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Sensis ClickManager – a money pit if not measured and modified

We have had a number of new AdWords clients come to us with campaigns previously managed by Sensis (ClickManager).

Today we were given another ClickManager login and it’s probably 50% effective. Consider it’s $800+ per month that client is wasting $400 per month thereabouts. Ouch.

The client said the salesperson said their aim from the outset was to have them in the top three positions. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. You’ll waste money hand over fist with this approach if it hasn’t been trialed and proven to be better cost per conversion. There is no cost benefit between number 1 and number 10 if you are exhausting your budget per day, you are just exhausting it for half the number of clicks because you are paying far more to be at the top. A visitor is a visitor regardless of how much you pay for that visitor.

It is also important that you strengthen and improve your entire online sales process, this means not only ensuring quality traffic to the website, but ensuring an effective conversion process. Does Sensis look at this? No.

The Sensis campaigns we have seen so far are often riddled with amateur mistakes and problems, including:

  • Poor audience targeting
  • Low quality leads
  • Low quality traffic
  • Incorrect setup of tracking
  • Incorrect account setup (i.e. not merged with Google Analytics)
  • Poor campaign structure
  • Poor relevancy scores

A couple of these are showstoppers – if you haven’t hooked the Links Tags in there is no way to examine metrics within Google Analytics which means you can’t refine what you are doing (and you can’t cross-check Sensis’ stats to say whether they are sending as many links as they are).

The most important concept that businesses need to grasp is that paying for clicks to your website is next to useless if they are not “converting”.  A conversion can be a contact form submission, an e-commerce sale, or even a newsletter signup, but you need an interaction with a customer. You also need to track phone inquiry to see if the person found you online.

If you have a website that does not convert, then any expenditure on online advertising is wasted, other than (perhaps) passive brand awareness.

Knowing which keywords and ads are producing visitors is is vital in determining the quality and relevance of the traffic you are paying for.

A specialist t-shirt shop that advertises “clothes for sale” will spend a small fortune in ads for people looking for pants, shoes and other clothing. So plenty of traffic doesn’t necessarily mean a successful marketing campaign. Click here for more on that.

Next, understanding where the customer is in the purchase decision process is paramount to success of AdWords. Would you rather a potential lead from a customer who is looking for a “new car” or one who has done enough research to know he wants a specific make and model? You want the latter because that person has done the research and is a lot closer to purchasing. You want a hot lead like this, not be paying for clicks for broad searches. If you have a reason to target broadly you should certainly have content tailored to that point in the sales cycle.

OK, let’s give Sensis and Yellow Pages the benefit of the doubt for a second that they get your ad campaigns right. How do they know what is converting via your site? How could they when they haven’t set up the Link Tagging in the first place? Do they even ask? What happens if they do ask – are they going to advise you on what to change on your site to improve conversion?

Another question is what percentage of your visitors are paid for and what’s organic (normal Google rankings)? Are you paying for traffic you are already ranking well for?

The client mentioned above has not been asked a single one of these questions. That’s how we know Sensis isn’t doing a good job in the first place.

Unlike Sensis, the team at Kook can help you ensure your ads are relevant and targeted, as well as identify where the significant issues in your conversion process are.

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