Welcome to episode 198 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Chris Schaeffer all about Google Ads.
Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Jeff Sauer from Jeffalytics about making the most of your analytics data. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
Using Google Ads as a Blogger
We see ads all the time, but do you know how to run, optimize, and analyze your own ads?
Enter: Chris Schaeffer. He’s actually working with our WP Tasty team to help optimize their Google Ads, so he’s here today to chat about the strategies, tools, and placements you can consider as you’re getting ads set up for your content.
If the idea of running your own ads makes you want to cry, this episode will calm those nerves and give you a great starting point to a pain-free ad strategy.
In this episode, Chris shares:
- The difference between AdWords and Google Ads
- What Google Ads is and how it works
- Where you can see Google Ads
- The difference between Google Ads and AdSense
- When should you consider using Google Ads
- How to get up and running with Google Ads
- Strategies for using ads
- How ads work on YouTube
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
We’d like to thank our sponsors, WP Tasty! Check out wptasty.com to learn more about their handcrafted WordPress plugins specifically made for food bloggers.
If you’d like to jump to the comments section, click here.
Alexa Peduzzi: In this episode, I talk about some new courses on Food Blogger Pro. Then Bjork interviews Chris Shaffer, all about Google ads.
Alexa Peduzzi: Hey, hey, hey, lovely listener. You are listening to The Food Blogger Pro Podcast. Happy Tuesday, once again. Before we hop into the episode today, I’d like to take a second to thank our sponsors, our sister site WP Tasty. WP Tasty is the place, for handcrafted plugin solutions for food bloggers.
Alexa Peduzzi: If you’re in the market for a beautiful and SEO friendly way to display your recipes, a way to optimize your images for Pinterest or a way to maximize affiliate revenue and internal linking, WP Tasty has you covered. You can learn more over at wptasty.com.
Alexa Peduzzi: For today’s Tasty Tip, I want to take a quick second to chat, about some of the new courses we’ve actually just published on Food Blogger Pro. Now, these courses are only available to Food Blogger Pro members. But if you’re not a Food Blogger Pro member, my hope is that you’ll find this quick rundown helpful, as a way to show you what we’re working on. And what we’re finding helpful, as we navigate blogging in 2019.
Alexa Peduzzi: Some of our new courses and course updates include, the Pomodoro Technique. This is a time management method, that helps you break down your tasks into manageable 25 minute distraction free intervals. It can be an extremely helpful technique if you’re having trouble getting started, staying on task, or actually completing your tasks.
Alexa Peduzzi: This course has a downloadable pdf to go along with it to help you track your Pomodoros as well. The next one is how to add emojis to blog posts and forum threads. We just migrated our Food Blogger Pro site over to WordPress and one of the things we’re most excited about with the switch is the fact that you can now use emojis on The Food Blogger Pro forum. That is pretty awesome. Adding an Emoji to a conversation in your phone is incredibly simple, but on your computer it’s a little bit more difficult. This course will actually teach you three ways how to easily add emojis to not only Food Blogger Pro forum threads, but to your blog posts and beyond.
Alexa Peduzzi: The next new course that we added was actually a course update for Adobe Lightroom. Lindsay our fabulous co-founder and Pinch of Yum boss woman, updated our old Lightroom course with new workflows, tips and tricks like using presets, editing for different moods, efficiency and more. Then last but not least, another course update was for Facebook. We all know what Facebook is, but there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to help you share the best content for this platform. You’ll also learn some tips and tricks for stories, Facebook live groups and more. That’s just within the past few weeks. We are always new content and updating older content. If you’re a member, be sure to keep your eye on our courses at foodbloggerpro.com/courses. If you have any ideas for new courses you’d like to see on Food Blogger Pro, I am all ears. You can let me know at [email protected].
Alexa Peduzzi: Now the interview, we see ads all the time, but do you know how to run, optimize and analyze your own ads and enter Chris Schaeffer. He’s actually working with our WP Tasty team to help them optimize their Google ads. So he’s here today to chat about the strategies, tools and placements you can consider as you’re getting ads set up for your own content. If the idea of running your own ads makes you want to cry, I am right there with you, but this episode will actually calm those nerves and give you a great starting point to a pain free ad strategy. Without any further ado, Bjork, you can take it away.
Bjork Ostrom: Chris, welcome to the podcast.
Chris Schaeffer: Thank you. Happy to be here.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s going to be great to chat all about advertising and advertising as it relates specifically to Google. But what I wanted to start with is actually maybe a little bit of a branding question as it relates to ads and Google ads because there’s this change that happened recently, and I still … reminds me of growing up, we had the small grocery store and it was called More For, and then it rebranded to a County Market, but everybody’s still called it More For, and I feel like that same thing applies to Google ads and ad words. Can you talk about what this change is, what’s happening? And for a lot of people that used to call it ad words, what it is now and why it was rebranded?
