Episode 8 of Business as Unusual focuses on PCC Strategy and how to get the best out of your budget in a crisis and what to do to prepare for recovery.
Jon Payne (00:00):
Welcome to Business As Unusual, the weekly webinar where we discuss how marketers, salespeople, and scale up business owners can stay productive, profitable, and at peace in the pandemic and whatever comes after. In this episode, we're joined by Jaye Cowle, a Google guru and the founder of Launch Online, the Google premier partner agency. Hi Jaye.
Jaye Cowle (00:25):
Jon Payne (00:25):
What is Google premier partner, what does that mean?
Jaye Cowle (00:31):
You have to sit exams. You're basically accredited by Google to, to manage people's PPC budgets and PPC campaigns. One of the nice things about launch though is we're not just a premier partner, but we're in the top 3% of agencies in the UK because we've got a team in Dublin that look after us and we're classified as a Pathfinder agency. I think it's we're specialists. So we, we, you know, 99.9% of what we do is all PPC. And we're able to get them bidas and experiment with new products that, that Google are using and we get really well supported. Our clients are able to come to events that they have in London back in the day when there were events and, and it's nice because we can challenge some of the things that they're doing as well, where we feel it's quite a partnership.
Jon Payne (01:29):
Yeah. And, and so let's get a flavor of you. What how did, how did you get into PPC? What was your journey into PPC?
Jaye Cowle (01:39):
So first of all, I was a marketeer, so I was head of sales marketing for a travel company in London and and then I had kids and had quite extreme reactions having kids. I wanted to really do that very well. So I decided that we were going to leave London and we almost bought a cheese shop in Truro.
Jon Payne (01:58):
Oh, awesome. That's just such a great West country thing to do.
Jaye Cowle (02:04):
I thought like, what can you do if you market, you know, if you're into marketing for a travel company, what else could you sell cheese? Like buy one, get one brie. And then I camembert it. And we had to drop that and moving to Cornwall with the kids. I had all of this marketing experience. And one thing that I was noticing was that people were spending a lot of money with Google and not really understanding how effective it was. I had a limited amount of time because I now have kids. So I wanted my working day to be flexible and shorter. And I thought, what is the most effective thing I can do to help these companies make more money and market their business? I thought, well, if I can really improve their PPC, then and the performance they're getting from it, then they'll straight away make more money. And I can that in a shorter period of time than just being a marketing director or a marketing consultant. And that was my journey nine years ago.
Jon Payne (03:09):
So you were like on the tools, right? You'll get, you're doing the stuff, you're going through sitting those ridiculous Google exams and ad words where they go, which of these is more gray, black and white, white and black, or a mixture of black and white.
Jaye Cowle (03:25):
So when I first started, it would take me like the full two hours to do it and you have to learn PPC twice. You learn it once to pass the exam and once to actually do it. But now I've got to the stage where I I do it with a glass of wine and see how quickly I can do the exam. Can I finish the exam before I finished the glass of wine or not? And still get 90% or a hundred percent because you can't, I mean, some people do get a hundred percent, but I like speed efficiency,
Jon Payne (03:56):
Getting it done and out the door rather than perfection. You can, you can get perfection through iteration and also you can't drink wine and settle for a hundred percent. You got to settle somewhere, haven't you? Wow. Okay. That's cool. So well thank you for joining us today and I'm really excited about hearing some of the stuff that we're going to talk about because we've had a couple of conversations in the past about other stuff anyway and about this. So yeah, really excited for you to help us out and we're going to be for those of you who haven't been along on a Business As Unusual before, the three things we typically talk about are how you can get ideas and inspiration on coping with less money an abundance of uncertainty and the opportunities that might present themselves along the way and in the future.
Jon Payne (04:51):
I'm going to go back to sharing my screen. In fact, I'm not because your name is Launch Online. I think we can probably, let me just, I've lost you though. There we go. Your name on does Launch Online. We can find you online. We don't need your logo to do that. So this session is brought to you by Launch Online and Noisy Little Monkey Jaye Launch Online. We've already discussed as a PPC agency in the top 3% of agencies in Europe, niche AF. And when we were talking about this I asked you for one piece of advice that you said you'd like to leave everybody with. And you said don't quarantine your marketing during Covid, which I love. How are you helping your clients follow that advice?
