Theres an old adage in business that says, You have to spend money to make money. As anyone who has experienced the power of effective advertising will confirm, the adage rings true time and time again. You have to tell the public what you offer before they know that youre the one to buy it from. That part is easy and obvious.
There is, however, a second statement that should bookend the first which goes, Most businesses make money by saving money. Though the second statement might appear to contradict the first, it actually complements it. Think about your businesses margins before over-thinking the second statement. In an environment where many businesses measure their profit margins in single digits, every penny saved is truly a penny earned. The trick is, knowing where to spend and where to save.
Everybody needs to advertise. Yesterday, a few friends and I tried an exercise where we attempted to name companies, products or services that did not rely on advertising to spread their message. The only well known name we could all agree on was Google.
We were wrong, by the way. After a millisecond of research I discovered that even Google advertises its services.
I include the story because I found Google’s primary means of advertising its own products and services interesting. Google primarily uses AdWords. Chances are; you do too.
AdWords advertising works. It, along with its AdSense distribution system, has been called the most innovative wealth redistribution system the Internet has ever spawned. It is certainly the most successful, accounting for over 95% of Googles annual revenues.
Like all systems, AdWords is not perfect although it is very, very good. A lot of very wise money is spent advertising there, most of which nets an adequate return on investment for advertisers. Thats why the system works so well and is universally popular virtually everywhere on Earth. The system makes mistakes though and those mistakes are costing advertisers monies that would otherwise be added to their bottom line.
If only there was an independent third party that could monitor the ad-spend, find those mistakes and help get misspent monies refunded. Actually, there is one.
Enquisite Search Metrics has devised PPC Assurance. a PPC quality control monitoring and analytics system that spots mistakes made in Pay Per Click billings from Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing. PPC Assurance boasts a 5% – 10% catch-rate for campaigns that make good use of the advertising systems features. PPC Assurance automatically records those mistakes and submits a refund request to Google or Yahoo using the exact details the networks demand.
Why are there mistakes? With large distributed systems, it takes time to move the campaign information around the network. This, plus the fact that ads are being served at a rate greater than hundreds of thousands per second, leads to a situation where there are misdirected ads. Once again, these are computer architecture issues that are extremely difficult to solve. PPC Assurance finds these inconsistencies including some click issues that may be related to what is called click fraud.
Having successfully garnered refunds (generally in the form of free click credits) for several clients, PPC Assurance recently moved out of beta testing and is now open and available for commercial sign-ups. The idea is simple enough though the actual workings of the software are more complex than one might think. Heres a brief overview:
- Powered by Enquisite, PPC Assurance first works with the client to add special codes to the campaign landing page links that give important extra information on the clients clicks.
- Next, it captures a copy of the clients clicks in real-time, effectively creating a remote log-file.
- The system then analyses every click using over 20 different tests developed by their PhDed science staff.
- PPC Assurance then scans the billing records of client accounts as phrased by the PPC networks, comparing those records against the settings of the advertisers account at the PPC networks.
- When it spots discrepancies or obvious erroneous click activity, it records each incident and prepares a report.
- That report can be forwarded to the claims departments at Google or YSM at the click of one button.
- Because the reports include all details required by the networks to investigate and issue refund orders, they tend to be honored by the networks. Simple enough on the surface…
Underneath the hood, there is a lot more happening than meets the eyes. Based on a number of patent-pending algorithms and methods, Enquisite is able to do deep analysis on every search related visit to a website or document. Originally developed as a tool for SEOs focused on organic placements, CEO Richard Zwicky found himself overwhelmed by requests from SEMs focused on paid-search for a complimentary product. As both groups have different needs, an entirely unique product had to be developed, hence PPC Assurance.
PPC Assurance is a one-of-a-kind product with no current competitors or imitators, says Zwicky. He is right. Can anyone name another product that delivers a 5 10% saving on ad-spend? That might take a while, longer than it takes to name a company that doesnt advertise in one way or another. Take your time but while you do, have PPC Assurance scanning your PPC campaigns in the background. That way the time can be monetized through savings.