Since starting Computer Aid, I’ve suspected that online advertising is ineffective, when compared to most other industries.
The reason is quite simple: most people will call a computer technician once their computer is broken (or is so badly incapacitated, that it barely works).
So for most people, when the computer breaks down, they can’t use the internet to find a computer technician… so why advertise online for business if most of your target audience just can’t find you?
I admit, there are some people that will find a computer tech on the internet. These people will usually have a second computer, or another way to access the internet (mobile phone, work PC, friend, neighbour, etc).
I recently had Yodel Australia contact me, and they were very keen for me to give their online advertising (via google) a go. They were sure they would be able to deliver customers to my phone.
I was sceptical, since my own google adwords advertising campaign was resulting in hardly any “clicks”… which is good, in a way… as the advertising costs me next to nothing.
So they offered a special offer: they would not charge their fee for the first month… I would just pay for the google campaign itself (up front…).
When it comes to advertising, I’m willing to try new techniques, but I ruthlessly cull any advertising that doesn’t pay its own way.
Well, there was a slight hiccup during the first month… instead of targeting Sydney people who were looking for computer techs in Sydney, they targeted Brisbane people who were looking for computer techs in Sydney!
Needless to say, no-one clicked.
So, after fixing their mistake, Yodel ran the corrected campaign for a second month. Although I got a hard-copy performance report for the first (mis-managed) month, I got no report on the second “more successful” month.
Just a phone call asking if I’d like to continue the campaign, as the money is all used up, and I really need to run a campaign for at least 3 months in order to start seeing results…
Sorry Yodel: no results means you don’t get any more of my limited budget. I’ll go back to my own adwords campaign ($10 per month), rather than pay $200 per month for the same results.
So why do I continue to advertise, run a website, and keep writing these blog posts?
A few reasons:
- Brand awareness: If people see my website often enough (even if they fix their own problem with my information), they are more likely to call if/when they have a problem they cannot fix themselves.
- I enjoy writing
- Income: the tiny income from google adverts on computer-aid.com.au pays for hosting and domain names.
- It gives Computer Aid a professional and trustworthy “feel”. We all need to feel we can trust the people we hire to work for us (eg plumbers, builders, etc).