Jaye Cowle (05:38):
So I do have to say, I did steal that sentence from Bruce Clay, the godfather of SEO. So I think when, when everything first happened and everyone went into panic mode they went through their list of costs. And one of the things that marketing is normally is a cost to the business and the accountants and the CEOs of companies who have come from a finance background, just put a big cross through most of that. But ultimately we know this is a moment in time our customers still exist. We might have new customers, our customer's profile might have changed slightly, but if we don't keep communicating with them and, and looking for new business, then it makes the recovery much, much harder. I always kind of picture it as a big machine and if those cogs don't keep turning, even if they're more slowly turning, then it's very hard to start back up again. It's like, it's like a boiler that, you know, the boiler man loves it in autumn cause he gets called out all the time. Cause when you switch it back on it just doesn't work as well.
Jon Payne (06:49):
Yeah. Yeah. So, and, and I imagined so a bit like say we're in, I suspect in a similar boat, although I think as was quite drastic at Noisy Little Monkey and I've said it before and I don't mind sharing this kind of stuff with people who come along on these calls because we're all just trying to get by and the more we can be transparent about this stuff, I believe it works. And SEO, PPC, digital marketing generally is quite a transparent industry and I love that. And so our Noisy Little Monkey's pipeline went from quarter million quid in the next three to four months. We were going to close and on about the 29th of March, 30th of March Katie business development manager or client development manager, excuse me, to give her a proper title. And I went through and that dropped to two and a half thousand pounds instead of quarter of a million.
Jon Payne (07:41):
And we thought, well, we got to practice what we preach. You've got to keep doing, keep going, keep going. Okay. And actually like, so us and Sunjay who was the second guest on a Business As Unusual kit, we just kept, you know, it wasn't quite flogging a dead horse, but it was okay, no one's going to spend any money for a bit, but let's just keep pushing it. And we've got whole new bunch of clients that we've never spoken to before. So we even had someone phoned out the other day and go, wow, I can't believe you this, you're the first agency I've called that's picked up the phone. Yeah, which, i was like that, brilliant. We are a million pounds an hour for whatever you want to buy. It's really expensive cause we've bothered to show up and sometimes winning is all about showing up. But that's for lack of ambition. Cool. So how are you, so if you've got people like us or you're not necessarily working marketing agencies, but you're working for lots of different companies, how are you helping them not quarantine their spend? Are you, have you seen a great deal of it drop off?
Jaye Cowle (08:37):
So our clients are very varying sectors. A lot of them were in the travel industry.
Jon Payne (08:43):
Jaye Cowle (08:44):
Yeah. And depending on what type of travel company you are, it depends on how painful it is. But ultimately people had still been searching for holidays. This is a moment in time and there will be travel companies that can't weather the storm, but the ones that have got the right cash flow, who've got the business model, the is perhaps out of luck more than judgement going to be more successful if you can just weather the storm. Your customers are still, they're searching online. One of our biggest and most favorite, but they will always favorite customers who's carried on advertising through this whole period. I mean the, the gains that we're now seeing from all of that brand awareness that we were building it basically it's a really long research phase. People rather than making a decision in a couple of weeks what holiday they're going on, they're spending this whole time deciding where in the world they're going to go in the future.
Jaye Cowle (09:45):
Where in the world in the UK are they going to go? Because at the moment the average Joe on the street isn't feeling this in that pocket. And so if you are a caravan park or campsite or or self catering accommodation, those people are heavily researching. We've also been blessed with amazing weather is like, wow, we don't need to go abroad again. The UK is amazing. So, so that has also helped some of our travel clients. And the ones that that have seen the best results from this period have communicated with their customers. So they've communicated with their loyal customers. They've they've been trying to acquire new customers, but very carefully and sensitively. And just being transparent. You talked about being transparent and you know, having messages on the website. I mean, I hate to pop up a bit, this is a time for a popup because you need to be able to make sure that you get in front of people and give them, you know, are you open, how are you handling things? A flexible approach is good.
Jon Payne (10:58):
I love, I love this is a time for a popup. No one's ever said that and yeah, and, but you, you, you're right. It's free. It's a good time for a popup. And we'll see that on number 10 on the list that we look at later. The brilliant, thank you. For, for that kind of background. We are, this is also brought to you by Noisy Little Monkey, you know, me. Probably it Noisy Little Monkey is an inbound and marketing automation and sales enablement company. We're a HubSpot diamond partner. Exams are a bit more easy than some of the Google ones and a bit more hard than other areas. And yeah, we help businesses grow and save money actually, even when times are tough. So that's who we are. I'm going to go back to sharing my screen.
Jon Payne (11:46):
You don't need to hear too much about me. We've heard all about we've heard all about you guys who are on the call. I'm not sharing my screen. I hope. Let's go and look at, let's not start looking at Noisy Little Monkey. So this is from some research. I did some research on 210 websites looking at analytics, looking at, but eight weeks from lockdown, from the period of the 23rd of March to I can't remember the, anyway, eight weeks from the 23rd of March when we got locked down versus the eight weeks prior to that to see what was the change in sessions. And the hypothesis we assumed was some traffic would have gone massively up and someone's gone really down. And actually our hypothesis was proven. So has your traffic changed since lockdown? These were UK SMEs. On the whole biggest turnover, probably about 50 million, lowest turnover, probably half a million.