Chris Schaeffer: Yeah, I know that there’s been a lot of confusion about that. In the end it’s still the same system. Ad Words is the old name, and with a rebranding, Google has named it Google ads, which makes sense because they wanted their own name, in the Google ads name. So it makes sense that they would do that. As far as how the system works differently from a user perspective, someone that’s searching on Google, there’s basically some longer more detailed ads that show up on Google if you search for something, you’ll see more content. The ads will be longer, they’ll have more, what we call headlines and description lines. But, as far as the user end goes, nothing’s really changed. But if you are a AdWords manager, things have changed a lot.
Chris Schaeffer: There are no more features that used to be very common to managers back in the day. We would have a lot of features that have changed or been repurposed for something. Now we have a completely different user interface. The colors have changed, which was quite a shock. I’m in AdWords every single day and, when they changed the colors from red to blue, it was quite a shift. But-
Bjork Ostrom: This is interesting. It’s even, you even kind of pulled them more for, there were ad words. So is technically is that Google ads? Like is it still kind of this synonymous thing where people say Google ads, and they mean AdWords or ad words, and they mean Google ads, but you can switch them out.
Chris Schaeffer: Yeah, they’re both exactly the same. They mean the same thing. And I used them all the time interchangeably. I try and use the right Google ads name, but it’s the same thing.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Okay. And what was interesting for me, I didn’t actually realize that I thought it was just a rebranding. But in talking with you, I just realized, there’s actually things that changed about the product and even about the deliverable. So you talk about what the ad looks like when you do a search. I didn’t realize that in changing the name to Google ads, there’s also some things that changed behind the scenes. You talked about, especially for you as a Google ads manager and so now that people have kind of an idea between the difference of these two things, maybe if we even zoom back a little bit more, can you describe what Google ads is or ad words as it used to be called? And for a consumer or a like a muggle as normal people that aren’t Google ads managers, how would we know what are Google ads and how do we see them every day?
Chris Schaeffer: Yeah. So Google ads is basically the platform that you log into to tell Google where you want your ads to show. That’s the simplest way to explain it. You have to have some way to explain to the Google system, the Google ad system, what keywords you want your ads to show up when they’re searched or what websites you want your image ads to show, or, which content you want your YouTube ads to show. It’s I think, incredibly, direct system. There’s very few advertising platforms where you can choose I want to show up when someone types size nine red women shoes. There’s not many ways that you can be so direct and this is the platform that you do that on. After years of working in the system, I think it’s wonderful, but if you’re new, it can be very complex and confusing. There’s a lot of buttons, a lot of options, and it can be very overwhelming.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s interesting. One of the things that I’ve noticed with Google ads as a user of Google, as I’m sure everybody that listens to this podcast is, is the actual display, and there’s lots of different types of ways that Google ads would show up. But right now I’m speaking specifically about using Google as a search engine. You type in a keyword and or typing your search phrase and there’ll be ads that show up. I remember back in the day, way back, if we roll back the tape of Google, and the UI of what it looks the ads would be in this box, and I think it was maybe like a yellow background. It would be really, really obvious that those were ads, but that’s kind of changed over the years.
Bjork Ostrom: Google ads they still have a little, and maybe it’s a green, I’m trying to remember what it is, a little tag next to them, but they look more like a natural search results. If you noticed that ads are over time becoming more effective as Google merges them into search a little bit more, so they look a little bit more natural.
Chris Schaeffer: Well, I think Google ads has always been effective in bringing the right kind of traffic, but I think now, users are less aware when they click an advertisement. They look very much the same as an organic ad. Over the years, you’re right, there was a background color. There was a couple of different types of colors they used. If you remember, this kind of disappeared very subtly, but there used to be ads on the right side of the search result, and now there’s only ads at the top and ads at the bottom, you may not even know there’s ads at the bottom, which there’s a reason advertisers don’t show up there much. But, that is absolutely something that’s changed because it’s a blending of the content and overall I’m happy. I think a lot of advertisers are happy because it does help us deliver the right kind of content to people without them being skeptical that, “Oh, this is in the yellow box. You don’t trust the yellow box because it’s an ad.”
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Interesting. So, essentially Google ads is kind of a cash cow as I understand it for Google. It’s like how Google makes most of their money, and it shows up in different places. Search is the one we’re most familiar with, but there’s also some other places. And you actually kind of mentioned those. Can you talk about the other places where an ad from Google might show up? Is it websites? You had mentioned YouTube. Where are some other places where Google ads exist on the web?
