3 Easy ways to stop Wasting Money on AdWords

Use more Negative Keywords

If you’re paying for the Phrase Match term “Furniture Store”, your ad may show to, and be clicked by, someone searching for “used commercial office furniture stores” which will cost you money for a dead-end lead. However, it’s not as simple as adding the term “used” as a Negative Keyword. Just adding “used” as a Negative Keyword will prevent someone who searches for “where can I buy furniture to be used in a home theater” or “what mattress can be used to fix back pain” from seeing your ad, both customers you might want. An easy way to uncover new Negative Keywords is by using the Search Terms button on the Keywords tab to see what terms are actually generating clicks to your site. You might be surprised at the terms that lead customers to you (or more precisely: lead non-customers to you).

Fine tune Location Targeting

Often advertisers will pay for clicks to appear in searches for all the cities/towns/areas where they’ve made some sales or where they are willing to send their delivery truck. This can be an inefficient use of an AdWords budget if clicks in that area, where you might only make a few sales a year, are costing you the same as clicks in your store’s best performing ZIP codes. Assuming you don’t have an unlimited AdWords budget, each ad clicked from an underperforming ZIP code prevents an ad from being shown in a stellar-performing ZIP code. Just because you’ll deliver to that city doesn’t necessarily mean you should be paying for clicks there. Analyze your sales-by-ZIP-code and tighten some of those Location Targeting radiuses or use Bid Adjustments to be sure your bids are commensurate with your sales.

Improve you ad’s Quality Score

Quality Score

Every ad is assigned a Quality Score by Google based the relevance of the ad, the expected click-through rate and the landing page experience. Ads with a higher Quality Score can often appear ahead of ads with higher bids and a lower Quality Score (translation: your competitors’ ads). Again because it’s important: higher Quality Score can beat higher Bids, meaning you’ll pay less! To improve your ads’ Quality Scores make sure each ad closely relates to the keyword and both, the keyword and the ad, closely relate to the content on your landing page. For example:

If your keyword phrase is: “Queen size Memory Foam mattress on sale”

An ad which reads: “For the Best mattress prices on Earth come to Joe’s Mattress” and leads the customer to your page will likely have a lower Quality Score because it doesn’t address several of the things the customer is actually looking for and it takes them to a relatively generic landing page.

To improve your Quality Score, try making your ad and landing page more specific with an ad like: “Queen size Memory Foam mattresses on sale and in stock now” and direct your customer right to the page for your queen size memory foam mattresses

Note: Unique Ads cannot be specified for each Keyword, but you can specify unique Ads at the Ad Group level. So, you could create one ad group for “Queen Memory Foam” and include a variety of keyword variations that are relative to that topic.

If all this just makes your eyes go googly, we’re here to help.

Does AdWords work?

One of the beautiful advantages of advertising on Google AdWords for your furniture store is that you can tell exactly what works and what doesn’t. A big part of developing that insight is knowing what to look for. Below are some of the critical terms to understand if your ads are working and why those terms are important.

Clicks shows how many clicks your ad has received.

Impressions shows how often your ad was shown on a search result page.

Clickthrough rate (CTR) shows the percentage of people who could see your ad (Impressions) and actually clicked on it (Clicks). This one is particularly interesting. Wouldn’t it be awesome to know how many of the people who saw your newspaper ad, billboard, TV commercial, direct mail piece, etc. actually were motivated to call, visit, or request more info even if they didn’t necessarily make a purchase? This powerful metric is unique to online advertising.

Conversions shows how many people clicked from your ad to your site and did something you valued, such as make a purchase, sign-up for your email list, call you, or get directions to your store.

Cost per conversion shows how much each ad conversion cost you.

Of course, there are lots of other important terms and metrics you can use to determine the effectiveness of the Google AdWords campaign for your furniture store, but understanding these can take you a long way towards determining how well you campaign is working. By tweaking your ads, keywords, bids and landing page experience with the goal of increasing CTR and Conversions while decreasing Cost Per Conversion, you’ll be well on your way to more store traffic and lower advertising costs.

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wanamaker, (attributed) US department store merchant (1838 – 1922)

With Google’s AdWords reporting tools, John would know exactly which half isn’t working!

Radio Ga Ga

Don’t advertise your furniture or mattress store on the radio without reading this.