Jon Payne (12:45):
So that kind of position. And most websites in the UK economy that we examined had seen fewer sessions over three quarters. And a few had seen more sessions, actually about 1% had had no change, which I have no idea. I'm not putting them on here, but just you can't have it on manipulate the graph so they don't show because that's wrong. It must be. And then we asked if you're a lockdown loser. So if you're one of the websites, one of the majority of websites that lost traffic, how big is your loss in traffic? And the, the average. And I'm a shepherd and then I'm a salesman. That's my jobs before I did this. So average for me is what's the number in the mid, what's the mean? So really simple, average, the average is 40%.
Jon Payne (13:35):
And if you follow me on Twitter, on the tweet link to this later so that you can get the full report. But we can see the automotive and hospitality and in there I've got travel. I know it's probably not the right sector, but I was putting them in sector. So that was events, travel, leisure, that kind of stuff. Are the hardest hit in terms of traffic. And actually oddly enough hospitality and events in terms of winners stays pretty low. And I, and you're right, I think it's because people are doing more considered research and staying more on the website and where are you measuring sessions rather than page views and stuff like that. I think people are interacting more. But yeah, if you want to compare your website, if you're on this webinar and you want to create to your website, to these numbers against, across these industries and follow me on Twitter, there'll be a link to it later or you can just look on the Noisy Little Monkey website if you don't want to follow me on Twitter cause there will be profanity.
Jon Payne (14:33):
So, and I bring that up. I did it last week. I've got more numbers this week, so it's a bit more the data's a bit more robust. And I bring it up because Jaye, I was thinking, I was thinking, I'm certainly, Noisy Little Monkey has done. Very rarely done PPC and we've been doing much more of it recently. And and that's for ourselves. We don't do PPC. We have a friendly agency that we refer people to that they're called Launch Online. The, but the, the, the thing I was thinking is you can really quickly fill that pot. Okay, I've lost 40% of my organic search traffic or my social traffic. How can I get that pot full? Oh, I can just pay for it. Pay for clicks, I'll just pay for clicks. The danger is, particularly if you're a noob or you don't have an agency that knows what they're doing, you can do what?
Jon Payne (15:18):
So my big PPC disaster story, I might have to ask you what yours was, but my big PPC disaster story was I was in Dublin and me and my mate had started a business and we sponsored the word e-commerce. This was in the early two thousands on Google. And that was before you could set a daily budget, you could set a monthly budget. And we wrenched through six grand while we were on a stag weekend, but we didn't spend it on booze and having fun. We spent it on Google and I couldn't check out the hotel cause my credit card is maxed out. So that's my PPC mistake. I've also, should I go into the story about how I want to accidentally targeted the Taliban on behalf of the U S army in a recruitment drive on Facebook? No, I shouldn't because that probably could get me into legal trouble. So I won't go into that, but I can tell you about it. Should we ever get drunk together. So, okay, we've got this lack of traffic coming to all of these places. You've got idiots like me getting involved in PPC and just going on work design or whatever the two word phrases in their industry. How do we protect ourselves and Jaye, how do we cope with the fact that probably it's going to be difficult for us to convince someone to unlock that cash over to you.
Jaye Cowle (16:38):
So there's, there's quite a few points to raise on this. The, the idea with the money side is how do you continue on a very limited resource? So those are some of the points that I'm going to raise, but of course there are companies that are now coming to it because that pivoted. So that's slightly different in the short term that I still feel that we're in the short term. As there's certain things that you definitely need to make sure you, you need to control your brand search. So depending on what kind of, and we can have many debates, Jon, about your brand or not, but where you need to communicate with your customer, how you have changed the way your doing business. So if you're travel and you're now offering flexible booking, or if you're a showroom and you're now selling online, you need to be able to communicate that really efficiently and quickly.
Jaye Cowle (17:32):
And you might have actually created new web pages on your, on your website to point people to. And brand search is a really quick way to drive traffic to those pages to control the message. And you also need to keep an eye on what competitors have come into the space. There's a bit of marketing going on and you'll be able to then use the alternate insight report to see if there are competitors going off to your brand search. It's normally super cost effective unless your name is something generic, in which case it might not be. But if your website has it all over it, you're still gonna pay less than a competitor.