Chris Schaeffer: Of course search is huge and that’s where most people are obviously aware of it because they go to google.com and then they see an ad. So they know that’s a Google ad. But, beyond that is what we advertisers refer to as the display network. The display network is not just websites. It goes beyond that. Nowadays, mobile traffic makes up a significant part of traffic on the internet for pretty much any industry you’re going after. You’re going to see sometimes, 60, 40, between mobile and desktop. It makes a big difference. And so on mobile phones, the display network now encompasses mobile apps, which use did not even exist, years ago. It was just, what websites do you want to show on? Now you can show up on mobile phones and if you ever see your toddler, clicking on something on your iPad or your phone and suddenly you look and they’re looking at a life insurance website, and you wonder how did you get there?
Chris Schaeffer: That’s because they had an ad that was on their free, app and they tapped on it. So this is-
Bjork Ostrom: It sounds like you might be speaking from experience with that one.
Chris Schaeffer: Yes, it’s something of a bit of annoyance that I see many of my clients spending money on things like toddler apps and coloring apps and things like that. And it happens, and this is … this is why I have a job is because it’s important to make sure that your clicks that you’re spending money on are not from toddlers coloring digital pictures-
Bjork Ostrom: The conversion rate on insurance for toddlers coming from coloring site I would assume is very low. You don’t want to be spending there. So interesting. So, that’s … you talked about the display network. I think a great example to visualize that for people is like one aspect of the display network would be retargeting.
Bjork Ostrom: If you ever go to a website, and you look, this happened with my father-in-law when he was … So we have a food blog, recipe blog, Pinch of Yum. He was on the site, and he said, “There’s a weird connection here because I was just looking at these basketball hoops and now I can see you’re running ads on your site for these basketball hoops.” But what was actually happening was, I’m guessing there’s lots of ad networks to do this, but the Google display network was retargeting, meaning there’s a pixel that was placed on his web browser and so then now that company says, “Hey, anytime that somebody comes to my site and doesn’t buy my basketball hoop, when they go somewhere else, if that site is running Google ad sense, then we want to put an ad there and re target them.”
Bjork Ostrom: Which brings me into my next question. We’ve talked about Google ads and ad words, but then there’s also this thing called AdSense. What’s the difference between AdWords and AdSense?
Chris Schaeffer: AdWords is for advertisers like me, people who are trying to get ads out there and AdSense is essentially the billboard that we try and get our ads on. So we have to pay Google money. The advertiser pays Google money in order to get an ad shown on those digital billboards, the blogs, the websites, the mobile apps, all those things. So, the difference when you are on the flip side of that is you just have a placeholder on your site, and you are part of the AdSense networks. So from an advertiser’s point of view, we don’t really think about how much you’re getting paid. We think about how much we are paying Google to get placed on that website. And there are some websites that have higher demand. They will have a higher bid requirement in order to show up. So instead of paying just a few cents, we might have a higher requirement that that shows. So the amount of availability for those ads might be less on some websites and more on others. That all determines how much we have to pay to get listed on those.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s interesting. In a point of clarification for people that listen to this podcast, a lot of bloggers will potentially work with an ad network. So they might work with an ad network like AdThrive, which is the company we use or Mediavine, which is a company a lot of other bloggers use. But it’s important to know that those companies are working with a lot of other companies that are doing advertising, and they will work with Google to help run some of those ads. So even if you have a blog, and it’s running Mediavine, it’s running AdThrive underneath that, the AdThrive umbrella or the Mediavine umbrella or whatever ad network you are using, they will also be partnering with Google behind the scenes. So chances are if you have a blog, you are also using AdSense and on your site, you have some of this stuff happening for the Google display network.
Bjork Ostrom: A followup question on that would be, you had talked about kind of the window and so my guess is that different types of content is more valuable. We talk a lot about food blogs and recipe blogs and people creating content around that. But there’s also all types of other blogs. There’s finance blogs, there’s, people who blog about travel. Are there industries where you had kind of referenced this, that it’s more expensive or less expensive and you have some examples of what those might be in terms of you as the person that’s running ads trying to get clicks. You know hey, this is going to be an industry that’s really, really expensive and the cost per click, how much it costs for somebody to click on that ad is going to be high. Not that you have to paint the picture with every category, but I think it’s helpful for people to understand kind of the value of content as it relates advertising dollars.
Chris Schaeffer: Yes, absolutely. As an advertiser, it’s not necessarily a relation to always wanting to be on one in particular site. It’s more about the way that we show ads to people based on the targeting. If I was just working with a company just earlier today that was trying to reach dentists, and they are a B2B company that provides a service to dentists, and so therefore it would be great to show up on pages that dentists might be reading. It might be about dental equipment, it might be about the dentist’s business, all kinds of different ways that relate to the business of dentistry. This would be more expensive because this would represent a much smaller targeted network of content. And so I would probably pay more, but if I was working with a client that had a car, and was trying to reach people that might be interested in buying a new car, my goodness, there’s a lot of opportunity there.
