…and other online ad platforms. These used to be cheaper, but as more and more competition emerged for keywords (bidding for ads is done via an auction process) SEO is now arguably more cost-effective.
Adwords can still be cost-effective for small campaigns, such as testing how well certain pages convert visitors to clients.
The big-budget LSPs use Adwords to garner new clients, but there is a chance that we can compete by running cheaper and more focused campaigns. These would be based solely around keywords related to our speciality and expertise; terms they do not bid on. It is very much a trial and error approach, but data-driven so that you can seek out those keywords that only you have discovered work for your ideal client.
Campaigns can be set up with ‘negative keywords’ which stop your ad from showing when someone searches for ‘free translation’. This saves you money, as each click costs, and helps to ensure that only paying clients click through to your site. This is a way of qualifying visitors, ensuring that they are potential customers, and can be done in other ways, such as including an offer in the ad, to show that it is a paying service or empathising with the client’s search query (‘Trouble finding experienced German legal translation?’).
Then be sure to go back over the data and remove weak keywords, double-down on the strong ones, and seek out new related keywords. Compete on the agile strengths that a small business has at its disposal, chop and change the campaigns frequently to drive up the conversion rate. Ensure searchers are landing on a page relevant to the ad, keeping them there to read further, and calling them to action after the pitch.
It is also worth testing the re-marketing features that Adwords now offers. While intrusive if over done, re-targeting ads back to people who have already visited your site to remind them of your solution has been shown to be effective, based on the repeated exposure marketing technique.
If you can engineer a campaign that gets you 1 good £500 lead per £25-50 spent then it may well be worth experimenting with.
Be sure to use free credit where possible, as you may have noticed that Google are quite keen to send new businesses coupons to test their first campaigns.
That wraps up the section on making the most of your website. There now follows the not insignificant chapter featuring a dozen interviews with translators from a variety of backgrounds, each sharing their sales and marketing advice.