Jon Payne (18:10):
So, because, and let's, let's take a second here. And it's not because, so, and I, and I, it's not because I want to be combative about it, but my natural reaction as you know, Jaye is to go, don't bid on your brand. Why would you bid on your brand if no one else is bidding on it? I've subsequently been educated in that. I'm one of the things you say that, which I can't refute from my kind of old school SEO hat standpoint is that thing of you put up a new page about how, you know, one of your pivot pages. And it's not necessarily how you're dealing with Covid, but it's some, it's a way that you can get your message out. You're right, it could take months for it to show up, particularly in those sub links when you're doing those branded searches on organic, sub links being the ones underneath the main search. If you're not sure about what we're talking about. So Jaye for for those who are total noobs, I can bid on my own brand, but rather I can, I can have sub pages underneath that kind of standard ad. Is that correct? Is that how you, is that what you meant by directing people to those relevant new messages?
Jaye Cowle (19:17):
Yeah, so the DNA of a, of a brand text ad. So search ads where bidding on your brand key words that the amount, I mean compared to when I started nine, 10 years ago, the amount of information you can put into that brand ad is huge. So you've got the standard headlines and description where you can get across your key messages, but then you've got site links that you can send people to sub pages within the site. They normally, they're not as clicked on but they can enhance your main message. But you've got price extensions. So you know, if you're offering a sale you can have that information in there. You've got your key USP and your call outs. You can have awards that you've run reviews your location, so you know, click to call as well. So it's, it has changed a lot over the years. Why bidding on your brand is, has been controversial is that there are agencies, both SEO and PPC who weren't reputable and they were using brand to just show results. Ultimately always work with an agency partner that you trust and who, you know, if, if a client succeeds, the agency succeeds. And so really understand what the strategy is behind it. But ultimately it's controlling the message. You need to communicate more than ever with your customers and that enables you to do so.
Jon Payne (20:49):
Cool. Cool. Excellent. And it's quite good to be able to put that point to bed with like an SEO in the room who's just so anti it most of the time as you know. So okay. So that was really good. I'm, I stopped you and, and we, we went down that rabbit hole. It's like keep, keep going, keep going. Take us further.
Jaye Cowle (21:07):
So if you're already spending with with Google ads, negative keywords, I mean, we're probably about eight weeks too late to have that conversation because negative keywords are the absolute crucial part of any PPC campaign. So if you're bidding on a a keyword what you want to do is make sure you add in all of the negatives to do with Corona virus and covid 19. All the variations. It was amazing to see the Google trends graph of the word unprecedented and I'm pretty sure that was people trying to work out how to spell it so that they could and if anyone's playing webinar bingo, they've just got a full house there. But, but negatives are really important and that was the first place. I mean, I had to reach out to PPC, freelancer when, when times are really hard, that's when you see the partners that you work with. You see the whites of their eyes and, and why you use a, perhaps a more expensive trusted partner than a cheap freelancer. We saw that there was a big backlash of, of tourists and Cornwall and there were people bidding on last minute Cornwall holiday just before lockdown happens. And then lockdown happened that became obviously illegal or you know, to travel to call more, became illegal
Jon Payne (22:40):
Reputationally damaging if you were the person offering it. Right.
Jaye Cowle (22:44):
Awful. So obviously all of our accounts, you know, all last minute terms removed on the phone to the clients, making sure that they've got all of their covid policies on their website. They're all dealing with, you know, having to cancel customers. We did a last minute Cornwall search and there was a an ad that came up and it was a a little self-catering place down in Cornwall and they employed a PPC freelancer who luckily, actually we knew. So I quickly called him and I said, you've got to stop these ads. And he's like, I don't know what to do. I've got all these clients. There's only one of me. I've only got so much time on my hands. And it's in bad times that you realise why you sometimes choose more expensive partners or resource because that was, I mean, they could've really got in trouble. Yeah. We, we helped out. But so negative keywords then then in order to to make your money go further. One of the things that we're talking to clients about is, is to make sure that you are that for those people with high intent. So you talk about the sales funnel and and I think I've got a slide on that, Jon. I don't know if you want to share it or not.
Jon Payne (24:06):
Is it, is it, is it this one?
Jaye Cowle (24:08):
Keep going. Yeah, that's the one.
Jon Payne (24:10):
That's the one, I'm sorry I went too far.
Jaye Cowle (24:14):
So I mean there's a lot of talk about whether the sales funnel is dead, but I think it's a really good visualisation to understand how you get acquire new customers. So when all of this happened and still now there are people who have high intent and you can tell that they have high intent to buy your product or service based on what they're searching for in Google. And if your product is relevant to that search and to make sure that you have at least a hundred percent impression share or if you don't have a hundred percent impression share there's a good reason why, like maybe you're following an automated smart bidding strategy, but that you are there and you're winning that auction and your adverts are spot on.