Chris Schaeffer: Just auto everywhere, whether it’s automobiles, new, used, repairing and modifications. There’s all kinds of ways that we can reach content related to that. So that might not be quite as expensive because of the amount of demand out there. So it’s especially valuable to find … For me, I work with a lot of B2B companies, businesses, reaching other businesses for those services. So it’s important to reach industry specific pages and that unique content can be very valuable to advertisers like me because the people coming to that page are valuable to my client. They’re valuable to sell that service. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily any certain websites that somebody will pay more for. It’s more about how unique is that content, how valuable is that content to a certain industry.
Bjork Ostrom: Got It. I think it’s helpful to provide that, on both sides of the story. Because a lot of people that are producing content and running ads against it don’t have a really clear understanding of what’s happening behind the scenes. There’s lots and lots of layers to ads and advertising, but this is one of them. It’s people going in and saying, “Hey, there’s content out there. I want to run my ads against that content.” So even if people don’t use Google ads for their business, it’s helpful to know a little bit about what’s happening on the other side, so you can have some understanding of what that looks like on your site when you do see those ads show up. But I do want to ask about when should consider using Google ads as part of their business strategy.
Bjork Ostrom: One of the questions that we often get is, “Hey, I have a blog. I want to figure out ways to get more traffic to my site. Maybe I should be using things like Google ads or Facebook ads or whatever ads it would be to pay to get people to show up to my site.” So is that something that people should be considering? At what point should they consider that? How do you know if you are a business that should be using Google ads or not?
Chris Schaeffer: Yeah. I would say that the mathematics just don’t really work out very well. If you want to use an advertising platform to send paid traffic to a site that you’re then running AdSense on because, here’s how it might work. You could bring people to your site for … there might be a way to work out to bring people to your site from the display network for 1 cent per click, you can get very cheap traffic.
Chris Schaeffer: Okay, I’m going to go back to the beginning of what we were talking about. You’re going to be getting traffic from little miss toddler coloring on her phone. You’re going to get traffic that is not warranted to be very valuable. There is gobs and gobs of impressions out there and clicks that can be gathered up. But most of it, I’d say 99% of it is going to be junk traffic that will immediately bounce. They won’t engage with your site, and they’re not useful for really anybody because there’s no value for the person coming. It’s unlikely that person will read the content. They probably don’t even mean to be there. They might be click. There’s a lot of apps out there that will trick you into clicking an ad. A lot of websites that will trick you into clicking an ad.
Chris Schaeffer: That’s the cheap stuff that you’re going to end up getting. If you say, “Okay, well I want something more valuable.” Now you’re getting into something where you might need to pay 35 cents, 50 cents a dollar for this traffic, and now it just becomes a bucket you’re throwing money into because you’re not going to be able to get the AdSense value from something that’s costing 50 cents per click.
Bjork Ostrom: Right? And some people might be playing the math game a little bit and saying, “Hey, so if it’s 1 cent per click and I can get a thousand clicks and that’s, $10 that I paid for it, and in a really good month, maybe my blog is making it. There’s a lot of, it depends with this $15 rpm. So that means that I could do kind of an arbitrage play and just get a bunch of people to click and come over. But I think the important thing to point out is what you said where, ”Hey, that’s not valuable traffic.” Those people are coming and leaving and the rpm or the amount that you get paid per 1000 page views or impressions or 1000 visits to your site.
Bjork Ostrom: There’s a lot of different ways you’d say it, but we’ll say page use. 1000 page use to your site. That’s probably pretty valuable traffic, especially if it’s organic, because people are going to be searching for something online. They’re going to be clicking and they’re going to be thinking, “Hey, is this right for me?” They’re going to be reading. They’re going to be scrolling through it. If you have a recipe, they’re going to be going down and reading through it. All of that is engagement, which doesn’t exist with just a pure click from a coloring ad by a toddler. Right? So, they might be temporarily interested in this, especially if it’s like a cupcake recipe or something like that, but they’re not going to be actually spending time engaging with the content in a way that somebody would from organic search. So if not a smart play for content, who is it a smart play for? Who would the online business owners that should be thinking strategically, and thinking about implementing Google ads for their business.
