to right click and open the link in a new tab as you’ve seen me do in the video.  That way you can check all the links and make sure they are working.

The end result is that YP.com does not appear to run good campaigns.  They are just as bad as the other big companies I have reviewed.

I hope you learned something from this post.  Let me know your experiences in the comments below.

I offer Google AdWords Management at a flat rate of 20% per month.  My motto is 100% transparency, 100% of the time.  If you need help with your AdWords campaigns, contact me today.

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