Jaye Cowle (24:56):
So you nail that high intent search traffic and you drive them to the right page on the website and you get every conversion you can. It's hustling. You've got to go back to when you first started the business and you know you were hungry for every sale. I spoke to one of our mutual clients and they they said it's been really interesting for their sales team. There's this, this period because now when they have a sales call come through, they're excited. They want to win that sale, they're hungry for it and the, they celebrate the wins more. And I think that's a really good thing to say, you know, we, we will, we were all on a bit of a treadmill and to take a step back and then be hungry for that business to want to succeed and then to celebrate winning it.
Jaye Cowle (25:47):
And it's been, it's been very good for that team structure because, you know, they, they, I mean they virtually high five each other now when they, when they then win a sale. Yeah. So concentrating on that bottom of the funnel and making sure that that is working brilliantly. We've also been talking to our customers about relying on their existing customers. So where we come into that, if you ignore all of all of the, if the emails that the, you know, how many CEO emails did you get? I mean, CEO of every brand I've ever bought from email me before,
Jon Payne (26:24):
I've never bought an email list. I see what you're saying. Not recently.
Jaye Cowle (26:32):
But using, using your email database that was probably decimated correctly or incorrectly during GDPR, making sure that you speak that email database. But what people don't realise is you can use those databases within Google ads, Facebook ads they're called customer match. You're able to upload that data if you have the correct consent and you can then bid more aggressively to win people who appear care on that list. So yeah, you might have like a lapsed sales list or a repeat buyers vest and you can make sure every time they search for your brand or your product or something that you're trying to get their business for, that you aggressively bid on those people. You're up the bed, you make sure that those audiences appear both in your Facebook and your Google ads campaigns. The, the other thing that I, that I think it's, it's almost stocking up in the first couple of weeks, the appalling remarketing strategies were companies hadn't realised they were still like remarketing. Things couldn't buy. Or just on the flip side, I've seen some amazing remarketing. Of course, I'm sure we're responsible for some of it, but where the messaging is so relevant and of the moment, and that's been nice to see small companies succeed where bigger brands took longer to be able to get that smaller companies, SMEs who are able to pivot quickly or able to change their messaging quickly and not have to go like to 45 million board meetings to get it done. I think small businesses in the short term have won.
Jon Payne (28:17):
Yeah. That relevancy, that hyper relevancy, that's kind of, I don't know, I feel that that's the relevant, what's relevant this week is not relevant last week and we're three months in is what is my belief? I don't know whether you'll have that same standpoint, viewpoint. But regardless of exactly what that timescale is, and I believe it's really, really tight. That relevancy thing is so interesting isn't it? Because we used to just be, you know what? Yeah, let's be honest about it. So certainly Noisy Little Monkey can rely on lots of data. We'll just rely on the data. We'll follow the process and that sometimes that stifles creativity because you, you end up playing it safe because you know, kind of what's going to work. You know, what works in this sector, you know, what works in that sector and you kind of, you get creative occasionally and that's good fun. But actually I think it gives us an opportunity that hyper relevancy to be really creative and go there is no data on this. I mean there is just starting to be some, but there is no data on exactly how we make this more relevant. Right? So I think it gives us opportunity to be more creative.
Jaye Cowle (29:28):
Definitely. And on the third on the, you know, one, two, three if money is number one on certainties, number two and an opportunity is number three on opportunity. To me, the, this is small companies to be able to succeed where big brands weren't able to. So, you know, filming stuff on mobile phones you know, rough content suddenly became actually brilliant because it showed that you, that you were able to be quick and creative. And, and it shows kind of what you stood out from the crowd. I felt awful for P and O who had bought all of those TV adverts that, you know, still like 10 days into current lockdown. You know, there's Rob Bryden on a ferry
Jon Payne (30:20):
Poor guy, he'll never be able to be let back into the UK. If he's out there now, he's screwed. He's there forever. We'll never see no to would I like to hear.
Jaye Cowle (30:29):
Whereas there was some great brands, you know, Uber's example of, you know, the stay at home message, you know, really. It's been, it's been really interesting to see how long the big brands took. So so make sure that your remarketing thing is, is, is appropriate and make sure that if,
Jon Payne (30:50):
Oh, no, no, thank you. I was waving my finger in the hope that I might catch it. Your remarketing is appropriate. What else are you gonna say about remarketing before I ask you Gabby's question?
Jaye Cowle (31:00):
The the, your, I can't now remember, but I was going to say,
Jon Payne (31:06):
Well thanks Gabby. I'm terrible at interviewing. It turns out, let me ask you Gabby's question then. Well, whatever, whatever you're thinking, we'll come back to you, I suspect. So how would you upload existing contacts, newsletter, subscriber leads, data to a PPC advert as you mentioned? Is there a name for this?