Chris Schaeffer: When there is a clear call to action that has some type of financial benefit for what you’re doing, whether you are generating leads, or you’re selling a product or maybe you’re just trying to garner email signups to something or white paper downloads, there’s some type of value to getting that out there. Maybe branding, something like that. Then it would probably make sense to try it. But when it comes … you said the magic word click arbitrage. I mean there’s a reason, there’s a word for that. It just, you’re trying to wag the dog rather than the way that the system is supposed to work. It’s not going to work by forcing traffic, useless traffic into your system. So if you have some type of purpose to driving that traffic and that traffic is targeted in some kind of significant way, at least you’re making decisions about the content that they’re viewing.
Chris Schaeffer: And then they see your ad that’s somewhat related to that and they click on it and okay, you’ve provided relevant content to a real person. They click on it. The problem is that it will cost money. The days of getting traffic for fractions of a cent, at least on ad words, I don’t think is a real thing anymore because nowadays there’s just too many people out there, too many opportunities to get clicks at super cheap and it just doesn’t mean anything. There’s no real value for that.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s kind of that classic economics of Supply and demand. At one point there was a lot of supply with Google ads and not a lot of demand, and so it was a really cheap, but that changes as it becomes. People are like, “Hey, this is super cheap.” And then people are like the herd of people coming over ’cause they are like “Hey, we can really good traffic really cheap.” Then it’s not cheap anymore because there’s more demand for it, and the supply may be doesn’t change. So it gets more expensive and you have to be more strategic about it. So that’s where somebody like you comes into play where you understand the intricacies of how you target and how you get really specific and how you can make those decisions. So you are sure spending money but spending money in a way where you are getting money in return.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s when ads really work out. It’s interesting, the more and more I learned about startups, the more I’m starting to see, and these are not necessarily even bootstrap startups but venture back startups, which they have money from investors and they’re trying to figure out ways to grow really quickly. One of the most important elements is that they’re thinking about how do we integrate ads to our growth strategy. And if we pay $100 to get a user and we know they call it the LTV, the lifetime value of that customer is $300 then over time it makes sense for us to do that. So would you say at its core if you’re trying to decide if you should be running Google ads or not, one of the early filters you should pass that through is like if you are selling an actual product that you are charging for, is that a good kind of qualifier for Google ads?
Chris Schaeffer: I would say yes. There needs to be, like you said, some type of value derived from the money spent and it’s typically going to be because you have some type of financial requirement for the person to acquire what you’re selling. It needs to be something. I think the filter that a lot of people could put on it is if you’re measuring success of your ad words campaign based on clicks, then you’re probably doing it wrong. You won’t find a successful ad words campaign that only derives success based on the click number or the number of impressions that you’re getting because there is really no value in traffic itself. There is value in focused qualified track because that represents real people. But this traffic for the sake of traffic is completely without value.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. And it’s a little bit of a mindset shift I think for a lot of people that are used to content based businesses where it’s like “Hey, traffic goes up and income goes up because that traffic is attached to advertising dollars. But the switch happens when, you start to think not about traffic but about, revenue or ROI. So return on investment. So if you invest $100, what’s the return on that? If you invest $100 and get 200 back, that’s a new dial that you can dial up in order to increase growth. Because hey, I would exchange one penny for two pennies all day long. And that’s essentially what ads are when they are effective is you’re exchanging, you have this, dollar, you give a dollar and you get $2 and you say, okay, now that we found this, let’s ramp this up and do this as effective as possible.
Bjork Ostrom: A good example would be, so for Pinch of Yum, which is the food and recipe blog that we have, we aren’t running ads, and we, probably never will run any type of Google ads except there are some areas where we could maybe think about running ads, and an example would be we have, an ebook on food photography and we could experiment and say, “Hey, if we start to pinpoint some really targeted keywords and some phrases, maybe we can get people who are searching to improve their food photography to come to the page, and not everybody’s going to purchase, but maybe a select few of those people will purchase and we could maybe get the numbers to work where we are paying less than we’re making from running those ads.
Bjork Ostrom: If somebody in that position and they’re starting to say, “Hey, I, I maybe have a product that I could promote on Google ads and, or maybe my business is product based and not advertising based, what are the first steps in getting up and running with Google ads?” Like you said at the beginning of the podcast, there’s so many different components of it and you get in and it’s kind of overwhelming and that’s why you have a thriving business is because you help people navigate that. But let’s say if somebody was just starting out and kind of experimenting with it, what are the first steps that they should take and what are the different areas they need to be paying attention to? I totally understand that’s a very big question with lots of different potential ways to tackle it.