“Pandora claims that 7 out of 10 drivers report that they change the station when they are in the car and listening to AM/FM when commercials come on”

old car radioAnd then there’s this to consider:  When your local radio stations quote enormous numbers of listeners, pay attention to how they calculate those numbers. The number of listeners their station reaches is often quoted as listener-ship across the entire week and the entire day (6AM-midnight). For your ad to be heard by that number of listeners, it will have to run all day long, all week. But, more importantly, note how far their signal extends. Stations in flat areas can broadcast as far as 100 miles and the station could be including listeners from that far away in their figures. Are people from 25, 60 or 100 miles away going to drive to your furniture store? Perhaps. If you’re tracking your customers’ locations, you’ll know. But in most metro areas, we find the bulk of a store’s customers come from only a few-mile radius around the store. Thus, you could be paying for LOTS of listeners that aren’t likely to make the trip to your store.

Lastly, of those listeners who are willing to drive to your store, and who haven’t changed the station, how many are in the market for furniture or a mattress?

By contrast, when you advertise on the Google AdWords search network, you’re only paying for customers in the area you choose who are showing a definite interest in finding a furniture store. That’s strong!

Of course, radio can be a great medium for some furniture stores. Those looking to establish their name or build their brand, for example. And it can be valuable to a chain of stores with locations throughout a metro area where the cost can be spread amongst the stores. Radio has a place in a broad marketing strategy with a healthy budget. But if you’re looking for immediate traffic to your furniture or mattress store at a low cost, Google is hard to beat.

“Don’t become some background noise” Freddie Mercury, Queen, Radio Ga Ga


Loyalty is dead!

“Consumers show a surprisingly low level of loyalty to home furnishings brands, a Furniture Today survey reveals. And that seems to be surprisingly bad news for mattress producers and retailers, who are among the heaviest promoters in the home furnishings industry.

The online survey gathered almost 1,400 responses, with about the same number in each of the three key demographic groups: Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers.

The most brand loyal demographic group, the survey says, is Millennials.

While only 10% of the respondents overall said they are loyal to specific furniture stores such as Rooms To Go, Mattress Firm or Ashley, the figure is much higher — 15% — for Millennials. It drops to a paltry 5% for Gen Xers and rises to 10% for Boomers.
Similarly, only 10% of the respondents overall said they are loyal to specific brands of furniture such as Broyhill, Lexington or Serta, but 13% of Millennials said they are loyal to specific brands, compared to 7% of Gen Xers and 11% of Boomers.

The survey results suggest that the major bedding brands on the wholesale and retail sides of the business cannot afford to sit back and assume their brand-building heritage will be decisive. Instead, they need to be working every day to earn consumers’ trust anew.

…And the survey results are good news for the challenger bedding brands aiming to grab share from the big guys. They don’t face insurmountable obstacles as they appeal to consumers to consider their brands, the survey results suggest.”

Based on the results posted above that only 10-15% of respondents are loyal to specific furniture stores, the same holds true for “challenger” stores aiming to grab share from the big guys! There is a HUGE opportunity for the local retailer to win, and appearing at the top of Google search results can play a role.

Read the full Furniture Today article.


Treating customers right can help your Google results

Putting a glass-half-full spin on the article below; providing great experiences for your customers can garner you 4- and 5- star reviews which elevate your site in search.

“Who ARE you?”

Hello, I’m Joe. I’m kinda good at AdWords and I want to share that goodness with the small furniture retailers. Furniture is in my blood – along with blood. My family has been in the furniture business for three generations and I was a furniture retailer for 20 years. (I know, I look too young to have been doing anything for 20 years; now you’re making me blush.) So, I get it. I’ve lived through the gradual decline of the independent furniture retailer and the rise of the online behemoths and brick-and-mortar powerhouses. But, I’ve also seen the web as the great equalizer in a sense. The small guy can compete with the 800 pound gorilla online. Who want’s to try and outspend Wayfair on TV? You’ll go broke. But Google has made it easy for the little guy to outrank the big guy locally without breaking the bank. That’s what we’re going to explore in this blog. I’ll post on topics and answer questions. I’m an open book (actually, I’m a human, not a book) ask me anything.

First SearchWurx blog post

Hello folks and welcome! I’m Joe Walter, founder of SearchWurx, the company who helps independent furniture retailers beat the “majors” at coming up first on Google search. We’re going to give you some free tips here, but we’re just a call/text/email away if you want help implementing them or just want to turn your search campaign over to a trusted partner who can take online advertising off your plate completely.

Tip #1: Get started! (Don’t worry, the tips will get more elaborate, but none will be more critical than this.) If you’re not advertising on Google, start here. You want to be in front of prospects the moment they’re looking for new furniture or a new mattress online. Very few potential customers are wasting their own time searching for furniture without having at least some intent to purchase. Be there.