Jaye Cowle (31:26):
So in your Google ads account there is an audience section. I think that is the biggest change over the last couple of years that I've seen in the PPC landscape. This idea that PPC is no longer about just keywords, it's about your audience and it's about speaking to the people who are most likely to buy from you. The audience section of, of Google ads has become much more powerful and you can upload your CSV of all of your email addresses into the audience section of your Google ads account, and then you can use that audience at campaign level to show Google, these are my customers. So then Google says, okay, well here's a person doing a search for Launch Online. Ooh they also appear in the customer list. We will bid aggressively or, or you might actually specify you to 50%.
Jaye Cowle (32:28):
To be honest with you now, manual bidding is almost out the window with automated bidding. Cause the other big difference in in this whole period where could see companies that didn't have a good PPC team managing their accounts. They, if they lacked smart but then they didn't readdress and continually check how smart bidding was performing if those first couple of weeks there were it's not bidding works because it's using data, historical data and although Google says it will learn quickly. This was unprecedented. They'd be go full house again. You've wasted one now. And it really needed a close. I kept on it and in fact, I think almost in all circumstances we removed it for the short term and now that we've been introducing it with fantastic results. But but if you, if you didn't have enough eyes on your account, on your campaigns, you know, it was just like feeding money into a waste paper basket.
Jaye Cowle (33:39):
Yeah. In fact, actually I was talking to someone, I'm going off a bit of a tangent, but we'll come back. I was talking to someone yesterday and he was telling me how his wife works at Google in the ads team. And but selling not to the likes of you and lots of likes you, but the likes of us, normal human beings. So you get that phone call from someone with a lovely Irish accent telling us that they think they can help us improve our account. I presume everybody gets those calls. Right?
Jaye Cowle (34:05):
And so the junior teams then,
Jon Payne (34:08):
yes, and I think this lady is relatively senior, but he was saying they've got all of the except the problem with it is, is they're all on these calls all the day now because they're not doing too much outreach.
Jon Payne (34:22):
They're just meeting with each other from like seven in the morning till six at night on calls with people all over the world talking about KPIs. And he's like that, they're all just terrified that someone's going to realise none of them do anything because the money just keeps flooding in, in ever increasing amounts. And Google just go, but we'll hire another a hundred people because clearly that works. It's like, he's like that. So, and they all just reporting on meaningless KPIs day in, day out from home instead of at the office, you know, whilst riding trikes around the boardroom. So yeah, that thing about getting it wrong, you become part of that tiny, your, your little flood of money becomes part of that flood into Google.
Jaye Cowle (35:05):
So part of out job, I think is to hold Google to account, to make w we're, we're employed by our clients to make them money, but to, to we're using Google ads in order to do that. And there are some times there are, you know, there are times where Google forgets the small business that is selling massive pants, whatever down in Cornwall that is their money, that's their pension pot, that's their retirement fund. And that's one thing that we're able as agencies is to hold them to account and say, no, you can't get us to practice, you know, whether your smart bidding works or not. On, on this account that somebody, that, some of these money, and I mean, our team are fantastic at Google. But anytime where I don't feel that they're working in the best interest of our clients, we definitely tell them that.
Jon Payne (36:02):
Yeah. Yeah, I did. And actually then they're pretty happy to hear it. It's not like they need every pound that we can spend with them as SMEs in the UK. I've got a couple more questions for you actually that have come up and it will stop sharing a sec. I can see your face a bit better. So we had one from Gary who asked is there like a TripAdvisor for PPC agencies? How'd you choose a good one
Jaye Cowle (36:28):
That is recommended recommended agencies.com I think it is, which is The Drum Recommends and it will list agencies. I think you have to, you have to request to be on there. You probably have to pay a membership, but you can then have clients leave you independent reviews. So the client, it's independently and it has to have their it has to have their domain. It can't be faked, able to go on and leave a review of the agency. So the idea is, is that you can go on there and see perhaps if you've narrowed it down to three agencies and see what their clients say about them. I mean, obviously you know, clients, an agency isn't going to give it to a client who doesn't like them, but if you, you know, you can still get, the and could also see what company is, you can call that person and say, do you recommend them?
Jon Payne (37:29):
So search for the drum recommended agencies. That'll do us, we'll get to there. Did Google used to have like a directory of people who did it but
Jaye Cowle (37:38):
They didn't do that. Yeah, they, they, they, they've removed that now. But it is, you know, they give badges, premier partner badge, Google partner badge
Jon Payne (37:47):
Is the badge on your website. Clickable. Yeah. Yeah. So that's one of the things I always think is people who are really trustworthy at this proper agencies bother to make the badge clickable to their thing, do their thing on Google. Whereas all of those other agencies that go, yeah, we're a partner, blah, blah blah. And you click their agency badge and it doesn't go anywhere. And I know it's kind of good. Google's not policing that. I, it's just like if they're not playing by the rules at all, how good are they?