Chris Schaeffer: Right? So if you’re looking to generate leads or sell a product, I think the very first place that I consider is Google search, that’s often the best place to get the most ROI, return on investment out of the campaign. Because as I said before, people are very intentional and intentional about what they’re doing. They are searching for something. You have a keyword that is based on what those people might be searching, and when they search that term, they see your ad and they click on it and they could be interested. That’s probably one of the best ways to first consider getting traffic. Now, if you are running into issues where maybe you can’t really come up with keywords, people aren’t necessarily searching for something that you’re selling, some kind of product that doesn’t have a whole lot of volume to it.
Chris Schaeffer: If you go outside of the boundaries of that focused search, you don’t really find a lot of qualified traffic, just a lot of traffic that doesn’t convert. Then it’s a possibility that you might want to try display. So display is going to be much cheaper to give an idea. You might, if I’m going to be advertising, a home remodeling service, I might pay $5, $6, $7 per click, which is significant. We’re talking, thousands of dollars or a couple hundred dollars depending on how much you want to spend to get the right amount of traffic on search. But on display, I might only pay 60 cents, 70 cents, 80 cents, depending on how aggressive I want to be for the display network. Now, home remodeling has plenty of search behind it, so it would probably be a better investment to go into search.
Chris Schaeffer: But if you wanted to try, and reach people that we’re looking at content, have as we call ’em the Google ads side and affinity for a specific type of thing where there’s ways to target a person affinity or interest or search history based on what people are searching for. We can target those people, individuals, and it might be worth reaching out to them before they do a search for home remodeling. So that’s another avenue to go in, and then probably if you are in the business of reaching people, that takes a little bit longer to sell them on something. If it’s not an emergency type of service, like a plumber or some AC repair that needs someone right now and as soon as the problem is solved, they don’t need to see you again.
Chris Schaeffer: Then remarketing is a great avenue, which is on the display network. It’s again, it happened on the display network and like you mentioned before, it shows the people who’ve been to your site before. So you’re trying to sell an Ebook, if you’re trying to sell a service or a product. Remarketing is a phenomenal way and it’s typically very cheap because it’s on the display network. It’s going to be very cheap per click. Also you’re only advertising to a few thousand people rather than a few million people. So the expense is going to be very small.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. And it’s one of the things that I often hear about with people in your circle is just how smart it is to set up remarketing. Or I had a called a retargeting earlier, both with Facebook and Google, because you know right away that these are people that have come to your site and in some way have been interested in what you’re doing. And you can set that up in a way where you only are showing them ads if they haven’t purchased. Now, it’s important to point out again that we’re talking about this in regards to some type of product or service or offering and maybe a good way to paint that picture is to talk about the businesses that we run and that we’re in the process of getting up and running with Google ads. So we have WP Tasty, which is a WordPress plugin site, and we’re working to get remarketing and then also search set up for that.
Bjork Ostrom: And what we’ve found is, hey, we have a lot of traction with these plugins. We have three plugins, Tasty recipes, Tasty Pins, and Tasty links. People are using those, they’re buying those, they’re liking them, they’re sticking around, they have a super low churn rate. So we said, “Hey, it makes sense for us to invest in reaching additional people because we’ve proven these products. It’s not a super high traffic site. It’s not like Pinch of Yum where there’s, hundreds of thousands of people that are coming. It’s a low traffic but it’s really targeted and we know that we can set up ads and be really strategic about that.
Bjork Ostrom: Food Blogger Pro the membership site would be another example of a site where we could start to set up some of these strategic advertising campaigns around because there’s a really specific product around it. But Pinch of Yum, we’re never going to set up re marketing for people that came to look at a chocolate chip cookie recipe to try and get them to come back to that chocolate chip cookie recipe because the ROI on that, the return on that just isn’t worth it. It doesn’t make sense. For you that are listening to the podcast, think strategically about what are the things on your site that might be service or product related and how can you then start to think about not just organic. So often we think about just organic traffic, but how can you be strategic in starting to play around with and experiment with paid acquisition.
Bjork Ostrom: So you’re instead of trying to figure out Google and showing up at the top, you’re actually just paying to show up at the top for really specific keywords. Then if those people come and purchase from you, it’s because not your organic rank, but because you paid to show up at the top. So maybe a couple of examples there to help things out. The last area that I would be interested to hear your thoughts on would be YouTube. So YouTube is owned by Google and there’s a lot of ads that are shown on YouTube. We all know, that ad that will show up before we watch a video. And you can a lot of times skip to go to the next ad. But is that something, if somebody has a product or a service that they should be considering, and how do those ads work on YouTube?
Chris Schaeffer: YouTube, I think right now my favorite type of YouTube strategy is remarketing. I think, using YouTube as a remarketing system is great because the cost per view is very small. We’re talking just a few cents. Even compared to do the display network, you can get views on YouTube for even cheaper. So I’d say it’s in its infancy compared to, what the display network used to be. It’s a little bit more expensive led display network, to get some targeted traffic. But, absolutely is a great branding and remarketing platform. I don’t often assign YouTube to a lead generation or sales system because again, people don’t necessarily go there as specifically is what they do on Google. They don’t expect the find an ad, shown to them that has a solution that’s a product or a sales.
