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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