Jaye Cowle (38:15):
Yeah, I did go onto one agency's website the other day and it said they were number one in London. I was like, according to who? And then I looked at their campaign and they'd used exact match and broad match modified and separate skags which is single keyword ad groups, which it's so old school. But let's, let's help the people who are, let's not bitch about other agencies.
Jon Payne (38:37):
No, no, no. I'll just do one more question from Azim. Can I have his question was, so are you trusting smart bidding algorithms more at the moment than you were previously?
Jaye Cowle (38:50):
Any time we, we use automation, it's all in, it's all to do with testing, understanding how well a campaign was doing before to be able to know how bidter it is performing. And at the moment I think depends which industry you're in, but where competition has decreased and you have all these really lovely remarketing lists, the real understanding of who your customers are. The, there is a lot of business to be had online. So some of those sides that I gave you is all it does is it just shows that more people are online than ever before. You're seeing a drop in traffic because we're mainly a new customer acquisition. So it's people with high intent who are searching for the clients. We're seeing more people coming through from PPC and, and, and buying where other people have dropped out of the auction. So travel people are booking holidays, lots of food deliveries. You know, big companies didn't pivot quite so quickly, so we've been able to win the auction there. But smart working where you have, where you have marketing lists and an understanding of who the customer is.
Jon Payne (40:06):
Brilliant. I was going to say, it sounds like you trust it. Like you trusted a newish dog that looks friendly, probably going to be okay, but I'm not gonna leave it entirely alone.
Jaye Cowle (40:17):
Exactly. Always one eye on it.
Jon Payne (40:20):
Brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant. Brilliant. So now we will talk. So we've been talking a lot about Google there. And in the, in the, in the money section and all of that kinda stuff. We've got some other slides that we can share, but we should talk about how we're addressing uncertainty. I think we've already started to do that. We're already there, but were there any other points that you wanted to make on that?
Jaye Cowle (40:40):
Very much so. And here's the nodding dog. Very, very much so.
Jon Payne (40:45):
D'you want me to share my screen again?
Jaye Cowle (40:46):
No not yet. One thing that that people have got to be really aware of is that this is probably the calm before the storm because if you imagine that the, that the all those big brands who have been taking up the auction who, who, you know, booking.com or they aren't in the auction quite a lot at the moment. You know, they pull back their ad spend, but they're saving it up. And what happen is, is if you don't start to fill your sales pipeline, if you don't start talking to your customers and making sure that you've improved your marketing plan and you've improved your website when the floodgates open again and the recovery does come, weather will not, we're in a recession still.
Jaye Cowle (41:34):
Joe blogs has got more money in his pocket. The, you know, this, this wave will come with then a wave of competition. And so you will very quickly drop out of the auction. You just won;t stand a chance to compete if you haven't kind of got your ducks in a row. So just when they turned their tap on your tap is nothing suddenly. Yeah. So that's one thing to be really aware of is the marketing spend, ad spend will go, it will probably peak in the autumn. And if you're not prepared for that, that would be a big shock. If suddenly you just start seeing your campaigns underperforming. So in order to make take advantage of this, and I believe it, it was last week, some webinar was CRO that is really crucial to get right now. So you might not be spending all of your money on PPC at the moment. You might reduce that spend and you're being smarter and clever with it and building some remarketing lists. Now is the time to improve your website. The amount of times we get a new business inquiry from a great company with a great product and a great team and a great price and it's terrible.
Jaye Cowle (42:50):
All we can do is find people, find your potential customer and send them to your website. And then we're like, no, we can't we, cannot, we cannot change. We can't make the person buy. We can't, you know, the horse and water and taking it to drink or something. But if you improve, you know, different aspects of your website, buttons that look like a clickable and aren't or page speed, page speed, then when the traffic does return, you've got a more chance of converting. And in the short term you're working harder to convert it in the last four weeks where we've not been doing so much on campaign management. Perhaps some people's spend has decreased. We've been doing website usability studies where we using like something like Lucky Orange and we're looking and seeing how those websites are performing and it's incredible how many bugs or fixes we've been able to find and those web developers who are on retainers anyway or employed by the team or or creating HubSpot landing pages for example, to work harder than the current website to, to, to fix, you know the conversion journey to improve that. And, and also how you speak to your customer once they've completed the goal. Oh. Oh, the terrible automated emails.