Chris Schaeffer: It’s not this kind of this weird space between a search engine and a social network. It’s, entertainment, but it’s also informing. It’s really interesting. I’ve yet to find it to be a true lead generation source. But there’s plenty of AdWords managers out there that probably could prove me wrong, but in just, my experience, I think it’s phenomenal for … if you have a local campaign, we talked about advertising cars. If you have a local car dealership, you probably see plenty of those ads. You probably name off very quickly the ads that you see on Google and they’re usually a specific type of thing. They’re very focused. They’re either big brands or maybe local companies, things like that. I think it works. It’s definitely worth the price but not necessarily for lead gen.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. That’s great. Ideal with that would be you go to a site, you check it out, maybe they have a service, they have a product not interested. You don’t purchase, you go over to YouTube and then you suddenly see an ad for it. And what they’re doing is they’re remarketing to you. They say, “Hey, we knew you were on our site before you didn’t buy, but we want to have another touch point here to talk a little bit more about that thing that you were looking at and potentially purchasing that. You can get really targeted and who that is. It could be based on location and it could be based on how long they’re on the site, things like that where you can get really specific in retargeting or remarketing to those people.
Chris Schaeffer: What’s really cool about YouTube ads is you can craft your own message in any way that you want. A display ad that shows on a blog or website is very flat. It’s doesn’t have any audio, it has no personality other than, some stock images and numbers. It’s all kind of annoying and you’ve seen it a million times, but you can use creativity to come up with a YouTube ad that could really grab someone’s attention in a lot of different ways. There’s a whole lot more of a creative platform to use YouTube to grab for branding purposes or for remarketing and trying to pitch that thing again. Does someone comes back to our site for this purpose? There’s a lot of different ways to use ads, whether they are the quick non skippable ads, which are just six seconds long.
Chris Schaeffer: And then there’s the skippable ads, which not only lead to an impression that you don’t have to pay anything core if the person’s skipped it. If a person’s skipped to the ad, you don’t have to pay for it. But if they don’t skip the ad you’ve now garnered a view, that’s when the person has watched it beyond that skippable time. Now, you have potentially generated some interest. They might watch your five minute video, and you’ve engaged them, for just a few pennies. And there’s a lot of messaging that can be done in a good YouTube video.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. A lot of things that we covered here, I think people that have a product or have a service, will have some ideas on how they could implement that. What I want to wrap up with is speaking to those people and letting them know how they could potentially work with you. But wrapping that into actually your story. Usually we start off the podcast with talking about people’s story and how they got started. But one of the things that I think is interesting, and I’m always trying to broaden the perspective of what it could look like to have an online business.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s what you have. So you are using podcasts, you are using media, you have a website, you are doing lead generation, and you’re working out of your home in Texas and you have an online business. A lot of the people that listen to this are interested in doing that in kind of gathering and gaining freedom, in choosing their own path or working on something they love. and you are doing that. I think it’s interesting and helpful to have conversations around how people got to where they are in their online business. So could you share kind of a overview of how you got started with this and what it’s like for you to kind of run your agency of helping people with search and understand Google ads?
Chris Schaeffer: Yeah, it was something that I kind of stumbled into, back in the early days of ad words. I’m going to use the old term ad words as it used to be called back in 2003 I helped my dad’s company set up his a Google ads campaign. I didn’t really know much about it, but I played with it and kind of learned it and then, found out, that’s interesting. I can get hired in house for a company that wants someone to do it full time. I got a job there, still very new. Then I learned more and more and then I found out other there’s entire agencies at work with a bunch of clients. I could do that as a big time account manager and got a job there. And then, after my second job, it was really a corporate gig, which I found out pretty quick I didn’t like.
Chris Schaeffer: I didn’t like wearing those expensive clothes and dressing nice and saying hello people that I didn’t really want to say hello to. I ended up starting my own gig and just started with a few clients on my own. What really drove the business for me is because I specialized what I sometimes refer to, it doesn’t sound very professional, but I refer to myself as a freelancer. It doesn’t sound like someone who has 15 years of experience, but I do and I like to choose who I work with and the types of companies I work with. I don’t have employees. I don’t have anyone that works with me. I have some people that I send work too, but I’m a freelancer and a specialist in Google ads.
