AdWords: More complicated, but more effective

By Jim Kendall

This column originally appeared in the April 27, 2015 Daily Herald

                AdWords work, but capturing not only the site visits you pay for when an Internet searcher clicks on your ad but the sales that actually matter is more involved than it once was:

* You can target by location, not just local or national but, according to JumpFly Inc., an Elgin company that focuses entirely on pay per click (PPC) advertising, location specifics that include, for example, universities – interesting if college students are your market – and central commercial districts.

* You can target by household income.

* Google can count store visits that spring from AdWords and has a countdown widget for time-sensitive promotions.

Of course, your paid ad first must be good enough to convince an online searcher to click, and your website landing page then must convince visitors to buy.

In fact, the website is pretty important. “Look at your website,” says Mike Tatge, JumpFly founding partner. “Would you (click or call) it” to make a purchase?

“Absolutely paid search is a good medium – when clients know what they want,” says Steve Krull, CEO, Be Found Online LLC, Chicago.

Knowing what results you seek and being able to pull off a PPC campaign aren’t the same thing. Increasingly, Krull says, “Businesses that don’t have anyone who can manage paid search” are at a disadvantage.

Michael Ginsberg agrees, although he turned to JumpFly. Ginsberg is president of, a Cary-based online e-commerce reseller in the 3G-4G-wireless sector.

“The whole goal is to put an ad in front of someone who will buy,” Ginsberg says. “But you have to tweak that ad. Certain words have to change – if you’re out of stock on an item, for example.”

JumpFly is the fourth company has hired to do PPC. “I was struggling a couple of years ago, thinking I’d have to hire a full-time employee to manage PPC.”

Instead, Ginsberg began his search for outsourced PPC assistance. “We spent more in the past,” he says now. “In the last 6-12 months, our (PPC) spending has gone down – but our revenue is up.”

Like other marketing, PPC ultimately is “all about revenue – what you’re spending and what you’re making,” Krull says.

Google and its AdWords continue to be the dominant PPC player, though Krull notes that “Facebook has a very strong ad platform, and LinkedIn is starting to become more sales and marketing oriented.”

Your ultimate PPC success, however, depends on how well your PPC program differentiates your business – and, Tatge says, increasingly on retargeting. “PPC is expanding into other models,” he says. Retargeting is one of those models.

Retargeting is a cookie-fed procedure that adds a display ad to the PPC process. Even though a PPC clicker may not have purchased from your site, the fact that the searcher visited indicates enough interest to justify the pop-up ads intended to remind the visitor about your product.


© 2015 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Listen to Jim’s Business Owners’ Pod Talk at