Jon Payne (44:20):
Or possibly the page refreshing and saying thank you for submitting the form.
Jaye Cowle (44:23):
Yes. Google goal. I mean,
Jon Payne (44:29):
welcome to the pipeline you will receive four automated emails but not for two weeks.
Jaye Cowle (44:34):
Yeah. And, and and really taking it, in fact, one of our clients, it's been lovely to see because the managing director is, is, is shielding and has to stay at home and is now looking at the website and seeing all the things that they can do to improve it and really taking an interest in it. And it's brilliant. Yes, our to do list, but we know that everything that we are able to take off, that we're making improvements for. When the business does start to return, we know that it will work harder. So yeah, so CRO conversion rate optimisation, that stands for improve the tracking. You know, you've got to understand what people are doing when they're on your website. The amount of times that we're fixing Google analytics tracking when deploying Google tag manager, we're improving goals.
Jon Payne (45:25):
Yes. Just making the goals so that they are someone visited the contact page. No wonder you've got such, you've got an 80% conversion rate, you've only got three pages. One of them is the contact page. Of course people are looking at it. It's not a goal.
Jaye Cowle (45:38):
Or smart goals.
Jon Payne (45:39):
Jaye Cowle (45:45):
5 million people have completed a smart goal on your website. I mean, what does that even mean? Please switch off please. Please switch off. Smart goals.
Jon Payne (45:57):
Switch off smart goals. Switch off. Smart goals.
Jaye Cowle (46:02):
Actually one of one of the reasons that our automated bidding strategies are working back to now is that we are being more creative with the goals that we're creating. So rather than just having, for example, for a holiday company rather than just having the purchase, which is not happening so frequently at the moment, we're having them getting to like a key page and the in the journey like the page where they've got to put in their details, maybe the page after that so that we can have just a slightly softer goal because people just keep going to that almost booking almost have that softer goal. Then you're not giving the AI enough information to be able to learn from it. Yeah. So you created with your goals, but don't use smart goals.
Jon Payne (46:49):
Don't use smart goals. Key. Key. We've got like three minutes left. Can you believe? Yeah. Yeah. But Hey, do you want to do another one of these where we drill into it again in a few in a few weeks? The other side of this?
Jaye Cowle (47:00):
Jon Payne (47:02):
Let's do that, but so talk to us about what, what's two things, one or two things that we could do to really take advantage of the opportunity that's either presented now or in the future.
Jaye Cowle (47:12):
Okay, so it's definitely there's masses of opportunity as as a small bit. If you know most of the people on this webinar, SMEs, it's be creative. The big brands out there, your competition can't move as fast as you be creative and understand who your customer is now, who they were before, whether they might not be the same person and who they likely to be in the future and keep that customer right. Personas, maybe four different personas of what those people look like and keep them at the heart of everything that you do. There was a tendency before to look at the marketing plan and go, marketing plan must have social media, PPC, SEO, no. Your marketing plan has a customer that you're speaking to. Where is that customer? How are they searching for what you do? Where do they hang out? And that's how you build your marketing plan, not because you need to have a social media exec and PPC company.
Jaye Cowle (48:14):
If your customer is using Google to try and find your services, you need to be there. But concentrate. What message are you there with, you know, like are you, is it compelling? Is it emotive? Are you speaking to this person now that we've got, you know, mobile phones that are carrying round? I still feel, and we're guilty of it, that we write for computers. We write for laptops, we write for a person sitting at a desk. And actually we need to speak to our customers more emotive and, and, and more happen, better compelling copy.
Jon Payne (48:52):
Nice. Nice. And I'll tell you what that resonates so strongly with, with me because obviously we're all about personas and it's really weird that we have the people that we like to work with. People like you are all kind of all have that at the heart. And I think it's because it's the heart of marketing, right? It's the heart of really good marketing is you know, who you're trying to talk to you and you kind of have an understanding and it's always developing of what their problems are and where they hang out and all that comes up. That's really good. If you're watching this on a watch back and watch again or you are I'm here now. Thank you very much. You can follow up with Jaye. I think I'm sharing my screen so you can see that she's @agoogleguru on Twitter and jayecowl on LinkedIn. You can find her on the LaunchOnline.co.uk ask you some questions. I've got a couple of questions in the chat that we probably didn't get to. We will, if we don't feel we answered them, we'll follow up with an email or something. But yeah have a chat. Jaye, thank you so much for coming on giving us so much advice. I think there's probably like three hours we could do, so we'll have to do another one, but until next time, thank you very much. Bye.
Jaye Cowle (50:08):
Founder and Technical Director of Noisy Little Monkey, Jon blogs about SEO and digital marketing strategy.
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