Chris Schaeffer: That’s all I do. I think that’s what really drove the value for a lot of people is I don’t want to hire an agency because agencies are expensive. I don’t want them to manage my SEO. I don’t want them to pitch me and all of these services and I have an account manager I have to talk to, but I can’t talk to the actual guy that does the work and all this kinds of stuff. The price is a whole lot more expensive ’cause they have a whole lot more overhead. That’s what really drove the business forward for me is the uniqueness of being a specialist, being a freelancer in one thing, and found out that, locally in my area, I can’t really sell my service very far.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure.
Chris Schaeffer: Right. I mean, as an ad words manager, there’s only so many mom and pop shops that I can sell it to. But when I went and started creating a name nationally, and now with our podcasts that I do, internationally, I can suddenly take something that is a very small specialty and scale it across, millions, billions of people, and there’s going to be someone out there that just needs that one little thing and I can sell it and do that for lots of people. And suddenly a small price service can be something that I can live on something that I can do on a small scale of multiple times and, and make a very good living with.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I think there’s two things specifically that are so helpful within that. One is specializing, and we talk about how important that is, especially with content early on to have a real specific thing that you’re focusing on. What is your specialization? A great example of on the content side of things is this podcast, The Food Blogger Pro Podcast. It’s a very specific type of blog and it’s not just blogging in general, which is also relatively specific, but it’s food blogging and that’s what our site is all about as well. The other thing that I think is so great that you talked about is this specialization plus, access to the global market. That’s the only reason why Food Blogger Pro can exist is because, if we only allowed or had access to people in Minnesota, we’d have some people, but it wouldn’t be thousands of people.
Bjork Ostrom: Same with you is, you are, like you said, there’s your community and there’s some people that need Google ads, but it’s the global access to that that allows you to do that. And one of the things that you’d mentioned was your podcast, and that, we were chatting a little bit before we hit recording, had talked about that being a valuable lead generation thing for you. So, can you talk about what that is? If people are interested in following along with that podcast, tell them how they can check that out. Then also if people have a product that they have a service, if they are thinking about using Google ads for their business, how can they reach out to you and potentially work together?
Chris Schaeffer: Yeah, thanks for … As a marketer, I’m a horrible marketer of my own services, so thank you for reminding me. I do have a website and I am hire able, but, I just don’t mention it much. But yeah, Paid Search Podcast. Paidsearchpodcast.com is the podcast that I cohost with my buddy Jason, who also works in Google ads and works out of Oklahoma. We have literally never met in person, but we talk every single week, about Google ads and, he’s one of my great friends who I hope to meet some day.
Chris Schaeffer: It’s pretty crazy. But, we do that and as Jason says, so under fleet we get naked on the internet. We talk about stuff that most people charge for. Stuff that seems ridiculous when we started it, because we started sharing things that we kind of held close to our chest and we realized that by sharing this stuff, it really brought the veil down and it really helped people to see, “Okay, I can see how this would work.” The creativity starts to go when they start to see how the system works, what it’s like behind the scenes and how they can apply it with their business. I have plenty of people around the world that have contacted us and said, you’ve completely changed my life because I was wasting money on Google ads and now we’re doing it efficiently and it’s wonderful to have such a cool resource to be able to help people in that way.
Chris Schaeffer: But on the more financial side, my day to day business is Chrisshaffer.com. It’s CHRIS SCHAEFFER. Not a great website, but I’m self branded and I am what I am. And so-
Bjork Ostrom: And it works.
Chris Schaeffer: Yeah, if you hire me, you get my services and that’s what it’s all about. But I offer management services, training services. If you want to just do it yourself, I have a kind of a system where I can train you to do it over a period of time or I can just manage it for you. But the blast, it’s fun. I enjoy doing it, and as anyone who works at home knows it can be fun when you’re able to have the freedom to do something that even, it’s semi interesting to do it on a regular basis the way you want to do it.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. That’s awesome. We’ll be sure to link to your site in the show notes and really appreciate you coming on the podcast. Chris, like I had talked about before, I just want to do what we can to offer perspective on all of the different ways that we can be thinking strategically about how we build our own business or in the case of your story, what it looks like to be running all sorts of different businesses and the work that you’ve done in creating your own business and helping other businesses is a great example of that. Thanks so much for coming on the podcast. Really appreciate it, and looking forward to staying connected.
Alexa Peduzzi: And that is that my friend. Thank you so much for tuning in this week. If you enjoyed the episode or if The Food Blogger Pro Podcast is just a positive part of your week, we would so appreciate your review on iTunes. Leaving a review is really easy. All you have to do is go to iTunes, search The Food Blogger Pro Podcast, click our show logo, click over to ratings and reviews, and then click write a review and be sure to add your name and blog URL in the review so that we can share it in an upcoming episode of the podcast. We’ll see you next time, friend, but until then, make it a great week.